Depression and Hair Loss:My Story

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  • SpencerKobren
    Administrator
    • Oct 2008
    • 398

    Depression and Hair Loss:My Story

    When I first realized I was losing my hair, more than 20 years ago, I was absolutely mortified! With that said, I think my reaction to the initial onset of hair loss was fairly typical.

    First, I went through the denial phase. I tried to convince myself that this canít really be happening to me. I mean I was only 21. Next came the questioning phase. I asked select friends and family questions like ďDoes my hair look different to you? Do I look like Iím going bald?Ē

    The truth is youíll get different reactions depending on who you ask. Some family members will attempt to spare your feelings by saying things like, ďYour hair looks greatÖ What are you talking about? You have a ton of hair!Ē

    Thereís always one family member, usually a woman, who says ďYouíre crazy. Youíre not the type to go bald.Ē To this day Iíve never figured out what that means.

    Male siblings, on the other hand, can be a little more direct. Theyíll tell it like it is and of course throw in a couple of bald jokes. This is what happened in my case, and this is when my panic phase began. It was true. I was going bald, and at the time I thought my life was over. The date was December 31, 1987, New Yearís Eve, the day that has forever changed my life.

    Iím not sure if I was prone to depression. I donít remember ever being quite so down until this time in my life, but I will tell you this: it was very real and it was really bad!

    The simple act of showering was torturous for me. To see my hair in my hands and going down the drain with each passing day felt like a slow death. I was having trouble concentrating at work. I couldnít enjoy going out with my friends because I was becoming increasing self-conscious about my appearance, and I hated to look at myself in the mirror or in storefront reflections. I became obsessed with my hair loss, and as the weeks passed, my self-esteem was diminishing. I went from a relatively together kid to an emotional mess in less than a year. I was quickly slipping into a really dark place.

    Society tells us that guys shouldnít care about losing their hair. As men, we were raised to believe that any guy who would be so hyper-concerned about something as frivolous as hair loss is a pathetic excuse for a man. Buck up! Get it together! Itís only hair. Deal with it. Itís part of life.
    Well, thatís easy to say if itís not happening to you. But the truth is, while society doesnít like to admit it, we are all judged by our appearance, especially when weíre young.

    You're Not Alone


    If youíre a young guy reading this article, itís important that you know that you're alone.
    Losing your hair can drastically change the way you perceive yourself, and it can change the way others react to you in all aspects of life. Iím not going to sugarcoat it. Because of this truth, itís reasonable to have feelings of confusion and despair. This is nothing to be ashamed of. There will be women who reject you because of your hair loss. There will be situations in which people will openly make less than polite comments and observations about your receding hairline. These are just the facts.

    At first it will be difficult to deal with, but I am here, as someone who was once a severely depressed hair loss sufferer, to tell you that there is life after hair loss.

    More than twenty years have passed since that fateful day back in 1987, and there are still days when I deal with feelings of sadness. The fact is, Iíve been extremely fortunate to save as much hair as I have, but the day still may come when I have to let go, and just deal with the further progression of my hair loss.

    Iím going to save the discussion about everything I did in an attempt to free myself from the nightmare of hair loss for another article. I just wanted to let you guys know that I do what I do because Iím just like you. Iím a guy who was hit hard by the onset of his hair loss.

    There was a time that I thought I was all alone with my feelings. I believed I was weak and vain because this is what society had drummed into my head. However, instead of letting hair loss overwhelm my life, I chose to take charge of my emotions and my future by turning my obsession into something positive. My profession is built on the hope that shedding a bright light on the harsh reality of hair loss will change the way we experience hair loss and the way society treats hair loss sufferers. I want you to know that while it might not be easy, it does get better.

    Be Strong!
    Spencer Kobren
    Founder, American Hair Loss Association
    Host, The Bald Truth Radio Show

    I am not a physician. My opinions and knowledge concerning hair loss and its treatment are based on extensive research and reporting on the subject as a consumer advocate and hair loss educator. My views and comments on the subject should not be taken as medical advice. Always seek the advice of a medical professional when considering medical and surgical treatment.
  • Jarrod
    Member
    • Oct 2008
    • 31

    #2
    Great story Spencer! Hair loss can be very depressing. I know when I first started to lose my hair it got to me. After awhile though I got use to it falling out. I'm trying to be positive about my hair loss. Some days it bothers me though I'll admit. I've learned that there are much things worse than hair loss.

    Comment

    • Gregory Pistone, MD
      Junior Member
      • Oct 2008
      • 18

      #3
      Very true Spencer. I remember a young man from many years ago who came in with his mom, very depressed and withdrawn and losing his hair rapidly. He was getting nowhere with psychotherapy. After aggressive treatment with minoxidil, finesteride and 2 HT procedures he was so visibly transformed it was unforgettable. He turned into this good looking, long blonde-haired surfing dude with a couple of hot girlfriends. There have been several scientific studies to support this but it's really just common sense. I often find that the folks that tell you not to worry about your hair loss usually have lots of hair Now a lot of guys are comfortable with the shaved look, and that's fine. But for those who are not, that why we all look forward to coming to the office everyday.

      Comment

      • Lefty76
        Junior Member
        • Nov 2008
        • 21

        #4
        If it's possible to take a positive out of all the negatives you experienced with losing your hair, it's that you've provided a trusted, common place, for the rest of us, and future sufferers to talk and find solutions to this problem.

        I really hope that one day in the future the topic of hair loss will be non existant due to technologies to treat and hopefuly prevent it completely. For now I am glad we have this and I'm sure it will help countless people on varying levels.

        My story is unique, having to deal with balding combined with some pretty extensive scarring on my head from a bear attack. I could go on about how shitty I felt and still feel almost like no matter what I decided I would look unattractive. Every day that I lost a hair, the more visible my scars became. It took the option of shaving away from me and that was hard.

        I am on the pathway to finding a great hair transplant surgeon and hopefuly will have positive results to report.

        Thanks for this Spencer.

        Comment

        • robberob
          Member
          • Nov 2008
          • 31

          #5
          Great read!...Exspecially for a depressed young buck like me

          Originally posted by Gregory Pistone, MD
          Very true Spencer. I remember a young man from many years ago who came in with his mom, very depressed and withdrawn and losing his hair rapidly. He was getting nowhere with psychotherapy. After aggressive treatment with minoxidil, finesteride and 2 HT procedures he was so visibly transformed it was unforgettable. He turned into this good looking, long blonde-haired surfing dude with a couple of hot girlfriends. There have been several scientific studies to support this but it's really just common sense. I often find that the folks that tell you not to worry about your hair loss usually have lots of hair Now a lot of guys are comfortable with the shaved look, and that's fine. But for those who are not, that why we all look forward to coming to the office everyday.
          How old did the patient happen to be when you performed the procedure?

          Comment

          • Gregory Pistone, MD
            Junior Member
            • Oct 2008
            • 18

            #6
            I think he was 25 or so.

            Comment

            • 2020
              Senior Member
              • Jan 2012
              • 1527

              #7
              Originally posted by Scorpion
              I know that feel Spence. I know it all, too, well.

              Fortunately you are the one of lucky ones who managed to safe your hair.

              What about those who were less fortunate?

              Whenever I see bald man, I see a disease, a virus circulating the place.

              It's as if they were not human any more, but disposable garbage.

              I'm becoming that garbage.

              I pray to all that is saint propecia will help me.

              If not that, then I will rather take a bullet in my head than suffer anything more than NW2.
              you're pathetic....

              You're probably not even close to NW2... you got your big three - use them. By the time those three lose their efficiacy, a cure will be found. You're actually the fortunate one unlike Spencer was back then in the 80's

              Comment

              • oOKawaiiOo
                Member
                • Apr 2012
                • 43

                #8
                Originally posted by Scorpion
                I know that feel Spence. I know it all, too, well.

                Fortunately you are the one of lucky ones who managed to safe your hair.

                What about those who were less fortunate?

                Whenever I see bald man, I see a disease, a virus circulating the place.

                It's as if they were not human any more, but disposable garbage.

                I'm becoming that garbage.

                I pray to all that is saint propecia will help me.

                If not that, then I will rather take a bullet in my head than suffer anything more than NW2.
                That is kinda harsh man.....

                Comment

                • gmonasco
                  Inactive
                  • Apr 2010
                  • 883

                  #9
                  Do not feed the trolls.

                  Comment

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