Using a mental health professional to cope with hair loss
Has anyone here ever done this? What was the experience like? Did it help?
I'm currently being treated for depression. I feel like the hair loss is a significant contributor (there are others--the initial depression trigger was a relationship that ended badly and left me in a funk), but I feel awkward bringing up the hair loss in a mental health setting. I know there is confidentiality and I know it is for my own good. I just feel ridiculous about it. It feels like I'm an absurdly vain person for even letting it bother me, but at the same time going bald is a big part of my feelings of pessimism about the future and my lack of motivation and enjoyment of things that used to give me pleasure. It doesn't help that the psychiatrist is older than me and still has a full head of hair.
I wouldn't feel ashamed about bringing it up at all. I did when I saw a psychiatrist, because hair loss was (is) what is causing me to be depressed. Although I do not go to psychiatrists anymore, since I've become very skeptical of them.
What did he/or she say about it when you brought it up?
Originally Posted by DepressedByHairLoss
I spoke of it very briefly with my counselor. I've been having issues with other people thinking I care too much about my hair. I rarely mention it to anyone, and only to a few people, but when I tried to get support I ended up getting invalidated. So she told me that I need to learn how to not concern myself with what others think because people just have differing values and sometimes lack appreciation for what others are experiencing.
I don't bring it up with my psychiatrist. She's not a talk therapist, and I don't trust her anyway. She would probably tell me that it bothers me inordinately due to my bipolar disorder. This I would strongly disagree with as the hair issue has made my depressive symptoms far worse, and it's not like this hasn't been studied. Based on the data, my reaction falls within the normal range. Finasteride has helped me tremendously. I may still obsess about my hair, but I do so knowing that I'm treating it. I would be far worse otherwise.
But I completely understand where you are coming from. I felt very uncomfortable talking about it in counseling because of the vanity aspect. From her perspective as a mental health and addictions counselor, and frankly someone who is old and has hair, she may not be able to see where I'm coming from.
Don't feel insecure or silly about bringing it up at all. Any therapist who's worth their salt will understand the negative effects hair loss can have on a man's self esteem, especially someone who is still quite young (as you are). It's much deeper than simply being "vain" and it's something that's worth talking about with a professional. Keeping it in will only add to your anxiety/depression - which could in turn have even further effects on your hair.
I had a therapist I saw on a weekly basis for a couple years, and still see her once a month to "check in". Additionally, I went to group therapy for about a year as well for OCD/anxiety where we did Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is where I primarily addressed my hair loss, as one of the main contributors to my anxiety was the fear of losing my hair (I had noticed it had been receding for a couple years). It was a very scary thing for me to bring up, but I'm glad I did. Doing the CBT was instrumental in bringing my stress level down and helping me cope with the idea of losing my hair. It's definitely something I would look into if I were you to help you manage what you're feeling. Additionally, with the help of a therapist, you'll be able to get at the underlying feelings that come up when confronted with hair loss and deal with them head on.
So.... I recommend a couple things, both from my personal experience:
1) Work on this in therapy and address it with your therapist. If they seem like it's not something they deem important, find a therapist who does. Also mention CBT to them and see if it's something they recommend/provide. You can also message me if you want more specifics about how CBT works.
2) Be proactive about your hair loss. This is just as important as being proactive about your mental health. Believe it or not, there are potential solutions to hair loss - something I wasn't even aware of when I first started experiencing hair loss. I thought there was nothing I could do, so the situation seemed even more hopeless, which lead to even more anxiety (and in your case, more depression). But there could be a way to fix it, so look into that and meet with a physician and see what they think is best for you. Whether it's diet, medication, or even a hair transplant, there are most likely some options out there for you.
Best of luck!
I am a patient advocate for Dr. Parsa Mohebi in Los Angeles, CA. My views/opinions are my own and do not directly represent the opinions of Dr. Mohebi and his staff.
A health professional would only give you tips regarding your hair loss problem. In condition of balding there are several medicines you can try our. Finasteride, rogain, biotin etc, But first you should consult before actually applying it for your hair loss problem.
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