27, almost bald, really depressed - my story. - BaldTruthTalk.com
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  1. #1
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    Default 27, almost bald, really depressed - my story.

    Hey guys, I'm just here to share my story and vent out my frustrations with dealing with hair loss and how its affected my life, and my depression

    My hair loss started in high school when I took the drug Accutane for my acne. Hair loss is common with that drug, but its very rare for it to be permanent - I guess I was one of the lucky ones! When I first started treatment I got a small bald patch near the front of my scalp. My derm didn't make a big deal about it and said it would grow back. Being 16-17 at the time, I didn't know any better. I didn't research the drug and trusted my derm. I really wanted to get rid of my horrible acne so I didn't care. I did two courses of accutane, and after the second round I can tell my scalp and hair was drastically changed!

    The texture of my hair was changed and diffusely thinned it out everywhere including the back and sides. At first I was able to get by with buzzing it down really short. Accutane caused a weird condition where my scalp overproduces sebum. If I dont wash my hair at least once a day (sometimes more) I get big chunks of sebum. I believe they are clogging my follicles. The hairs that would fall off would sometimes have a thick yellow/waxy sebum attached to the root. I remember I would always pick them off my scalp. The itch was also unbearable and it feels like a crawling feeling in my scalp (hard to explain..)

    The hair loss and thinning continued through my 20s. My hairline has NOT receded one bit and looking at my family history I am convinced I do not have MPB, and this is accutane induced, since all this started after I stopped my treatment. I'm a healthy guy and doctors were not able to give me any answers. At this point I had already lost trust in doctors anyway.

    At around 23-24 years old, it started becoming very noticeable. Diffuse unpatterned thinning all over, but more in the front. One doc recommended fin, which I tried for 8 months and saw NO results, just a progressive worsening of my hair (and side effects to boot) I stopped taking it. This is another reason why I think I do not have AGA. I started using concealers (Toppik) and it worked great for a few years. It really bought me some time and I was able to live a somewhat-normal life (still had to avoid pools, sleeping over friends house, etc...) I had been using minox around this time also and not sure if it worked at all, but I kept at it. It made my face bloat and took a toll on my skin causing some premature aging.

    Fast forward to today, at 27. Concealers are no longer an option due to the amount of hair loss. You can see right through my thin hair and the toppik just forms a layer of dust on my scalp! My sides and back are also very thin. I stopped minox due to side effects (and I feel like its a losing battle, so why bother with it?) I started to shed more after stopping it. Some hairs now are so thin that they are transparent. I basically have no other option but to shave my head, which I am terrified of doing.

    This has all really taken a big toll on me emotionally. I suffer from depression and social anxiety now. I blame myself every day for taking that damn drug. I live every day with anger and regret. Every time when I am in public all I notice are guys with full heads of hair and I think "thats supposed to be me" "whats wrong with me" "why can't I have hair like that". I feel disfigured and inadequate. I see my uncles, in their 40s and 50s with full heads of hair (NW0!!) and I die on the inside. I even wish I would have a normal receding hairline, but my hair loss is so ugly (diffuse and unpatterned), I can't style or do anything with it!

    I just don't enjoy anything anymore. I avoid leaving the house and cancel plans with friends. I always wear hats and never take it off even indoors with friends. My career is suffering because I don't have any confidence or self-esteem. Suicidal thoughts have crossed my mind at times, even though I would never do it. But the thought of going to sleep and never waking up sounds very nice. I turn to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain and sadness.

    If anyone read this long ass rambling, thank you. Hope no one is suffering like me because I wouldn't wish this kind of life on my worst enemy. Todays is Christmas eve and I'm supposed to go to a family gathering, but I am so depressed that I chose to stay home alone instead So thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Notcoolanymore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheddingtears View Post
    I blame myself every day for taking that damn drug. I live every day with anger and regret.
    I read your entire post and it was a tough read. All I can say is try to stay strong. As an early hair loss sufferer and now someone that lives with a diffuse NW3 I can somewhat understand your pain.

    You can't blame yourself for this shit though. It was not your fault at all.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notcoolanymore View Post
    I read your entire post and it was a tough read. All I can say is try to stay strong. As an early hair loss sufferer and now someone that lives with a diffuse NW3 I can somewhat understand your pain.

    You can't blame yourself for this shit though. It was not your fault at all.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I know I can't blame myself, but I do feel huge regret all the time. In my head I always picture how I would look with my old hair back, and how different my life would have been if I had made a choice to not take that drug. Maybe I'd be a happy normal guy, confident and in a relationship. I can't help but feel extremely depressed about my current situation. Looking back, I probably could have fixed my acne with a diet change. I used to eat fast food every day. I just wish I could go back in time!

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    Sometimes I'm able to change my mindset to a more positive one but as soon as I interact with guys with full heads of hair the depressive feelings come back. I always compare myself to them and feel inadequate and disfigured compared to them! The first thing I notice on people is their hair because of my own insecurities. This is the worst because I can't enjoy living life with this constant reminder of my problem. I don't know how to make this feeling go away.

  5. #5
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    Interesting and I ak of course upset to read you guys feel so strongly about this. I myself am not happy with my hair and jealous of people who have full thick heads of the crap myself but I don't find it hinders either relationships or my enjoyment of life too much at all. In fact there are often times I am extremely happy shaved bald and not giving a crap.

    There is a hell of a lot more to life than having hair, but clearly it can play a significant role in how some people percieve themselves and their psyche.

    Best of luck with your depression though, this is a serious issue. I hope you can come to terms with it and enjoy life anyway.

  6. #6
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    SheddingTears I also had to take accutane in my mid-20s (14 years ago, I'm 39 now) for major painful acne on my chest and I got a big zit on my crown.
    I'm taking fin for 15 months now I noticed less shedding but it hasn't done anything more. Also I've been on minoxidil for 1 month. I haven't noticed any regrowth yet, but it's still early. I've also just received a dermaroller and did one session last Sunday. I'm hoping the dermaroller will make a huge impact.
    I'm using the dermatoller on my crown and on my chest,because of the acne it scared my skin on my chest. So we'll see where this takes me.

  7. #7
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    I hated reading this because it makes me so mad that so many don't take hair loss seriously. I will never understand how the number one concern of the majority of men worldwide is just blown off as insignificant. No new treatments in 25 years is all you need to know about what the REAL medical world think of the problem. I wish there was more awareness about the issue, if more people read this post and the many others like it I think it would open a lot of eyes about the effects it can have on someone. It's ridiculous how seriously it can change a person's life.

    I mean how hard can it be to grow a hair. IT'S A HAIR. The whole human body is covered in them. It should be the first thing you learn in science class.

  8. #8
    Senior Member baldozer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairlessM View Post
    I hated reading this because it makes me so mad that so many don't take hair loss seriously. I will never understand how the number one concern of the majority of men worldwide is just blown off as insignificant. No new treatments in 25 years is all you need to know about what the REAL medical world think of the problem. I wish there was more awareness about the issue, if more people read this post and the many others like it I think it would open a lot of eyes about the effects it can have on someone. It's ridiculous how seriously it can change a person's life.

    I mean how hard can it be to grow a hair. IT'S A HAIR. The whole human body is covered in them. It should be the first thing you learn in science class.
    So true.

  9. #9
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    It makes it sound like you really blame Accutane for your hair loss, while I can not deny the possibility given the limited information you have granted me, I rather not be too quick too agreeing with your conclusion. You also seem to have noticed side effects, but ignored them, perhaps somewhat lack of research on your part together with misinformation for their part.

    >My hairline has NOT receded one bit and looking at my family history I am convinced I do not have MPB,

    So - your mother's brother / father got their hair, your father got his hair? It is likely they got got MPB because that seems to be exactly what you are going through. Tho taking fin should have helped some what? Perhaps your loss only slowing down? Perhaps it got passed through more distant family. It's strange if would all be accutane - because then you are claiming taking accutane have caused you hair loss for 11 years that looks quite like MPB.

    Good luck anyway, but I just wouldn't stamp a flag and put all blame on accutane instead of really searching for more info if the reason is so important for you, surely the MPB genes can be detected through a test?

  10. #10
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    Damn, this is depressing. I suppose this is a good time and place to share this story about how hair loss can affect a person. I was talking about my hair loss with my mother and how much it affected me when she told me about my grandmother who died of cancer in the 80's. Obviously cancer therapies cause hair loss and my mother said that she remembers how upset my grandmother was as her hair fell out and she became bald. She said that she knew she was dying anyway and that her hair should be the last thing to worry about, but she couldn't help being extremely upset at how much it changed her appearance.
    Just thought I'd share that paraphrased story for all the people who say "it's only hair".

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