It is only hair loss. - BaldTruthTalk.com
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  1. #1
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    Default It is only hair loss.

    Hi everyone.

    I read this in the problem column of a popular UK tabloid today and it really wound me up.

    Reader wrote:
    My husband used to be outgoing and sporty but since he has lost his hair he has become very withdrawn.

    He is only 27 and the baldness set in early, at 22.

    He now seems to be suffering from depression. He's chain-smoking and says he's trying to destroy himself as he can't bear what he sees in the mirror. He refuses to believe that I love him.

    His doctor gave him antidepressants but he won't take them as he discovered a side-effect can be thinning hair.

    I'm so worried for him.


    Columnist wrote back:
    My feeling is underlying depression is the real problem, of which the reaction to hair loss is just a symptom.

    Suggest he asks his GP for a different antidepressant, encourage him to start exercising again and give him lots of compliments.


    Now is it just me or do medical professionals and head shrinks tend to deny the devastating effects that hair loss has on some people? The columnist (a psychologist of some sort I presume) completely denied the fact that guy is depressed because of his hair loss despite the reader clearly stating that he only became depressed after hair loss set in. This is complete BS.

    I relate to this guy as I have similar feelings towards my own hair loss. I cannot look in the mirror, cannot motivate myself to do the things I enjoy doing. In fact, other than work, my life is pretty much at a complete stand still. I don't go out unless absolutely necessary and every day tasks are an absolute nightmare for me. Take showering for example, completely mundane for most people but absolute torture for me. Just watching what seems like hundreds of hairs disappear down the drain and feeling the ever-lessening density of head hair gives me a deadened feeling in the pit of my stomach.

    When you desperately want something to not happens it does anyway (slowly, everyday and right in front of your eyes) how can this not depress you?

    What the reader described I see posted here on a regular basis. Hair loss is that big a deal for some people. Its almost like a fear.... some people are terrified of heights and some people are not. I think is completely wrong of the columnist to write off the guy's feelings like that.

    I am sure that if someone with a magic wand came along and reversed the guys balding, he would not be depressed anymore and could actually live his life again. In fact I am sure that if there was such a magic wand then all of us bald truth posters would be able to live our lives to 100% again.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gmonasco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark-1 View Post
    The columnist (a psychologist of some sort I presume) completely denied the fact that guy is depressed because of his hair loss despite the reader clearly stating that he only became depressed after hair loss set in. This is complete BS.
    That's the "Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc" fallacy:

    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/post-hoc.html

    It's quite common for depression to be triggered by a negative event which, although it may be distressing in itself, is not the root cause of the depression:

    I am sure that if someone with a magic wand came along and reversed the guys balding, he would not be depressed anymore and could actually live his life again. In fact I am sure that if there was such a magic wand then all of us bald truth posters would be able to live our lives to 100% again.
    It's quite common for depressed people to engage in "If only ..." thoughts: "If only I had a good job, I'd be happy"; "If only I had a boyfriend, I'd be happy,"; "If only I were better looking, I'd be happy." Unfortunately, far too many depressed people who focus on such thinking find out that even when they obtain the one thing they're positive will ensure their happiness, they're still depressed.

  3. #3
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    With respect, in this case I disagree with your reply completely.

    When I have a (increasingly rare) good day where my hair looks acceptable to me, I feel so much better. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, my mind clears up and I feel more positive.

    For this reason I know that these positive feelings would be more likely to happen if I had a full head of hair.

    Would I find something else to focus on? probably but I can say beyond a shadow of doubt that there is no other issue that would make me feel as negative as this has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmonasco View Post

    It's quite common for depressed people to engage in "If only ..." thoughts: "If only I had a good job, I'd be happy"; "If only I had a boyfriend, I'd be happy,"; "If only I were better looking, I'd be happy." Unfortunately, far too many depressed people who focus on such thinking find out that even when they obtain the one thing they're positive will ensure their happiness, they're still depressed.
    you are hitting the head on the nail. Hairloss is indeed depressing and strikes even harder if you have a clinical depression. So if hairloss was kausal with depression, everybody with hairloss would have depression, but that is not the case. A Lot of men with hairloss are social/outgoing and have great success in life.

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    Its similar to people with full head of hair telling you that you look good as you are and you do not need a HT .

    I usually tell them to f.. off ,they will never know what it feels like until they are in the same boat .

  6. #6
    Senior Member gmonasco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark-1 View Post
    When I have a (increasingly rare) good day where my hair looks acceptable to me, I feel so much better. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, my mind clears up and I feel more positive. For this reason I know that these positive feelings would be more likely to happen if I had a full head of hair.
    And many anorexics will tell you that they feel all those same things whenever they step on the scale and find they've lost a pound or two, and that they're sure they'd feel even better if they could lose even more weight. But of course, they're never really happy no matter how thin they get, because their weight isn't really the issue which is driving their negative feelings.

    I don't doubt you feel as you do, and I know how powerful a mindset it can be; I can only tell you it's a pattern of thought that depressed people commonly fall into which often obscures the underlying causes primarily responsible for the depression. There's some discussion of it here, for example:

    http://racheldack.com/2011/01/05/if-only-thinking/

    Regardless, I hope you're able to eventually obtain both hair and happiness, even if one isn't dependent on the other.

  7. #7
    Senior Member gmonasco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnytr View Post
    Its similar to people with full head of hair telling you that you look good as you are and you do not need a HT. I usually tell them to f.. off ,they will never know what it feels like until they are in the same boat .
    But would you feel any differently if a bunch of bald(ing) men told you that you look good as you are? Probably not.

  8. #8
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    gmonasco

    All I know is that I wasn't depressed before hair loss set in and now I am.... put 2 and 2 together and what do you get?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark-1 View Post
    With respect, in this case I disagree with your reply completely.

    When I have a (increasingly rare) good day where my hair looks acceptable to me, I feel so much better. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, my mind clears up and I feel more positive.

    For this reason I know that these positive feelings would be more likely to happen if I had a full head of hair.

    Would I find something else to focus on? probably but I can say beyond a shadow of doubt that there is no other issue that would make me feel as negative as this has.
    Dont listen to Gmnasco.

    I would find something to dwell on also, but nothing would affect me like hairloss has.


    I was also the happiest person on earth before hairloss. Now I'm dead inside to some extent. It sucks to admit but it is definitely the hairloss. Why wouldn't it be? Knowing that you're doomed to be george costanza or the guy with the muscle head with the shaved head and goatee.


    you just look different. A bare forehead doesn't frame your face.

  10. #10
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    This is a very interesting topic:

    I feel a human being can become depressed for many reasons. I feel that hair loss can be a source and only source of depression. I also believe that many are equipped to live happy lives in the face of hair loss. Also, if one already has a history of depression, and/or faces depressive conditions, hair loss can make the depression much worse.

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