Certain life events like the death of a loved one or extended period of illness significantly impact our mental health, and in some cases, lead to hair loss. Although hair loss resulting from a mental and emotional issue is common, their relationship is complex and not fully understood.
Some people, especially women, become anxious, stressed, and depressed from losing their hair and worrying about its effect on their appearance.
It is important to understand how hair loss affects our stress levels and vice versa to help you now when you need a specialist.
Can stress cause hair loss?
Yes, it can. Events that cause severe emotional trauma may trigger hair loss some months after the event has happened. Some women experience a sudden loss of hair after a period of extreme stress, like a divorce. This condition is referred to as Telogen Effluvium, occurs because the body releases stress hormones that prevent hair growth and makes the hair go into a resting phase.
The affected hair sheds after about three months, making the hair thinner. Although Telogen Effluvium is temporary, most people find the condition upsetting. The hair would likely grow back and regain its fullness within a couple of months without treatment, especially if you address the underlying issue.
How can hair loss affect your mental health?
For most people, especially women, their hair is an important part of their appearance and identity. Having bad patches in the scalp or thinner hair due to conditions like female pattern hair loss or Alopecia Areata can lead to emotional unrest.
When your hair starts to fall out, you may become worried about losing your hair and turning bald. The constant worry can affect your social life, leading to withdrawal and insecurity about your appearance.
Most people ignore the psychological impact of hair loss, but a study showed that about 50% of people with hair loss have a high level of depression and anxiety, which affects their daily activity, sexual relationship and work. This makes addressing issues resulting in hair loss vital. Psychological support and counselling during treatment can help people dealing with hair loss feel better.
What to do about hair loss
Most people dealing with hair loss suffer in silence because they feel embarrassed to talk about the problem. With a comprehensive diagnosis, you can prevent anxiety and control your life even when suffering from hair loss.
You may have to see a specialist because hair loss in women is manageable. Your specialist can arrive at the right diagnosis and identify your hair loss's underlying cause, which would help create a personalised treatment plan.
Possible treatments for hair loss include steroid injections, hormone treatment, lifestyle changes and topical medication. No definite cure for hair loss is available in most cases, but your specialist may suggest different treatments to regrow lost hair and stabilise hair loss.
Why is it important to address mental health issues?
Hair loss can result from complicated issues, and the debate about the relationship between hair loss and stress is still on. Suppose you experience hair loss after severe trauma. In that case, it is important to get support to address the emotional stress caused by the trauma to prevent a prolonged impact on your mental wellbeing.
Seeking help from a psychotherapist or counsellor can help you feel better and find a suitable treatment or method to manage your stress level.
Alopecia Areata, the sudden and recurring loss of hair, leaves many women with emotional unrest. The best way to manage this in most cases is by undergoing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other therapeutic interventions that improve the quality of life.
Lifestyle changes, regular exercise, diet change, and stress-reducing activities such as mediation and yoga can help manage stress and prevent further hair loss. Since several factors may contribute to hair loss, it may be best to involve an integrated approach to treat the condition.
If you are experiencing hair loss, and want to visit nearest private GP clinic, call London GP Clinic today on 020 7043 4318 to schedule an appointment with a specialist for treatment.
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