From extensive research, depression and hair loss appear to be directly linked. While there are a number of precipitating factors, perception and the overall state of the mind cannot be overemphasized when we analyse the relationship between going bald and depression.
The issue of baldness is more prominent in men (referred to as male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia), and when hair loss occurs at a young age, it is easy for insecurity to set in. The end result is depression and poor overall performance in other aspects of life.
Depression due to hair loss could make many men feel very inadequate and it could lead to relationship problems. In this article, we will be taking a look at several ways in which hair loss can lead to depression and affect both personal and professional relationships.
- The start of the problem
- How hair loss affects overall confidence
- The symptoms of depression?
- Signs of depression in women?
- The signs of depression in men?
- Overcoming depression due to hair loss
- Online therapy for depression
- What is online therapy?
- Why people prefer online therapy
- About Online-therapy.com
- The advantages of online therapy
- The disadvantages of online therapy
- Is your online therapist ethical?
The start of the problem
For some men, the transition from a full head of hair to being bald is a piece of cake. For others, there is, without doubt, a feeling of dread when they first notice their receding hairline. The receding hairline, which is the most common symptom of androgenetic alopecia often makes a man look older than he actually is. Hair loss, more than any other physical change, dramatically signals the end of youth, desirability and vitality.
This issue becomes intensified when the man’s hair loss occurs at an early age (when members of his age group can still boast a full head of hair).
This issue comes to a head particularly for those who have to make presentations in front of clients or colleagues or speak publicly at conferences. For those looking for a relationship, if they are feeling so low about their appearance and don’t like what they see in the mirror, it can be difficult to portray a level of confidence that would appeal to the opposite sex. People can be very superficial about how another person looks which puts a lot of pressure on people nowadays.
In situations like this where appearance is just as important as the substance being delivered, men who are experiencing hair loss struggle to present the best version of themselves.
Feeling frustrated from time to time is a normal part of life, but when feelings of frustration don’t seem to be going away, you should think about seeking help. The way you are feeling can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, eat and enjoy life. It can be overwhelming constantly trying to be happy when you’re not.
While some people describe depression as like the feeling of impending doom, others feel empty and depressed. Men especially can feel angry and anxious. Even though you experience depression, this can lead to something more serious if you don’t seek treatment. It is so important for you to know that any feelings of hopelessness are a symptom and not the reality of your situation.
While some men are able to accept the loss of their hair as a necessary phase of life, others begin to nurse insecurity coupled with a poor self-image and subsequent depression.
When hair is starting to recede, thin or fall out, it’s inevitable that there is going to be a change in your appearance. This change can bring about an increase in your anxiety as you wonder how you can stop this from happening.
Apart from not being able to control the change, depression in relation to hair loss can also be as a result of “feeling unattractive”, or being made to feel unattractive. For some, they begin to constantly worry that others see them as unattractive. This can quickly metamorphose into a condition known as body dysmorphic disorder where the affected individual develops obsessive anxiety about how they appear.
The symptoms of depression
12 Common symptoms include:
- Decreased mood or depression
- Constantly feeling anxious
- Feeling frustrated and helpless
- Being tearful
- Finding it difficult to make decisions
- Feeling guilty for no obvious reason
- Feeling irritated and intolerant of others
- Having no motivation or interest in anything
- Either having insomnia or oversleeping
- Having low self-esteem
- Finding no joy in life
- Thinking about suicide or harming yourself
Signs of depression in women
Women are more likely to experience depressive symptoms such as strong feelings of guilt, excessive eating, excessive sleeping, and weight gain. Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause can also trigger depression.
The signs of depression in men
Men who are depressed are less likely to acknowledge the real depth of how they are feeling to others. They might, wrongly, think that it’s not “manly” to admit that they need help for their declining mental health. Instead, they might instead complain about having sleep problems, being tired or a loss of interest in their job. Also, they’re more likely to experience symptoms such as anger, aggression, reckless behaviour and, in some cases, substance abuse.
Overcoming depression and anxiety
Overcoming depression and anxiety is not an easy road to travel. Hair loss happens to a large proportion of the population; however, when it occurs, please do not let it take over your life. When I lost my hair, although I saw an ‘alien’ staring back at me in the mirror, I was still looking at me; I was still the same person – just without hair (or eyebrows, for that matter).
It’s easy for people to say you must endeavour to accept yourself this way and that you have no other choice but to accept it but, if the person telling you this is not suffering like you, how can they understand how you are feeling?
Seeking medical attention is advised if you are getting really low because of the way you are feeling due to your hair thinning. In cases where hair loss is caused by a medical condition, seeking medical help is a very good idea as having a health professional examine you and know the cause of your problem may help prevent the problem from getting worse.
While it is one thing to seek professional help, actually listening to and following the advice given is usually another matter entirely.
Should the way you are feeling get worse, I would advise you to visit your doctor, who will give you the best advice on how to deal with it.
Don’t hold back from life. Get out and about and socialise with your friends; this can improve your mood. Keeping in touch with friends and family means you have someone to talk to when you are feeling down.
Online therapy for depression
Get help if you still feel frustrated or sad after a few weeks. If you don’t feel like you can talk to your doctor, family or friends, think about an online therapy service where you can be anonymous and talk freely.
What is online therapy?
Online therapy (also known as e-therapy) is the receiving of mental therapy counselling via the internet. The online therapists use a variety of media such as apps for text, video chatting, voice messaging and audio messaging.
Studies have proven the effectiveness of therapy via the internet to the point that it has become a viable option and is complementary to treatment within an office environment. There are people who can afford and make time for in-therapy therapy but opt for therapy online therapy.
Reasons why people prefer online therapy
Reasons why people prefer online therapy:
- Some people feel that therapy via the internet provides more confidentiality.
- You don’t have to travel to a therapist’s office.
- It’s convenient for those with disabilities or those that are housebound.
- People who want to receive therapy without their family/partner finding out.
- Therapy by message or text allows the client more time to structure their thoughts.
- Physically visiting a therapist is expensive.
- Some e-therapy practitioners do not require insurance.
- Being ‘anonymous’ over the internet allows people to be more open and comfortable.
- People can be concerned that they might see someone they know as they enter or leave a therapist’s office.
- It is easier to reschedule, change or cancel the therapist.
Even when patients do not have to travel, scheduling sessions can be difficult. People are sometimes unable to find more than an hour of their day due to other commitments that may appear at any time. Being able to text means no more cancellations, rescheduling or missing sessions, which saves therapists and customers time, stress and money.
Exposing your deepest secrets and fears without actually looking a therapist in the eye can be quite intimidating when you do it. Not criticizing video chatting allows many customers to open up and progress faster.
With Online-therapy.com, clients with a variety of mental health concerns can get the right care from the comfort of their home.
Online-therapy.com was established with a common goal in mind, to provide people with all the tools they need to handle their mental health concerns. Although many online therapy companies will focus on providing one-on-one counselling services, Online-Therapy.com strives to make the online therapy experience better.
In addition to providing therapy services, the company also has a comprehensive toolbox of resources for people who need therapy. It includes journals, worksheets, and yoga online yoga classes designed to help clients work together to get the attention they need. With their broader focus on therapy patterns, clients can do more than just meet their therapists, learn about the resources they need to maintain their mental health.
The sign-up process
Signing up with Online-therapy.com is easy because the entire platform is designed to be user-friendly. You can sign up and get started right away. Here’s how the sign-up process works:
- Choose from a variety of conditions, indicating what mental health challenges you need counselling for.
- Provide some basic information and contact information. You can be anonymous if you choose.
- Choose from one of the available subscription plans.
- When you sign up, your own personal therapist will be provided to you. This will be your therapist the whole time you are receiving counselling. If you would like to change your therapist at any time, you can contact the company directly.
Online-therapy.com offers a weekly payment structure. For the first month you use Online-therapy.com, there is a discount of 20% per week for the first month. This feature applies to all new customers. There are three separate packages and pricing options.
- Basic package: £29.95 per week. With the company’s 20% for the first month, the service comes to £23.96 per week. With this package, you’ll have full access to the company’s therapy online therapy program. This includes daily contact with your therapist Monday to Friday as well as therapist feedback. You can also access eight easy-to-follow sections that contain reading material and hand-held tools and 25 worksheets that you can use for ongoing improvement.
- Standard package: £49.95 per week. The standard package is the company’s most popular choice and includes extra therapist support through messaging and chat. With the 20% discount, it is £39.96 per week for the first month and then £49.95 per month thereafter. You can enjoy online therapy in a secure and confidential platform, and also enjoy daily therapist feedback from Monday to Friday. There are also eight easy-to-follow sections and 25 running worksheets that come with the standard package. The main difference between this and the basic package is that you also get an extra live chat session with your therapist each week. Additional support is also provided through messaging.
- Premium package: £69.95 per week. The premium package is for those who need more intense help from their therapists. The price for the premium package is £69.95, excluding the first month, where the discount reduces it to £55.96 per week. This package includes online therapy, eight easy-to-follow sections, 25 worksheets and daily therapists Monday to Friday. The main difference in this package is that it includes express replies, support via messaging, and two live chat therapist sessions per week.
The advantages of online therapy
Online therapy is not for everyone. Some people like to be physically present with their therapist while others find they can open up more ‘behind a screen’. Many years ago I went to see a counsellor and no matter how I tried, I just couldn’t open up to her. I was expecting her to wave a magic wand that would make me feel comfortable enough to talk. Maybe if online therapy had been around all those years ago, I might have found it useful.
The good points to having online therapy are:
- if too depressed to go to an in-person appointment, your laptop or tablet is right there with you;
- each week you get access to 30 minutes of live chat with your therapist;
- if you use texting therapy, you don’t even have to schedule a session;
- some find it easier to open up when not in the physical presence of someone. Sharing personal information in person can be really unnerving if you’re uncomfortable showing your emotions;
- access to mental health information for those in rural or remote areas;
- you can often schedule your therapy sessions for the time that is most appropriate for you.
The disadvantages of online therapy
- Some find it never as effective as in-person;
- facts can be lost in translation through text/emailing;
- it might take time before you find an online therapist that you are comfortable with;
- the therapist cannot read your body language to know when to encourage you to open up;
- when using the text/messaging service, you have to wait for a response;
- problems with technology can make it difficult to access treatment when you need it.
Is Your Online Therapist Ethical?
In-office and online therapists follow the code of ethics set by major psychological organizations and the bodies that licensed them. For those who don’t want to read the lengthy documents, see below some general rules these codes cover – the therapist
- must protect your privacy and all records of your sessions with them;
- can only communicate with you in a therapeutic relationship, not in a personal or sexual relationship;
- can only communicate with you in a therapeutic relationship, not in a personal or sexual relationship;
- cannot provide incorrect information about their credentials, services and fees;
- cannot make false or misleading claims about what therapy provides.
It’s important to remember that feeling hurt, upset or anxious is completely normal and understandable. A lot of people feel the same way. How you deal with losing your hair depends entirely on you. You should feel comfortable knowing that you are not alone.
No matter how frustrated you are, you can be good. Understanding the causes of your depression and recognizing the different symptoms and types of depression can help you take the first steps to feel better about yourself and, over time, overcome the problem.
Please don’t avoid the things you find difficult. If you find yourself feeling low or anxious, please make an appointment with your doctor. Further isolating yourself will be counteractive to your mental health.
Please feel free to communicate with me if you don’t feel able to talk to an in-person or online therapist. Although my hair has grown back since my cancer treatment, I do understand how you might be feeling.