How To Deal With The Depression Caused by Impending Baldness | Real Story
It’s no news that there is a thin line between hair loss and depression, low self esteem, feelings of unattractiveness and even post-traumatic stress disorder, as the process of losing one’s hair can be a traumatic event for many people.
Losing your hair is no fun, it’s really tough and it comes with a lot of emotional burden. Losing your hair, especially when young, can have a profound and detrimental effect on an individual’s mental health.
We love you, so we rounded up some real life stories to help you deal with the psychological effects of baldness and to let you know you are not alone because there are millions of people in the same situation that you are now and they are doing just fine and have rebranded and accepted their new look. There is a popular saying that goes, “when life give you lemon, squash it and make lemonade”
When I began losing my hair, I went through the Kubler-Ross grief cycle [denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance] over a long period of time, ie, nearly 4 years. I was in my early 20s and the baldness struck at the very root of my self-image. I felt ugly, old, less masculine and completely forsaken by nature.
I spent nearly 2 years terrified of looking into mirrors, utterly repulsed by what I saw, and utterly repulsed by the fact that I was so utterly repulsed (“Am I really this shallow?”). I stopped meeting acquaintances, shut off all communication with friends from my youth, and stewed in my own negativity.
About 6 months ago, I grew tired of my low self-esteem and took my first steps to dealing with my baldness. I buzzed my hitherto longish hair short to about half an inch. I began talking about my hair loss with my closest friends (who had always treaded softly around the topic earlier owing to my sensitivity about it). What I realized was that the hair loss is really not a big deal – no one other than me really cared much about it at all.
I liked the buzzed look, and this gave me the confidence to go ahead and shave my head clean bald. It was an incredibly liberating experience. It might be hard for someone who has not experienced hair loss to understand this, but to walk on the road not worrying about how your hair looks and to actually carry your head high is wonderful. Over the last month or so, I have begun to understand what “embracing your baldness” really means, and the shaven look is becoming integrated slowly into my self-image. My confidence and self-esteem are slowly coming back as well.
Looking back, I wish I had shaved my head (or atleast buzzed down) 4 years ago. It would have saved me so much mental pain. I am lucky that my head is not oddly shaped – your mileage may vary here. I’d recommend that you get a really short haircut and see if you like it, and then take it from there.
Another great piece of advice I received recently was to hit the gym and work out hard. As you experience your hair loss, you tend to focus on what you are losing. By working out, you can re-frame that into the physical improvements that you are making. Plus, bald and muscular can look awesome!
Story by Jigar Solanki
I’ll spare you the story of my baldness journey. I’ll tell you exactly what you need to do. Right now you feel depressed because you hate yourself. Your crown jewel is fading into abyss. So what you need to do is find something else about yourself that you love. The answer is self love. It has always been. You have to find something to feel proud of.
I started working out early on, before the balding started. And I kept doing it. I love looking at myself in the mirror as I shifted my focus from the top to the middle. I can’t stop admiring my body.
You have to love yourself no matter what. If one thing starts to go away and you don’t have a control on it, find some other thing. It doesn’t have to be a physical thing. You can fall in love with your intellect. One has to keep doing it. Because right now it is baldness. Tomorrow it will be grey hair. The day after it will be fine lines. How do you plan to control all that? You can’t go down on a self hating journey every time something doesn’t work.
I hope I made some sense. Believe in yourself buddy. The rest will follow.
Another Story by Jean Marion
You see yourself as a lonely loser. The future only holds bad things for you. Your peers are shunning you. Your family is embarrassed. What can you do? Use Rogaine? Save for transplants? What are you afraid of?
You state in the comments: “… I’ve never been around many women and most have never shown any interest in me so I have never asked any woman out since because the outcome is a forgone conclusion …”
If you are whining because getting laid by multiple shallow women is probably not in your future and you want to be looked at by chics and thought of as impressive by the dudes, then DO something that impresses them. Don’t rely on your body to do it for you.
If you are looking for marriage – all you need is one woman who is able to look beyond the exterior and fall in love with the interior. But at age 20 that is probably the last thing on your mind.
Ugliness comes in many forms. Obesity. Non-symmetrical faces. Hairy backs. Women with mustaches. Crooked teeth. Too many freckles. Flat chested. Too short. Too tall. I mean look around. How many people do you see that are perfect? I’m not talking about some face on a magazine or some article in a rag. I’m talking about the people standing in line at McDonald’s. Each one of them has to deal with something about their body that they do not like or that they get depressed over.
Every young person is aging. They are ALL going to be old some day. Gray, wrinkled, hunched over, fat, complaining about muscle pain. Aging is in the future of everybody. Yes, some people don’t seem to age as quickly. So they got good genes. Oh well, luck of the draw.
No, you aren’t going to be wrinkled tomorrow. I understand how at the age of 20, it is very easy to get depressed over things that seem much more important than they really are. Remember being 14? If you smiled and they didn’t smile back it ruined your whole day? Can you imagine having that dramatic emotional intensity for the rest of your life?
It’s easy for others to say: “well look at that guy, he’s in a wheelchair! and you are complaining about your hair!” But that’s not going to cure your depression. Only growing up and maturing inside is going to help you. Learning to accept yourself for who you are and how you look. And yes, one is dependent on the other. Self esteem based upon your exterior doesn’t last forever. Yeah, you are surrounded by other young people who look hot and know it and make sure you know it, because that’s what their self esteem is based upon.
You are fighting a fight you cannot win. The longer you keep fighting the eventual baldness, the more depressed you are apt to be. Raise the white flag. Mourn the loss. Be depressed that there are other people out there that are smarter, richer, better looking, more awesome than you. Then get on with your life. YOUR life, not the life of some imaginary you that was never meant to be.
Your mother says you do not look good. What is she trying to do? Why is she tearing you down? There must be other men in your family tree that had hair loss as early as you. It’s not like you sat down and decided to do this to embarrass her. What nerve she has, how callous!
I agree that talking it over with someone, someone close to your own age, someone you respect would probably help a lot.
I don’t think getting over this is something you can do on your own at this point.
Unless you look like you joined the military.
Note: The discount code for the week is baldness. It expires 19/06/22