Coping With The Pain of Hair Loss
Thinning hair can take a toll on a woman's self-esteem.
Hair Loss, Loss of Self-Esteem continued...
"Unlike other physical problems that can affect your looks, like being
obese, for example, losing your hair is something you can quickly and easily do
something about, and you shouldn't feel so embarrassed by your problem that you
don't take advantage of what can be done to help you," says Lusskin,
director of reproductive psychiatry at New York University Medical Center in
New York City.
Lusskin says you'll feel a lot better if you take a proactive self-help
"If hair loss bothers you, don't run from it, investigate all your
options, both medical and over-the-counter treatments, and in the interim,
until they start working, look into temporary solutions -- wigs, hair pieces,
hair extensions," says Lusskin.
Howard agrees and adds that women who are concerned about their looks really
don't need to suffer.
Don't Feel Bad About Feeling Bad
"If you really find you can't cope with the change in your appearance,
there is nothing wrong with wearing a wig -- it's a very good and logical
solution, particularly if you are waiting for a treatment to kick in,"
Howard tells WebMD.
Reed says that while most women he treats are reluctant to try a wig or hair
extensions at first, in the end, he says, many find it is the best solution,
particularly if their appearance is key to their sense of well-being.
"In many instances a wig can give a woman back her confidence and her
self-esteem; it's not the best solution, but at least she feels she can face
the outside world without being judged harshly, and that can be important,"
Lusskin believes it's all about finding your personal comfort level and
being true to yourself.
"While some women may benefit from allowing themselves to be seen
without a hair piece -- often finding that a very liberating experience -- for
others, hiding their hair loss through the use of wigs or hair pieces is the
right answer. It's really all about being true to your own feelings about
yourself," says Lusskin.
While experts report that most women do eventually accept and make peace
with their hair loss, for some it can become a serious psychological stumbling
block. In this instance, worry and concern over appearance can become a
pathological obsession that invades all areas of a woman's life.
"If you are losing sleep over your hair loss, if you are continuously
ruminating over the problem, if it affects your appetite, or if you are
consistently feeling sad, blue, hopeless, or especially helpless, all because
of your appearance, then you are seriously affected by your hair loss and
should consider talking to a mental health professional," says Lusskin.
Often, she says, the problem is a matter of episodic depression, which can
be easily treated. If left untreated, however, not only can it continue to make
you feel bad in many areas of your life, the stress and the worry may make your
hair loss worse.