A person’s hair is a personal expression of themselves to the outside world. For most, it is closely bound to confidence levels and sense of self. Because it’s so closely tied to a person’s identity, losing hair due to an alopecia areata diagnosis can affect their mental health.
Keep reading to learn more about the link between mental health and alopecia areata.
What Is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes partial or complete hair loss. The condition may occur on the scalp or any other body part, causing hairless spots to appear. Stress and trauma can also trigger this condition and cause cycles of hair loss and regrowth. Alopecia areata is not physically dangerous but takes its toll on mental well-being.
Hair and Mental Health
For many, this is a problem of aesthetic nature that can not be easily solved, causing mental health issues to develop. Hair is a means of personal expression, and when it’s damaged, it can lead to feelings of grief, embarrassment, and shame. These feelings may lead to developing unhealthy coping mechanisms and play into the development of depression and anxiety.
Note that stress and mental health issues can worsen alopecia areata as much as the condition can cause them. That is why it is essential to have good management of both. Alopecia areata is a lifelong condition but can be effectively treated, and the symptoms managed.
You Can Have Control Over It
When coping with the psychological consequences of this condition, remember that you always have a certain degree of control over it. Manage your stress levels as much as possible, be mindful and choose healthy living habits.