I know I have posted this message a million times in this forum, but I really need to let it out as it's very difficult for me to cope with it alone.
Long story short, I went out with my old high school friends. We are really tight and very supportive, so we went to a restaurant to hang out. After that, we crossed the street to the mall to spend some time together. When we were walking to the mall, my best friend revealed the most horrific secret to all of us. I won't disclose what it is but it shocked me, especially after we have been friends for 6 years. I was flabbergasted and I was thinking, "wow, she's honestly so strong."
Later into the afternoon, because all of us were so supportive of her following her reveal of her secret, I thought I should reveal what's been bothering me over the past few days. What happened was that last week, I had an appointment to visit a wig shop in downtown but I cancelled it the previous day because I looked at the map and had a gut feeling that it's not safe to go there. So that's why I didn't go to the wig shop. But because I was so dependent on the happiness that I would get from just visiting the wig shop (as in, my goal of having beautiful hair is tangible), I slipped back into depression. I'm extremely depressed now. I know I should not diagnose myself as clinically depressed, but I've had the symptoms for so long that it seems I fit the criteria.
So I revealed this to my friends and they listened to me, but they didn't say anything that's supportive to me. This hurts me really badly now. It's like my heart is being constricted and that is really painful. I'm not kidding at all. Whenever I feel depressed or anxious, I get a chest ache and stomach pain. There were only four of us, and two of them kept walking to find nice pants for themselves, while one of them listened to me and said, "the environment is not unsafe. You should not trust the map. I've been there before." I replied, "but I've lost so much hair and I have to wait till 2014 summer to get a wig. The wait is going to be so brutal - I just know it. So she (my friend) stood there, kept nodding and glancing at my hair. She didn't say anything, so she went back to my other friends and continued shopping. I was so heartbroken and I wanted to cry, so I told all of them that I'm going to leave now just because I have "some work to do" in the house.
I don't want to talk about my family either. I don't have much support from them other than their offer to go with me to the wig shop but there's no personal "acknowledgement" from them on how hard it is for me. Today, when I was changing my clothes in a fitting room, I caught a glance of my hair. I was shocked - I lost my hair more rapidly than the previous months. Stress definitely contributed to the hair loss, but because of the AGA, I can't reverse the effects. Honestly, I hate my life so much and I just want to be away from this world forever.
I'm really sorry with what you're going through. You are not alone at all. Many of us have a "Why me?" mentality but as hard as it is to handle, alopecia happened to us for a reason. I do sometimes ask myself "Why me?" but I have tried to move away from that direction and improve my mental mindset and health. I changed my diet and exercise a lot now. It hasn't made too much of a difference with my hair but I do feel a lot better. I do believe that my hair will come back, persistence and consistence is key. Unfortunately, we cannot rely on others who do not understand what we are going through for support. I'm sorry your friends and family aren't much of a help. I'm probably of similar age (21) and I do have supportive friends and family but I have had my moments with them not understanding how I am feeling on the inside. Look to yourself for inner strength. I know that sounds crazy and unrealistic right now but you really need to believe in yourself to get through this. Don't ignore the mental aspect of believing and faith. It is very much connected to AI disease and alopecia. I know this will improve for you and you will make the best of it. You're at a tough stage right now, we have all been there. Best of luck to you on this journey, keep your head up and believe that things will get better.
Thank you so much Jason, I really appreciated your kind words. In retrospect, I'm fascinated that I've made it through these tough years without losing my sanity. I attribute this persistence to the strength I instilled in myself from this experience. It's so hard to accept this hair loss when it's so sudden and unexpected. I asked me so many questions just like what you just said. I question if there is ever positive in this situation - e.g. we don't have to deal with bad hair days, but heck, we don't care about them, all we want is our old hair back. What makes this situation difficult to accept is that there is no understanding from your friends or family members. They would comment, "don't focus on your hair so much. Worry about other things," or, "So what it's just hair," but what's ironic about the second comment is that the person who said it stated that she cannot imagine losing her hair. What the heck? I really don't get it.
The truth is, I have hair on my head but it's so thin and limp that it's practically non-existent when you touch it. To elaborate, it's so thin that it feels like a feather in your hands. If I get a human hair wig and go out wearing it, I would be much happier because I don't have to be concerned with the appearance. Anyways, I guess I have to suck it up and wait until the appointment where I can get a human hair wig and find peace and happiness within myself.
I totally hear where you're coming from. Alopecia is difficult at any age but I find it particularly difficult for younger children and younger adults. Unfortunately, we hold ourselves to a high standard based on what society thinks and it's a shame. Don't get me wrong, alopecia bothers me tremendously but I really have come a long way. I had severe AA and then it spread to AT after my gf broke up with me after 5 years of being together. It was ironically a month after I had to shave my head. Shaving my head, losing my "best fiend" at the same time was very difficult for me to endure. It took months for me to find some sort of understanding with it all. I have found a passion for health, diet, and fitness and have gotten into great physical shape as a result of losing my hair. I am proactively treating my alopecia and seeing small signs of progress. I really think the biggest thing is me believing that my hair is going to grow back, letting go of all regret/negative emotions/anger, etc. (easier said than done) is really helping. It's a process and I never acklowedged the role the mind played with AA until about a month ago. Ironically, that's when I have seen the most regrowth. I am using a topical immunotherapy called squaric acid as well (prescribed by dermatologist).. there is a lot about it on this forum if you want to read up on it.
Back to what you were saying though, I heard a lot of "Your a guy, by the time you are 30 or 40 your friends will be bald too" ... Mind you I'm 21 years old.. do you think I want to wait 20 years to blend in with my friends? NO
"You just gotta forget about it"... How can you forget about it when there is a mirror in every single room and you look one way for 20 years and then it all of a sudden changes?
I've heard all the comments before and although I have great support from my friends and family I know that I am the only one that can get myself through this. And I plan on doing it physically, mentally, and emotionally. All aspects of the healing period I guess you can call it. I've watched some pretty good videos on youtube that has changed my perspective on a lot of things. Let me know if you want the links. Trust yourself to get through it and don't count on anyone else. Accept your hair for what it is now and believe things will get better on the outside and inside. You seem like a sweet girl and I wish you all the happiness in 2014. Good luck and I will pray for you.
I am not a doctor, but you do sound like you are clinically depressed and anxious. Perhaps working on improving on that may in time help you to cope with the hair better. My personal opinion is that if you can't find a way to conquer the depression, a wig will only be a temporary fix. You are likely to transfer the depression to some other area in your life.
Jason has some good points about the power of the mind, exercise and health. It is an ongoing battle, but one that you can win.
I believe the wig will make a tremendous difference in my depression. Although it stems from other personal problems, I can combat the depression with, as Jaspn mentioned, healthy diet and exercise. I am so sick of going out with my appearance of ugly, thin hair. That's what makes me depressed.
Everyone, please be careful "diagnosing" someone you have never met with such a specific diagnosis. . .especially if you are not a doctor. I would not want anyone diagnosing me or you for that matter.
Let's all be considerate and respectful.
Is there a way for you to order online (or at least place the order using a money order--for safety)??? Depending on your comfort level with cyber shopping, I would recommend:
* Pick the style online
* Purchase using a money order (after you find out the estimated price)
* Phone in your order to the 800# from the wig website.
I've been ordering for approx 10 years off and on. . .and notice that when you order with your credit card, the company may charge you a higher price without your knowledge (getting ready to file a better business complaint).
But if you order by money order at least the first time, you should be okay.
I used to go to the wig shop, but now order via catalog. It is trial and error, but I'm pretty good with picking the right style and knowing my own dimensions.
The wig shop had no privacy and insensitive staff.
What a shame your wig shop is so insensitive. My first visit was exactly that; I let them know how hurtful this was and they apologized up and down but I never went back. I searched until I found a vendor who specializes in one on one time and total privacy. I have found her prices equal to or better than the catalogue and her ability to style wigs is priceless. My wigs cost 150 dollars or less, they last at least a year and are all synthetic. LIke you I am skittish of online ordering and your money order idea is great. The best thing I ever did was use humor and a positive attitude re wig-wearing.
Wow, maybe it is just me, but I read and read again your post, and still don't understand it. I agree with most of the others, why ever can't you order a wig online? What is the deal with the one particular wig shop, and why must you now wait? As I said, I don't understand your post. Whatever could be so unsafe about going to a wig shop in almost any part of any town in broad daylight ? I guess I don't get that part. It's not like you will be there all day into night. And are there no other wig shops? There really is no harm in ordering online from a reputable wig site. Try something like Namebrandwigs. They also take returns, although they do charge restocking fees. Prices are the best. As far as HH wigs, there are places on line such as Fortune that you can order and try on and return if not what you want. So many options. Again, your post is confusing to me. I know pretty hair will boost your confidence and self-esteem. So why wait? Get something to feel better about yourself. I think Freda also accepts returns. I think she also has discontinued wigs that are truly inexpensive.
Hi Lilac, I am sorry to hear you are going through such a rough time. I encourage you to seek out someone you are comfortable talking to and confiding to. Emotional support is so important when someone is dealing with this condition. You will find an inner strength I am sure and emerge a much stronger individual. Sending positive thoughts your way.....
I hope your feeling better. Living with AA can be troublesome. But if its the worst thing that happens in your life then you can live with it. Its all about perspective. Please try to count your blessings and you AA won't seem so bad. Life is still beautiful with or without AA.
Thoughts and prayers