Can thinning hair cause depression?
Is Your Hair Loss Hurting You?
Depression has many causes. Sometimes, the causes are biologically based, such as a lack of Serotonin. Other times, it caused by sudden, unforeseen circumstances, such as the death of a loved one. In other cases, the cause of depression can be a little harder to pin down, as it can be a result of an obscure chemical imbalance. Some people will spend their lives struggling with depression, while others deal with situational depression that lifts when their circumstances change. A cause for depression that does not get much attention is hair loss. Did you know thinning hair can trigger depression? Here are 3 reasons why.
1. Hair loss can be a sign of aging
Sometimes, it is not the hair loss itself that causes the depression, but rather that hair loss is viewed as a sign of aging. In this case, what is actually causing the depression is the thought of growing old. Simply addressing the problem of thinning hair may not actually solve the problem, since thinning hair is only one of many symptoms of aging. In that case, individuals will need to address their own fear of mortality and aging in order to overcome their depression.
2. Thinning hair can be associated with a loss of beauty or virility
While men may associate hair with virility, women often associate hair with beauty. In some traditions, a woman’s hair is even referred to as her “crowning glory.” A loss of hair can be seen as a partial loss of identity. In a cruel twist, some cases of depression can even trigger thinning hair, causing a destructive cycle. Sometimes, depression is related to a deeper cause that hair restoration will not address, while in other cases simply restoring the hair can give the individual an entirely new lease on life. This dramatic change can actually affect the brain chemistry in some people, reversing their negative outlook on life.
3. Thinning hair is sometimes associated with dramatic body changes
While it may seem like losing weight is always a cause for celebration – particularly when an individual has been on a diet for just that reason – this is not always the case. Losing weight can actually cause mood swings and depression, sometimes related to a lack of good nutrition while dieting. Occasionally, diets and sudden weight loss can also cause thinning hair. Instead of leaving the individual feeling better about themselves, in some cases, diets and the issues they can cause do a lot of harm.
The emotional burden of someone experiencing hair loss is nearly universal. While many don’t fall into depression, some to. If you are suffering from depression, it’s time to speak to a therapist. You are not alone. Talk to your therapist about how hair restoration might be a part of your overall healing process. If you want a free medical evaluation for your hair loss, and a conversation about what might be possible for you, give us a call or use our 24/7 booking app.
Dr. Daniel A. Danyo is the founder and medical director of North Atlanta Hair Restoration, specializing in treating hair loss in both men and women. He is one of only 300 people in the world certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery.
He is a member of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons, American Hair Loss Association, and The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.
He is also an early adopter and pioneer of Shave-less FUE, one of the most discreet surgical procedures available for hair restoration. Dr. Danyo performs every procedure himself, from start to finish. He individually extracts and places every graft on every patient. Learn more about Dr. Danyo on his Meet Dr. Danyo page.