It’s normal to lose a few strands of hair every single day, but finding an excessive amount on your pillow or in your shower drain can be worrying. Visible bald patches can cause self-consciousness issues, anxiety, and raise your stress levels, all of which may actually make the problem worse.
Alopecia, simply known as hair loss, affects millions of people around the world. While experts agree that it’s usually caused by genetic factors, there are also cases where hair loss is due to environmental elements and certain health conditions. Stress and anxiety can cause many physical symptoms, which include different types of alopecia.
In this article, we’ll explain the connection between stress, anxiety, and hair loss.
The Link Between Anxiety and Stress
Stress and anxiety have a variety of similarities, including mental and physical symptoms. While they can sometimes manifest on their own, people that suffer from anxiety can also experience high levels of stress. This, in turn, causes a variety of ailments that can range from headaches to burnout, and different types of alopecia.
What’s more, suffering from either of these two or both for an extended period of time can lead to depression and worsen hair loss as well as other physiological effects. While the hair loss may not be permanent, the only way to halt and avoid it completely is to address the source of your anxiety.
How Can Anxiety and Stress Cause Hair Loss?
More than 2.5 million Australians suffer from anxiety-related conditions and many of them experience some form of alopecia.
Besides stress-related hair loss, it’s also worth noting that folks who suffer from anxiety and depression usually have a nutritional deficiency as well. This can also cause alopecia, especially in folks that also experience high physical or emotional stress.
The hair loss caused by stress and anxiety can be categorized into three groups:
Anxiety and stress can cause erratic behaviour. Trichotillomania is a condition that causes a person to pulls out his or her hair. In many cases, these folks don’t realise what they are doing, so they may suddenly notice bald patches or tufts of hair around their house.
Genetic alopecia usually develops over time, but stress-related hair loss can develop almost overnight. Alopecia Areata is a condition characterised by the sudden loss of hair patches in different areas of the scalp. In most cases, hair loss is limited to a few patches, but it can also result in bigger patches and other forms of alopecia as well.
Telogen Effluvium is a condition that causes hair follicles to become dormant. This usually happens after a traumatic occurrence or demanding physical events such as childbirth, a bad infection, and stress. Like Alopecia Areata, Telogen Effluvium happens overnight and it affects mainly the scalp. That said, people have this condition can also experience hair loss in other parts of the body.
Treating the Root Cause of Anxiety and Stress
Although hair loss can cause more anxiety and raise your stress levels, these are only symptoms of a bigger problem. Anxiety can be caused by different elements that include genetic factors, traumatic experiences, and environmental factors.
The only way to treat stress-related alopecia is to tackle the source of your anxiety and prevent it from advancing any further. As we mentioned previously, anxiety and stress can lead to depression, which in turn can cause a variety of symptoms that range from weight loss to suicidal thoughts.
Learn More About Our Education Program
If you notice someone you love is displaying signs of anxiety or high-stress levels, it’s important to learn how to reach out in order to provide support. The CALM education program can help you acquire the skills you need when someone you know may be thinking about ending their own life.
Learn more by visiting our Training Content page or get in touch today and our team will be glad to help.
Author’s Bio Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for Catalyst Computers.