The Connection Between Depression and Hair Loss
Depression is widespread among both teenagers and adults. While feeling sad, anxious, hopeless, or helpless for long periods are common signs of clinical depression, there are physical symptoms, too. You may feel tired a lot with body aches and pains that linger. You can also experience stomach issues. If you start losing your hair, too, you may wonder if depression is the cause.
How Depression May Contribute to Hair Loss
So far, medical science says there’s no direct link between depression and hair loss. But there are issues related to your depression that can cause your hair to thin, shed, or replenish more slowly. Some examples are stress, anxiety, poor nutrition, and anti-depressant medication.
Stress and Anxiety
Research reveals that stress can slow down or stop hair growth temporarily. Plus, studies have shown that severe anxiety may contribute to hair loss in rare cases.
With respect to Telogen Effluvium, your body reacts to stress or trauma by putting some of your hair follicles into an extended resting period. This stops growth in those areas for a few months. It shows up as thinning hair.
Highly stressful situations like physical trauma, toxin exposure, hormonal changes, and traumatic events can cause TE. Chronic stress may also change your hormone levels.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder that can kick in when you’re highly stressed. Patches of hair fall out because your body’s immune system is attacking your hair follicles. It’s a temporary condition that improves in about 6 to 8 months after the stress goes away.
People suffering from Trichotillomania compulsively pull their hair out. Their irresistible urge to pull affects the hair on their head, eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair. If you suffer from trichotillomania, anxiety is more likely to trigger hair-pulling sessions.
Even if something other than stress or anxiety is causing your thinning hair, losing your hair can make you feel anxious or stressed. That is likely to lead to more hair loss, continuing the unhappy cycle.
A change in appetite is also a typical symptom of depression, either eating too much or too little. Either way, that can cause poor nutrition affecting your body’s functioning, which includes hair growth.
Your body may extend the resting period for your hair follicles if you don’t provide adequate essential nutrients. Zinc, fatty acids, and protein are examples. Too much of a nutrient can also cause hair loss. That’s the case with Vitamin A or selenium.
Another related hair loss trigger related to depression is the medication you take to treat your condition. Hair loss is a potential side effect of some antidepressants. Patients on Prozac or Zoloft have experienced this rare side effect.
Solutions for Hair Loss & Thinning Hair
Depression-related hair loss can be both temporary and long term. Whether you live in Long Island, New York, Phoenix, Arizona, or anywhere in between, if you are experiencing the devastating effects of hair loss and would like to learn more about non-surgical hair replacement options available to you, we invite you to consider scheduling a free private, confidential consultation with an experienced hair loss professional near you.