Hair Loss and Women (cont.)

While experts report that most women do eventually accept and make peace with their hair loss, for some it can become a serious psychological stumbling block. In this instance, worry and concern over appearance can become a pathological obsession that invades all areas of a woman's life.

"If you are losing sleep over your hair loss, if you are continuously ruminating over the problem, if it affects your appetite, or if you are consistently feeling sad, blue, hopeless, or especially helpless, all because of your appearance, then you are seriously affected by your hair loss and should consider talking to a mental health professional," says Lusskin.

Often, she says, the problem is a matter of episodic depression, which can be easily treated. If left untreated, however, not only can it continue to make you feel bad in many areas of your life, the stress and the worry may make your hair loss worse.

Reviewed by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD.

Published December 2003.

SOURCES: Michael Reed, MD, clinical associate professor, dermatology, NYU School of Medicine, New York City, New York; Lauren Howard, CSW, psychotherapist New York City, New York; Shari I. Lusskin, M.D., FAPA, director of reproductive psychiatry, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, New York University School of Medicine, New York City, New York.

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