How to cope? I just can't find a way :(

I am 15 and a sophomore in high school. I have alopecia areata and the past couple of months more and more of my hair has been coming out. Only my closest friends know about my hair, and i am very scared that in the coming months all of my hair may come out. What will people say? What will they think? Will my friends stay by my side? Will people talk bad about me? All of these things and more are passing through my head and it scared me to death. I used to have such thick and beautiful hair, and to live a life or a while without it i just cannot imagine. I cry almost every day not knowing if by the next day i will have less and less hair. I joined this site because i feel like no one around me can relate to all of my thoughts and feelings, and as soon as i found out about this site i hopped right on and signed up. Today in the shower a lot of hair came out and i started to cry and didnt know what to next. I am very scared about this process and i really dont want to lose my hair and i just dont know how to cope. I feel as if i just want to sit in my room and cry all day, even though i thank god everyday that i am still heathy overall and im going to be okay, other than losing my hair. Advice on copeing?
I sure do need it :(

Views: 30

Comment by Jennifer Krahn on April 30, 2011 at 12:12am
Hey Madison,
You are a beautiful girl. I completely understand your feelings and especially as a high school student. Crying about the loss of hair is normal and totally understandable...it is scary, and sad, and totally normal for the circumstance.
As for worrying about others, I think you have to control over your thoughts on this matter. What we think people say and what people are actually saying are two very different lines of thought. We tend to visualize and see people saying the very worst about us...when in reality people may be empathetic to our situation. We tend to overemphasize and inflate our worst ideas of others especially when it comes to other people's thoughts about ourselves. What you can control is your own thoughts about the hair loss and your thoughts about self-image. Think about yourself first...not what others think. Set goals ( be it daily, hourly..whatever you need), visualize them and then actualize them step by step.
Please talk to someone about your situation be it a guidance councellor, friend etc. and maybe they along with yourself can help diffuse your negative thoughts and help you regain your confidence. Regardless of the outcome of your hairloss, you will eventually make it out of this traumatic period. Take it hour by hour if need be but seek help and comfort from family and friends. You will make it...hang in there.
Comment by Nicole on April 30, 2011 at 10:14am
I completely understand where you are coming from. When I first lost my hair I was devastated. I went to bed most nights crying and woke up doing the same. When I researched hair loss and heard that there was a thing called alopecia universallis where you lose all your hair I completely panicked. I had lived my life previous to this hair loss as “the girl with enough hair for ten people” I had a lot of long, thick hair and it was kind of what I was known for. I thought if I lose all my hair who will I be? My life will be over. I was consumed with it and trying to figure out how to “fix” it. It was so hard; I went to an alopecia website and asked for the same advice you are asking for. Several women who had alopecia said, “Now that I’ve had it for years I have completely adjusted to it and I live a happy normal life just without hair.” They were so comfortable with their hair loss that many of them didn’t even wear a wig. To be honest, at the time, that almost irritated me and made me feel even more alone in my struggle because I was absolutely sure I could never feel that way. I was convinced I could never be happy without my hair. Now almost 6 years later I know, to an extent, they were right. It was a LONG process of relearning who I was and becoming comfortable with myself. Now I have completely adjusted to losing my hair, not to the same extent as the women (who I have huge respect for) that chose to go bald and do not wear wigs but in my own way. I could never go out without my hair; I admire those who can but I personally could not do that. I am very happy and well-adjusted to losing my hair but I wear a wig. I think everyone’s journey is different but honestly the only thing for me that made dealing with my alopecia better was time, just adjusting to it and finding ways to get comfortable with my hair loss like wearing a wig, getting my eyebrows tattooed etc. I remember in the beginning I couldn’t even come close to talking about it without bursting into tears and now I talk about it all the time to anyone who is curious about it. Alopecia has absolutely made me a better person. It has taught me to focus on all the wonderful things in my life and appreciate everything. The struggle only made me a better, stronger person. So just know that you are NOT alone in your struggle, many of us have been in the same position and although it’s hard to believe…. time will make it easier. There wasn’t a morning where I woke up and said, “ok I’m fine with this…no problem…I am happy and adjusted” it happened over time. I know that doesn’t make it any easier now but I hope that you find some comfort in knowing I felt exactly the same way in the beginning and now I live a wonderful, happy, fulfilling life alopecia and all! I hope this helps you and please keep reaching out, it helps to know you are not alone! :)
Comment by velvet on April 30, 2011 at 11:53am
hi madison i am 16 and in high school it would be great to talk to u and offer each other tips :) xx
Comment by RealCleopatra'sLegacy on May 1, 2011 at 12:05am
Madison hi!!
Everything everyone said here is so true. It's impossible to see but I promise acceptance gets easier. I hate alopecia but I live with it. It's unpredictable so honestly the things that have helped me the most are good cosmetic solutions. Experiment with products, wigs, extensions, make-up that makes you feel as good as possible-- pretty and passable :) It can get pricey so ask people on here what really looks good/works and what doesn't. I'm happy to share any tips.. Just ask!! Hang in there girl... you have no idea how strong you really are.
Comment by Karen Smith on May 2, 2011 at 8:45am
Hi, The same thing happened to my daughter in highschool. She lost part of her hair her freshmen year and it grew back. She was able to cover it with scarves and headbands. She lost all of her hair her senior year and we bought wigs. She wears lace wigs that she tapes on. She was a cheerleader and only missed one game. She had her eyebrows tattood which saved alot of time and she is an expert at putting on false eyelashes. She is gorgeous and turns heads wherever she goes. She is in college has a boyfriend and dated alot of boys last semester when they were broken up, some knew and some didn't. She has plenty of friends and people tell her their problems because she knows what it is like to hurt. You will be ok regardless of what happens to your hair but have a good plan in place if it all falls out. There are wig sites that will do free wigs for people under 17. Hair club america and celebritystylewigs. Let me know if I can help.
Comment by Michelle on May 4, 2011 at 3:43pm
Hi, Madison! This website is great place for support. I also have AA. One of the hardest parts is the unpredictability of it. For me, it helped to buy a couple of hats/turbans. I felt like I had some control. If my spots got really big, I had a cute hat to put on my head until I could decide what to do--whether that be a really short hairstyle, or wearing a hat or wig. I've had AA for about a year and 1/2. For me, it seems to go in cycles...a couple of months it's falling out really fast and I wonder how much I'll have left and then for awhile it settles down and grows back in. Know that you are not alone. It takes awhile to accept alopecia. Maybe talking with a teacher or guidance counselor would help. You are a beautiful young woman with or without hair.

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