Coping and Support
Alopecia does not negatively impact a person’s overall health. However, a person with the condition may feel emotionally stressed. Some people with alopecia may feel less attractive, especially when their hair loss is extensive. They may also experience frustration, loss, fear, embarrassment, hopelessness or guilt. For these reasons, support from family and friends, as well as professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers) can help a person develop a more positive self-image and increased self-confidence.
If your feelings are extreme, or if you find you cannot participate in or enjoy your normal activities (e.g., missing school or work), counselling can be effective. Your family doctor or dermatologist can refer you to professional care.
For those seeking support, many organizations, such as the National Areata Alopecia Foundation (NAAF), offer support groups all over the world to connect people as well as their families and friends with others that have alopecia areata.
Closer to home, the CSPA’s social networking site www.skinergy.ca can connect you with other people who share your condition and who can provide information and support.
Not all people with alopecia are affected emotionally. Many men with androgenetic alopecia accept the condition as a natural consequence of aging. And some men and women with alopecia areata take their baldness in stride knowing that, in most cases, their hair will likely grow back on its own. For many patients, the only disruption is the effort that goes into treatment, whether medication-related or not. That being said, support is available for those who seek it.
Many people with alopecia—whether they seek treatment or not—may want to stay up-to-date on the condition as well as current treatments and news. The following websites are valuable sources of information: