Alopecia & Mental Health
Having gone through alopecia personally, I know how it feels, on an emotional, physical, spiritual and mental level.
I know how hard it is to want to see the light, to want to be positive and optimistic when all you see are more and more clumps of hair in the shower. I also realize that depression, anxiety and insomnia are a right of passage with alopecia. There is nothing anyone can say to make you feel better. I know this better than anyone, having lived it personally... there was no support system from family or friends,. ~They didn't get it or understand and thus didn't know how to help. (or even know what to say)
In my clients I get a mix of the above some doing better than others and others on the edge..
Mental health is so important, especially when faced with challenges. Mental health might even lead ( I believe ) all the other types of health (emotional, physical, spiritual) I could easily estimate that mental health in alopecia clients effect about 99% - the one percent being children who are not completely aware of this situation and what's really going on.
I've mentioned this before to some of you personally, but the reason I went natural and holistic is because I wanted to ensure medicine, cortisone creams and shots and their negative side effects would not hinder or harm my fertility. I know this is a hot topic to many young women and men, and I completely understand the hurdle of alopecia - then to want to go on and have healthy children and start a family. Let me say that at 39, I got pregnant on the first try and I know its all because of the cleansing and rebuilding of my body and health that I had to do with healing my alopecia years prior.
Fertility is another topic close to my heart, again because no one talks about how with diet and lifestyle changes you can also improve conception, improve the quality of sperm and eggs and improve your chances of doing things naturally without shelling out money for IVF or other invasive and costly treatments. Fertility effects both men and women. Did you know some alopecia meds are only for men and not women? Did you also know that the risks associated with these meds are impotence and erectile dysfunction ? I already know a handful of men who were put on these meds and now when they are ready to procreate they are denied that ability. *** Parents: careful what meds you give your children- there are always side effects and risks***
Back to mental health... mental health goes hand in hand with alopecia and with what's happening to you physically. The crying, the sleepless nights, the agitation, frustration and feeling stuck, like there are no options comes into play. Feeling that your life was turned upside down, and that no one understands you and the doctors can't answer the burning questions, give you realistic results to look for or even a prospective of what is to come. Thankfully I trusted my gut and myself more than in doctors who couldn't muster the right words or convince me of the right protocol.
I know now, their toolkit of options is quite limited and archaic- diet and lifestyle is something they should be promoting, but they can't - because they were never taught it.
Prior to becoming my clients, many in their search for healing had previously done PRP, Red Light Therapy, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, and anything else you can think of with NO RESULTS. Many have shelled out on expensive wigs (over $5000) and no longer want to hide behind them, rather they are determined to heal from the inside out.
Interestingly enough, diet and lifestyle seems to be the last option for many, but when they come to me, they are committed and 100% dedicated to the process. In just a few weeks they see, feel and notice changes. What's more is that others such as their partners and family notice changes too. Before we even end the program, they not only feel better, they sound better, their outlook on life has turned around 360 degrees and they are massively convinced that healing is possible and the joy that floods through them is beautiful to witness. Filled with hope and progress - they now see that their success is inevitable for health and hair growth.
Diet and lifestyle is the foundation and key to true health. The other "treatments" are more or less like going to a casino, spending a lot of money, and seeing if you happen to hit the jackpot. They are costly and there are no guarantees. Side effects and risks are also a big consideration. I am not surprised these clients have not seen results, because you cannot expect results when your foundation is off center. When healing needs to happen from the inside out.
The guaranteed changes with diet and lifestyle are immediate, noticeable and tangible. Mental health improves= many times depression and anxiety subside completely, and clients turn into rays of sunshine. Physical health improves, from joint pain to digestive issues, to skin issues= they all go away, Emotional health improves, they become more loving, happy, emotionally stable, less angry and agitated; parents report better behavior in their children, along with better attention spans and focus and obedience, and adults are even keeled and balanced. No more agitation, no more frustration, no more nervousness. Calm and peaceful sleep comes back, hair begins to grow.
For immediate Mental Health Relief:
Tell yourself positive things, start with what you are good at, things you like about yourself, things people compliment you on
Write down something you are grateful for (I kept reminding myself that alopecia was teaching me something and that I needed to learn this lesson... it was happening for me and not TO me) I am also grateful for the journey, because without going through Alopecia I could not have boosted my health to where it is now and could not help others like I love doing now. Alopecia for me has a been a blessing in disguise and many Times we need to search for that blessing in disguise. I am also grateful that alopecia is not a death sentence.. you can heal and you can live a healthy life regardless of where you are in your hair struggle.
Stay mindful and present. We cannot change the past, we don't know the future, all we have is now. When you focus on the now, you stress less, and worries go away. focusing on the present creates mindfulness, be present, reduce the distractions and stay in the now!
Do something for someone else. When I was going through alopecia, I would volunteer and try to get back to my previous routine.. I was serving food at a local homeless shelter and helping to cook and clean. Doing things for others, takes your mind off of you and your issues, it also allows another perspective in life. I saw how others barely had enough to eat and that also created more gratitude in me. The supervisor who was telling me stories of the shelter had also once been a drug addict and on the streets, meeting people who have cleaned up, serve others and who have turned their lives around amidst hard times is truly inspiring... follow the inspiration, give back and be grateful.
Take a break- do a digital detox and stop watching TV. See about taking out the extra noise, the negativity and the naysays.. that's my first recommendation, anyone who wants to Poo poo on your change, on your hopes for betterment, on your determination... you need cheerleaders in your corner, if they are not cheering you on, don't give them the voice to say otherwise.
I recall one client from the USA, she is a school teacher and works with young children. She came to me more than 5 years being bald and being alopecia universalis. During our initial coaching call she was down and noticeably sad. I checked in on her many times during the program and during our last call together I was in complete shock. I actually had thought I was talking to the wrong person. She was so giggly and happy and bursting with happy energy, beaming joy through the phone. As we spoke she told me she had started to shave her legs and armpits, something she hadn't done in many years because all the hair had gone away, she saw hair growth on her head and knew that from here on out, things are and were getting better. You cannot go from universalis to super hairy over night, but we can start the process, and plant the seeds so that it continues to grow. I also teach you how to keep going on your own so you continue the process at home. In 8 weeks she saw herself lose weight, feel better, fix digestion, fix her health and begin to heal her alopecia, so much so, that after 5 years, her body started growing hair again.
Diet and lifestyle changes lives and changes your possibilities and outcomes for health and hair.
The last tip for mental health and overall well being? Believe that healing is possible for YOU.
I know my clients see results when they commit and make the changes.
I even had one client who was a bit rebellious trying to do the program but in a way where he could prove there was no improvement. He's a funny character, and by the end, he too realized that his body craved the changes as in the program, that his old habits had put him in pain again (physical, emotional, mental) and he was now willing to commit 100% So even the ones who don't commit also see changes even if 50% effort is given and he realized his body was better for it. He is now a believer and is doing everything from scratch again. Even small changes add up.
Mental health as with all types of health are critical for overall well being. You cannot overlook one for the other. A word of caution: many of the ancillary feelings and symptoms of alopecia including depression and anxiety go away once the body is in harmony. Its remarkable how clients change their attitude naturally, change their approach and outlook to life, they begin to feel better and have a sense of relief come over them. They are closer to the finish line then ever before!
I truly believe we need to go back to basics, back to true health to reap the rewards of total wellness, total wellbeing, and complete health. Only this results in hair growth and long lasting healing, and we can only get there with a strong foundation of diet and lifestyle!
If you are feeling down, depressed or stuck in your alopecia journey, reach out, I am happy to help and offer a free consultation. ~Learn how you too can reverse these symptoms and reverse your Alopecia. You are not alone, and there is help!