Sometimes I write a post and know you guys will love it. Sometimes I write a post and think I could have done better, it had a great title, but it didn’t go as well as i’d hoped, and then you guys literally share it in your thousands and i’m left thoroughly confused, and sometimes I write a post just for me.
My blog started as a place to jot down those horrible unemployed graduate feelings that a lot of you will know too well. Graduating into a recession and into a declining print industry had never been the plan, and nor had moving home for over a year, playing with my dole money and Primark clothes, but there you go.
So this is another one of those posts for me, about what’s happening in my life that I just want to jot down so that I’ve acknowledged it.
My hair has stopped falling out.
It has stopped coming away in clumps every time I wash my hair, it has stopped leaving a matted mess on the carpet, and yeah, it’s just stopped.
I’ve always had fine hair, and when I went through stages of heavy colouring and straightening it would fall away more – usually tiny bits that had broken off from the extensive damage and abuse, rather than full strands.
But about two years ago I noticed that when trying to brush my hair or wash it, i’d get a hand full of long strands that had come out straight at the root. For many people this is normal, especially people with thicker, longer hair, but for me I knew it wasn’t. The doctors ran blood tests but there was nothing physically wrong with me – just things mentally wrong with me.
The blood tests happened at the same doctor’s visit as my depression diagnosis. When I say depression diagnosis, what my GP actually said was, I think you’re suffering from a combination of ‘stress, anxiety and depression’ and therefore prescribed me anti-depressants.
Hair loss is a common symptom of stress and depression – in fact it’s one of few physical symptoms. One of the few that told me the whole mental illness wasn’t made up in my head, it proved there was something wrong with me.
My hair loss has carried on until the past few weeks. Sure, sometimes it’s been worse than others, but there’s always been a constant shedding of hair that i’d never experienced before I was diagnosed with stress and depression – and now it’s gone.
It takes your hair between 6 weeks and 6 months to show signs of stress. So if you went through a rocky time at work and hit rock bottom, your hair might not start to fall out for quite some time afterwards. I find my hair cycle is about 2-3 months – so if my hair loss gets worse, I look back at where I was mentally three months before – and more often or not it tends to be a peak time of stress.
So if I look back a few months from now – surely that’s where the stress seemed to lessen?
I quit my full time job and moved in with Chris in August – I sleep more, have less financially worry and less work worry. So yes, absolutely.
But also I quit my antidepressants in July, so maybe that had something to do with it? 1 in 1000 people who take Citalopram will suffer from hair loss as a side effect of taking the medicine, so yes, it could well have had something to do with it, although it is highly unlikely.
Where my hair loss before proved there was something wrong with me that people couldn’t see, my lack of hair loss now proves that I am happier, more content and more relaxed than i’ve ever been before.
And as much as it’s a ridiculously exciting thing for me, it makes me worry about the rest of you stuck out there in the rat race, stressing over life. Your body wasn’t made for that kind of every day pressure, or so my hair is telling me.