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Can Depression Cause Hair Loss?

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Have you been feeling down lately and noticing changes in your hair? Don't fret! Many people struggle with depression, and it turns out, this mental health condition can also impact your hair health. 

Today, we will delve into the connection between depression and hair loss and provide tips to help manage this issue. So, sit back, relax, and read on to learn more about the effects of depression on hair growth and what you can do to keep your locks looking beautiful!

The Four Main Types of Depression, Explained

Depression is a complex mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While its symptoms can be similar, there are different types of depression that are characterized by specific features and symptoms.

Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder, also known as Clinical Depression, is a type of depression that is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. 

Symptoms may include changes in appetite and sleep patterns, fatigue, decreased energy, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of suicide. Major Depressive Disorder can interfere with daily life and may require professional treatment, such as therapy and medication, to manage its symptoms and improve quality of life. 

It is important to seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder.

How Can Major Depressive Disorder Impact Your Hair?

Major Depressive Disorder can cause a person to lose interest in personal hygiene, which can result in a decrease in regular hair care or grooming. Over time, this can lead to a variety of hair issues, including increased oiliness, dandruff, a decrease in shine and body, excessive shedding or hair loss, split ends, and even a change in the thickness or texture of the hair.

Additionally, extreme emotions associated with depression, such as deep sadness or stress, can affect the hair, causing it to become brittle and prone to breakage.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Persistent Depressive Disorder is very similar to Major Depressive Disorder, but lasts longer. It is characterized by a low, depressed mood that lasts for at least two years, as well as other symptoms such as feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, or changes in sleeping or eating patterns.

Just like Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder can interfere with daily functioning and can require treatment to help manage its symptoms and improve quality of life.

How Can Persistent Depressive Disorder Impact Your Hair?

Similarly to Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder can have a negative impact on one’s hair if it goes untreated. The extreme emotions associated with the condition, such as deep sadness or stress, can cause the hair to become brittle, leading to increased hair breakage. Additionally, a decrease in personal hygiene and grooming can lead to other hair issues, such as an increase in oiliness, dandruff, a decrease in shine and body, excessive shedding or hair loss, split ends, and even a change in the thickness or texture of the hair.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a type of depression that is usually triggered in autumn and winter and is typically correlated with shorter days and fewer hours of daylight. It's caused by the reduction in natural light affecting your serotonin levels and circadian rhythm.

Symptoms of SAD may include sadness and low energy, changes in appetite and weight, reduced sex drive, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty sleeping. SAD can interfere with day-to-day activities and relationships.

How Can Seasonal Affective Disorder Impact Your Hair?

When you feel low, you tend to take care of yourself less. This means you may not take the extra time needed to take care of your hair or to help it stay healthy. You may also find yourself not washing your hair as regularly, which can lead to excess oil and dandruff.

You may find that your hair is dull and lifeless, or that you are losing more than the usual amount of hair when brushing or shampooing. Stress can also cause additional shedding or cause your hair to become thinner due to a decrease in blood flow to the hair follicles.

Psychotic Depression

Depression with symptoms of psychosis can be referred to as Psychotic Depression. This type of depression is characterized by mental impairment, such as delusions or hallucinations, in addition to the typical symptoms of depression.

The psychotic symptoms may last for weeks or months, or longer if the psychotic depression is left untreated. These symptoms can include delusions (false beliefs), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there), disorganized speech, and disorganized or catatonic behavior.

Psychotic Depression can be a serious mental health issue and it is important to seek medical help if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms.

How Can Psychotic Depression Impact Your Hair?

Psychotic Depression can have a wide range of impacts on the hair. The lack of personal hygiene associated with depression can lead to hair problems such as dryness, breakage, and brittle texture.

Psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations, may also lead to hair problems, such as pulling or picking out the hair. Additionally, medication used to treat depression may have side effects that can impact the hair, such as hair loss.

Can Depression Actually Lead to Hair Loss?

Yes, depression can lead to hair loss in several ways. One of the most common causes of hair loss due to depression is telogen effluvium. This is a condition where the hair growth cycle is disrupted and a large number of hairs go into the resting phase, leading to hair thinning or hair loss.

In addition to telogen effluvium, there are also other medical reasons why depression can lead to hair loss. For example, people with depression may experience a drop in the levels of certain hormones, such as thyroid hormones, which can cause hair loss. Moreover, people with depression may also be taking medications that can cause hair loss as a side effect.

Another factor that may contribute to hair loss in people with depression is the fact that they may take less care of their hair. People who are depressed may not pay as much attention to their hair, which can lead to hair breakage, dryness, and other damage. They may also neglect proper hair care practices, such as not washing or brushing their hair regularly, which can cause hair loss.

In conclusion, depression can lead to hair loss due to several factors, including telogen effluvium, hormonal imbalances, medications, and neglecting proper hair care practices.

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This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.

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