There is no doubt about it - an anxiety disorder can impact your health and wellbeing in many different ways. But could there be any truth in the belief that anxiety can cause your hair to fall out?
We have all experienced anxiety to some extent, and most of us will recall certain periods of our lives that were more challenging than others. As I write this post, I can name three separate unrelated events that have happened recently that are pretty significant, all of which are causing me a significant amount of anxiety.
Knowing that I've always been something of a stress-head anyway, I was searching online last night for ways to train myself to be less anxious and I was surprised to find that there may be some truth in the whole "stress-related hair loss" thing.
What is an anxiety disorder?
Loosely speaking, an anxiety disorder is when your body constantly reverts to its natural fight or flight response at any given opportunity, even when the situation does not call for it. Excess adrenaline is released into the bloodstream, leaving the person unnecessarily wound up and stressed.
Anxiety is displayed physically in many different ways including hot and cold flashes, excessive sweating, dilated pupils, diarrhea, a constant urge to urinate or as in my case, heart palpitations and muscle tension. Maybe it is not surpising then that one of the physical symptoms can be the loss of your hair.
How do I know if my hair loss is anxiety-related?
The short answer is that you can never say for sure. Hair loss is caused by such a wide range of different triggers including good old fashioned genetics, so even a medical professional most likely couldn't say for sure whether it was specifically your anxieties that are responsible for your hair falling out. Clearly if a major event occurs in your life and hair loss follows swiftly and severely immediately afterwards, this would suggest that your stress levels are possibly to blame.
It is also important to note that stress and anxiety can cause certain forms of alopecia. HIS co-Founder Ian Watson developed alopecia when his brother passed away, hence why our MHT technique was developed in the first place.
Where can I find out more?
There are many resources online that provide practical, helpful advice on how to deal with anxiety. There are also many sites that discuss the direct relationship between stress and hair loss. For more information please see the following links: