Full Y Disclosure – My Life Is Far More Complicated Than My Hair: Rosacea, Anxiety, OCD – Oh My!

by admin on September 25, 2013

I’d like to start this post by saying while this post isn’t ultimately about my hair loss, I still blame it to the nth degree because, well lets face it… it’s hair loss so it’s easy to blame, it sucks and it changes us in ways we are sometimes unaware of and it certainly can leave you with a bunch of loose pieces even once you finally think you got that puzzle put together. Someone contact Rubik’s, my cube is missing some squares!

Recently, I’ve received some emails inquiring where I’ve been, and here I am to give you that update. It’s not sexy, it’s not glamorous, but it is my life. Well there is a sexy component to the update, but that will be for another post and involves a swishy new Follea wig that I’ve named Natasha. She’s shorter (like Natalia) she’s sassy and she’s proudly joined my F-Lineup of European hair beauties, but Natasha will be for another day (though she is the girl in the pic with me).

Searching for the missing squares….

I contemplated whether or not I should write this blog, but I find that often sharing is beneficial, for me and for anyone else who reads it and who can potentially relate, whether it’s hair loss or something else. This post will be the “something else,” and it will be strongly geared toward my life dealings at the moment, and how living with hair loss impacted me in ways beyond which I could really grasp when I was so focused in the moment on the actual “loss,” as in watching my hair fall out and feeling helpless and powerless to it all. Again, hair loss isn’t all to blame, but it exacerbated an already existing condition.

Last May 2012, I did the best thing ever for myself…. I leap into wig wearing landia and never looked back. After living with hair loss since 1999, I said “FU” and got me some hair. Yay me. There is post after post and a lot of videos I’ve done on this, and how it has changed my life for the better, so you must imagine that confetti fell from the sky and life was a box of chocolates right? Well there was a box of chocolates and some cake (on many occasions) and I ate them all, but I digress. Life improved for me in so many ways (too many to count) but I was still saddled with something that has haunted me for years… Social anxiety, generalized anxiety and phone anxiety, and that last one is a real hum dinger. Most people that know me, know that I’m more of a “Don’t call me and I won’t call you” type girl. Like for real. Don’t call me (ever) I won’t answer. Text… Yes. Email… Yes. Phone… Goodbye, and I will seriously need to reevaluate our friendship if you thought that was the best mode of communication for me :) I primarily do mail order for clothing, and if I do go to the mall you can expect I’ll be the first one there when it opens (less people) and grab whatever I need in 10 minutes flat.

Of course I force myself to do things and see people and do go out in public areas, restaurants and bars, and for a lot of people I probably “appear” normal, but it’s always a struggle for me… until the cocktail arrives, well then things just get a little better. Isn’ t that always the case?  Truly, I’m much more content living in a cave. In public I’m easily distracted and basically socially blackout at times. So… if we were out to dinner, I possibly wouldn’t be able to recall the conversation the next day because I had such a level of anxiety my mind checked out. In addition to having.. errrr.. anxiety issues, I deal with some level of OCD or OCPD, whichever. I like perfection (and control) when it comes to certain things and when it’s not perfect… my mind goes awry and can’t be still. It’s like a mental short circuit. You can probably easily imagine how that would complicate things like wearing hair that’s handmade (it’s always going to vary to some degree from piece to piece) but even with my issues… Follea was so fab, that I seem to be able to get myself the perfect wig (for me) everytime. Yay Follea.  I like consistency, organization, making lists and charting things (how’s that for a tagline on a match.com profile LOL). Let me know when I start sharing too much, K? ;) There is so much more to these quirks, but I don’t want to bore you with each and everyone. The point is, sh*t ain’t right.  There are many practical uses in the workplace for this in the need to constantly strive for perfection, and exactness, but in regular life… sh*t ain’t right.

With the help of my new bevy of swishy hair beauties, I get to feel like myself again in the respect of portraying myself to the world as I want and not being a prisoner to my hair loss. I’ve cut most of my hair off (and written it off) and dropped all my hair loss medications. F-R-E-E-D-O-M. Let’s say it again, F-R-E-E-D-O-M. Feels awesome. But wait, crappola, even with that, I’m confronted with the fact that I hid from the world (for the most part) for over a decade, that I still now have this tremendous amount of social anxiety when I go out. Socializing is a skill in my opinion, and if you stop doing it for that length of time, it can be really difficult. Depending on the social situation, the amount of people involved etc., my skin flushes (badly) and I can get actually physical shakiness and nervousness. I simply don’t want to be this way anymore, it’s not fun, and Tatiana totally disapproves.

Before I go on with that… a few months ago I got massive Rosacea flare up that left me feeling like I was a shoe-in for the lead role in phantom of the opera, and I’m talking about the role AS the phantom. It was horrible, and it wasn’t showing any signs of improvement despite all my efforts. It is now improved, but flaring up on the dime of a flush. Anxiety = Flushing. Flushing can inflame Rosacea, and now I really need a drink, but wait, drinking = Rosacea. God help me, and you if you are still reading this :) ha.

So what now? I’m a Roscea anxiety ridden person with fabulous swishy wigs that is still not living 100% as I really want to, and that falls under the category of “No Bueno.”

I decided to do what I should have done years ago, see a psychiatrist. Yes I’m gonna sit on a couch and tell him how crazy I am and take comfort that perhaps I’m not the craziest person he’s ever seen, but wait, if you’ve been following this you know I don’t do phone. Try and make an appointment with a psychiatrist when you can’t make the call! After a week long unsuccessful stint of trying to get a doc to email me back for an appointment my fiancé actually made the call for me. Weird much? Yes, but it is what it is. So a few weeks ago off I went… petrified. Surprisingly due to the magical powers of Yelp, I found a really good doctor that I’m comfortable with who I feel really understands what I am going through and dealing with in regards to my social anxiety and OCD thingy ma-bobs. Do I talk about hair loss? Not really, I did mention it, I did mention I wear wigs and that kind of was the extent of it. My hair loss isn’t my issue nowadays, how weird is that? I mean it is, in that I still have hair loss, but it isn’t in the respect I don’t give it any power anymore. As I sat there I thought, gosh I should have done this years ago for myself, probably not for my hair itself (since I don’t really  know how much that would have helped to talk about for me) but dealing with the anxiety aspect of it would probably have been of great assistance. Like I mentioned, I had anxiety and OCD issues before my hair loss, but the anxiety was taken to a whole new level after I started dealing with it.

I think everything perhaps happened at the right time, I was reluctant to take an Advil when I was still in the quest to save my hair, and I would refuse medications that doctors wanted me to take for my asthma or something else. I was so afraid to take anything because I just never knew what could have potentially further exacerbated my hair loss, and that was a chance I was never willing to take, even for my health. Sad but true. I’m in a different space now. I want to live the life I want to live and be free from the ropes that bind me from moving forward in my life. I’m 35 and I sacrified all of my 20’s and some of my 30’s to my hair loss and supreme self loathing, time lost and time I’ll never get back. Later with that. Lesson learned in passing out on life for my hair loss, I’d like to get this anxiety thing in check and move on already. I’m willing to be open minded and even take medications (if necessary) that can help me accomplish what I need to, and be the person I want to be…. me.

It’s important to remember we script our own life journey, sure there are other players that will throw yucky ink blotches on your paper, but it’s still YOUR life script and YOUR journey. Something messy on your page? Flip it over and start a new.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacy September 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Love. Everything. About. This. Post.
Thanksxoxox

Cheryl September 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Yes I agree, great post…I laughed and yet felt and know the pain that’s there as well.

I”m waiting for a cure yet, this time I’m blaming it on food allergies, so we’ll see how things turn out…And I feel the hair loss is related to the other stuff. I’ve gotten better then gotten worse as my hair loss comes and goes, but of course there’s not much left to go. I too dislike talking on the phone…I avoid it like the plague but people force you to do what you don’t want.

Thanks for sharing!

Joy September 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Love reading your posts as always. Sharing is powerful. “normal” doesn’t really exist, we have all got our own thing. Have you ever read or listened to anything from Brene Brown, powerful stuff. Oh and after reading your posts for quite a while now, I would never have guessed you have social anxiety, you sound like one confident chica to me!

Electra September 25, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Hi Y. Long time no talk. I’m glad to say I’ve been busy with life chasing after the kiddos. I like Natasha! Flirty girl she is.

I’m glad your getting the help you need. I’m a talker so its hard for me to relate. I do relate a bit, in that my daughter is a perfectionist and has some anxiety as well. We will start seeing a psychologist next week. I’m hoping to get ahead of bigger issues that could come in the teen years. It see how she tries to be perfect all the time and struggles when she is not. I’m the opposite. So we’re going together so that we can work through.

Hope your road gets smoother. By now you must know that by sharing your stories you are helping many more feel less alone. Less weird. Less abnormal. And your wiggies are so glamorous too.

Lina September 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Hi Y,

Love your new girl – love you!
I am so glad to hear that you are so so strong and moving on to improving all aspects of your life – piss off hair loss, enough time on you :-)
You are such an inspiration and have such wisdom – I love all your blogs.

Keep with the good work – I will call you later – bahahahaha!

xo

Tam September 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Brene Brown. Look her up! Life changing.

admin September 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm

@Stacy – Thank you!!

@Cheryl – Thank you! I think there is humor in so much that ails me, you have to laugh really! Yes me and the phone are not friends. I see people talking on the phone and look at them in awe like they are walking on water LOL. My phone rings and it startles me. We must be food allergy sisters in addition to hate-the-phone sisters, in addition to the less desirable hair-loss-sisters :)

@Joy – It’s true we all have our own crosses to bear and normal is really an ever changing thing from person to person. I’ve never listened to Brene Brown, but I will surely give her a google! As far as seeming confident, I am confident in the words I write, and I’m fairly confident in the videos I put out there, but the rest of the world is a whole different story. Also, if you did meet me in the grocery store, or a gathering (preferably a small one) you probably wouldn’t notice anything off about me or realize I was having anxiety except for the fact that now my body betrays me and in anxiety-filled situations, my skin will now flush. This is a fairly recent thing (past few years maybe) it wasn’t always like this, or as bad as it is now. So while I would normally feign confidence in a social situation, all the while melting inside, now it’s out there in the open with the redness spreading across my face which has made me more self conscious because I can feel it happening. So now social situations are worse because of that. I began just telling people ahead of time “I have social anxiety and that I’ll probably flush, don’t freak out, it’s all good. Just give me a drink and we’ll be fine.” What was super funny, was I just went out to the grocery store, which has a Starbucks in it (love that) and ordered my very specific latte. Tall, 2%, Extra Hot, Decaf (It’s late, need decaf) and no foam, and when the guy comes back with my drink he says “You know what I like about you” and I’m like thinking, uhhh my wig? j/k. I ask “What?” and he says “You seem like one of those girls that don’t take any shit.” I was laughing inside because I just wrote a whole thing today about my social anxiety. So instead of just saying thanks, I said “I have obsessive compulsive tendencies so I have to make my order very specific otherwise I’ll freak out if it’s wrong” to which he laughed and replied ” I Like it ” LOL . So there you have it ladies, order your lattes with confidence! and a little honesty never hurts for a laugh.

@Electra – I sent you an email… but Thank you so much for your comment. I think you are an awesome mom!

@Lina – LOL! Don’t call me and I won’t call you! Thank you for your kind words, love you too chica!

@Tam – Wow second vote for Brene, ok, gots to get my google on!

XOXO

JAN SCOTT September 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm

greetings,

So good to hear from you once again!! Like so many others I missed your updates. One thing you can always count on… we all have our STUFF!! Some hair related and some just living our lives and having hair loss. You take care! You know we all spend way tooo much time on the phone anyway!!! Jan

JAN SCOTT September 25, 2013 at 6:39 pm

P.S. I love that new wig!!!

Gls September 25, 2013 at 8:27 pm

It is so great to hear from you. Wow, hair loss is so complicated. We each have our own stories and struggles and it just gets so complicated sometimes. I suffer from anxiety and don’t know which came first- my hair loss or the anxiety. I’m 59 and have hair loss since my early thirties when I stopped birth control pills. I can’t remember when I didn’t feel anxious. I do know that I would feel less anxious if I didn’t spend so much energy on how I look. I have used Rogaine since it first came on the market and can sort of get by with a good haircut, color with highlights and a concealer like toppik. I have days when I feel dispair and days when I feel thankful! I have social anxiety also and find it difficult to get out some days. I see a social worker/ therapist which helps a lot. I am lucky enough to not have to work now and so I volunteer some which helps also. I have an understanding husband, but sometimes his stress at work clashes with my insecurities and he doesn’t understand my pain so we argue. Sometimes I just feel angry and cheated. I am older but still care about how I look. My husband says I’m attractive but I don’t feel it. I will get ready to go out and feel like I look ok from the front but then I will look at the back and side of my hair and see how it looks thin.
Then I will just go and sit on the edge of my bed and just cry. Then, after 15 min. Or so I will get it together and go out to do what I need to do and come home exhausted. I have a Follea topper that I wear sometimes but it just feels like too much hair and I’m not used to it.
Anyway, I didn’t mean to go on about myself, but thanks for listening everyone ! Sometimes it’s just such a struggle that seems like it has been going on forever and hairloss/ thinning is not the only issue.
Thanks for sharing and being there for us all!
You all are in my thoughts.

joanne September 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm

So let me start by saying that your post made me cry. Not just because I felt sad for what you’re dealing with, I do. But it was much more, it was because I saw someone else…like me. Once when I first found your blog and wrote to you, you said, “I am you and you are me”. I cried back then too, because someone understood my pain. And then I discovered all the great women on this blog, who understand each other’s pain. But hidden beyond the hair loss pain is a host of other issues. Like how I go underground and disappear from everyone and when I can finally get my anxiety about being exposed socially under control, I come out again with a million excuses about why I’ve been aol. I suppose I could say something like: “oh well, I have this problem where I often can’t relate to anyone and have to hide sometimes… so you may see me today, but don’t count on tomorrow”. “If you still want to be my friend, once in a while, text me and let me know, but don’t call me because I don’t answer my phone”. Yes, I don’t answer my phone either. Friends say, “Wow, you NEVER answer your phone and I lie. “I don’t answer it while I’m driving”, “I leave it in the car when I go into a store”, “I silence it in a doctor’s office” and “when I’m home, I forget to turn the ringer back on.”
For years I’ve derided myself for not calling people back and for not responding. I mean to… I want to, but I don’t. I’ve lost friends who think I don’t want to be friends anymore. I do, when I can come out of my cave. I freeze when it comes to putting myself out there, the anxiety is so great. Yes, I can do it in a pinch. I can fake being up and social and talk and after a few wines, I’m good and happy, happy, happy and then people want to glom on and be friends, and then I run for cover. I hide out, make excuses, blame it on a million things, but it’s anxiety. I guess I’m just not comfortable in my skin because I run the gamut of fault finding, daily – from physical faults to emotional ones, to going over and over things I did or said, or didn’t do or say, in my head or to my husband, until I make myself and him crazy. “Did what I said sound right”? “Did I look ok”? “Do you think she thought I meant THIS”? “Did that sound as stupid as think”?
Perfectionism? whooo! In my home environment, it’s a monster there too. I may as well have been a boot camp sergeant. I literally sweep the floor behind people if they drop crumbs. I am on my hands and knees to pick up a tiny piece of lint and oh, please don’t move my throw pillows so that the colors and patterns are mixed up, it will send me into a jaw clenching sweat.
My husband apologizes when he sees that “you shouldn’t put that there” look on my face and I shrink with self recrimination. I lie and say “what? I don’t care if you put that there”. He just smiles. He knows my OCD, my anxieties, my fears, my constant inner stress with myself and my surroundings having to be perfect. Yes, hair loss was just another nail in the “loss of being perfect coffin”. Follea to the rescue for me too. I can walk out of the house now, and be in public without feeling as if I am the most hideous creature to walk the face of the earth, stopping traffic as people look on in horror. At least that’s how it bad it felt without my hair to hide in. I was exposed and vulnerable.
Admitting this to anyone, EVER, has not happened. And here I am doing it on a blog. But I can’t see anyone looking back at me and shaking their head in pity either, so typing and not being seen, makes an admission of this sort easier, but still scary. So, here’s what I’ve found for now, a homeopathic remedy called Ignatia, which I am going to try. Homeopathy is an alternative, natural medicine, like arnica for bruising if you’ve heard of it. Most pharmacies and grocery stores sell arnica. Ignatia, however, is a remedy for anxiety and fear and worry and grief and OCD type issues. But it’s mainly for anxiety. There are two doctors in India, by the last name of Banerji. They travel all over the world lecturing on their protocols for various ailments, including cancer, esp. brain cancer. You can google them simply by their last name or banerji protocol. You will probably get something about their cancer treatment first because it is what they are getting a lot of press about. But their treatment for anxiety of all types, is mainly ignatia. There are several places to order homeopathic remedies. One is Washington Homeopathics and the other is Hahnemann Labs in California. You can google them both and get their websites to explore if you are interested in reading up.
I saw a homeopath where I live who studied with these doctors in India and she says Ignatia 200c 2x day will help. I am going to start it tonight before bed and will keep you posted. I’ve been on anti-anxiety meds & don’t like them. So I’m giving this a try. Meanwhile, thank you once again for baring your soul, sharing so much and helping so many. You are a truly brave and beautiful person. xo

joanne September 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm

PS L-O-V-E Natasha! Am planning a trip to follea salon soon for one or two more girls to add to my repertoire. Will ask for Vicka as she always has you looking beeyootiful!!

Mary September 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Hi Y, this is the first time I have left a comment on your site, but I just wanted to let you know what an amazing, positive impact you are having on so many women.

I first experienced complete hair loss three years ago at 37 when I went through chemotheraphy for breast cancer. That really sucked but I always knew it was temporary. Fast forward two years later and my hair was almost back to its pre-cancer lenghth yay! Then I started to notice hair on my pillow, the carpet, my desk, my dinner plate, the toilet seat. Surely God can’t be so cruel right? All the doctors can tell me is that it’s hormone related – and given my history of breast cancer they won’t touch my hormones with a barge pole. Through your website I found Follea and that supplementary hair can look natural and beautiful. I have had a topper for six months now, but unfortunately my hair loss has progressed so much that I pick up my new Lifestyle wig in a few days. I know that it’s not going to solve all my problems – I still worry that every ache or pain is the cancer back and that I’ll die before my children finish primary school. But this new hair will enable me to live my life, whatever that may be, to the fullest. So thank you for the bottom of my heart for being such an inspiration. As I keep telling myself – you will get through this. Take care and be gentle on yourself.

Stella September 26, 2013 at 12:50 am

Hey Y. I feel your pain in terms of the social anxiety stuff. I’ve read good things about acupuncture for anxiety and stress (including clinical evidence) and recently started it myself for the same reason. So far so good – better than the meds I tried in my opinion. Also (it may or may not fit for you) but I am just finishing Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’. She gives some really interesting insights and reasons for behaviours we find so troubling and see as flaws – even the blushing thing (which I totally get and hate!!). It’s making me feel more at peace with the way I am rather than spending so much time and energy trying to change into a social butterfly or the life and soul of the party. Good luck in your journey – you’ve touched so many of our lives and we’re all so thankful for the network you’ve created here. xx

Allison September 26, 2013 at 4:03 am

You posted this on my birthday and it was my best gift! As well as hair loss, I too have OCD and anxiety disorder with panic attacks. This has been going on since middle school and I turned 38 yesterday. I can manage fine on the phone but I have developed agoraphobia and have trouble traveling any real distance from my home. That makes finding hair REALLY hard! As much as I hate that you suffer with OCD and anxiety, it comforts me to find someone else out there like me! Thank you for sharing and thank you for being an inspiration!

Jayne September 26, 2013 at 6:30 am

Wow, I’ve never heard anyone admit to feeling how I feel every day. Thank you so much for your honesty. I tell people all the time that I hate talking on the phone but they still get upset when I don’t answer! I drink probably more than I should in social situations – just so I can function. Then I spend all the next day analyzing every word I said! To make things worse I married a social butterfly (how did that happen??) who wants to entertain and socialize a lot! He simply can’t understand why I’m so “up tight.” I wear an integrated hair system which looks pretty natural but spend way too much time obsessing over every little flaw. My biggest worry is that my kids will inherit or mirror my obsessions. Thanks again for baring your soul. May we both find the peace we seek

admin September 26, 2013 at 8:10 am

@Jan Scott – Thank you! Yes indeed we do all have our stuff, that’s for sure!

@Gls – You mentioning the anxiety since stopping the pill certainly has me wondering if it added to my already existing anxiety, making it that much worse. Hormones suck. It’s fabulous that you have an understanding husband, that helps… big time! I know how exhausting hair loss is to deal with, be patient with yourself when you get overwhelmed and sometimes crying is just the only right thing to do and can even help, or at least it has for me in the past. Work with your topper slowly, it takes time to adjust to, it’s not often (though it does happen) that it’s love at first sight with wigs and toppers, there usually is an adjustment period and learning curve when working with it, not just practically but emotionally as well. Hugs to you!

@Joanne – I am you and you are me :) Thank you so much for sharing your story and what you deal with. I think having others to relate to made all the difference in dealing with my hair loss and moving forward, and ultimately I think that was why I decided to share the other things in my life I deal with beyond hair loss, it all ties together anyways. I find sharing to be cathartic, to know my words are being read and having others share their own experiences really helps me. For quite a long time I did try to hide this part of me from people I knew and interacted with (wanted to appear normal) but once my body betrayed me and started showing (literally) how I felt on my face, with a blown out blotchy flush, I was outed and it made everything worse. I often will just out myself before it happens now because it helps to diffuse the situation for me, and honestly most people I’ve told have all reacted positively to my honesty about it. That includes giving the party we are having dinner with the 411 that I’m weird about seating in restaurants and it might be a game of musical chairs, so bare with me. LOL. My circle is super small, so if someone is in that circle, they certainly care enough about me and my issue and wanting me to feel comfortable, to go along with the game finding the right table and then the right chair at the table or changing seats with me. I don’t overly talk about my issues with people directly, but I do get the minimum out there to help me feel good enough about being out and about with them (as much as possible for me anyways). That definitely helps me feel a bit better about it to some degree, but doesn’t change my body from reacting the way it does which sucks.

All the emotions you share that you go through, I go through too. I did have to laugh in a moment of totally relating when you where sweeping up crumbs behind your guests. I had a house guest a few months ago, that I was almost chasing him with my steam mop. He was like, “I’ve never seen a house so clean and that has zero smell” well that’s because of all the steam, whoop whoop. I’m trying to steam the problems right out of my life. Your husband sounds awesome and supportive. High five for wonderful men. Thanks for the suggestion of the Ignatia, I’ll give it a google and ask my acupuncturist about it, she also doe herbs and homeopathy.. Thanks for sharing Joanne, and next time you are picking up crumbs, give yourself a giggle by picturing me chasing a house guest with a steam mop or changing my table 3 times at a restaurant, you know.. just to find the perfect one LOL. Have fun on your next Follea hunt, getting new hair is always fun!

@Mary – Thank you so much and thank you for sharing your story, and it reminded me after hearing you went through cancer, that each day is such a gift to all of us, and I get mad at myself when I take it for granted. I’m so glad you took the steps to move forward in getting a topper and now a wig, it’s progression, it’s movement, it’s refusing defeat and accepting that life deals out some crappy hands, but we can get through it, we can still live a great life. We control what we can (some of us try and control more the others… HELLO!) and we have to release the rest in some way, not easy, but we have to try for the betterment of our own lives and those that we share our lives with. Otherwise we are simply a slave to it. Will life then be perfect? Humm probably not, but it can be fabulous.. yes. I checked off one thing on my list of Holdbacks, and now I’m dealing with the next. Progression… moving forward. (hugs)

@Stella – I do acupuncture and love it, but for me it hasn’t by itself worked to alleviate my extra issues. Thank you so much for the book suggestion! I love all the suggestions I’m getting, I’m up for anything that can help and thanks to the magic of amazon one click ordering, looks like someone is getting some shopping done today :)

@Allison – Happy Birthday!!! I’m so glad my post was of some comfort to you, it was comforting to me to read all these responses! It really falls back on the the “I’m not alone” in this, which is always healing.

@Jayne – I can relate to drinking a bit extra in social situations, it’s sort of a catch 22 though, because you drink more to relax, but then if you aren’t as in control as you like to be then you are MORE self conscious (at least I am) especially the next day, but even so… bring on the Chardonnay! It’s probably a good thing you married a social butterfly it keeps you having to socialize even when you don’t want to, which I think probably is better than just curling up in the cave. It’s possible you’d be even more anxious if you didn’t have the social drills he makes you do, or maybe you would just prefer the cave life, It is quite cozy and comfy in there :) Hugs and Peace!

XOXO

Erin September 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

Love your honesty always!!! You amaze me! Can’t wait to hear about Natasha too!

R. September 26, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Thank you so much for sharing. I have been wondering how you have been doing with your hair since stopping birth control. I realize you have been dealing with quite a bit! Anxiety is a nightmare. I have horrible anxiety, for me, the newest way it manifests itself is through heart palpitations so strong my arm trembles. I was recently in my boss’s office trying to maintain professionalism while my arm shook and trembled! Humiliating! Have your symptoms worsened since stopping birth control? How is the hair shedding? I hope to stop birth control….someday…. Thank you for sharing and outing yourself out there. You are in my prayers!

R. September 26, 2013 at 7:28 pm

*putting* yourself out there (oops)

BW September 27, 2013 at 4:18 am

hello, my swishy sister! And welcome to the Family of Fabness, Natasha! oh, you look good, girl!

I’ve been wondering where you were and now I see that you’ve been off battling other aspects of life because (gasp!) not everything single thing is all about our hair. though there are still days when it sure does feel like it. I’m glad you found someone who can help with the anxiety issues. That’s alot to have deal with and sometimes we all just need a little help. As someone who has only developed social anxiety BECAUSE of hair loss and so has only suffered from it for five (grueling) years now, I can only imagine how tough it must be to go into all of this already having issues with it. Talk about a super smackdown!

Never having suffered with depression, social anxiety or any sort of OCD prior to my hair hitting the highway, dealing with all 3 of these and suddenly at that has been a kind of hell i didn’t know existed. I feel like I’ve gotten past a lot of it at this point, but when my hair starts falling again or I have a wig issue to deal with (as I have recently), it all kicks back in full force. Mostly the social anxiety in a work setting and the OCD, but suddenly I find myself trying to save steps (don’t even ask!), trying to recite and memorize the weirdest crap ever and getting up in the middle of the night to touch my wigs and make sure they don’t all of a sudden have holes in them. Seriously! The plus and minus of this is that I only have social anxiety in a work setting, but that is the aspect of it that I am forced to deal with cuz no sales = no money = no food, no drinks and no more awesome hair. No bueno for sure. So my actual social life bears the brunt of this as I am feeling just too exhausted mentally to be out and about when I don’t HAVE to. THIS is what I need to conquer. And getting past the 2 weirdest and most time consuming parts of my OCD would be ideal as well.

For the most part, when I put my on FlyGirl Olivia, I’m immediately transported to Wonder Woman status again, luscious hair and all, but get me in the public eye and I’m having a small heart attack and at home sans long locks, I’m a mess of very odd habits. Olivia is like my magic wand and she gives me back my swish and my mojo but it’s hard to let go of the shit i picked up along the hairloss road. Working on it!

A big swishy hug to you, friend. And don’t worry, if your phone rings and my name pops up, it’s just a butt dial. But you should know that Tatiana calls me all the time.

Angie T September 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I think every single one of us here has suffered enormous anxiety because of our hair loss. It’s like the chicken or the egg – which came first?

We all love you, Y! Warts and all…or, in your case, rosacea and all! ;)

My anxiety began when my daughter’s issues starting becoming obvious. They escalated when my HL started, got worse during my pregnancy with my son, escalated to panic attacks then. They then kept getting worse as we got our daughter’s diagnosis, and my brother’s suicide. I’ve been through some $hit, let me tell you.

Long story short, if medication helps, take it. Just don’t become dependent on it. I am on Zoloft and it works wonders for my depression and anxiety, but I also have meds I take for panic attacks, and try to not use frequently.

My panic attacks are obvious to the world, too. I flush, and get SWEATY as hell. Going out into the world has gotten much easier, though. I’m still battling my HL and trying to save it – I use Toppik and you can’t tell at all – but when the day comes (as I’m certain it will) to start wearing wigs, I plan to embrace it with all the gusto our fearless leader has taught me!

Thank you so much for sharing. As much as we’ve talked about our HL issues here, we don’t discuss anxiety much, and the two obviously go hand in hand. I’m glad you’re getting help. You deserve so much to be happy and at peace, as we all do!

Much love and (((HUGS)))))

admin September 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm

@Erin – Thank you!!!

@R – I hear you on the arm trembles, I got that, it sucks.. big time. Giving it some thought, I would say, yes it does seem my anxiety is a bit worse since having stopped the pill. I gave that a google and found quite a few posts about other women saying the same. I expected some side effects from stopping the pill after taking it so long, but wasn’t sure which ones would hit. Likely a bit of added anxiety and insomnia is pretty much what I’ve been dealing with. Also I’m sure getting off the pill didn’t do my face skin any favors either, but I still don’t regret getting off it, I’m happy to rid of taking it. The shedding seems fine, not exacerbated, I did have the PRP which I think is helping, time will tell. I won’t feel in the clear from the pill shed till around 8 months.

@BW – Thank you!! Have you been talking to Tatiana again, trying to get her to visit you eh? Last I heard you made some kind of promise of giving her the pretty mannequin head full time. Well played :) Yes it’s a double gasp, not everything single thing is all about hair, and once you start to kind of get the hair thing in check all this other stuff can pop up in your face, things that you just pushed aside or that had taken a back seat to the larger issue of, oh you know… GOING BALD.

You know, you can’t really make a comment like “trying to save steps” and not peak our curiosity, but text T on that one, and her her the 411, she’ll fill me in LOL. You sound like you definitely are having your own battles with the anxiety / OCD evils, and it’s a struggle for sure. I’ve definitely gotten up at night when I’ve been in wig panic, to put on my hair for whatever reason to make sure it was still working right (ha) but I have yet to get up to check to see if it has holes, but the year is young.. you never know.

Swishy hugs to you B, thank you for sharing your personal dealings with this, it’s helpful to read other’s stories for sure.

@Angie T – Thank you!! Yes it is the chicken or the egg, but in my case, I think my eggs where scrambled before my hair loss (ha) it just became a much larger issue after hair loss. You have most definitely been put through it all, I’m very sorry to hear about all that you’ve had to deal with :( Hugs to you. I appreciate you sharing that you have done well with Zoloft for anxiety and depression, it’s good to hear when something works for someone, I know everyone’s different and everyone can react differently as well, but it’s still good to hear. It’s true, we talk so much about hair loss, but not the surrounding issues that can develop as a result of it or get worsened by it.

Hope everyone has a beautiful Friday night!

Love to All!
XOXO

Kyle September 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm

So glad you are sharing this. I struggled with anxiety and panic attacks during my 20s and now in my 30s I have to accept the fact that I will leave with chronic pain for the rest of my life. My hair loss started with the meds, but now I take them regardless. I haven’t figured out the hair part yet, but as long as I’m not going completely bald now I take what I need. If I have a presentation at work, I need to put myself out the night before. Like I did…yesterday. Hair was everywhere, but that’s better than being super anxious and in a lot of pain during a key presentation at work.

There is so much stigma related to mental illness. So glad you are sharing this. Most of our hair issues start with something else. I have met wonderful people on this site talking about hair issues and we have ended up talking about meds and holistic ways/lifestyle modification strategies to deal with fibromyalgia and other related chronic illnesses.

Emma September 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm

So true!!! Thank you for sharing this with us. It helps a lot!!

Linda September 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Y , you are such a strong and courageous woman. Thank you for sharing this I am sure it was not east. You will conquer this. What is with us bald chicks? Lol. I suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks in my 20’s and 30’s. My need for control and perfection has always been my personality and is very difficult with 3 young children. Things cannot always be perfect and that causes me anxiety. Good luck with seeking help. I found it really did wonders to just let it out and know that I was not alone and I was not crazy.
Please, PLEASE when you have a chance share all the info on gorgeous Natasha. Which follea is she? What is the color and length? Sorry to be so nosey but she is beautiful!!!! Take care Y and know that you are such an amazing woman!

M September 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Thank you for your honesty and sharing your pain with us. You are an eloquent writer and I learn so much form your posts. I went through many of the things you described when I first started losing my hair. I could not even go out to the grocery store to buy food. It was very debilitating. I would get a panic attack and had to leave. I realized that I only started noticing people with hair loss when it happened to me. I do my best to put a smile on my face and show compassion and kindness to those I meet because we never know the struggles others have in their lives.

Katsa September 29, 2013 at 7:49 am

Congrats on Natasha. What a nice name. :)

I’m so sorry you have been suffering. It’s the silence that’s the worst—hopefully you IRL friends and family have been supportive of you and also know of your struggles. And now your imaginary friends will support you as well.

This is so scary to share and you are brave. I was just posting on the network about some delayed hair loss grief that I’ve been experiencing.
Life is hard–but you know what? We are muddling through–learning, growing and healing.

S. September 29, 2013 at 10:17 am

I’ve been reading this blog for a while now. It has been helpful to lnow there are women out there who share this experience. I’ve been losing my hair, slowly, for years now. I finally got 2 wigs last year. Then i discovered Follea through you and am contemplating buying one. What I struggle with is looking in the mirror when I wake-up or before I go to sleep because my wig or hair gel or hair powder isn’t on then. It’s not on when I take a shower. It’s just me. And the hair I have left and all the scalp that shows. Not sexy, pretty or attractive. And there’s a swirl of hateful voices that overpowers everything. So this post spoke to me on many levels. Not being a prisoner of hair loss, letting go, social anxiety (I’m good at covering that up, but the headaches I get from socializing are exhausting), and Freedom. I still have a lot to work through. But this blog, this site, is a wonderful support. Thank you.

Anne September 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Thank you for sharing Y. Anxiety issues on their own are not easy to deal with, add in the hair loss and we can feel like a mess! I experienced anxiety after a car accident a few years back and I find that the hair loss has made it much worse (not related). To be honest, I never experienced the social anxiety before, but that is certainly in full effect now… especially on those “bad hair days”. I worry about work situations most right now, but trying my best to not let it get to me.
You’re doing great and we definitely appreciate you sharing your story along the way!

Samantha September 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm

My English sucks.. but ill try :)
I live with anxiey attacks.. its not easy, the worse part is at the beginning when you think nobody understands and you feel like going crazy. An you stare people having fun while you are such a mess and you just wanna go home and feel good. This will make you so much better person, our weakness is our strongest part, never forget this. You are brave by sharing and youll meet many people that feels the same way. Don’t worry at all, youll be fine and you are the only one that can help you. By meeting the doctor youll make a HUGE step. Meds can help a lot! And one day youll wake and feel like you used to. Don’t be afraid of taking pills… Kisses from México.
Sam

Janet October 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this! The anxiety you describe is a formidable foe but you are a REMARKABLE woman. You have changed the lives of all the women who have found this site for the better. Honestly, I don’t know where I would be without the support and feeling of sisterhood I have found here. You are an angel in my life. Praying you will get everything you need to overcome anything that keeps you from living your happiest and fullest life. Sending love and a virtual hug!

Tania October 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Ha! Life is funny. I just left my therapist who I hadn’t seen in a long time. I have a lot of issues too and I decided that it was time to stop trying to do it alone. I talked about my hair loss and this site, along with all my other issues. Girl, the bottom line is that you are not alone. I too have decided to live whether I have no (or little hair), IBS,abusive family or panic attacks at the slightest challenge. Inspite of it all, you are doing great and have helped so many women -including me. I told my therapist that I hadn’t talked to anyone about my hair loss and if it hadn’t been for the WHLP I would have jumped out of a window. That’s probably not true, but I don’t really know what I would have done if I’d had all my other issues and no place to go for help with my “hair” nightmare. Bottom line, I support you in taking care of yourself! Kudo’s!

Carol November 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm

I don’t have anxiety/OCD/ADD but have a family member who does. We actually went to one of the foremost psychiatrists in the world for those conditions, Dr. Amen, and he had a brain scan done. He is expert at diagnosing these types of disorders, but more importantly can make recommendations (medicine and otherwise) based on actual brain physiology instead of guess work. (The Amen Clinic). I know you are great at researching and like state-of-the-art options so you may want to explore his work.

I’m glad you are taking the bold/big step and getting help.

PureHapa December 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I haven’t been here for awhile so I hope you read my response.

Dear girl, dear, dear girl. I am an introvert whose energy gets sucked dry from social interaction. I need to decompress and re-energize after a party or dinner with friends, or a visit with family. Very, very tiring and yes, I turn to alcohol to help. Not a lot, just to calm me so I am not a bag of nerves.

In school I would sit in the back and put my head down and hope to god or whoever that the teacher never called my name so I would not have to speak in front of class. I am not as bad now as I was then. But I still prefer being alone or with my husband and dog, than see anyone else. I call myself socially awkward. If I have to wait at home for an electrician or have an appointment for a smog check or something like that, I literally cannot sleep the night before. So I totally “get” you.

One thing that is very intriguing is this – diet. What we put in our bodies is exactly what our bodies are made of. My husband and I went Primal – an offshoot of Paleo (caveman) a couple of years ago. We’ve seen astounding benefits since then. Mainly getting rid of inflammatory conditions – his dandruff and other chronic skin issues, bad digestive issues and sports-related aches and pains. My chronic sinus issues, bloating after meals, hip bursitis and bunion pain. We are so sold on this way of eating because of these results. At the Primal movements’s number one site, MarksDailyApple dot com, every Friday’s post is a success story, and many of the success stories mention various skin ailments as well as anxiety. So that may be helpful for you.

At any rate, you are undoubtedly a highly-intelligent person – (I would guess a 130 or so IQ and perhaps the Myers-Briggs personality type of INTJ), and while you have your issues with communicating, you certainly are able to tap into your feelings and issues and write about them candidly and lucidly. I applaud that, and hope with your doctor visit you are on the road to being more comfortable in your skin and in the busy modern world.

I’m just glad you are compulsively focused on the hair loss enough to give us this wonderful web site! Thanks for continuing to share your wonderful self.

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