Archives for mental health

Alopecia: My Story

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Learning to Thrive Series: Amy Johnson

One of the best things about being part of a global alopecia community is that we enjoy meeting people who also have alopecia and are learning to thrive with alopecia every day, every where in the world. For this installment, we’re visiting with Amy Johnson, the Communications/Fundraising Manager of Alopecia UK, a charity organization based in the UK whose vision is to improve the lives of those affected by alopecia.

Alopecia is something in my life, but isn't something that should change the person I am.

Alopecia is something in my life, but isn’t something that should change the person I am.

Q. When were you diagnosed with alopecia areata?

I first had two small patches of Alopecia Areata in October 2007. They quickly grew back. By 2010, I had lost everything. I have experienced different degrees of patchy regrowth since 2012.

Q. How has alopecia changed you as an individual?

I’d like to think that alopecia hasn’t changed me too much. I take the approach that alopecia is something in my life, but isn’t something that should change the person I am. Saying that, it has had a BIG impact on me in that I have ended up working for an alopecia charity so I suppose you could argue it has become my life! Read more…

Everything Heals

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Restoring Your Soul

What does it mean to feed your soul? How often do you slow down enough to notice exactly what you need to restore yourself and not just ‘escape’.

And I’m not just talking about a mani/pedi afternoon! (Of course those are great too!)

Taking a moment, as often as possible, to really honestly ask yourself what you need will not only provide you with some relief and satisfaction but a new sense of self and what’s important to you may emerge. Read more…

We are the Guardians of our own Mind

Positive mindset is something we need to feed ourselves with daily. It’s easy to think negative and hard to think positive. Why? Why is it so easy to think of different scenarios that are bad for us?

For me there is only one word that fits — fear. Since this is a guest post for us with alopecia, I take it as an example. It’s been very easy for me to feel fear, and it’s because I’ve been feeding my mind over a long period of time — even during the school years — and it’s not easy to make it go away, it’s a bad habit. Read more…

Learning to Thrive Series: Lu Mueller-Kaul

For our second Q&A session, we had the pleasure of interviewing Lu Mueller-Kaul. Please take a moment to read Lu’s courageous journey with alopecia.

Q. When did you notice your hair loss?

In the spring of 2014 I suddenly lost an eyebrow. It was the strangest thing — I looked in the mirror, and my left eyebrow was gone. I did remember that it had looked a bit thin for a few days before, but I hadn’t really paid attention. At the time, I had long dreadlocks, and kept them very neat. They were carefully divided, and where the roots were parted, you could always see the scalp.

I had not noticed that these bare spots had gotten bigger in some areas–the dreads were really hiding it well. Now I’ve seen old pictures from 2011 where there was a very clear bald spot over the right ear — but I hadn’t noticed it at all. Read more…

Taking It All Off – For Love

Valentine’s day: a day so many of us go out of our way to abundantly acknowledge, celebrate, and demonstrate love for the people in our lives.

But has it occurred to you to include yourself in that lovefest? Are you lovin’ on yourself today? Read more…

Dear Mark

Today I responded to a comment in a public forum from a man who has has alopecia universalis – no body hair at all – since he was thirteen.

He is in my Baby Boomer generation, and there was little help available to cope with alopecia when he was a child. This wonderful man shared his hurt and his pain over the bullying he experienced both as a child and an adult. It took courage to share. My heart was full of empathy and compassion for him, and I could not leave without responding. Here’s what I wrote: Read more…

Hair Loss: My Battle With Alopecia

For over 36 years, I’ve been told there is no cure for alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes a person to lose their hair. Like anyone with a chronic condition, I’ve always found that frustrating to hear.

I’ve had alopecia areata since I was 8 years old, so I know the many challenges one faces with a chronic condition, especially living in a world that judges us by our appearance. Read more…

Pathophysiology of Alopecia Areata

The exact pathophysiology of alopecia areata remains unknown. The most widely accepted hypothesis is that alopecia areata is a T-cell–mediated autoimmune condition that is most likely to occur in genetically predisposed individuals.[1]

Autoimmunity

Much evidence supports the hypothesis that alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition. The process appears to be T-cell mediated, but antibodies directed to hair follicle structures also have been found with increased frequency in alopecia areata patients compared with control subjects. Using immunofluorescence, antibodies to anagen-phase hair follicles were found in as many as 90% of patients with alopecia areata compared with less than 37% of control subjects. Read more…