Belfast Telegraph

Alopecia is making me miserable

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

I’m an 18-year-old girl and I should be enjoying life and going out with my friends.

Instead, I hide away because I’ve lost most of my hair. When I look at myself in the mirror I just want to cry.

I don’t look like those glamorous women who are completely bald — this is patchy and ugly.

I’ve cut what hair I’ve got left really short, but unless I were to shave my head every day, you can still see the patches.

My doctor says it is alopecia but she can’t say when, or if, it will grow back.

I am taking anti-depressants but they don’t seem to make any difference, as I still feel miserable all the time. JL

FIONA SAYS: SEEK OUT CHARITY FOR SUPPORT

For a woman to lose her hair at any age is hard, but for someone in their teens who is still establishing her identity, it is a serious blow.

You are not alone, though, and many people have faced this problem before, some when they are very young.

No one really knows much about alopecia; the cause, the duration, what triggers hair re-growth etc, but they are working hard at it.

Shaving your head on a regular basis is an option, but most women prefer to opt for hats, scarves or a wig.

There are so many options you could look at and many people find it fun to change their look.

You could also buy, usually from a wig shop, make-up that you could use on the bald patches of your hair that blend them to your normal hair colour.

If you haven't already asked your doctor for referral to a dermatologist, I would encourage you to do so as you may be eligible to receive a wig via the NHS.

Finally, do join Alopecia UK for lots more information and also for help and support. The charity has a number of groups around the country, some of which are for young people.

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