Feeling frustrated and stigmatised by my appearance

Hi those who are reading this. I’m still relatively young (<30) but I’ve lost all my hair so people seem to stare at me in public and many will instinctively touch their heads and hair when they see me. People even do this at work when they see me or talk to me. I know I can’t change my appearance and I don’t want to wear a hat - but it just gets so tiring and frustrating always being reminded by people’s non-verbal responses and gestures that my appearance makes them uncomfortable. Some days if I’m tired or stressed, it really gets me down, feeling like I’m a negative example of how nobody wants to look like. Thanks for allowing me to share here.

Hi @ethan2468 :wave:t4:

Thank you for your courage in sharing your experiences with us. Embracing vulnerability is a commendable feat, and reaching out for support demonstrates strength and resilience. You’re moving in the right direction, and I applaud your bravery. :clap:t4: :clap:t4:

It’s understandable to feel frustrated and discouraged when you experience reactions from others that draw attention to your appearance. Losing your hair at a young age can be a challenging experience, especially when it leads to unwanted attention and discomfort in social situations. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and give yourself permission to feel upset at times. Feeling upset is a healthy and natural response. However, if you find yourself consistently upset to the point where it impacts your quality of life, seeking professional assistance to help you cope is strongly encouraged. Taking proactive steps towards your well-being is a sign of strength and self-care.

Remember, your worth and value extend far beyond your appearance. You are a multifaceted individual, and your intrinsic worth cannot be confined to societal standards of beauty. I hope you will resonate with this quote that I came across once (author unknown) that ‘Strength isn’t about having a full head of hair; it’s about finding beauty and confidence in every strand of your soul.

It’s okay to have days when you feel down or overwhelmed by the reactions of others. Allow yourself to feel those emotions, but also remind yourself of your inner strength and resilience.

Here are some actionable steps you can take:

  1. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself and recognise that it’s okay to feel frustrated or upset about the reactions you receive. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend in a similar situation.

  2. Focus on What You Can Control: Redirect your attention towards actions and thoughts that empower you. Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfilment, surround yourself with supportive people who uplift you, and practice self-care to nurture your overall well-being.

  3. Educate Others: Consider educating others about alopecia or the reasons behind your hair loss. By sharing information about your condition or experience, you can help increase awareness and empathy in your community.

I hope the above has been helpful and if you’d like more resources or if there is anything else you’d like to share with us, please do. We’re here to listen to you, your feelings are valid and you matter! :grinning:

Take care,
CoolBreeze =)

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