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How to achieve outcome independence for hair loss?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by cherry, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. cherry

    cherry New Member

    Hello,
    Saying that this wiki and HBP have given me my life back is an understatement. Thank you all who have contributed to this wiki and forum. I was able to heal my back pain and many symptom imperatives like knee and heel pain that followed. So, now, I have a reached a state where if a random pain shows up out of the blue, I can easily build a case for it being TMS.

    However, since February this year, I noticed, my hair becoming less dense and started noticing bigger scalp gaps. I chalked it out to being due a new shampoo that I had started using since Nov 2019. So, I switched back to my old shampoo but am continuing to significant amount of hair in the shower. Now, my hair density is lesser than half of what it used to be earlier. My PCP made me get a lot of blood tests done and found low ferritin and Vitamin D and prescribed supplements. I have been taking these for 2 months now continue to lose hair.

    Also, I always used to eat healthy but now am eating extra healthy with green salads, fruits, nuts and seeds every day. So, I don't feel strongly that this could be due to poor nutrition. I feel like this is TMS coming back in another form. But this time its an externally visible symptom and is affecting my self confidence a lot. Also, I am unable to build a strong case for TMS for this symptom. Usually with pain, it moved around between days or it would disappear when I would be deeply distracted either while working or while hanging with friends. So, I could clearly tell my brain that there is nothing physically wrong with me since the pain was able to go away for a while and kept moving. So I continued to build a case like this and achieve outcome independence and eventually become pain free. However, with hair loss, I am unable to build such a positive feedback loop since the hair cannot come back all at once overnight when am distracted from obsessing over my hair. Pain can be ignored for a longer time I believe. But I can feel my hair being so sparse every time I look in the mirror or feel its weight on my shoulder. It's almost impossible for me to go for longer than a few mins without noticing this:( I feel like this time TMS has really chosen a symptom I cannot ignore since it deals with body image and I feel I do attach a lot of self-worth to body image:(

    Am wondering how one can achieve outcome independence for such physically visible and non-pain symptoms. What are the evidences I can use to build a TMS case for this?

    Also, on a side-note, is Alopecia also a form of TMS? I haven't yet been diagnosed with it but I feel like if I don't improve with supplements and good diet, that is what the doctors will diagnose it as. Alopecia doesn't have a known cause and it termed an auto-immune disorder. I am wondering if this is similar to Fibromyalgia which also has no known cause and it considered an auto-immune issue.
     
    sarah2254 likes this.
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi cherry,

    I can relate to your post so much! I had many manifestations of TMS but the hardest was when I had CRPS first in my feet and then in my knees. The feet I could deal with a bit better from the aesthetic standpoint because I wasn't as attached to them as the knees. I have always been extremely attached to my legs and hair because they were my best features and I was very vain about them. This extra layer of TMS was such an issue for me and it definitely delayed my progress a ton. I could literally deal with horrific pain better than feeling bad about my self image. Shallow but true LOL! My brain KNEW this though and it's definitely not a coincidence that it created this extra whammy of a preoccupation. I had the visuals of swelling and mottling . I even had temp changes and MRI changes in the feet so it was quite tough to wrap my head around. Fibromyalgia is NOT an auto immune issue. It's purely TMS and neural circuit issue. As far as Alopecia, I will ask Dr. Schubiner for you because I have a class with him tomorrow. If it is auto immune, there is STILL a psychological overlay so reducing stress and overall well being is still a factor. You also have a history of TMS so that's another factor.

    One thing that helped me psychologically with the legs was using body makeup over the redness. This made me feel more "normal" which in turn lowered my fear response, which in turn reduced symptoms! If there's a way to style your hair or even use clip in hair pieces just to feel better psychologically it would help reduce stress while you are figuring this out. I remember Princess Caroline of Monaco was bald for awhile and then it all grew back. It may have been stress induced. I'll try to find out what I can for you and get back to you!
     
    sarah2254 likes this.
  3. cherry

    cherry New Member

    Hello miffybunny,
    Thank you for responding so quickly! I have recently made peace with the fact that I may need to use hair toppers or clip ins like you mentioned. It did help reduce the anxiety issue a bit. And on 6 out of 7 days in a week, I am able to talk myself into thinking that fear will only make the TMS induced or non-TMS induced hair loss worse. So there’s no point fearing it and I try to be somewhat be relaxed and carry on with the day. But on the one off day in a week, the fear gets the better of me and I wake up at night with sudden anxiety that I won’t get better again and somehow have deal with it for the rest of my life. This has fueled my long standing issue of insomnia again :( This seems like such a frivolous issue compared to all other TMS symptoms but it’s so damaging to the self confidence. Recently I have started making excuses to not go out to parks or any other places where shelter-in-place allows me to go to. Basically I have started avoiding any place where I need to put on decent clothes and comb my hair and go out to:(
    I am also trying to avoid looking in the mirror as much as possible to avoid triggering fearful thoughts. However I don’t know if this avoidance behavior or achieving outcome independence.

    Thank you so much for offering to check with Dr. Schubiner on Alopecia <3 Would be great to get an opinion from a TMS physician.

    And yes, I completely agree and understand that fibromyalgia is a serious form of TMS like mentioned by Dr Sarno in his various books. I myself started developing some fibromyalgia like muscle pain in various points in my body slightly after my back pain . But I was also quickly able to identify it as TMS when I read the HBP and resolve the symptoms. However I was just wondering if alopecia is another so called auto-immune disorder similar to fibromyalgia which turned out to be TMS.
     
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's painful and seemingly embarrassing admissions like this that keep us healthy! Our vanities are certainly a TMS fueler and loss of our 'beautiful youth' would go under 'mortality' in the list of rage makers.

    My hair started thinning when I was in my thirties. Getting teased about my 'Bologna Yarmulke' was not fun. One thing however; Most of the shampoos and chemicals that are marketed to us are absolutely unnecessary and are behind a lot of hair thinning issues. All of the men I know are now aware of this... you don't need to shampoo your hair every day... I will sometimes go MONTHS between shampoos and my hair neither smells bad or is dirty. Since I stopped using shampoos and conditioners, my hair thinning actually reversed in old age. I had a bug bite on my neck and was using a mirror to put calamine on it the other day and I saw the back of my head for the first time in years. It was nowhere near as thin as I remember it being in my forties! But I was also under way more stress then. Both? Neither? Id on't know for sure.

    We're all just passing through. When we work on the inside, the outside seems to matter less and less. I know for women it might be more painful, but that has a lot to do with out material culture.... unattainable goals set by corporations bent on selling you stuff...like shampoo.
     
  5. cherry

    cherry New Member

    Hi family,
    I am still struggling with accepting the hair loss as TMS:(:( My bloodwork with Iron, Thyroid, CBC came back normal again. My shedding has reduced but my hair doesn't seem to be growing back. I have about 1/4th my original hair density now :( And the interesting thing is I see in my body hair too where its gotten way less dense than before and whatever is left if shaved grows back very slowly.

    I know this pandemic has definitely taken a toll on my mental health. Am way more anxious and stressed. I also feel a lot more lonely since I don't have the daily interaction with other fellow humans which I did before with my co-workers. Am still having a hard time believing if all this can be the cause of my hair loss and slow hair growth. And because of this flip flopping I am still unable to become outcome independent of this symptom. I am still very scared while washing my hair or styling it. I am stuck in a negative feedback loop where the hair loss is triggering anxiety and insomnia and probably vice versa ? The fact that I can see these changes in my body hair makes me worry that something deeper is wrong with me. Because the blood work came back normal, the doctors don't have anything to go off of and they just say its stress or this might be your new baseline for hair. But I keep freaking out thinking that its gonna keep reducing and not grow back and I'll go bald:(

    I am just hoping for some sign that this is also TMS and that I can recover just like I did with all the other TMS symptoms.
     
  6. subtlecollision2

    subtlecollision2 New Member

    I feel the same way about being bothered more by my vanity than pain. The symptoms I haven’t been able to heal yet are my hormonal imbalance and stomach distension because they make me feel so sad and ugly. I used to have a lot more hair and clear skin and a tiny stomach *sigh*

    I get so sad every day not feeling feminine and beautiful.
     

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