Depression and Weight Issues - 16 year old girl, depressed and losing hair

10-05-2013, 08:20 PM
If anyone can help me, I would be forever grateful.

I am writing about my young niece who is only 16 and depressed. She is so stressed out her hair is breaking off at the ends and falling out at the scalp. She is seeing a therapist and not on any meds at the present. Does anyone know of a hair or scalp treatment she can try? Thank you.

10-05-2013, 09:36 PM

I'm so sorry your niece is going through so much stress. Has she seen a doctor? Maybe they could recommend something for her hair and scalp. Is the therapy helping? I hope that things improve for her, the teenage years can be very stressful. Good luck, take care.

10-05-2013, 10:05 PM
cyndy - so sorry to read this. Frankly, though, i doubt that anything will help her hair until she gets this depression/stress thing under control. having said that, perhaps nioxin shampoo might help. and making sure she takes her vitamins and enough protein

10-05-2013, 11:38 PM
I don't have any information about this - I just want to send hugs to you, your niece and your family. :hug:

I have suffered from depression all of my life so I understand the challenge.

I wish your niece all of the very best.

10-06-2013, 08:49 PM
So sorry to hear about your niece. Just finishing up the teen years with my three kids and what a challenge it has been. Most of us remember how hard it is to be a teen but it I think it’s more heartbreaking to watch the teens we love suffer through difficult times.

I’m glad your niece is seeing a therapist. That’s a big step – some teens refuse to go and short of a straitjacket there’s not much you can do. So take some comfort in that. But also, I would add there are several possibilities with the hair that should be considered. 1) Trichotillomania, the overwhelming urge to pull hair out, is more common that you might think – I have known several people with this. I believe it’s related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and treatment can include therapy & medication. 2) Alopecia caused by something else – autoimmune, nutrition (could she be starving herself? I know I lost a lot of hair when I ate too few calories over a period of time), etc.

One relative of mine inexplicably lost a large patch of hair as a teen but it eventually grew back. She went regularly to a dermatologist who tried several treatments - not sure if the treatments helped or it just improved on its own. Until it began to grow back, she was extremely distraught about it.

Maybe part of the depression is caused by the hair loss. Hair loss is terribly traumatic for a teenage girl. If that could be somehow treated, maybe it would help with the depression. I hope things get better soon.

10-06-2013, 09:24 PM
Oily fish. Canned or fresh. Sardines. Anchovies. Mackeral. Salmon. Rainbow trout, oysters, albacore tuna, mussels.

Eat once a day. She'll see the difference in a month. Go easy on the tuna though because of mercury and because of her gender/age.

I eat fish every day and my skin, hair and mood are unbelievable.

10-06-2013, 10:09 PM
Her hair loss could easily be related to her depression. It could also be alopecia areata, which I have. More info here. ( If so, she should see a dermatologist.

I had a very depressed childhood. I had stress ulcers from 13-18, in fact. I wish her all the best and to know that it does get better.

10-08-2013, 12:57 AM
I just wanted to add my support. I developed depression at 14, but because my parents didn't believe in therapy or medication, I had to live with it until adulthood. Your niece is very lucky to have a supportive family. Please let her know that it will get better.

It's possible the hair loss is a sign of PCOS. It may also be an indicator for diabetes. If you can, encourage her to see a doctor so that they can figure out what is causing it. It may be related to the depression, but it may not be.

10-08-2013, 02:42 PM
Biotin is very highly recommended