01-06 Medications treating hair loss may trigger depression in men, says study

Posted in Depression, Depression Treatment, Emotions, Relationships

Medications treating hair loss may trigger depression in men, says study

Baldness in men is common. The reasons could vary from genetics to stress and depression. However, with more socializing and increased inclination towards fashion, men today are very conscious about their hair. Although, there are many who have accepted their baldness and have created a fashion statement out of it, others wander from pillar to post in search of a viable treatment to cure their hair loss.

There are a wide range of remedies including hair growth products and hair transplantation services that are available for the disheartened. However, studies have shown that these solutions are responsible for creating psychological imbalances. Finasteride (Propecia), the generic name of the drug used for medication to treat hair loss, has been reported to trigger depression in men.

According to a study, “Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Thoughts Among Former Users of Finasteride with Persistent Sexual Side Effects” conducted by Dr. Michael Irwig of the George Washington University, finasteride has the tendency to generate depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts. The study also observed its side effects on men’s sexual health.

Finasteride users reported having depressive symptoms

Irwig interviewed two groups of men – finasteride users and non-finasteride users. In the first category, 61 men were selected, all former users of finasteride, with constant sexual side effects for more than three months. Their medical and psychiatric histories along with information on medication use, sexual function and alcohol consumption were collected to be examined in detail.

In the second category of men, 29 were chosen who had male pattern hair loss but who neither used finasteride nor any psychiatric medications. The results astonished everyone.

Most of the former finasteride users reported some degrees of depression — 11 percent with mild symptoms, 28 percent with moderate symptoms and shockingly, 36 percent with severe symptoms of depression. Besides this, 44 percent experienced suicidal thoughts. On the contrary, in the second group, while only 10 percent had mild depressive symptoms, nobody reported to have experienced moderate or severe symptoms. Also, only 3 percent suffered from suicidal thoughts.

“The potential life-threatening side-effects associated with finasteride should prompt clinicians to have serious discussions with their patients. The preliminary findings of this study warrant further research,” said Dr. Irwig.

Baldness and depression

While the above study dwells in effects of hair loss medicines causing depression in men, there is a flip side to it. Baldness in itself can cause depression and lead to life-threatening situations. Losing hair is a major dent in the appearance and can result in low self-esteem. Moreover, it is often linked to a man’s ego. In a world where head full of hair is symbolic of health, virility and sexual attractiveness, hair loss can provoke men to withdraw from social circles, limit their lifestyle and become unsure of forming relationships.

Road to recovery

For many, hair loss can be inevitable due to genetics or hormonal changes, however, for others, it may be triggered by a medicine’s side effect or due to an underlying illness. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor to figure out the prime cause of hair loss to identify the right course of treatment. A solution that works for someone may not work for everyone. It is important to keep calm and do not let physical appearance affect the state of mind.

If you know someone who is battling depression, the Depression Treatment Centers of California can provide you with information about the best depression treatment facilities in California. You may call our 24/7 helpline number (855) 678-0400 or chat online for further information on rehab centers for depression in California. If you are looking for some evidence-based treatment centers, then our representatives can assist you with details of residential treatment centers for depression in California.


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