Lets talk about hair (loss)!

***Trigger Warning! I’m back to my roots for this post only: talking about depression and medications. Content warning for hair loss***

Currently my hair is hella long. It is over halfway down my back… so long… too long… But I think it is manageable so far. My hair is usually thick but currently it is not.

It has been almost a year since I’ve stopped taking Co-Fluoxetine (a serotonin inhibitor for depression). As I’ve mentioned before, Fluoxetine is a BAD drug for people with bipolar disorder. Serotonin is a mood elevator, and people with bipolar disorder do not need their moods elevated even more. Serotonin + bipolar depression = mood/ behaviour changes. Serotonin + bipolar hypomania = WHHEEEE~~~ .

What does Fluoxetine have to do with my hair? Well one of the side effects I experienced (aside from the bipolar reactions) was hair loss. Hair loss is a rare side effect from the medication and I just happened to be very unlucky. I lost a lot of hair during the December of 2015 up until July 2016 where I began to ease off the Fluoxetine. Its something I’ve never talked about because, y’unno, I had a lot more important things to deal with than shedding everywhere. Hair loss was insignificant when faced with possible academic concession, counselling, still going to freaking work, trying to get out of bed everyday, and getting my shit back together…. So I never brought up the hair loss issues with a doctor. My family noticed though. Mom noticed the unusually gigantic wad of hair in the hair catcher after every time I washed my hair, and everyone else noticed the shedding.

Thankfully, I am blessed by the genetic gods with thick hair. Without any hair loss, it is a freaking forest, a lion’s mane. I didn’t need a scarf.

But hair takes time to grow. I used to have a short bob cut. 2.5 years ago I started growing my hair out again. 1 year ago some of my hair started falling out. Now, despite the original strands being all even and long, the new growth makes everything look disorganized. I have a lot of “hair wispies” all over my head. Not that I’m complaining; it is better than not having those strands at all. My hair loss (and subsequent hair growth) was somewhat evenly distributed over my head …. the top of my head is a little patchy, but it isn’t too noticeable. But the hair wispies are annoying.

Yeah so a majority of my hair is HELLA LONG. But I don’t want to cut it. I don’t know, maybe I’m afraid something bad will happen when I cut it (my depression started during the period of my short bob, so perhaps I am overly superstitious). I’d say I’m a rational person, but I am scared of upsetting anything that will reverse my progress. Since my hair growth has been a major part of my journey (it has grown longer as I’ve progressed with the whole mental health thing), I associated my hair length as symbolic of my journey. It is silly, I know. It sounds really silly and stupid, but I’m still afraid of cutting my hair. Cutting my original strands to the length of the new growth would make to most sense, but looking at the new growth gives me a flashback of the clogged hair catcher or the hairbrush that pulled away from my head….

I would say that I’m glad I’ve reached a point where I can talk about my past hair loss, rather than worrying about dropping out of school/ telling my parents about my mental illness/ feeling miserable. Now if I could stop associating my hair length with happiness/ mental health victories then that would make summer breezier.

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