Whether you have noticed signs of thinning hair or patchy hair loss, or are simply concerned that baldness runs in your family, it's normal to worry about hair loss to some extent.
It's when that worry turns into obsessive behaviour or a phobia that you could have an issue. Stockpiling shampoos and medications can be the first sign of a problem, or you could even find you develop a phobia surrounding the fear of baldness in yourself or in others.
Peladophobia is the fear of hair loss and of bald people. This is a surprisingly common phobia, which can affect anyone, of any age. Peladophobia can produce both physiological and physical symptoms and it affects both sexes equally. Certain people may be more prone to the development of phobias of any kind, and the symptoms can vary in severity between individuals.
It's not really known what causes this particular phobia, but it is thought to be a combination of external traumatic events and a genetic predisposition for example, phobias running in the family. Usually, an event triggers memories of the past trauma, which can bring on the phobia's symptoms.
Phobias of any kind, including peladophobia, can bring with them a range of symptoms, which may include:
There's a difference between being worried about hair loss and letting it take over your life. If you think you may be experiencing peladophobia, it is important to seek help as it could have a significant impact on your everyday life. Treatment is usually in the form of psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and may also include exposure therapy (where the patient is exposed to the trigger for the phobia in this case, bald people) and coached in relaxation strategies for coping when exposed. Anti-anxiety medication is also used successfully alongside therapy in many cases.
If you have developed a fear of baldness, it may have been triggered by your own hair loss or even a traumatic event such as seeing a relative or friend lose hair to illness. Whatever it is, finding and addressing the root of the problem can help you to make a full recovery.
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