Clinical Management of Psychological Problems

For alopecia patients, hair transplant or hair restoration are a sufficient catalyst for the desired psychological changes.  Others need more help in restoring their psychological well-being.  Recent developments in psychotherapies focused on finding solutions, include the documentation necessary to make more efficient the cognitive-behavioural procedures in order to help people overcome a negative image of their body.  For men who need such assistance, but are not willing to obtain professional counseling, cognitive-behavioural programs for helping themselves are available.  Physicians involved in treating balding problems should consider these programs, as well as the local resources of professional therapy. This assistance can be offered concomitantly with medical and surgical treatment.
The research literature on the psychological efficiency of various cosmetic interventions is generally satisfied by the positive results that patients can obtain.  Alopecia pacients search for a more positive self-image in order to live intensely a safer, plenary sense of self. Basically, the essential relief that patients experience is a removal of upsetting thoughts and feelings about their daily appearance.
Of course, because patients often resist psychiatric referrals, bibliotherapy may be the first step.  Anyway, both alternatives should be presented to the patient as a way for “optimizing the development of positive feelings about your appearance.”  The truth is that most patients have assimilated deformed patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviours regarding the image of their own body.  Changing these patterns deserves as much attention as the patient’s hair restoration.
There are situations in which direct psychotherapy may be the only valid help.  Some alopecia patients, for some reason, are not suitable candidates for medical or surgical treatment.  For example, the surgeon may decide that surgical intervention is premature for a young patient, and that it will not produce its effect from a psychological point of view.  Despite an intense dissatisfaction towards his/her own body, the patient is not willing to consider a non-surgical hair addition. To advise the patient ”Don’t worry” or “If things get worse, come back in a few years” would have no point.  If accepting alopecia becomes the only option, then giving the patient a clear therapeutic direction for accepting his/her own appearance will be crucial.

Table of Contents:
Implication of the hair transplant in patient care
Clinical Assessments regarding the psychological problem of hair loss
Clinical Management of Psychological Problems