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Desperate for son please help!

(43 Posts)
Charlie97 Tue 16-May-17 21:49:45

His alopecia is so extreme now, he's just called me and said he's not been to work this week. He's desperate he tells me he's broken, he can't deal anymore.

What the hell do I do? He's 25 and lives with friends. I want to go get him, he says no.

I can't leave him, I'm scared and he is scared.

Please someone give me advice, what to say or do?

Charlie97 Tue 16-May-17 22:00:57

He's saying it's destroyed his life, he's under pressure at work to get back and work normally!

I'm so desperate for him.

user1493630944 Tue 16-May-17 22:10:42

So very sorry to hear this, it is really tough being a parent of a young adult DC who is struggling. It may be that all you can do is be a listening ear. IME making 'helpful suggestions' does not work, but I have never managed to avoid doing so. Does he have supportive friends/housemates/colleagues? Tell him you love him and he can always come home if he needs/wants to for rest and recuperation.

Charlie97 Tue 16-May-17 22:24:57

He's crying and so down, we're going to come here tonight. OH gone to pick him up.

user1493630944 Tue 16-May-17 22:34:38

He is so fortunate to have supportive parents he can talk to. Maybe at this stage just let him cry and be sad for a bit and then later gradually recover? IME trying to find solutions for DCs does not work, they have to work things out for themselves. Mine was a bit younger with different issues but I well remember the helplessness I felt.

RedastheRose Tue 16-May-17 22:51:01

It is an awful thing to happen especially to someone young. Minoxidil does work for most people so he should try that if he hasn't already. It takes several months to work properly but it should restore his hair in time. The only downside is he will have to apply it twice a day for ever but if he feels as bad as you say he probably won't mind that.

MakeupLover1 Tue 16-May-17 23:17:59

Hello, I wonder has your son had any medical help with his alopaecia? If not I would get his gp to refer him to a dermatologist. minoxidil or regaine as it is also known can be helpful in many cases. Even if the hair follicles are dead it can prevent further hair loss. The downside is the cost and the fact that, once started, it must be used indefinitely. Another treatment that can be used alongside minoxidil is the drug spironolactone. If the alopaecia is caused by typical male pattern baldness, it is linked to testosterone affecting the hair follicles causing the hair loss. A dermatologist will prescribe spironolactone so a referral would be a good idea.
I feel for your son, it is not easy losing your hair even when society thinks nothing of a male being bald. I'm a 42 year old female who has been suffering from overall thinning hair for many years. My temples are particularly bad with my right one being almost bald. I have spent many days and weeks crying and worrying about it and have been investigating the options involved when it comes to artificial hair.
I hope your son can get the help that he needs and please reassure him that there is help out there.

Charlie97 Tue 16-May-17 23:19:08

Redas, he has that, he is applying it!

Heartbreaking, I wish I could fast forward to it being fixed!

Tiredbutnotyetretired Tue 16-May-17 23:41:16

I dont mean to offend but would it not be easy for him to just shave it off? Alot of attractive bald guys out there who are young. I hope he feels better within himself very soon and hopefully get some treatment but i have seen this many times being in the hair industry and whenever i have encountered it i can see that its the 'accepting' that is difficult, i am from a family where nearly all of us have thin hair, and it affects me also, im very limited with hairstyles but i think if I'd have been born male i would have shaved it completely off years ago! Less stress.
It sounds like the trauma of his hair falling out has led onto maybe a bit anxiety and depression? Could he get councilling?
Also im sure there are support groups for people who suffer with this condition

Charlie97 Wed 17-May-17 06:26:43

Thank you for your responses, OH picked him up last night.

We talked about shaving it off, this is a big step for him, I think he should do it. He's undecided, I don't want to push him into anything.

He's clearly depressed, says he's just been sitting doing nothing for two days. He says even applying his cream seems like a mountain for him. He's going back to the drs today .

Now, he let me feel and look at his hair properly.

Firstly the front part (worst area) has most definite regrowth, its long and white, but I'm seeing a few darker hairs albeit he is still losing some further back.

The sides and back have large "bald" patches, but when I feel these patches they do have hair on, it's like a peach? His hair at the sides and back it very short and when I was getting him to brush his finger over areas it felt the same. I think it may be growing back but as it's so white it looks bald?

Has anyone any experience?

Thank you.

Rescuepuppydaft2 Wed 17-May-17 06:42:20

My 'little' brother has suffered with alopecia (alongside severe eczema), anxiety runs in our family and our Mum has pretty severe alopecia herself. What helped my brother was getting referred for counseling for the anxiety as well as going on anti anxiety meds. My parents also paid for him to see a good hairdresser who suggested different styles to hide the patches when it first started. My brother actually started wearing a flat cap everywhere he went (he still does) and he really suits it. My brother is really tall (6'3") and it was a lot less noticeable with the above. He has had absolutely zero problems finding girlfriends (quite the opposite actually 😊).

My brothers alopecia didn't present as male pattern baldness, it came in patches so if your son is the same I imagine his hairdresser should be able to advise if a close shaved haircut would make it less obvious. (My brother never suited that style) Wearing the right style hat might help though, my brother wears waistcoats and grandfather style shirts with jeans to go with the flat cap (the girls love it he tells me😂) and it is so seldom that I see him without a hat on that its strange when I do! My brothers alopecia is a lot better than it was before. Huge hugs for you both, it is so upsetting and men seem to be expected to just deal with it because lots of men go bald. When that sort of dramatic change to your appearance can really destroy your self esteem x

rwalker Wed 17-May-17 06:45:27

how nice that at 25 and living with friend he turns to you .need help with depression it,s a vicious circle and stress can make his condition worse .think shaving is the way forward but would start gradual get some clippers start with longest setting then give it a few days and go shorter .my friend son has it. had creams helped but regrowth best way to describe it is like very fine baby hair .the poor lad went through hell at school .he has it shaved it completly with razor and now not an issue at all and he has accepted it . because his head totally shaved you won't know he,s got it

Phoebefromfriends Wed 17-May-17 07:07:26

OP you sound lovely. two members of my family have alopecia one is a man and the other is a woman. I'm not sure what to say but definitely think he should get back to GP and then look at whether he needs to change jobs if it's stressful and they aren't supportive when he's ill. Would he go for counselling? Sorry I'm not very helpful I just know the effects of alopecia can be heartbreaking. Good luck OP.

Tiredbutnotyetretired Wed 17-May-17 13:32:35

I once had a conversation with a man who told me that every hair on his body fell out within a few days, it was that quick for him, and he said EVERY hair, eyebrows, leg hair, everything. When i was talking to him i asked him how he now had all his hair back? Hair legs etc aswell, he said he had been practicing yoga for over a year and it slowly grew back because of the stress relief he got from the yoga. Wether the story is true or not i dont know but just wanted to pass this on. Hope your son is feeling better today smile

WaitingYetAgain Wed 17-May-17 21:41:03

It sounds like alopecia areata, which is autoimmune. Sometimes steroids work for it. He needs to be referred to a dermatologist if he has not already.

I am 36 and have been suffering with a diffuse type of alopecia since I was 19. I have good moments and bad. I have kind of got used to it now. Dating/relationships and work have been big hurdles.

Alopecia UK could be a good source of support to him.
There is nothing better than being able to talk to people who understand and are going through the same thing.

WaitingYetAgain Wed 17-May-17 21:52:30

Support for* confused don't know where to came from!

Charlie97 Wed 17-May-17 21:56:40

Thanks all, he went and had his head shaved.

To me he's still gorgeous, to him he thinks he's ugly,

Thanks all, very tired and emotional tonight, lots of tears. I'll message tomorrow with more info.


Perdyboo Wed 17-May-17 22:06:30

You do sound lovely and lucky DS to have your support. Hubby has autoimmune issues and had alopecia when he was younger. By the time I met him (23) he had shaved it all off, which I'm told by his mates was a massive hurdle, and truth be told I didn't notice (just thought he was hot!!) but I am aware his confidence has increased massively over time. His hair has never grown back but like a pp said, hats are good/stylish.

Charlie97 Thu 18-May-17 07:22:36

We had a good cry yesterday, he also spoke to his manager who was great.

Ultimately he does have to go back to work, but currently he's exhausted mentally.

He shaved his head, of course he still looks fabulous to me but in his mum.

We have a GP friend who says it's nothing but time. But I feel he needs a specialist who can tell him the cycle it could take. As a positive there is definitely hair on the bald patches, it's like a peach?

I'm going to try and get him a private consultation, hopefully that might help in as much as diagnosing what level etc.

Thank you all for your kind words, nothing is as hard as seeing a child suffer. I know I'm not facing some of the awful things parents do, but it's still tough!


Whatalready Thu 18-May-17 07:30:11

Would your son consider a hair transplant? Go in RealSelf website. Maral Clinic in Turkey. 2100 euros includes the transplant, hotel etc. Just not the air fare. My cousin did it. Took hair follicles from the back of his head. No scarring. Let your son read up about it. This is the first generation that doesn't have to go bald. If it's affecting his life so badly, 2100 is money well spent.

user1486669405 Thu 18-May-17 07:42:10

Is it alopecia or male pattern baldness? If it is the former it will come back in time, the latter can be staved off with minoxidil, etc. I wouldn't be doing hair transplants if it is alopecia, as it would come back again.

There are hair systems for men and women that stay on permanently but again if he has alopecia, I can't help thinking an uncovered scalp would best help regrowth.

As a woman, a man's hair rarely registers on my radar. I see face, etc. Thinning hair definitely wouldn't put me off!!

Charlie97 Thu 18-May-17 07:48:29

Very poor photo attached x

Charlie97 Thu 18-May-17 07:49:33

Sorry user didn't read your post properly it is alopecia, he'd be ok with male pattern balding I think!

user1486669405 Fri 19-May-17 08:42:26

Sorry I didn't see your reply. I don't want to come over as an expert!! I can see from the circles that he has classic alopecia areata.

It looks mild at the back though. Is there an underlying reason for it? Has he had investigations? I don't get the impression hairloss is taken that seriously by many in the medical profession, especially in men.

I have fmp, always thought alopecia areata would be better!! Mainly because there's a good chance it will come back!!

Has he been offered steroid injections? Try and push for a dermatology referral, if you haven't already.

From what I can see of him from the back, he looks like s handsome young man, but as sure he won't believe me!

unapaloma Fri 19-May-17 08:54:36

Just to echo what several PPs have said, having a shaven head is really common popular now, I work with a lot of men under 35 who have shaved heads - I have no idea which of them have baldness issue, and which just like the look. To me, they all look pretty cool like that :-).

I know he would love to go back to having a full head of hair, but if he could just see it as a new beginning, his new look, instead of something lost? Would he let you help him shop for some new clothes/shoes (if you can afford it)?

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