Anxiety and telogen effluvium


Anxiety is a form of emotional expression characterized by an exaggerated feeling of uneasiness accompanied by great concern or fear. This anxiety can be triggered by an imaginary situation, a suggestion, or a real event. Situations that can cause anxiety include threats, danger, the loss of a loved one, divorce, or disease. In such cases, hair loss can become a significant issue; this type of hair loss is known as telogen effluvium. During telogen effluvium, hair may fall out in clumps while shampooing, combing, or simply passing a hand through the hair. This hair loss can exacerbate the anxiety experienced by the individual.

Telogen Effluvium: Understanding the Condition and Its Management

Telogen effluvium is a common cause of temporary hair loss characterized by the excessive shedding of hair. This condition occurs when a significant number of hair follicles enter the telogen (resting) phase of the hair growth cycle prematurely, leading to diffuse thinning across the scalp. Understanding the triggers, symptoms, and treatment options for telogen effluvium can help in managing this condition effectively.

Causes of Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium can be triggered by a variety of factors, including:

  • Physical or Emotional Stress: Major life events, trauma, or prolonged stress can push hair follicles into the resting phase.
  • Hormonal Changes: Events such as childbirth, menopause, or discontinuation of birth control pills can alter hormone levels and affect hair growth.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Deficiencies in essential nutrients like iron, protein, and vitamins can lead to hair shedding.
  • Medical Conditions: Illnesses such as thyroid disease, severe infections, and chronic conditions can disrupt the hair growth cycle.
  • Medications: Certain drugs, including retinoids, beta-blockers, and antidepressants, can have hair loss as a side effect.
  • Unbalanced Diets: Rapid weight loss and diets lacking in adequate nutrition can lead to telogen effluvium.

Symptoms of Telogen Effluvium

The primary symptom of telogen effluvium is the noticeable thinning of hair across the scalp. Unlike alopecia areata, which causes patchy hair loss, telogen effluvium typically results in diffuse shedding. Hair may come out in handfuls during washing or brushing. This increased shedding usually becomes apparent several weeks to months after the triggering event.

Diagnosis of Telogen Effluvium

Diagnosing telogen effluvium involves:

  • Medical History Review: A detailed review of the patient’s recent life events, stress levels, diet, and overall health.
  • Scalp Examination: Visual examination to assess the extent and pattern of hair loss.
  • Blood Tests: To check for underlying conditions such as thyroid disorders or nutritional deficiencies.

Treatment and Management of Telogen Effluvium

Managing telogen effluvium focuses on addressing the underlying cause and supporting hair regrowth:

  • Stress Management: Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and counseling can help reduce stress levels.
  • Nutritional Support: Ensuring a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Supplements may be recommended if deficiencies are identified.
  • Medical Treatment: Treating any underlying medical conditions contributing to hair loss.
  • Gentle Hair Care: Avoiding harsh treatments and minimizing heat styling to reduce additional stress on the hair.


Telogen effluvium is typically a temporary condition. Once the triggering factor is identified and addressed, hair usually begins to regrow within 6 to 12 months. However, in chronic cases, the shedding may persist for longer periods, requiring ongoing management and lifestyle adjustments.


Telogen effluvium is a reversible form of hair loss that can be effectively managed by identifying and addressing the underlying causes. With appropriate care and treatment, individuals can expect to see improvement in hair growth over time. If you are experiencing excessive hair shedding, consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and personalized treatment plan.


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  2. Sinclair RD, Schwartz JR, Cargnello J. (2011). “Pathogenesis of Telogen Effluvium: A Reappraisal.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 4, 5-12. PubMed
  3. Rebora A. (2010). “Telogen Effluvium: A Comprehensive Review.” Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 35(8), 887-896. PubMed
  4. Grover C, Khurana A. (2013). “Telogen Effluvium.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, 79(5), 591-603. PubMed
  5. Whiting DA. (1996). “Chronic Telogen Effluvium: Increased Scalp Hair Shedding in Middle-Aged Women.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 35(6), 899-906. PubMed

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