My name is Andy, I’m from the UK. I have been dealing with hairloss since I was a teenager. I got PFS about 12 years ago, before then I had no interest in taking hairloss tablets. I did experiment with a custom-made hairpiece that looked hideous and was ditched a week after buying it. From then onwards I fully accepted hairloss, shaved my hair short and got on with life. About 6 years later I stupidly took a 4-week course of anabolic steroids and when coming off my hormones crashed and went into free-fall. Afterwards I became very depressed and anxious. Somebody I knew made a joking comment about my balding hair. Normally these things would bounce off me but this time in my current mental state I was destroyed.
Prior to getting PFS I loved working out, being social and active. I had mild depression and anxiety untreated, which came from a troubled childhood in which my own father bullied and terrified me for the first 7 years of my life. This feeling of fear and rejection by my father rocked my self-esteem and led me to become obsessed about physical appearance. With girls I would go through periods of feeling very confident and able to approach them anywhere. Then other times my confidence would completely sink, I’d worry about rejection and find myself paralyzed by fear. It was either all or nothing and I couldn’t understand why. This only fueled my self-obsession with appearance.
In relationships I would yoyo again from confident to being jealous and this would wreck my relationships. I was too ashamed of my behaviour and would talk myself out of getting help. I needed someone to take me to the doctors and ask them to help me but no one ever did. My professional life was going fine but my personal life was a disaster. I managed to overcome the jealously myself through positive self talk and was finally moving on from this. However I was still vain, self obsessed and in denial of these. I masked the flaws, hid the shame but eventually it found a way to ruin me by taking steroids and I never saw it coming. I’d researched steriods for safety purposes, only used small doses but didn’t discover they could crash your HPTA axis and learned the hard way. Hopefully my fall can help someone.
When my hormones crashed all the negative stuff from my childhood blew up massively and put me into a state of fear and guilt. I thought Propecia would heal some of my pain when really it was due to low testosterone. Amazing how one mistake in life has led me to this point of utter devastation. My doctor told me that Propecia could cause anxiety, depression and sexual dysfunction. He knew I had all three conditions and prescribed the drug anyway. I remember thinking I already had these conditions so it won’t make a difference. By then my brain was scrambled from anxiety and I couldn’t think clearly. I had managed a 25k renovation project on my house from scratch whilst working full time but couldn’t make a logical decision about Propecia.
The doctor said he’d not seen any issues with the 5mg dose for old men with prostrate trouble. When I saw the Endo next he told me to stop taking Propecia immediately. That was about 6 months later. After that I tried to go back on the testosterone treatment and it no longer worked, my life was over.
For me life was about laughter, being around others, social occasions, women, exercise, live entertainment, alcohol and exploration. Life was one big adventure. I loved walking around city centres, the busy atmosphere, Saturday afternoon drinks, coffee shops, and cinema on Sunday nights, daydreaming on benches, and bright blue skies on cold days and dreaming of future possibilities. Now I have no connection to any of these activities and feel different to everyone else like I am simply going to die.
Getting PFS has taken everything that I loved and put it into a locked room. This condition has left me broken hearted at not being able to be with someone I love who makes me want to be a better person, raising a family, making a home together and sharing intimate moments. I miss the laughter, the positive effects of exercise and my connection with the world. As I type this tears roll down my face. PFS took away the essence of my life. Now the only time I feel normal is around other sick people on forums like this.
The first pic was pre crash and the rest post crash when my face, skin tone and body started to change.