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I am Not Willing to Give Up Hope

My beacon of hope came in the form of a wig

Samantha BerlinMy name is Samantha Berlin, I am a 19 year old sophomore in college, and I have alopecia areata.

I have had alopecia areata since I was seven years old, have gone into remission three times, and then the alopecia areata came back the summer before my freshman year of college. It started out slow, like the other three times I had a bout of alopecia: small, unnoticeable bald spots dispersed throughout my scalp. However, the alopecia areata began to take a turn for the worse. Soon, my hair was becoming thinner, the spots were becoming bigger and much more noticeable. Beginning in about March 2012 the majority of my hair began falling out, and soon by the summer I had lost about 75% of my hair.

Each time I had overcome the alopecia areata before I never thought anything of it. It was assumed that I would beat it every time and come bouncing back with my beautiful, brunette, wavy hair that I loved and appreciated so much. But this time, it was different. The situation continued to spiral out of control and as I woke up every morning with more strands of my beautiful hair on my pillow, I felt myself losing a little part of who I was. I felt like I had been defeated and entered into an overwhelming state of depression.

Then I discovered that there were options. I had a way out of my misery and could regain my strength and the confidence I once possessed. My beacon of hope came in the form of a wig.

I had fought my mother countless times; screaming ina  fit of fury that accepting the wig as a coping mechanism meant I had given up! There was no hope! But as I continued to battle my depression I began to see that it was no way to live; and saying yes to something that could make me feel like the beautiful young woman I am once again is utterly priceless. I finally purchased a beautiful wig that resembles my own full head of hair almost identically, and the minute I put it on I knew I was taking a step in the right direction.

It has been about 5 and a half months now since I got my wig and it has changed my life. I look in the mirror now, with AND without my wig, and see the confident and shining young woman I have always been smiling back. My hair is now about 80% gone, and it is still a constant struggle, but I am NOT willing to give up. Whether I have to cope with one day losing all my hair or my hair never growing back to its full capacity, I know that I will continue to thrive and pursue a life filled with happiness and love.


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