The "Personality" of Male Pattern Baldness (Learned Helplessness)

“In many [pattern baldness patients], we encountered various types of ‘fixed smiles,’ and in a few, a rather striking, characteristic expression best described as a ‘toothy smile.’ Such rigid facial patterns are thought to reflect, psychologically speaking, defensive attitudes. Wilhelm Reich in his book, ‘Character Analysis,’ pointed out what he called ‘muscular armor’ as a frequently observed somatic reflection of ‘character armor.’ ‘Character armor’ refers to the psychologic defenses of a neurotic personality which serve as protection from feelings of insecurity and anxiety.”[1]

“Adaptive hormones can cause mental changes in man. Many patients who take ACTH or COL first develop a sense of extraordinary wellbeing and buoyancy, with excitement and insomnia; this is sometimes followed by a depression which may go so far as to create suicidal tendencies.”[2]

“Glucocorticoids exert early influences on the brain that tend to elevate mood and increase the sense of ‘well-being.’ Larger amounts can bring on temporary euphoria. However, the secondary effects include psychic depression. Patients with chronically elevated levels tend to have mood swings. They have been known to display bizarre behavior and to suffer hallucinations.”[3]

“Hyperprolactinemic patients were significantly more hostile, depressed, and anxious and had more feelings of inadequacy than family practice patients and non patient employees. The authors recommend measuring the serum prolactin levels of women with depression, hostility, anxiety, and symptoms or signs suggestive of hyperprolactinemia.”[4]

“Negative affectivity is a broad personality trait that refers to the stable tendency to experience negative emotions. Individuals who are high in negative affectivity are more likely to report negative affective mood states across time and regardless of the situation.”[5]

“High-negative affectivity individuals not only experience more feelings of dysphoria and tension, but have a negative view of self, report more somatic symptoms, and have an attention bias towards adverse stimuli. Overall, they seem to scan the world for signs of impending trouble…”[6]

“A common denominator among these studies documenting increased cortisol to laboratory challenges appears to be an increase in negative affectivity. The relationship between negative affectivity and cortisol activity has been well documented in several studies using structured laboratory stressors, such as public speaking and mental arithmetic and aversive stimulation as well as in the psychiatric literature relating to alterations in cortisol in depressed patients.”[7]

“Closely related to this openness to inner and outer experience in general is an openness to and an acceptance of other individuals. As a client moves toward being able to accept his own experience, he also moves toward the acceptance of the experience of others. He values and appreciates both his own experience and that of others for what it is. To quote Maslow again regarding his self-actualizing individuals: ‘One does not complain about water because it is wet, nor about rocks because they are hard… As the child looks out upon the world with wide, uncritical and innocent eyes, simply noting and observing what is the case, without either arguing the matter or demanding that it be otherwise, so does the self-actualizing person look upon human nature both in himself and in others.’ This acceptant attitude toward that which exists, I find developing in clients in therapy.”[8]  

“Making an effort to learn how to use techniques of food, hormones, light, activity, etc., is similar to the effort needed to work with a psychologist, and the effort itself is part of the therapy…”[9]

1. A theory of the pathogenesis of ordinary human baldness (1950)
2. The Story of Adaptation Syndrome (1952)
3. Endocrine Physiology (1985)
4. Hyperprolactinemia, distress, and hostility (1984)
5. Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine Negative Affectivity (2013)
6. Type D personality: A potential risk factor refined (2000)
7. Cortisol fluctuates with increases and decreases in negative affect (1999)
8. Carl Rogers on Abraham Maslow in the book, On Becoming a Person (1961)
9. Raymond Peat (2014)