Iain Hastings, Overcoming Alopecia

At some point in your life, you’re going to have to make a decision. 

THE decision.

One path leads to health and prosperity. But it is fraught with road blocks. 

The other path leads to darkness and despair. 

When you’re at that proverbial crossroad, what do you do?

APEMAN Iain Hastings exemplifies that incredibly difficult – but worthwhile – choice. 

“I have a medical condition that I don’t want to go into because it isn’t really relevant, but I lost all of my hair due to it,” Iain said. “It is called Alopecia universalis. I lost all the hair on my body and don’t have the ability to grow any more. When I was diagnosed, I dropped into a severe depression over months and months and got quite unwell. I lost an alarming amount of weight and even attempted suicide.”

Iain was living in France at the time he got sick. He had always been a fit person, but he started to see his weight steadily dropping and his hair slowly shedding. After a 2-3-month period, he lost every hair on his body and dropped to under 130 pounds. 

This set him into a dark spiral of depression and social anxiety. 

“I returned home to Scotland to seek medical help for my condition,” he said. “However, the mental health aspects were the toughest; I had turned into a person I wasn’t very proud of being. I felt disgusting, I was depressed, I didn’t go out, I was drinking a lot and the mental health side effects of my condition and how I looked cost me a relationship. I just wasn’t in a good place.”

This went on for a number of months until one day it reached a crisis point – THEdecision. He was faced with a choice when he was at his lowest: suicide and end it or fight this head on. 

“Depression and mental health side effects that come with it are tough, seriously tough,” he said. “I opted to take control of it. I was going to control how I looked and felt and who I was; if I was going to have no hair and look ‘naked’ all the time then I was going to do everything I could to look the best I could.”

It took some time, but he built himself into a good place, physically and mentally. He started working out again and surrounded himself with good, positive people. The discipline and hard work of Muay Thai and BJJ have changed everything for Iain.

“I feel good, my diet is great and all of my mental health issues seem to have pretty much disappeared,” Iain said. “I embrace the hard work and I put the damn time and effort in. There is no substitute for hard work, but at the same time, there is no greater feeling or satisfaction than hard work. You cannot buy it or steal it, and no one can take it away from you. You have earned and forged the body you have, you have built a strong mind, and that is one of the best feelings in the world.”

Iain turned to martial arts and this inspiration of APEMAN for motivation. Essentially, he used any tool he could get a hold of – people or companies like APEMAN who work and grind every single day.

“Now, almost a year later from my initial diagnosis and I’m the happiest I’ve probably ever been,” Iain said with a smile. “I use my spare time to give back. I do a lot of work with AlopeciaUK to help young men and women who have medical conditions and Alopecia to face the mental health aspect of their conditions, to take control of things and use it as fuel to build a better life – a life, body and mind they truly want.”

Iain went from being suicidal and suffering with a lot of mental health conditions to now owning every aspect of his life thanks to lifting, fitness and martial arts. 

In short, life is good.

“I may look different,” Iain said. “But who the fuck ever wanted to be normal anyway?”