Are You Depressed?
Don't let your inner -- and outer -- beauty suffer. See if you're a woman with depression
Ever had a bad day? How about three in a row? It's enough to drive an average woman insane, right? Well, according to mental health therapists, "insane" isn't really the best word -- more like "depressed." Most people get a little down once in a while, but when it starts clouding your disposition -- even your appearance -- on a regular basis, it may be time to raise a red flag -- depression and women is amazingly commonplace.
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Big changes can cause stress easily, sometimes so easily we can tend to let it slide until it builds up and boils over. Often, others may even notice that something is bothering us. "Someone who is depressed may start paying less attention [to] and care less about personal hygiene," said Dr. Karin Sponholz, a staff psychologist at the University of Southern California. "They may take less time or care less about 'fixing up' their hair, their makeup, and how they appear (their wardrobe). People closest to the presumed depressed person may be the ones to first see the changes, especially if they are subtle."
With that said, Dr. Sponholz makes it clear that just because women don't feel like doing their hair or wearing makeup doesn't necessarily mean they're depressed (whew!), but be aware that any major changes in your daily habits could be a signal that something's wrong. More importantly, if you're increasingly negative, despondent or distant, you could be slipping into a downward spiral.
If you have concerns that you might be depressed, take our quiz to find out how serious it might be, and what you can do about it.
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You're in a healthy place ... but:
Depression doesn't seem like it's in your vocabulary right now, which is great. But beware of sneaky triggers, such as difficulties with a new or ending relationship, and symptoms like loss of (or change in) appetite, appearance, weight gain, even acne, wrinkles or other changes in your skin. "Any major life events, including 'positive ones,' can trigger depression, as can a 'minor' life event," said Los Angeles psychiatrist Dr. Bruce Spring.
Be sure to value social interaction and occasionally take time for yourself, whether it's giving yourself a spa day, trying a new workout class or burying your nose in a great book. If your days seem to get increasingly gray for some reason, or if you're going through any significant changes in life (a new job, a new relationship, a tough loss), consider seeing a therapist to talk your way through it.
Find a licensed mental health services specialist in your area.