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. Scroll down to skip ahead and answer the first question about women and depression.

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.

Scroll down to answer the first question.

Your Results

You're likely depressed

You've been going through a lot lately, whether you realize it or not, the stress seems to be taking its toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. As if feeling low wasn't bad enough, depression could even affect your skin.

"Skin appearance usually declines with increased mental and physical illness because the skin is the overall window to your health," says dermatologist Dr. Wendy E. Roberts of Rancho Mirage, Calif. This includes scaly, scratched or picked skin, excessive rubbing and skin disorders caused by diet irregularities, as well as an overall impression that you just haven't been taking care of yourself.

If you've been feeling sad, suicidal, or like you just don't care about anything or anyone -- especially if it's gone on for more than two weeks -- see a clinical therapist, counselor or psychologist right away. Keep in mind, doing so doesn't mean you're "crazy." It just means you could use an objective (and figurative) shoulder to cry on -- and you deserve someone who's not going to hold it against you later.

Find a licensed mental health services specialist in your area.



Sources: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/29/acne.depression/index.html

http://www.psych.org/mainmenu/research/dsmiv.aspx

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/getting-help-locate-services/index.shtml



Emails: Dr. Bruce Spring, Los Angeles psychiatrist

Dr. Karin Sponholz, USC

Call to clinical therapist office/hotline at USC (for background info)

Dr. Elizabeth Reyes, USC

Amanda Newaira, counselor (for background info)

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