How Lack of Self Care Can Lead to Depression

Depression.  Sometimes it happens.  I don’t know why, or maybe I do and don’t give it enough credit.  Either way, I am writing at this moment to shake off the desire to self-harm.  The urge only began a little while ago, but my mood has been unstable all day.  If you caught me on Twitter @missinginsight earlier, I posted the following picture.


And this is exactly how I felt.  All within two hours, I went from happy to anxious to depressed.  There was no warning, no thought, no memory, and no feeling to prompt the mood changes.  They just happened.  

Stick with me.  I’m getting to my point.

How I Dealt With Depression Today

But this morning, when I was feeling so depressed that I didn’t want to leave home, I made myself get up, brush my teeth, and get dressed.  If putting a hat on to hide the tangled mess that is my hair, then I guess I can claim I styled my hair beautifully.  The results were my mood did improve for a while.

What I’m Getting To Is This:

I was wondering to myself today about why I’m depressed and what made me feel better earlier.  Sometimes when we’re depressed we don’t ever know the reason, and we’re simply depressed.  However, I was thinking to myself today that I have not been practicing self-care lately, and I wondered if that might be a causal factor as to my low mood.  

I guess I view it this way: which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Did my depression begin because I hadn’t been taking care of myself, or was I not taking care of myself because I’m already depressed?

To be honest, I think not taking care of myself definitely contributed to my depression.  

Here’s Why I Might Be Depressed:

For example, at the time of writing this post, I have not showered in four days.  I know what you’re going to say.  Four days????   But that is disgusting, you think silently in your head.  True.  That even sounds disgusting to me, but I HATE showering or bathing because I do NOT want to see my body.  I hate my weight, and all I see are flaws, so for me to shower means I have to see my body, which is anathema.  I’ve even resorted to turning the lights off and showering in the dark, but even that doesn’t help me cope.  Soooo,  I haven’t showered in four days.  In contrast, I think if I had been taking care of myself and showering before today, I would not be so inclined to feelings of depression today.

In addition, I haven’t been doing other things that make me happy, like walking my dog, reading a book, cooking, wearing makeup, giving myself facials, or doing my nails, mostly because I’ve been lazy.  This lack of self-care makes me think it has had a negative impact on my mental health and has contributed to today’s depression.  

Finally!  To The Point I’m Trying To Make!  

Often times people use self-care AFTER their mental health has already suffered, and they are trying to make themselves feel better; However,  what I’ve discovered is that if I was ALREADY using self-care, I might not have ended up depressed today.  If I had been showering, putting on makeup, styling my hair, and wearing something other than pajamas or lounge wear, it’s possible I might not have become depressed.  

So from now on, I will use self-care as a PREVENTATIVE measure.  I will use it BEFORE I NEED IT so my mental health won’t decline into depression and then I’m working from behind and trying make myself feel well again.  

I’d love to hear from you?

Do you practice self-care?

If so, what type of things do you do for yourself?

Can you tell if it has an impact on your mood?