Depression Chic

When illness brings on the ugly

Ashley Peterson
Jun 10 · 3 min read
Image by MonikaP from Pixabay

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, I actually cared what I looked like. I would dress up, wear high heels, put on makeup, all that crap. Depression, though, is not interested in any of that, and since depression’s been running the show for quite a while now I’ve decided I might as well just embrace warthog-itude.

Depression grooming & hygiene

If there’s a certain eau d’unwashed wafting around in my vicinity, that would be because depression has erected a massive barrier between me and my shower. Whether I have the energy or the inclination to haul myself over that barrier varies from day to day. Did you know that if your hair gets greasy enough it starts to hurt when it moves? Sometimes that’s my tipping point.

There’s a great deal of hair maintenance that’s expected of women these days. I inherited rather wild and woolly eyebrows from my mom, and when I’m depressed it’s goodbye plucking, bring on the massive brow extravaganza. Armpits go au naturel, of course. Who looks there, anyway? Legs I shave sometimes, mostly because I figure my massage therapist doesn’t want to hunt through a forest trying to find me.

Depression clothing

Depression and underwire do not belong in the same room together. Same with thong underwear. If I were to go ahead and Marie Kondo my underwear drawer, more than half of it would go in the trash. At least I recently got rid of the underwear that had more hole than fabric or little to no elastic properties left. I should pretend to be somewhat civilized, after all.

My medications have made me gain weight, so I’m hauling around my own little (well, not so little) psych med baby. My baby belly does not like to be constricted, so I am all about the elastic waist. I even have maternity leggings. I love them, and if Gap discontinues them I’m going to have to give up entirely and just wear mumus full time.

Depression accessories

One of my medications makes me clumsy. I’m talking wiping out in the middle of the street kind of classy. I can barely manage to keep myself upright wearing flats. That means the heels that I used to like wearing are shoved to the back of my closet.

Jewelry? Please. Marie Kondo the whole jewelry box into the trash.

Supposedly makeup has an expiry date, so I guess I should be getting rid of that too, because it’s been a while. I used to always wear eye makeup, but now that would just bring attention to my wild eyebrows.

Depression mouth

Depression mouth? Yup. A basic part of being a presentable human being is having clean teeth, right? Well, maybe that’s overrated. The same barrier that stands between me and the shower seems to have installed itself in front of my toothbrush. It’s so close to my sink, but caring is just so far away.

Judge away

Even by my own standards from when I was well, I look ridiculous. But you know what? I’m okay with that. I am a warthog and that’s just fine!

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk

Ashley Peterson

Written by

Mental health nurse, blogger, person living with depression, and stigma warrior. Author of Psych Meds Made Simple and creator of

The Haven

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk