A behavioral connection between depression and acne

In a previous post today, I surmised that there could be a chemical connection between acne and depression. Another possible connection is behavior.

If depressed people participate in behaviors that cause acne, then the connection between depression and acne could simply be that depressed people behave in ways that cause acne outbreaks. We tend to think of the cause and effect as pointing the other way. Acne causes low self esteem, which causes depression. What if the cause and effect link works the opposite way though? From this perspective depression causes acne.

How could that be?

This actually makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it. People with severe depression often have difficulty motivating themselves to perform daily tasks. If you have ever known someone with serious long term depression, then you have probably witnessed the way that their physical appearance changes with their mood. If you have severe depression, then you are not very likely to care much about washing your face regularly, especially when you need to use specially formulated acne washes. That not only means washing twice a day, but also buying a specific product rather than using what’s already around the house.

That’s not likely to happen.

It is also very possible that, like so many things, the problem’s origin becomes clouded by what  is commonly referred to these days as “a vicious circle.” From this perspective, we don’t know whether acne or depression created the problem. What we do know, however, is  that both of them make the situation worse. In other words, the depression makes it difficult for the person to wash properly, which leads to acne, which causes depression, which makes it difficult for the person to wash regularly, which leads to acne…



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