We all wonder if there’s any science behind identifying mental illness. I’m here to tell you that there is a science. But before mental illness comes developmental pathogenesis — the coming on of a mental illness, usually in the form of unhealthy fixations, unusual behaviors and emotional disturbances. This post is going to explain some ways in which looks may indicate developmental pathogenesis. 

Too busy to care for looks

Major excitement/importance often distracts from routine activities. For example, if you just got a job offer, then you may spend the whole day researching the company, while making do with junk food to hold down hunger. Similarly, if you keep a dangerous secret, you may spend all your time avoiding people while ignoring other needs, looks included. 

When something big is on our minds, we often ignore work-life balance and work ourselves up to the point of feeling:

  1. Extremely stressed (because we’re overworked). 
  2. Cranky and in a bad mood (due to brain fatigue, lack of sleep and lack of nutrition).
  3. Emotionally sensitive (because others judge us for being impatient, obsessed and self-centered). 
  4. Isolated (because we feel burdened by social expectations). 
  5. Depressed (because we don’t give our life some flavor/variety). 
  6. Weak (for taking quick-fix substances to tune out our thoughts. Substances such as alcohol and drugs)

This sort of obsession usually indicates a desperate thirst for a new reality. That new reality could be an escape from the current reality. It could be a deep unhappiness with yourself in some respect. It could be a chance for some freedom and adventure. So on and so forth. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure. The person concerned is not happy with their current reality. 

It really is amazing that something as simple as unmanaged hair or a statement like “I don’t have time for looks” could tell you all of the above, and thus plan for correction (with help from a professional, if need be) before it is too late. 

Too depressed to care for looks

Disregard for looks is often due to depression. Depending on the degree of depression, the responses to “why don’t you comb your hair?” may vary. 

A mildly depressed person might try to cover it up by saying something like “Guess I’m just not that looks-conscious” or “There are more important things than looks” — which, by the way, is a good indication that something significant is bothering them.

A moderately depressed person might say “I don’t know.” Something short and vague to end the conversation. Or, they may say nothing and just shrug. A severely depressed person would be completely unresponsive, barely making eye contact, and looking lost in another world. 

Too afraid to think about looks

This could be a case of trauma. For example, when one is violently shocked, abused, threatened or violated. It could also be a case of psychosis (imagining things that aren’t there/real and thus freaking out).  


As you can see, a situation in which someone ignores their looks can have some pretty troubling implications. Therefore, it’s worth investigating to ensure it won’t lead to damaged mental health, further down the road.