Bras & Depression

No, this isn’t another rant on the difficulties in finding a bra, or a tirade on how bras are made; this is something else…

I went over to a friend’s house earlier today. She’s been sick nearly a week and, as I’ve been pretty worried about her, I thought I should stop in and see her. (Don’t worry, I called first!)

She looked like hell — and yes I told her so — but after awhile it became apparent that she wasn’t really so sick as much as she was depressed.

Immediately I asked, “When’s the last time you wore your bra?”

“Heck, I don’t know; I don’t wear one when I’m ‘home sick’. It’s more comfortable without one.”

“Yes, I know, but seriously dear, you don’t seem that sick to me — you seem more depressed than anything,” I said — knowing full well that she’d be resistant. (No one likes to be told they are fine when they don’t feel fine.) “I know how great it can feel to remove your bra — always feels great for we bigger-busted girls to ‘release the hounds’. It takes the pressure of the shoulders etc. But the key there is to release them, which means they need to have been bound somehow first. Just not wearing a bra doesn’t provide the same relief…”

Now at least she was listening without that ‘are you trying to pick a fight with me?’ face.

“See, it’s kind of like sex… Being naked isn’t the same thrill as undressing or being undressed, right?” She nodded. “So, it’s the same with bras. The thrill is to take them off, not just not wearing them. Taking the bra off signals to ourselves that we are ‘done’ with the day — or at least that part of the day; now we can relax and literally let it all hang out. In fact, it’s pretty clear to me that when we put on a bra we signal ourselves too. When we put the bra on & get dressed we are preparing ourselves for our days. And for big chested women (the only kind I’ve ever been), having The Girls harnessed means they are out of the way while I clean and go about my day. Braless isn’t just a ‘mess’ in terms of ‘sloppy’ looking or interference with work, but it tells me on I’m ‘on duty’. ‘No bra’ equals ‘no duty’ — and when we have no duty or mission we feel impotent in our lives.”

I paused a minute to let her think about it before I continued.

“So not wearing a bra for days is sort of like telling yourself that you aren’t important, that you don’t matter… Why get up at all? Why get dressed? Why leave the couch?”

My friend began to agree. “You know, you may be onto something here… I am tired, and I don’t feel well, but I haven’t had a temperature in two days. But I just can’t seem to stop being horizontal. And if the old rule that you can’t be bored while sick — really sick people fall asleep instead of worrying about boredom — then, I am definitely not sick. TV sucks.”

I laughed and then asked, “So when’s the last time you put on a bra?”

“Days ago… almost a week.”

“Well, go put a bra on and come back down here and see how you feel,” I said.

She went upstairs, put on a bra beneath her sweatshirt, and when she came back downstairs it was pretty obvious that more than her breasts were lifted. “Oh. My. God. I feel so much better!” she said.

“See?” I laughed.

“OK, you win,” she laughed back. “Now hurry up and finish your pop because I’ve got some serious cleaning to do!”


Could my visit just have helped? Sure. But I still think it’s more than that.

Wearing a bra is a lot like taking a shower — it just makes you feel better. If you consider that dressing, which includes putting on a bra (at least for those of us so well-endowed), is part of how we prepare for our days, it only makes sense that we’d feel less prepared without wearing a bra. And if we feel less prepared, less able to cope, we likely won’t function very well… Which only makes us feel worse about ourselves, and I’m sure you see the cycle here.

How do I know all of this? I certainly never ran any study, but I am a keen observer. Plus, there’s personal experience, baby; I’ll admit I’ve had my issues with depression and putting the bra back on is always that first step.

As a woman with big breasts it is soooooo tempting to take the bra off. Even the best-fitting bras begin to aggravate… An underwire here, the weight of straps pinching the shoulders…

All of this is said to point out that I know and enjoy the deliciousness of removing my bra — even for non-sexual reasons. *wink*

But ladies, I urge you to make the removal of your bra an after-your-day-is-done delight, and to make those swingin’ free days literally a day off — just one day.

Anything more than that and you’re just asking for the blues to come and stay.

Image credits: emiliebjork & buxomdream.

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