Sunday, July 14, 2024

Why Is It Hard To Shower When Depressed

What To Do When Mental Illness Is Affecting Your Relationship With Hygiene

Why Its Hard To Shower (Mental Health)

Most people feel a little too lazy to shower once in a while. Most of us sometimes feel a little gross and decide to wash ourselves more vigorously than usual. So, how do you know its bad enough for you to need help?

In general, you should get help if an issue is making it hard for you to function. If you struggle to practice hygiene even when you know you should, or if you feel that you wash yourself excessively, you may need help.

Therapy is a great place to start. You might feel ashamed, as I did, to tell your therapist that you struggle to practice good hygiene. Please remember that this is a fairly common symptom of mental illness, and your therapist has probably helped people in your shoes before and theyre there to help you, not judge you for your mental state.

As for washing excessively, Manly says that the root of the anxiety must be addressed in order to address the issue. This also often requires therapy.

To reduce the level of washing in conjunction with therapy, the individual can also strive to reduce anxiety by learning to use calming breathing techniques, short meditations, and positive mantras, Manly says. Tools such as these can be used to calm the mind and body as they encourage self-soothing and self-control.

No matter which self-care tools help you, its important to remind yourself that moralizing hygiene helps nobody.

Signs Of Walking Depression

I once read that succumbing to depression doesnt mean you are weak, but that you have been trying to be strong for too long, which is maybe a form of denial. So much of life happens somewhere in between being okay and complete breakdownthats where many of us live, and doing so requires strength. ~ novelist Matthew Quick

Walking depression can be hard to recognize because it doesnt fit the more common picture of severe depression. But it can be just as dangerous to our well-being when left unacknowledged.

This list isnt meant to be exhaustive or to diagnose anyone. But these are some of the signs Ive observed in myself and those Ive coached:

Nothing is fun. You root around for something to look forward to and come up empty.

You cant find flow. Working on your creative projects feels like a grind, but you keep plodding away. There is research that shows that neuroticism is associated with lower rates of flow.

Your energy is low. Maybe youre not getting enough rest because youre too anxious to sleep, or youre trying to cram too many tasks into a day, or youre punishing yourself by staying up. Whatever the reason, you are effin tired.

You feel worse in the morning and better at night. I remember explaining this to a friend, who found it mystifying. In the morning I felt the crushing weight of all the things I had to do that day. In the evening I was temporarily free from expectations and could enjoy a moments respite.

Other Conditions Or Medications

Several other conditions and medications can cause a low mood, along with physical symptoms that could seem similar to those of depression. Some examples include:

Don’t Miss: Can You Overcome Depression Without Medication

Not Cleaning Your Home For Months At A Time

Much like the daunting task of taking a shower vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning can seem right out of the question. Apathy is a common feeling with depression. Some depressed people may not even feel worthy of a clean living environment.

Apathy can numb our senses and erase rotten smells, because we think we belong with the trash. Or we think we can do it later, because we figure the depressive episode might pass. Depression takes up so much of our energy emotional and physical that we have to choose how we use it and sometimes that leaves cleaning at the bottom of the priority list.

Find The Small Things That Save You

Why is it so hard to heal from depression?

“These small things saved me when nothing else could,” wrote Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel.

He was referring to how he learned to live with thrift and self-forgiveness.

In hospital I thought of this line often. I knew about the big things taking medication, seeing the doctors. So, what were my small things?

I now know them to be a cup of something warm, something beautiful to read, and sitting on the floor .

Also Check: Suboxone For Anxiety And Depression

Simplifying A Complicated Disease

I sort of hate thinking that mental illness is a disease. When I think of the word disease I think about physical ailments. Go ahead and call me out on this one, but it’s what comes to mind and I cannot tell you otherwise. But mental illness is a disease. It is a disease that hurts, flips lives upside down, and recovery is difficult. Describing why it is so hard is equally difficult! This is why I will simplify it into five areas—for my benefit and for yours.

> The Diagnosis. When you think of defining moments in your life does the first time you were told you have a mental illness come to mind? If so, we reside in the same camp. When we are first diagnosed we are frightened. Recovery may seem impossible. This is difficult, to say the very least, and makes us wonder if a life full of promise exists.

> Medication. Ah, yes, the infamous bounty of psychiatric medications we suddenly need to try out. And it’s not like trying on a new pair of jeans we cannot slip them off so quickly. We need to wait months to see if they work. If they fit. Difficult? Yes, it certainly is.

> Educating Ourselves On Our Illness. This is often boring and difficult. When you are finding it hard to get through the day, when you are suddenly told you need to learn about your illness to recover from it, life gets pretty damn difficult!

Suddenly, your life seems even more difficult. You have to make changes–changing your lifestyle is hard–and changing it so drastically is harder still.

Living With Someone With Depression

Living with someone with depression can be incredibly draining. Some of the symptoms of depression, including feelings of intense sadness and hopelessness, dont just affect the person with the mental health condition they can also impact the people that they are closest to.

Thats why, when youre living with someone with depression, its so important to be aware of how you can help the person and yourself. In this blog, we look at what you can do, and provide information on the expert depression treatment we can deliver at Priory.

Read Also: What To Do When You Think You Are Depressed

Why Is Showering So Difficult

When Im depressed I cant make myself shower. Why is this? Why does making myself clean seem to repulse me, and like the biggest effort?Ugh I feel gross.

This is something I cannot figure out. But I think the question, ” do you have problems with showering?” should be part of the SZ diagnostic process. So my SZ/a folks have such a hard time showering.

Its negative symptoms. We get robbed of chemicals which make us normally do those sorts of things.

Its time to shower myself actually, and I hate it!!! It is a chore. but the cleanliness and then the nice teeth with brushing and flossing is enjoyable. I keep my face shaved and hair buzzed short to minimize bathroom time.

I have been thinking about showering, all day. Cant seem to do it, though. My hair is so greasy and needs to be washed, its been so long.Its awful and I feel gross embarrassed talking about it.

Going back a bit in time, I had to flip things over to stay alive. If my mind said stop, then that meant go. If my mind said I just cant do it, then I did it. Granted this flip approach does have a limited life span, but it kept me alive during the toughest of times.

The other secret was that if I did not want to do something, then I said to myself OK I wont do it. This made me feel a bit better, and just enough better that moments later I was able to do what I did not want to do.

Granted, these only worked for me when I was hanging on for dear life.

Anyhow, maybe you too could play tricks with yourself.

What To Do What To Do

If you can’t get out of bed because of depression, watch this.

Ive posted another entry about how creatives heal from walking depression, and here are the highlights:

  • Rest.
  • Develop a meaning practice.
  • Change your life.

These steps are simple to say, not easy to do, so make sure you get as much support as you can.

Important: If you are in dire straits, please contact your doctor or visit the International Suicide Prevention Wiki to find a hotline near you.

Read Also: How Do I Support Someone With Depression

Learn The Symptoms Of Depression

If you think youre living with someone with depression, take the time to learn as much as you can about the condition, including the symptoms of depression to look out for. Some of the most common symptoms of depression include:

  • Intense feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that they once enjoyed
  • Anger, irritability and frustration, and taking these feelings out on people who are closest to them

Managing Depression With Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes including getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting plugged back into life also make a difference, especially when paired with medication and therapy.

Making these changes may be easier said than done if you are depressed, but itâs possible, says John L. Beyer, MD. He is an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center and director of the Duke Mood and Anxiety Disorder Clinic in Durham, N.C. âAct as if you are not depressed in anticipation of feeling much better,â he says.

âMake a schedule for when you should shower, eat, exercise, go to sleep, and wake up, and stick to it.â The rest will follow. âAfter a while, it becomes much less difficult and things will begin to become enjoyable,â he says.

These healthful habits can also help prevent recurrences of depression. For people who are prone to depression, life stressors can propel them back to that dark place.

âWe canât change genetics, but we can change our environment to protect against relapses,â he says. The best way to do this is to bolster your personal resilience factor. âDifficult things can occur, but part of being well and being human is to develop social ties and networks,â he says.

Donât let yourself become isolated. âThis will build resilience that prevents depression from getting a grip on you in the future.â

Show Sources

You May Like: Things To Do To Get Over Depression

Why Is It Hard To Admit That You Have Walking Depression

You may recognize many of these signs in your life but still be slow to admit that you are depressed. Why is that?

Because it feels presumptuous to put yourself in that category when youre still getting by. You feel like it would be insulting to those who are much worse off than you. You may feel like you have no real reason to be depressed.

Because your pride and your identity take a hit. You have to admit vulnerability and allow that you are not the all-conquering superhero you thought you were.

Because you realize that you and your life need to change, which feels like more work piled on your plate.

Because you are admitting your own responsibility for your unhappiness and that can trigger self-judgment.

Because you might uncover grief or anger at those around you for not seeing and taking better care of you.

Temperature Sensitivity In Fibromyalgia

Why Is It So Hard To Practice Self

Have you noticed that you feel worse after a really hot shower, compared to one that is lukewarm? I have. Often I go lie on the bed afterwards because my body is jello and Im exhausted. People with Fibromyalgia are very sensitive to temperatures. The exact reason for this is not known, but its theorized that the autonomic nervous system that works to keep your bodys temperature in range does not work correctly.

Additionally, though I have no scientific reason for this, a hot shower makes me sweaty. I assume it raises my body temperature and my body doesnt regulate that very well, but sweating when you get out of the shower is not a fun thing.

You May Like: Natural Remedies Depression And Memory Loss

Why Is Recovering From Mental Illness So Difficult

Let me preface this post by telling you that when you live with a mental illness you know why it’s so hard. It can feel impossible. But have you ever sat down and really thought about it? Thinking about things, writing them down, can allow us to make sense of something that is often complicated and hard to understand.

Why Is It So Hard To Brush My Teeth Or Shower

Although I have a number of mental illnesses, I havent had much of a problem with showering. But one week many years ago, when I was feeling particularly depressed, I struggled to brush my teeth. I must have brushed my teeth only twice that week.

I know what youre thinking gross. Yup, I thought that too.

Yet I couldnt bring myself to brush my teeth. I could wash my body, I could get dressed, I could even leave my house but the thought of brushing my teeth was repulsive to me. And whats worse is that I couldnt bring myself to tell my therapist, because I felt so ashamed and disgusting.

A lot of people struggle to do basic hygiene tasks when depressed. This can include showering, washing their hands, brushing their teeth, doing laundry, or brushing their hair.

They report not having enough energy to do simple self-care tasks, such as brushing their teeth or washing their hair, says Melissa A. Jones, PhD, HSPP, a clinical psychologist based in Indiana. Many of them do not take care of their personal hygiene needs unless they are reminded by a family member to do so.

But why is this? Why does depression make it so hard to shower? Manly says that major depression is often characterized by diminished interest in activities, as well as fatigue. In other words, you probably have little motivation or energy to maintain hygiene while depressed.

You May Like: Best Anxiety And Depression Podcasts

Plan For Days Like This

Bad days happen. If you know that mornings can be a struggle, make a plan for those rough days when youre feeling better. That might look like keeping a special cereal in the pantry, saving a favorite shirt to wear on a down day, or buying a new shampoo that smells irresistibly good.

Always have something youre excited about and looking forward to, which will help push you through those times you cant get moving, says Saranga.

Your Teen Has Better Things To Do

How To Tell If You’re Depressed

Many teens would rather spend their spare time playing video games or chatting with their friends, rather than worrying about hygiene issues. Taking a shower can feel like it gets in the way of all the other things they actually want to do.

Teens are also excellent procrastinators. So a teen may insist they are going to shower after school. But then, after school, they might say theyll shower after dinner. But as bedtime approaches, they may say theyll shower in the morning.

If your teens refusal to shower seems to stem from laziness, you may need to treat the issue just like any other responsibility. Set limits and provide consequences.

Also Check: Why Do I Feel So Depressed In The Morning

Not Bothering To Keep Up Good Hygiene

Good hygiene is supposed to be a given. Shower every day or close to it. Brush your teeth, do your hair, and take care of your body. But when depression comes around, those affected might stop showering for weeks even, if the episode lasts that long. It sounds gross but thats what depression does. It can make someone too sick to shower.

Sometimes the pounding water is physically painful. Sometimes getting naked hurts. The idea of a shower can bring on feelings of worthlessness. You may not even feel like youre worthy of being clean. The same goes for other tasks like brushing your teeth or washing your face.

Depression may simply turn acts of self-care into draining activities we simply dont have the energy to do.

People Urging Them To Do

The more people push them to shower and take care of themselves the more closed off from the idea they can become. They feel like their struggles are not being understood and it causes them to withdraw more and more. While you might not realize it, the way you react to this kind of thing can end up making it much worse.

Don’t Miss: Mixing Depressants With Alcohol Can Cause

Tips For Managing Everyday Tasks

If depression is affecting your daily life and causing you to neglect your personal hygiene, household duties, and professional responsibilities, don’t despair. It’s possible to create your own personalized plan to make positive changes in your life.

Remember that there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to managing difficult tasks with depression. It’s important to have patience with yourself and not compare your progress to others.

Make changes you know you can handle, and don’t try to change too many things all at once. Start with the little things and notice how you feel when you do something positive, however small or significant, to take care of your well-being. Try these tips to manage difficult tasks as you get started on your journey.

Popular Articles
Related news