I stumbled into an explanation of how much I despise the sensation of the water striking my bare skin. And now I have more understanding. This was one of the few people in my life who understood my illness, who'd read everything I'd written on the subject, and knew my number one rule for when I'm depressed. One is the loss of interest in yourself will definitely include your personal hygiene and it’s the “easiest” thing to let go of first. What you’re describing sounds like a classical sign of depression. Because honestly, if you really feel that way, they deserve better friends than you. Right now, there are millions upon millions of bacteria crawling all over your … Brain stimulation therapies: When medications and other approaches are not effective, some people with depression consider electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or other, more recent types of brain stimulation like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Are you treating us all? In the past, I've run into problems with the "imminence" of the risk preventing psychiatric commitment. To his credit he asked, "Why?" Or start to smell. That made me laugh and think, “Wow! The story said that we only need to shower once a week and that more than that and we are wasting water and washing off essential oils that are good for us. Flannels, baby wipes too, whatever I had. He's an integral part of my support system, and I couldn't risk his abandoning me, which has happened before when he's gotten mad. But... (Yes, I must complain some more. I know I'm not alone in this because I've googled "hating the shower" and there's a whole community that identifies with this phenomenon. The last thing I needed was hundreds of options. Privacy "You could if you had the right kind of spray," he said, beginning to sound annoyed. … There wasn’t one particular day when I stopped showering. A new theory aims to make sense of it all. Why are u even on here? It's the forward movement that's required, I can't bring myself to face it.". Just let me talk about my pain. The shower was always filthy compared to the bath and I never wanted to get into it. Oh, Terri! It's as if I don't care about my hygiene, which I don't. I doubt the same could’ve been said ten years ago when my ex was pushing for kids, but I would never have done into this whole motherhood lark if I didn’t think I could do that. More so I think, but I find it hard to accept care from other people but I need it more from them because it’s easier to get them to help me than it is to convince myself I should be helped or cared for. Absolutely! I mean, think about it. It just started to get longer and longer between showers. Oddly some of the most healing and energising conversations I've experienced with friends have been when we've been able to laugh together at the sheer absurdity of the condition, but I guess that's kind of rare. I can hear when I'm doing it, but that never seems to stop me. What if I can't complete it? 2021 Mighty Proud Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. One thing I do is to choose a body wash with a scent that I really like. The number one symptom of depression for me is my inability to get in the shower. Depression is hard on self-care and I've been there. Sometimes the person we think can provide support cannot. All I want is to be heard. Those with this symptom often neglect basic self care by not showering, wearing deodorant or brushing their hair. Nor could I imagine myself expending the energy necessary to scroll down an endless screen when I could barely move. You are the great voice for how I feel and act and think, and I'm on great meds LOL! childhood days of not showering, washing more than my face and definitely not doing my hair was more born out of neglect rather than the depression that the five-year stint was born Jones adds that the physical symptoms of depression, such as physical pain, can also cause people to avoid showering. Thank you for spreading the word. But taking a shower won’t be the only problem they’ll struggle with—depression could also lead to academic and social problems too. people who can't get in the shower do totally need fixing. A day or so, a week at most. Plus I was happier being out of a toxic relationship and I was in therapy. Not showering, is it a sign of depression? When I stayed with my dad over the holidays, I wouldn’t wash. Not out of some sense of teenage rebellion — this started younger than that and was exacerbated when my grandparents got rid of the bathtub in favor of a shower stall. For example, teens with serious depression may lack the interest and energy to shower. Did it solve anything? The house was easy to neglect. But what happens when the person who is not caring for themselves is not getting any better? "You could if you had the proper shower head," he insisted, and I sighed and gave up. The power we have is in listening--that's how we really provide comfort. The number one symptom of depression for me is my inability to get in the shower. And, no, extra deodorant and perfume don't count. And my hair is very short right now and I’m using some product in it too. Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. The second reason is that I don’t always feel like I deserve to be looked after. I needed a lot of therapy and what helps now is a bit of prodding from my wife, less hair to wash and routine. Heck, how about once a month? "You need to get a new shower head," he said. I don't know why this works so well, I only know that it does. No one at home ever really told us to wash, or bathe or even brush our teeth. These are little things that can make a big difference. I’m not sure when I started showering again. I stopped leaving the house and didn’t go out for six months. People are fighting for there lives every day, and if today is the day you made it to the shower, well done! "One that feels like a gentle rainfall. Work with it, work around it, work with them. The panic attacks feel like I'm dying and the shame I feel is even worse. The only time we were clean in six weeks was when we went swimming or stayed at an aunt’s house. It’s true though, in five years I didn’t get into the shower once. When talking about the condition to others I generally start with first principles, e.g. "It's me, I can't go through the ordeal.". Are We Having a National Nervous Breakdown? It dries out your skin. Just go on Amazon and look around. If what he provides doesn't feel like support, then assessing whether telling him in the first place may help. Friends tend to push a little harder than your shower will. My sister started cleaning my flat which meant I could spend time with my new niece too. Terri. Those suffering from depressive disorder my experience a loss of emotions. - a shower?) Occasionally, a refusal to shower could be linked to certain types of mental health problems. The World Health Organization reports that over 350 million people around the world suffer from anxiety, depression, or other emotional disorder.These numbers around grim ‒ and affect the quality of life not only for the patient but his or her family as well. "You're being your own worst enemy," he said. It’s only been a couple of weeks but it seems to be a good routine for me. I didn’t have any friends who were offline, I had an awful diet that was all frozen meals and junk food. Last May, things got really bad. She's the real deal. It’s partly why we never had kids even though he wanted them badly — if we couldn’t look after ourselves and our house or how could we look after a kid? Depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems are serious and widespread. Everyone has to do this in all their relationships - being able to figure out what your friends can provide, and, maybe more importantly, what they cannot. My 19 year old daughter has depression and has developed "shower avoidance." She was crying every day, and had trouble doing routine tasks such as showering. It was cleaner, certainly, that helped. I mean, I am good for the environment. Why even read the article? If you don't feel like listening to your friend who's depressed this is what you do: when they tell you they are having trouble getting up and getting into the shower, you say something like "Oh, okay. Don’t abandon your friends and family when they start to isolate themselves when they start to neglect themselves. Depression is a serious, debilitating mental illness that impacts millions of Americans each year. If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. If you can't take a shower you totally need fixing I don't see why we who are not depressed and working should have to listen to our friends who are depressed and not working. I'm bi polar 2 also and when I'm in mania I shower every day but this depression has lasted for years and I can count on one hand the showers I've had in the last eight years. I lie in bed contemplating that simple movement of twisting the knob, but nothing, and I mean nothing, can incentivize me to actually do it. I'm fine for her to make good and bad choices in life--we all do! The only time we were clean in six weeks was when we went swimming or stayed at an aunt’s house. So we didn’t. For example, a doctor can help determine if depression is a factor and whether antidepressants may lift their spirits and give them more energy, thereby helping to resolve the self-care issue. And then five years had gone by. I'm praying for a bright, hypomanic forecast with willing arms full of shampoo.*. “It was kind of strange for the first few months, but after that I stopped missing it,” he says. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. When I am depressed I wear the same clothes day after day. things were looking up and I was showering. Jan Scerbo has suffered from depression her whole life. I don’t shower for the week, I don’t brush my teeth, I brush my hair and put it in a ponytail without washing it or bothering with it in any other way. "Now you're just being stubborn," he said. You should start being concerned if you can say yes to three or more of these; 1. One of the most important things to consider about kids who have poor hygiene is that refusal to shower, bathe, or brush their teeth can sometimes be a symptom of depression, bipolar disorder, trauma, or another mental health issue. That manifests itself pretty quickly in terms of my personal hygiene. you won't have to hear your depressed friend say things that annoy you. It would be ironic if... Once I'm in there I'm okay, but it takes a gargantuan effort on my part just to turn on the faucet. Feed yourself well. We want to hear your story. Easter and Christmas breaks were always pushing it a bit. The summer holidays were a nightmare. It's a sad thing to not have the energy or motivation to even take good care of yourself. It’s how I managed to fool my ex who I was living with at the time. They don’t give up on you when you give up on yourself, pushing to come over and spend time with you even as you start to drift away. When I moved I think — out of my ex’s and into the house where I was a lodger for just over a year or so. Diet Self Talk: Can You Really Talk Yourself Thin? Depression is more than just a low, blue feeling. Not by itself. A quick shower with a mild soap and warm, not hot, water isn’t going to hurt most people’s skin–except perhaps for those with skin conditions, who should do what the doctor prescribes. For the past few months, ever since I started getting extremely depressed, I don't wanna take a shower. "Just go look for the right shower head, and they'll deliver it straight to your door. Don't cheer me up or attempt to talk me out of it. "You won't even try." Germs Can Take Over. "Okay, I'll go look on Amazon and see what they have," I said, knowing that I'd never get within 50 feet of my computer that day. If you want to be really safe, don't call back! I told him I was having trouble getting up and getting into the shower. Someone in the midst of severe depression will often not bathe or shower. People who reach this level of depression can go weeks at a time without bathing or showering. How Mary Tyler Moore Made My Life Better: Women in TV, Not Getting Your Concerns Heard? You don't have to do anything but help yourself.". I am depressed, can’t stop thinking, my mind is racing, I tried everything that I know how to try to get him to shower, but he will not. Learn what helps them, what they need. "Yes, but I'm too depressed to use the computer," I said. and then we’d go back home our mums. © I never thought about it that way before either. What helped me will not help everyone. OK, so you are right that you don't need people telling you what to do or not to do, just to listen. This post hit the nail on the head. Once a week? Easter and Christmas breaks were always pushing it a bit. I feel like this may be one of the symptoms of my extreme depression and I … I did my best to explain this. I also realize how irritating depressed people can sometimes be, with this inevitable "yes, but" attitude. Filthy, vitamin deficient and covered in eczema. My ex worked 9 to 5 but never seemed inclined to tidy up any more than I was. When I lived in Leicester in the house with the bathroom by the kitchen and the old backdoor, my depression had already settled deep into my soul. Now, however, it passes more quickly than it ever did. It’s easy enough to live on a diet of fast or frozen food and delivery, but it’s not … A daily shower is invigorating, will make you feel better, and those around you will appreciate it! We are all "friends in spots", and knowing the capabilities and limitations of our friends is absolutely crucial. Push and pull back. After all, it's cozy in there, and I scrub my hair forever, and... get... stuck... and... my arms don't want to move. She didn't say that she wasn't going to do anything for herself forever. And rather unfortunately, the people who contact me do so to tell me how depressed they are, and to weep about how old they are now, or how tired they have become. The rule is just this: Don't try to make it all better. Guilt is a perfectly normal feeling. Exactly what was the purpose of your comment? I washed. Feeling guilty all the time. You need to eat but you don’t need to wash; not if you’re just spending your days in a state of darkness curled up in your bed. Guys came round with a battering ram to make sure they could install a pre-pay meter. And yes, this includes food. "I would try, but I'm too depressed," I said. Now, this isn’t something I talk about often. I could hear the disgust and anger mounting in his voice, which frightened me. Then, I feel guilty for letting the water run for too long while washing said horse hair... but, if I turn it off for a bit, I feel cold! I've been driving myself crazy wondering why... And your article was so helpful. Other basic hygiene tasks that can be a challenge when you're depressed can include: Brushing … Filthy, vitamin deficient and covered in eczema in my sister’s case. Isn't this post about the impossibility of washing yourself?!) A friend sent me a link to this. Become a Mighty contributor here. Sometimes we have to assess what our friends, family, etc. can provide, and adjust accordingly. Who really wants to admit they managed to go without showering for that long. Thanks for reminding us that we don't need to solve the problems of a loved one who is in distress. I wanted to lie in bed and moan about how I couldn't get in the shower. I love Red Lobster! And I washed my hair at least once a week over the bath with the shower head. As previously mentioned, sometimes even the act of showering can seem overwhelming to someone with depression. You're right. He might not be the right person for the right job. Where can we find help to offer, or to impose on even, to get a person out of their mental anguish and self loathing? This was fine for a while. describing the foggy head, the apparent increase in the Earth's gravity and the way life's 'difficulty setting' gets cranked up 1000x. We put the hot water on for definite twice a week so I can bathe my son. I did not realize how friendly I am being to the environment by being overwhelmingly depressed. “Depressed individuals will … It’s not just the fault of advertising, but also because most of us know from personal experience that if we go a few days without showering, even one day, we become oily, smelly beasts. Not once. Apparently we should only shower once a week. Gotta go now!" Never really thought about it before... Yeah, people will solutionise. He knows about my bipolar depression and is pretty well educated about its symptoms and triggers. Actually, it is ironic. Once I'm in there I'm okay, but it takes a gargantuan effort on my part just to turn on the faucet. You need to pay your bills to keep the lights on and keep the roof over your head but you don’t need to use the water you’re paying for to wash, just to drink. They may develop a strong body odor and seemingly be unaware of their state. *Here's hoping I say yes to a bath (or - gasp! I have had no motivation or energy to do daily self-care activities for a month or more. This way I can look forward to showering because I get to enjoy a pleasant aromatic experience. D avid Whitlock has not showered or bathed for 15 years, yet he does not have body odour. I thought, “ With bipolar depression, I am way ahead of this trend.” Think of what I am saving—shampoo and soap not going down the sewers. Depression has a sneaky way of creeping into all aspects of your life, and making you not care about any of them. I stay in there way too long! Terms, There is a history of this behavior in my life, but those childhood days of not showering, washing more than my face and definitely not doing my hair was more born out of neglect rather than the depression, This was fine for a while. Hey, that's right. No one at home ever really told us to wash, or bathe or even brush our teeth. On a bad day I can't do anything. I realize deep down that it's his frustration at not being able to cure my depression that really bothers him, but that knowledge came later and didn't help me in the moment. It just can't. Terri Cheney is the author of Manic: A Memoir and The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar. | Once I didn’t shower or bathe for five years. If a depressed person is eating minimally and drinking minimally, and steadily and slowly losing weight, moving slowly, and not showering, is that enough to commit them? Hmmm, maybe tomorrow? So while the water is on, I have a shower too. Yet another phony article. However, whenever the depression sets in, my personal hygiene is the first to go. So we didn’t. Oops! When I’m depressed though, I don’t look after myself. There are a couple of things behind why personal hygiene is first to go. I was working — long hours and sleeping the rest. Part of the difficulty is with our roles as she is a young adult...not a young teen any longer. Nailed it. Lifting the hairdryer is exhausting and extremely noisy for me. However, it turns out that showering every day isn't such a good thing for skin and hair. Can't have a shower. One drink after a long day might take the edge off, but if you find … But I have to get up and dressed anyway, 'though, and I try not to have to leave the house. Let your hair air dry if it’s not too cold. She only talked about one conversation she had with someone about her difficulties with motivation in the article. Those things will fall away too. That my nerves are too sensitive to take that onslaught. As long as you don't ask "Why?" A complete lack of interest in activities that have been previously pleasurable is a major sign of depression. According to the National Sleep Foundation we … The morning shower can be a seemingly impassible Rubicon. I didn't want to help myself. I'm sensitive to cold!! and then we’d go back home our mums. Sign: You’re not keeping up with your tooth-brushing or showering, either. By oversleeping I mean needing more than 10 hours sleep a day. It sounds like a LOT of work! Isn't today "tomorrow" already? It appears you entered an invalid email. I was already struggling to maintain a decent level of hygiene. If you just want to be listened to see a therapist or counsellor they are being paid to hear annoying statements like " a shower is too much for me to cope with" and not get irritated we the depressed people's friends are not. “It's not about the stupid shower head or the way the water comes out," I said. Ideas to Minimize Overwhelming Depression and Complete Daily Tasks. The effort just isn’t worth it to them. If I take a bath, same water usage every time, and ah... warmth. If you do something you regret, guilt will … Even if I’m the one looking after myself. these are short bouts of depression. Not just myself but the house too. Try These 5 Tools. It was much, much worse before them. Hold on, I don't COMPLETELY smell like a fish... for baths instead. When I get depressed, taking a shower is one of the first things to go. Yes, "I can't go through the ordeal!" There's nothing phony about Terri. A renewed interest in life may make a senior more aware of needing (or wanting) to shower/bathe and wear clean clothes. I have not showered in a year and all I have to do is think of it like now and I start shaking. Thx! At least for me, there are. It's important to note that the inability to shower when you have depression is not necessarily the same as shower avoidance disorder, or ablutophobia, which is a type of specific phobia and anxiety disorder. Hell, I know people who won’t admit they went without showering for a day or two. Think of how much water, soap and energy I save. I've made up my mind that standing requires too much energy, as does washing my horse's mane of hair. The summer holidays were a nightmare. “But you don't understand. Your friend's abilities to listen is not unlimited. Hopefully, eventually, they will find their way back again. It made me feel cleaner and want to be cleaner in a way. I am the same way about attending college. And it is not just the showers. I shower twice a week right now, Thursdays and Sundays — something made easier the shorter my hair is. And I have found that even though I can’t look after myself, I still managed to look after my wife and son. I've gone through periods of no showering and even only sporadic teeth brushing. Wait... Did I say that yesterday? There is a history of this behavior in my life, but those childhood days of not showering, washing more than my face and definitely not doing my hair was more born out of neglect rather than the depression that the five-year stint was born of. It’s a self-esteem thing, a long-standing issue probably stemming from my childhood and the depression I’ve been suffering from I’ve been since I was around 16. I was struggling with it again when a good friend called me. This kind of behavior cannot go on forever. You drink more alcohol than usual. 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