Why Don’t We Want to Shower When We're Sick?

Monday, March 7 2011 Natasha Tracy

Self-care, like showering, is difficult for people with a mental illness. Why don't the mentally ill want to do something that feels good like showering?

I know this seems like an odd question, but I was considering it this morning (in my shower). It is a common problem for people with a mental illness. I have a tendency to avoid showering (really) and I know of others with a mental illness have gone weeks without showering.

So, if all we’re talking about is standing in some warm water, why don’t we want to shower?

I think there is a tetrad of reasons, experienced according to mood: fatigue, crazy, self-hatred and pain.

Too Tired to Shower

If you’ve been seriously ill, mentally or physically, you know energy is in short supply. Sometimes it takes the effort of a thousand men just to open your eyes and get out of bed in the morning. Every muscle flex, joint bend, or even a thought is overwhelmingly exhausting.

And if you only have enough energy to accomplish two small goals that day, you might pick eating and paying the power bill. Both of these things are more important than showering. (And of course, you might not be lucky enough to have even that much energy.)

Too Crazy to Shower

Then there’s the other end of the spectrum. Hypomania (mania) is the fastest time on planet earth. Nothing holds my attention long enough to do it and I’m vastly annoyed at how slowly everything moves. I end up finding myself watching TV while doing yoga and writing the first scene of a book in my head. And then I look at the clock. Five minutes have gone by, but in my brain they’ve felt like 60.

And due to my extreme inattention and annoyance at single-threaded slowness, a shower sounds like the most boring thing in the world. Ever. It wouldn’t even occur to me to bother with one.

 

Too Hateful to Shower

Those first two I think are obvious, but I think this one is more subconscious and insidious. I sometimes find I don’t want to shower because I hate my body -- my existence) and therefore don’t want to be naked - rather a requirement for taking a shower. It’s not a conscious lack of self-care, or purposeful denial of pleasure, or low self-esteem, or any other therapy-esque interpretation you’re likely to find. It’s just that me, my body, feels really grimy and I don’t want any further proof of its existence. I want to pretend it’s not there. It hurts less to pretend it, myself, doesn’t exist. (I suspect this is an aspect of dissociation. I'm a dissociator from way back.)

But Showers Feel Good

Ah, spoken like a normal person. No, they really don’t. I mean, sometimes they do, sure. Warm water, citrus bodywash, what’s not to like?

It’s complicated.

When I’m in pain I want to put up additional barriers between me and the world. Some subconscious part of me is thinking extra clothes and blankets over my head will save me from my brain. Being naked removes barriers. And I can’t have that.

And I’m not exactly sure how to explain it other than to say the water is painful. It feels like an attack. It feels like I’m in so much pain already that a breeze grazing my skin makes me want to cry.

And I’m really, really trying hard not to think about that pain. That’s the stuff of death. So the last thing I need is to have shards of water splitting through my skin. I don’t want to shower; I’m in enough pain already.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter or at the Bipolar Burble, her blog.

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleTwitterGoogle+ and Facebook.

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Why Don’t We Want to Shower When We're Sick?

Mandy
says:
March, 7 2011 at 9:00 am

I'm also a shower avoider when depressed, it's one of the first things that make me realise I'm on a downer again. I've never really thought about it, but I think for me it's the flatness, the lack of caring any more, I'm hating myself anyway so I can't be bothered to take care of myself. My teeth are rotten to the core as a result.

Carly
says:
March, 7 2011 at 9:08 am

I'm in the throws of a big depression. I have barely gotten out of bed in two weeks much LESS shower. I know it's ridiculous. But even doing the littlest things SUCK. My family is so un-supportive and my friends don't get it.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Tracy
says:
May, 27 2018 at 8:37 pm

I get it!! I'm going on 4 days, possibly a week! I honestly can't remember when I last showered. I know I've used the spray twice since then to soak up some of the oil. Right now I'm trying to get myself into a bath lol. I even have one those fizz ball thingys that I love, but I'm not sure that's enough because I'm afraid I'll run out of time before work. Thank goodness it's my Friday. I'd probably be calling off if had to work one more day.
Yes, I wish I could be "normal", but lately I'll settle for at least I'm still breathing even if have to smell my own b.o. In the process. It will get better one day.

why not?
says:
March, 7 2011 at 9:19 am

i often go days (3-5) without bathing because I forget to... no other reason why quite often... and when i do i'm surprised because it's such a pleasureable thing to do

Matthew
says:
March, 7 2011 at 9:30 am

Thanks, I sent this to my wife.

MMC
says:
March, 7 2011 at 10:57 am

Hmm--interesting. It seems like one of those things listed as "symptom" without any consideration of asking why so good of you to address this.

Janae Johnson
says:
March, 7 2011 at 11:47 am

I think I fall into the too busy to stop camps. Even when I am depressed, I look at showering as taking too long and too much effort. I have to remind myself of the benefits and/or just pick a time and that is what I am doing at that given moment. Sigh. Why is something so small so hard?

Thanks for your great post and for taking comments so we can share here.

Kylie
says:
March, 7 2011 at 1:06 pm

Oh my .. of course .. how come I have never put that together .. I too avoid showering when in a depressed mode .. and probably in a hypermanic mode as well .. in one I am too tired to move, in the other I just don't have the time to shower ...

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 7 2011 at 1:41 pm

Hi Carly,

Many people have been there. Depression is a debilitating illness and right now you're feeling debilitated. It does suck. It's not ridiculous.

Hopefully, you can very slowly, one millimeter at a time, approach some kind of activity outside of bed. Showering might be too big a goal, but little, tiny, baby steps and little, tiny, baby goals are something all of us can achieve.

It's unfortunate that the people around you don't get it, but many of us out here do. And we're with your baby steps. And we celebrate your baby goals.

Drop by and comment any time. I hope something here helps.

- Natasha

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 7 2011 at 1:47 pm

Hi MMC,

Yes, I don't suppose a lot of thought is put into the question. Seems trivial to many. But clearly it isn't with the response of these comments.

I think it's about insight. I have this idea that if we can understand the pattern we have more control over it. It's not magic, but I like to think that looking inwards helps.

Sometimes we trip (I can possibly influence) that light bulb moment where things make sense. And I think that's empowering for everyone.

- Natasha

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Tracy
says:
May, 27 2018 at 8:47 pm

The denial of pleasure is something I never thought of!!! I wonder why I torture myself because I stink so bad and yet I'm still not in the shower. Thank you for insight and your honesty. I'm tearing up because I don't feal alone in my self loathing. I feel like I should start journaling so I find out what's causing it. Thank you so much for your time and support ❤ it means a lot to me!

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 7 2011 at 2:06 pm

Hi Janae,

"Sigh. Why is something so small so hard?"

That is a big question. I've asked myself that many times.

But as I suppose time is relative, so is "something small." When we think of things we find hard as "small" we're really devaluing what it takes for an individual to accomplish them. We're kind of beating ourselves up about it.

It's hard. But it's not small. It just depends on who you are.

- Natasha

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 7 2011 at 2:07 pm

Hi Kylie,

Glad I could help you find your light bulb moment. :)

- Natasha

Lisa g Hancock
says:
March, 7 2011 at 3:15 pm

Yea that that should be put down as another symptom!!! I have even lied to my husband when asked are taking a shower n I will say yes earlier today I had one, all while I'm laying on the couch with a oily face, oily hair, dirty clothes or pjs I've worn for however many days in a row. Just like brushing ur teeth. I think it's just b/c don't feel like even breathing to stay alive let alone getting more tired taking a shower/sometimes a hot bath is good and of course it allows ur mind to wander b/c there is nothing else at the time to keep ur attention so sit in the hot water n let it all out! Easy to wipe the tears n keep salt lines off ur face. (depressed ep) anyway! I kno I'm babbling!

Matthew
says:
March, 7 2011 at 10:44 pm

I guess I fall into the "why bother" since I'm totally anti-social when cycling. I get around to showering when the deoterant no longer covers the smell or I get offended by my own BO.

jake
says:
March, 8 2011 at 10:59 am

I fall into this rut as well sometimes I have been know to stop eating as well. I do not think these are uncommon problems. I have tried to puzzle it out and I think it falls somewhere between apathy and low self-esteem.
Conversly it could be a control issue. I know not eating sometimes makes me feel more like I am in the drivers seat and my life is not so out of control. An interesting point to ponder Natasha.

cheers Jake

vadagirl
says:
March, 8 2011 at 9:35 pm

First off, I'm new. I was surprised to see this topic, since I've been aware of this personal issue for several months. I worked in an office setting for over 16 years. I am now on disability. I don't have to get up each day and rush through shower, hair, makeup, office clothes, hot coffee and out the door. I can go to bed when I please and get up when I please - and, I do or do not shower or get dressed as I please. My therapist told me that he was concerned with - without a job - I would lose structure in my life. He was right. Now, I feel like I need a Mother!! I can go 2 to 3 days w/o a shower because I know that no one is going to knock on my door. I've cut off most of my social ties (everyone is busy working and then taking care of their families). And, my income is drastically reduced, so I'm not much for going out. It's apathy and lack of energy for me. I'm trying to find a good doctor to help with the depression (bipolar w/ depression). Prozac is barely keeping me afloat. Anyway, I just never thought this simple "daily" task was as difficult for others as it is for me.....

Elaine
says:
March, 9 2011 at 4:06 am

Wow, a very intetesting viewpoint. I know when I get in my lowest low I don't feel like getting out of bed and showering just takes to much energy. Never really thought of the other ideas before but some are true for me as well.

Marie
says:
March, 11 2011 at 2:11 am

This is definately interesting.. I'm thinking about going to the doctor for myself. Ever since I've had my child, I've just completely stopped wanting to do anything.. I used to weigh 120lbs and now I'm over 200.. Its made me hate myself and not even want to go out in public.. I never want to shower or get myself nice and done up.. I barely leave my house, only if I have to. But I dont have thoughts of killing myself or anything like that so I'm not really sure what to do..

Janine
says:
March, 11 2011 at 4:50 am

Along with the reasons in the article, at times I also find not showering another way to punish myself when I am in a depression.

Danielle
says:
March, 11 2011 at 4:51 am

Wow! I thought I was the only one who thought about this, and it's embarrassing! Like right now, for example, I'm hypomanic and while I might be putting tons (if not too much) effort into looking AWESOME every time I leave the house, I'm seeing myself go for spans of days without showering! And I've experienced it from the opposite end of the spectrum, too... either way, I'm glad I can at least recognize this one simple sign that I need to be more proactive in my self-care. Even if showers are boring and sooooo last week!

Char Brooks
says:
March, 11 2011 at 6:52 am

This is a fascinating article - like others, I never thought to dig deep into this question of why we don't want to shower. There are lots of good reasons that this happens though as you point out. Not wanting to tune into my body and its needs is the one I personally resonate with. Thanks for your amazing insight into this.

Deb
says:
March, 11 2011 at 2:50 pm

Absolutely! All of these answers have come to mind for me. Glad to know I'm in good company, even if we are all avoiding body wash for a while.

Dr Musli Ferati
says:
March, 11 2011 at 7:18 pm

The matter of personal hygiene to sick people is problematic, but when is the question to mentally ill individual the issue become more stressful. As for mood disorders I can say that the maintenance of personal hygiene is concentrate right two extreme direction: total negligence in depressive state to over shower in manic episode of illness. The individual variance of that habit determinate the concrete manner of proceeding of sick person. However, I agree with your four elementary reasons Ms. Tracy, which exerted to avoid regular showing of affective sick person. In any case, it is possible to be delusive ideas, that constrain the sickly person to avoid, eventually, perilous shower. The last ones are very concealed and should be considered seriously in stubborn cases.

Ashavan
says:
March, 15 2011 at 4:58 am

Yeah, I avoid the shower when I'm in a depressive too. For me it's a combination - self-hate (I'm heavy), energy (dear god, I pulled myself out of the bed and I need to shower too? Not gonna happen, I'd rather eat. Wait, it all tastes like cardboard right now... no, still not gonna shower), and priorities... showering feels good when I'm getting depressed, but once I'm there? it's not going to help. I need to spend my energy on the things that will help, if I'm even capable of recognizing them once the depression has hit and I've sunk.

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 15 2011 at 9:53 am

Hi Lisa,

Yes, I suppose it could be a symptom. Any every-type-self-care activity is usually lost to illness. It's interesting how many people have responded to this one though, it seems almost universal.

I get that being wet makes it easier to wipe the tears away, but that might not be the best aspect to focus on.

Honestly? I write when I'm in the shower. In my head, naturally, but I find picking a subject can keep my mind focused long enough (usually) to shower.

- Natasha

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 15 2011 at 9:58 am

Hi Jake,

Yes, not eating is common and is often a point of control. I do it too. I don't really like to emphasize it though because it can encourage eating disorder which are extremely dangerous.

I'm glad you're pondering though. That's what I'm here for.

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 15 2011 at 10:01 am

Hi Vadagirl,

What you're experiencing is pretty common, I'm afraid. I'm really good about implementing my own structure (I've talked about it here a number of times) as I work from home, but it certainly isn't a piece of cake. And scheduling showers, well that's beyond even my organization.

One suggestion I've heard is to volunteer. It doesn't require any money, you'll meet people and possibly feel better about yourself, knowing how much you can give to others.

Check these people out: http://patientcorps.org/

They specialize in just that.

- Natasha

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 15 2011 at 10:04 am

Hi Marie,

You should definitely be evaluated by a professional. You don't need to be suicidal to have a major depression. And possibly that is a good sign that you have a shorter ways to go to get healthy.

Talk to a professional and I strongly recommend getting counselling. There could be many reasons behind why you're experiencing this and a counselor can help you figure that out.

- Natasha

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 15 2011 at 10:06 am

Hi Danielle, it's great to learn to recognize this in yourself. It's one of those concrete signals that can be easily tracked if you just think about it.

- Natasha

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 15 2011 at 10:06 am

Hi Char,

I'm glad you found it insightful. We could all use a dose of that once in a while. :)

- Natasha

Mandy
says:
March, 16 2011 at 12:17 pm

Hi,
I like your style of writing. Trying to get through the posturing with words, so you can say the gut level reality about whatever topic you're on at the moment.
I avoid the shower when I am depressed certainly for the first two reasons you gave, but digging deeper it's because I feel vulnerable. There's this hyper-critical "me" that lives in my head. He's like someone watching a play [my life] just off stage and as far as I can conclude, his only purpose is to point out every little detail about why I am a disaster. So when I am naked, it's "fun time" for him because there is just so much material to work with for coming up with mean jabs. I'm already hurting so much, and not up to dealing with more.
The one good thing about mr hyper-critical, he's totally predictable. The better my life is going, the quieter his voice is.

Natasha Tracy
says:
March, 16 2011 at 3:08 pm

Hi Mandy,

Well thank-you. I like to think it's reality and grit that draws people to the writing.

"... every little detail about why I am a disaster."

Yes, except you know you're not a disaster, right? Naked of otherwise. True, I don't know you, but I'm guessing you've got a couple of arms and legs in pretty much the same spots as everyone else. Nose. Mouth. See? Just like me. Just like Angelina Jolie. You're not a disaster any more than anyone else. (My guess is you knew that, but it's just a friendly reminder.)

"The one good thing about mr hyper-critical, he’s totally predictable. The better my life is going, the quieter his voice is."

Now, that sounds like a great idea. Good life. Quiet voice. Everybody's happy.

- Natasha

tara
says:
April, 2 2011 at 6:27 am

Thanks for this post. I regularly have self-care issues (showering, toothbrushing, cleaning my living space, etc) and they usually coincide with a depressive cycle. For me it's a combination of things: apathy (when I'm depressed it takes a lot to make me give a damn about anything, especially regarding myself), exhaustion, anxiety, and an overall feeling of disorganization. I tend to get very scattered when I'm depressed; everything is overwhelming and it's too much to ask me to get out of the house on time, let alone get out of the house clean and put together (it's amazing that I haven't been fired from my job yet - I don't think I've been on time more than two or three instances for a few months). Every simple task takes an enormous amount of extra effort to do because I'm so disorganized - my short-term memory vanishes, motivation disappears, and maintaining linear, logical thought processes becomes a herculean task.

It's funny to me that you say showering decreases during hypomanic periods as well. When I'm swinging towards (hypo)mania I can't get enough of showering! I think it's got something to do with the fact that when I'm up, positive sensations are exaggerated and taking a shower is literally an intense experience. Plus I use it as an opportunity to practice my obviously Grammy-worthy singing. But I understand how showering does not fit into the hypomanic schedule of being awesome 110% of the time.

(Nothing like a super long ramble as my first comment on this blog! I guess I should also say hello, too: Hi!)

Peggy Brashear
says:
May, 20 2011 at 10:33 am

Hi, these stories are great. There's people like me. When I'm depressed I can verily do anything. All kinds of cleaning are out of the question. I can verily get up and eat. I have went from 175 lbs. to 215.bs. I feel fat and uglyl. Food has no taste, so I just keep eating. I know I need to eat better and exercise but it takes alot of energy to make myself do this. I got fired a couple of years ago, because when I'm manic I am mean and hateful to people. I don't like this about me. I like the energy but I have bad consequences with my mouth and my spending. I pray for a miracle drug for bi-polar, because I just survive. The future scares me and I'm afraid for my family.

Natasha Tracy
says:
May, 20 2011 at 11:31 am

Hi Peggy,

You are where many people are or have been. You are not alone in that place.

" I pray for a miracle drug for bi-polar, because I just survive."

I know the feeling. I know it very well. Unfortunately, miracles aren't terribly common.

All I can tell you is to try to be open with your doctor and see if there is anything they can recommend. Or get a referral to a new doctor, perhaps more of a specialist, and see if they have any ideas.

Sometimes doctors don't understand how bad off a person is. Sometimes you have to make it extremely clear for them. And doctors are only human, sometimes they run out of ideas but someone else may have helped someone just like you.

" The future scares me and I’m afraid for my family."

I get that. I do. All you can do is the best you can do. Get and follow treatment. Get therapy. Get family therapy. Try to incorporate as many positive things into your life as possible. Try to change something. Try something small. Any good change is a step in the right direction.

Don't give up on yourself. There are more options, I promise you.

- Natasha

Tia
says:
June, 6 2011 at 11:54 am

For those of us who can't be bothered to shower when manic--try this:

Take a bath,not a shower--but use it to multi-task.
I have given myself a pedicure/manicure in the bath,read a book,listened to music,sketched,written poetry,done stretching exercises,talked on the phone (which most of the time I HATE to do)
all while sitting in the tub.
That way I don't feel like I'm "wasting" my time in there...

Just be careful shaving!!!
Either don't do it or FORCE yourself to do it at a normal "human" speed.

It can be so hard to make myself shower when I'm depressed;but of course,the irony is that when I look & smell better,I DO feel better.
But again--a bath seems to work better because I can just sit there.
A shower just requires too much energy.
Makeup can really lift your spirits when you're depressed;just don't be so hard on yourself--whatever you do,don't apply it in harsh bathroom lights!
Just sit on your bed in soft natural light & do it as a FAVOR to yourself.
I keep lotion,etc. by my bed;if I smell nice things,it cheers me up.

You know what else? I think posting stuff like this & giving each other coping tips is really great therapy.
Thank you for this blog!

Natasha Tracy
says:
June, 6 2011 at 3:23 pm

Hi Tia,

Thanks so much for your ideas. I'm going to pass them along via Twitter and Facebook.

- Natasha

Richard Jimenez
says:
June, 8 2011 at 9:04 am

great insight....Sometimes just gotta have something to like a water prof t.v or phone to take care a call or two... he he

Tea Roses
says:
July, 7 2011 at 11:06 am

what about the possibility that not wanting to get wet has to do with hormonal shifts . . . I mean, some days I don't mind taking a shower, but certain days I would rather be a total greaseball rather than have water touch my skin!!

Megan
says:
July, 18 2011 at 2:45 pm

I, too, struggle to get in the shower. I guess for many reasons people have listed. Anyone else find it hard to stay standing in the shower? The floor of the shower has always grossed me out but I can't help but just want to buckle under the effort, if that at all makes sense.

I usually shower when it's eaten at my brain enough for me to get in there, and usually it takes a long while for that to happen. Mostly I'm busy doing..nothing. Most everything I do is in an effort not to think.

When I'm in go-mode and thinking is the greatest and I want to -do- everything, I feel like showering is a waste of time and it can be done later at a more 'logical' time.

I usually wind up in the shower when I really want to feel clean hair.

Sorry none of this was structured very well. My thoughts aren't structured very well right now..

I'm fairly certain I have bi-polar but have never been diagnosed with the illness.

Natasha Tracy
says:
July, 19 2011 at 7:29 am

Hi Megan,

While I don't normally buckle in the shower, I can understand that urge. I would agree that sometimes the effort to stand seems like too much.

"Most everything I do is in an effort not to think."

Yeah. I understand that. I've been known to juggle my thoughts. All the things I don't want to think about get thrown up in the air over and over again in an attempt not to think about them.

Don't worry, your structure is fine. You're being real. Which I appreciate.

If you think you have a mental illness you absolutely should get help. You don't have to take medication if that's not what you want, but there are many forms of help out there for you to help you feel better. You don't have to deal with this alone.

See these resources: http://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-…

- Natasha

Megan
says:
July, 21 2011 at 6:34 am

I really appreciate your reply Natasha, thank you.

Kristy D.
says:
September, 29 2011 at 9:10 pm

I have the same issue. Don't get me wrong I can't stand the idea of people knowing this and I should do something about before they find out and are repulsed by it. I can't stand to be dirty (visually and emotionally) and I certainly don't like to stink (I love perfumes). But it's almost like my issue with showering overpowers my loathing of being dirty and smelling the results of that dirtiness. I cant stand to see my naked body, especially most through a mirrors point of view. I know I lack patience. But like my love of perfumes, I don't want to appear filthy and unhygienic. I do suffer from major depression with a case of borderline personality disorder. I don't like waiting for my body and hair to dry. Having to risk seeing my naked body and then go through the hassle of putting clothes on (I'm a girl so putting on shorts will not suffice as appearing dressed... Bra, panties, top). Then I have to style my hair which I have major issue with because on top of having fine hair I also suffer from alopecia (hair loss disorder) and I have nervous condition that has me obsessing with plucking my eyebrows when I'm stressed and then I can't stand to feel the eyebrow stubble. So above drying off everything, I have to condition my hair to avoid the appearance of baldness and furthering damaging what hair I have left, I can't just blowdry or even towel-dry my hair. Then my eyebrows... Thankfully I have gotten good at drawing on realistic eyebrows but it's tedious thing and can't just be thrown on easily. Plus I frustrate easily over this and plus once again I can't avoid the mirror and it's just constant reminder of my flaws. I use to feel confident when I wore wigs because I have one of those faces that can really stand out and pop with elaborate hairstyle especially with bangs, something my fine and aloepecia-riddled hair just wont allow. But with wigs I worry that people will know that I'm wearing one and plus I know a few close people that don't necessarily condemn the use of the wig but they don't necessarily fully condone it either. Total self-made complex I have going on. I wouldn't wish what my brain does to me on anybody. I want to understand it better and prevent it from marring up my future as much as it has marred up my past and plagues my present.

Hannah
says:
October, 2 2011 at 9:08 am

I avoid showering when I'm depressed/anxious/mixed too. I completely understand the last point about it being painful..that's something that's really difficult to explain to someone who has never experienced the world itself being painful, so thanks for that!

I also avoid showering because the shower is where I cut myself. I don't want to have to stand there and be confronted head on with my scars. it's overwhelming and tempting. Seeing my scars, being warm, wet, closed into a small space, and in pain makes me crumple up into a ball on the floor of the tub and break down.

It's too much sometimes and I would rather wear a hat over my greasy hair and pile on the deodorant.

I appreciate this article so much! It's things like this that make me feel so alone and "crazy" that it's nice to know I'm not the only one! Its also nice to know people out there understand stupid things I experience like not being able to shower!

Kristy D.
says:
October, 7 2011 at 1:35 am

Hannah, I too cut myself in the past (last one was over a year ago). I went too far and I have lasting noticeable box cutter scars on my both my arms that look very uh self-deliberate. My body is major reminder of how I was never normal growing up and how I will never experience some of the pleasant things that most people get to easily do on daily basis but take for granted. Head to toe with scars from surgeries and years of bad habits that abused my surface, I have completely sabotaged myself after working so hard on pulling myself up because I don't know if feeling normal or simply having the things I want will make me happy anyway. Like you I wear hats.... Its almost my signature and i happen to like them (fashionable newsies style hats/caps are my thing). In the beginning no one appeared to disapprove... But now people make fun of it.... How I should let my hair down but my hair is horribly thin and any compliments on it would sound like pity. This is really the only place online that I found that actually screamed at me that I'm not the only who does it. Only 30 and yet I feel like a bitter crazy old person.... Not woman but person... Don't feel like a woman or feel like anything really... If I were a man at least I don't think I would be so hung up on it all. Just don't think like I have much to look forward too... Don't want to be this way forever.... I want to be out there enjoying myself... BUT Enough said. I'm still happy that I can be heard and that I can listen to others who wish to be heard themselves.

Lindsay
says:
December, 2 2011 at 3:40 am

I don't have a job, but I still try to shower on a daily basis. I hate feeling dirty. It is also very important for women to keep clean "down there" because your lady bits will smell bad...sorry if that's TMI.

Anyway, there are times when I simply don't have the energy to shower. I skipped my bath yesterday because I'm sick. I didn't tell my husband because he can be somewhat critical and he actually said I was "gross" because I occasionally skip showers. Sometimes he isn't always helpful or understanding.

My hygiene is generally very good, but if I have no plans to do anything or if I'm feeling more depressed than I normally do, I might skip one day.

I only wash my hair once a week because I'm African-American with very curly hair. It doesn't need to be washed on a daily basis.

Sarah
says:
December, 15 2011 at 6:00 am

I avoid showering and bathing when I'm depressed. The shower is assaulting; the idea of water pelting seems painful, physically so. The idea of how cold I will be if I take my clothes off - and I'm usually freezing no matter how many clothes I wear - makes me shudder and avoid it. The bath is different. It feels too indulgent or just not clean enough. Scrub the tub first? Are you kidding? Too much work. I know I don't "need" a shower/bath each day, but I normally enjoy them. When I'm depressed, I have to force myself to take them.

Jessica
says:
December, 15 2011 at 7:41 pm

Oh my gosh. Reading this (and the comments) I'm just in shock because while I've been depressed for many years and I've had my ups and downs, this is something I never talk about. It's embarrassing and even though I know I'm not the only one, hearing (or reading) the details from others who go through this actually makes me feel less crazy. Thank you ALL!

Natalie Jeanne Champagne
says:
December, 16 2011 at 4:20 am

I am completely opposite....always have been. I suffer with bipolar type II and while the mania is long gone from meds depression still knocks me on my ass.

If I don't bathe I feel WORSE. I cant stand the feeling. The hair washing....that can be pushed to twice a week...thank god for dry shampoo. It's all I can do to figure out how to get in and out of the bath sometimes; lather some soap on.

I might suggest people push themselves....or, buy some 'baby wipes'. Soap in a package. Bath in bed? better then nothing!

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