Self-Care in Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder Is Hard
With schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, self-care can be hard. Things that most people take for granted, like showering, can become a looming, stressful chore. But why? Why is self-care so difficult for people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder?
Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Self-Care
As someone with schizoaffective disorder, I’ll tell you why showering is difficult for me. I know most people love the feeling of luxuriating in a hot shower with hot water cascading over them. But to me, it just seems overstimulating. All that water rushing down on me, making so much noise, almost seems like an assault. And in my apartment, it’s very tricky to get the water to just the right temperature. Hey, if I’m going to brave through a shower, it better be exactly the perfect temperature.
I’d much rather take baths, and I usually do. But I hate washing my hair in the bath. I have long, dark hair, and it gets everywhere when I wash it. A shower rinses it all away. The perfect solution, except I still don’t like showers. The result: I’m clean except for my greasy hair. So I have been washing my hair in the bath lately, because I hate the feeling of an oily scalp.
Don’t get me started on brushing my teeth. I hate it, but I dutifully face up to the task twice a day. Why do I hate it? Well, it used to be the toothpaste I used. Again, the minty sting all over my mouth seemed like an assault. Solution -- I switched to children’s toothpaste. I use the bubble gum flavor. I’ve been brushing my teeth much more consistently since I switched.
Why Self-Care Is Important in Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophrenia
I’m really embarrassed to be telling you all this stuff about self-care (Good Self-Care is Vital to Mental Health Recovery). It’s funny; I’ve told you I hear voices and that I get suicidal. But I’m embarrassed about hating to bathe and to brush my teeth, even though I do it anyway? Aside from switching to children’s toothpaste, I have another motivation to brush. I quit smoking a few years ago. A lot of people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder smoke because the nicotine is so calming. But to fully reap the benefits of giving up cigarettes, I feel I should take good care of my teeth.
Now that we have that out of the way, there’s the issue of my occasionally greasy hair. All I can say is: hey, I’m doing the best I can, okay? There was a time when I just didn’t bathe every day. It wasn’t until I started running every morning and would be sweating when I got home that I started bathing every day and washing my hair in the bath more.
Lately, I’ve been showering to wash my hair every other night -- and even wearing makeup. I take a bath every morning after my run. It makes me feel better about myself to take the time to take care of myself. It makes me feel like I matter. And I do matter, even if sometimes I have greasy hair.
My Video about Self-Care and Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder
Photo by Elizabeth Caudy.
Caudy, E. (2016, March 10). Self-Care in Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder Is Hard, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2016/03/self-care-and-schizophrenia