Baths vs. Showers and Why This Schizoaffective Prefers the Bath
A lot of people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and other mental illnesses complain that they don’t like to shower when they're sick. I don’t either—I prefer baths. In my humble opinion, a good hot bath is so much better than a shower, whether or not you have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Here’s why.
I Prefer a Hot Bath to a Shower for Self-Care
Right off the bat, it’s so much easier to shave your legs in a bath. (If you don’t shave your legs you might want to skip to the next paragraph.) This is wisdom. Taking baths actually lends an air of ritualistic self-indulgence to shaving one’s legs—because I take baths, I actually look forward to when I have to shave my legs, and I keep my legs clean-shaven even through the winter.
There’s an air of self-indulgence to taking baths in general. Bathing is downright meditative. Instead of starting each day with a quick shower, I end it with a blissful bath.
A lot of people are surprised that I wash my long hair in the bath. Up until very recently, I was mixing up my bathing routine every few days with a shower to wash my hair. I have to admit, once I was in a shower, it wasn’t that bad. It just wasn’t as nice as taking a bath. But the night before last, I washed my hair in the bath, and I think I’m going to stick with that. It feels right.
Is Schizoaffective Disorder to Blame for My Dirty Hair?
I don’t know if this has anything to do with my schizoaffective disorder, but I hate washing my hair. I love bathing, but not washing my hair.
I’ve always hated this task. I live in the United States of America, in a culture where we bathe (preferably shower) every day and, for the most part, are expected to wash our hair once a day. The only excuse I can give for my dislike of washing my hair is that it takes up so much energy. If baths feel pampering, washing my hair feels like a chore, especially since I like to keep my hair long.
I Need My Energy to Battle Schizoaffective Disorder In and Out of The Bath (Or Shower)
A lot of people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder complain about feeling like we don’t have enough energy to do basic, rudimentary tasks. We’re not lazy—it’s just that it takes a lot of energy to go through the day second-guessing your own thoughts. We are constantly facing battles with our own minds. That saps a lot of energy.
I do my best to be clean and presentable. I bathe every day, and on days when my hair may be a bit greasy, I wear it tied back. And anyway, they say it’s good for your hair not to wash it every day. My duel with my hair doesn’t mean I dislike fashion. I express myself a lot with fashion—I wear statement t-shirts and distinctive silver jewelry. I do what I can. I brush my hair a lot and try to brush away the guilt instilled by so much advertising to wash, wash, wash--and, of course, to use as much shampoo as possible.
Reasons I Prefer Baths to Showers
Caudy, E. (2017, June 22). Baths vs. Showers and Why This Schizoaffective Prefers the Bath, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, December 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2017/06/why-schizophrenics-and-schizoaffectives-may-prefer-baths
Author: Elizabeth Caudy
Elizabeth, I wonder if it's possible that my Schizophrenia is affecting how the shower temperature feel on my skin sometimes. It either gets so cold or so hot. I've been living in this apartment building for several years. It wasn't a problem most of the times in the past. Sadly, I live by myself, so I couldn't get anybody to help me. Unlike you, I don't like to bathe in the bathtub. Worst case scenario, I would have to use a pail to wash myself.
Dear May, Thank you for your comment. I don't know if schizophrenia affects how the shower temperature feels on your skin, but I do know I feel cold all the time, except for in the summer, and one of my friends who also has schizoaffective disorder is the same way. Best, Elizabeth
I should like to suggest taiji to help us relax.
I’m so happy for you and your blog. It seems so helpful to yourself and those of us living with people affected by schizophrenia.
I found your blog while trying to figure out how to get my nephew yo take a shower. I’m very concerned about his hygiene and now with coronavirus I’m more concerned because he works at a high traffic retail store. I’m not sure how to get him to take regular showers and wash his hands constantly due to coronavirus. He does seem to use hand sanitizer though and regularly brush his teeth and rinses his hair in the sink. Any suggestions to encourage regular bathing?
Dear Elle, Thank you for your comment. I hate washing my hair, but I've noticed I really like the feeling of scrubbing my scalp with my fingers when I apply shampoo to it. Maybe you could make a list of things you enjoy about bathing, and share it with him. I hope that helps! And thank you for the compliments about my blog. Take Care, Elizabeth