Schizoaffective Anxiety Makes Me Afraid to Wash My Hair

May 21, 2018 Elizabeth Caudy

Schizoaffective anxiety makes me afraid of many things, and one of them is washing my hair. Learn how I deal with schizoaffective anxiety that makes me afraid.

I have schizoaffective disorder, and my schizoaffective anxiety makes me afraid to wash my hair. It's not because I hate showering, per se, although I do prefer a nice hot bath. I have long, thick hair, and it stresses me out to wait for it to dry. I hate using a blow dryer, too. Here's why schizoaffective anxiety makes me afraid when I wash my hair.

Why Schizoaffective Anxiety Makes Me Afraid of Having Wet Hair

Even though I prefer baths, I like to wash my hair in the shower. It's just so much easier that way. But once the rest of me is dry, I have to confront the wet mass of hair. I've never liked using a blow dryer, and I have to admit I'm a little afraid to use one because I'm afraid I'll blow a fuse or electrocute myself. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I get in this zone when my schizoaffective anxiety makes me afraid and in my head, things like that seem plausible.

So I let my hair air dry. That's supposed to be better for your hair, but I do it because, as I said above, I'm scared to use a blow dryer.

But it's a pain to sit around and wait for my hair to air dry, too. I know I don't really have to "sit around and wait for it to dry." I see plenty of people go out with wet hair. And I don't really have anywhere to go most days--I've cut off lots of options (Isolating Myself Because of Schizoaffective Disorder and GAD).

But even my apartment can feel threatening. My schizoaffective anxiety makes me afraid to walk around my apartment with wet hair because I'm fearful I'll drip water onto an electrical cord or a power strip. Again, as my husband has pointed out, my towel-dried hair isn't dripping wet. Still, I quarantine myself to my couch for the first two hours I'm waiting for my hair to dry. I watch a movie that I put in the DVD player ahead of time. That way, I only have to worry about pressing "play" on the remote control. I also read books and magazines and I journal.

I May Be Afraid to Wash My Hair, but I Do It Anyway

I bathe every day and I wash my hair anywhere from every other day to at least every four days. As much as I hate washing my hair, I love having it clean. I'm overweight from the medication I take for my schizoaffective disorder, so I want to look as nice as possible. I've even started wearing eyeliner.

I'm due for a haircut. I'm going to tell my hairdresser to make my hair as short as possible but long enough so that I can still wear it in a ponytail. My husband keeps suggesting I get a pixie cut, but short hair is harder to style than long hair and I don't think it would look attractive at my weight.

Schizoaffective anxiety makes me afraid. It is a bummer. I know a lot of people with mental illness don't like to shower. Please share your stories of difficulty with bathing or washing your hair in the comments.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2018, May 21). Schizoaffective Anxiety Makes Me Afraid to Wash My Hair, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, December 1 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

July, 4 2021 at 7:10 pm

I do not like to shower because I am afraid of an intruder. When I do clean I take a bath, with the bathroom door open. I dry my body and the whole bath before I step out so I do not fall if there is an intruder. I have shaved my head for some time because hair makes my skin crawl, yet I'm depressed and don't trust myself with a razor to shave my body.

July, 5 2021 at 2:12 pm

Dear Samantha, Thank you for your comment. I don't shave my body hair either, partly because I don't trust myself with a razor. I am sometimes afraid to bathe, too. I only take a shower when my husband is home. I take a shower once a week to wash my hair. Otherwise, I try to take a bath every day. I hope you have someone close to you to talk to about your fears of an intruder. I have my own fears, and even though I know they're irrational, I can't shake them. Thanks again, Elizabeth

January, 23 2021 at 9:57 pm

i know i’m very late for this post but it was very comforting to not feel so alone with my paranoia about showering and especially about my hair being wet. when i was little i was also very scared of hair dryers and didn’t use them for years until i started working in a salon. my grandma used to put a towel over my shoulders so i wouldn’t have to wrap the towel around my head and my hair was only getting the towel wet if anything. or i’d sit with a fan blowing close to my hair. once i started using volumizing products and products in general in my hair, i’ve noticed it dries MUCH faster. plus, self care, right? :) i hope you’ve found some peace in these struggles, sending so much love your way 💖

January, 11 2020 at 2:10 am

I am 68 years old. These past few months when I wash my hair, i'm fine but when I do to rinse it and my hair, water and suds all face into my face, I panic. I cannot breathe and feel I am going to smother. I plan on getting a short haircut soon. I have been using dry shampoo this week and its not near as clean as it would be if using real shampoo. This is new for me. I was abused by my mother for my entire childhood and even when grown, she tried sabotaging anything I did good. She was happy when i got pneumonia and nearly died....she was never a mother to me and caused me much anxiety my entire life as she threw we out of the house each time my dad went away on business trips. She was a very cruel person. She used to tell me to kill myself and told me she wished she had aborted me but she said in those days nobody did that. I have much depression and anxiety from her and have been hospitalized many many times starting in my teenage years. Now I am nearly 70, I wish for once, I could feel normal and not feel this depression and anxiety. I no longer take meds....they made me worse.

June, 2 2018 at 4:38 pm

I had a thing about washing that was tied into if I washed and changed clothes regularly my washing machine would break down quickly. I was really anxious if that happened about having a new machine plumbed in and installed. Then it got to be habit that I would bathe very infrequently and strip wash every 5-7 days.

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