It's that time of the month I'm in the middle if a particularly bad depressive episode. I find it really hard to shower or bathe a lot of the time. Sometimes it's due to lack of energy and sometimes I just physically cannot. Even if my parents run me a bath and all I have to do is get in. I sit by the bathtub and wonder why I can't just step into the goddamn tub. It's so frustrating and it makes me feel filthy. I do use baby wipes as often as I can but sometimes it goes on for so long that my hair starts to dry and break off. I'm going to talk about it with my psychologist tomorrow but sometimes the best advice comes firsthand. If anyone has anything that could be remotely helpful, please let me know.
Thank you for your post, and a warm welcome back to our forums. Nice profile picture too 🙂
I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through. I understand you, sometimes even the most mundane tasks feel like they require so much energy.
I know that when I was in isolation after being a close contact, it was such a struggle for me to get myself up and shower. I would frequently FaceTime my mum during this time, and she would ask me what I was up to that day and whether or not I had showered yet. In terms of finding the motivation to do tasks like this, having somebody there to encourage me really helped me out a lot. If you have a close friend or family member who you'd feel comfortable confiding in about this, you could always ask them if they can give you words of encouragement or verbal motivation.
Giving yourself something to look forward to may also help you feel more motivated to shower or bathe. There was one moment just after I was out of isolation where I decided to treat myself with a bath, and I found a few bath bombs and nice smelling soaps to help me relax. Even if you schedule in something to do afterwards, like engaging in a hobby, this could give you some motivation to "get it over with", in a sense.
You may find that some professional advice from your psychologist will help. Please feel free to keep chatting with us if you'd like, let us know how it goes, or if you end up trying any of these tips.
All the best, SB
I'm sorry to hear you are going through a really bad period of depression right now. I used to suffer from depression and I understand how even the smallest things can seem really hard, whether for lack or motivation or energy.
I am pleased to hear that you are going to speak to your psychologist today - let us know how that goes.
In my own experience, giving myself motivation like SB suggested was really helpful. I also have a habit of overthinking things and it almost became a way to procrastinate and stop myself from actually doing anything. I'd spend all this energy thinking and have no energy left to do anything. If I caught myself wondering why I couldn't just do it, I'd tell myself I was doing 'that' again, and I should stop thinking and just do it or walk away - consequences be damned. I found this helped a lot to give myself a bit more energy.
My appointment today wasn't very helpful. My psychologist recommended that I try "roleplaying". Her example was pretend to be a princess obsessed with beauty.
It was pretty disappointing because she knows I find those things childish and they don't work for me.
Thanks for your suggestions so far!
I'm not sure I have any tips for you, just a few thoughts.
I've had times when I have, for reasons I can't explain, felt reluctant to shower. I put it off, ruminate about how awful I felt while my body felt so sticky & horrible, & my hair was limp & grimy feeling, & how I know feeling this way contributes to my difficulties with getting to sleep. I would ruminate so much time would run out. So, like James 1, I was procrastinating too.
Eventually, I would feel so horrible or I had an appointment to be presentable for, & I would then get into the shower. I keep wondering what all the fuss was for while thinking how good it felt to shower & feel clean. I really enjoy the water on me, cool in summer, steaming in winter. I don't want to get out, once I am in! (but I pay the bills, so I can't stay there forever.
If I had a bathtub. I'd be playing music, from my phone, now, sitting it well away on the window sill, & I'd get those bath balls, oils & bubbles, & I'd soak so long the water would get cold!
When I do get out of the shower, & dry off, I do feel so much better. It does lift my mood to feel washed & clean.
In summer, I may even have a cool shower, just to cool my body, so I can sleep better. I put a folded towel on my pillow, & that keeps my pillow from feeling too damp.
Some people will shower or bathe early, as part of getting ready for the day.
What do you think? Is any of this helpful?
Hello Dear JustAnYtka,
A very warm and caring welcome to forums...
I’m really sorry that you’re feeling that way...depression makes everything hard for us to do....if not impossible..
A number of years back, having a shower or bath was something that was incredibly hard for me to do...unlike you though, I am living on my own and just couldn’t be bothered....No energy even though I knew I needed to take care of myself...I couldn’t..I think I was scared in some way of having a shower or bath...eventually though I get through it and managed to have a bath..
I started of with a bath, lots of bubbles in it and a few candles, I didn’t really wash myself, back then..just laid back watching the flickering little flame of the candle...and listening to some music I liked..
I think hun, that if you can break free from your depressive thoughts even just once, that would be a huge achievement for you...and hopefully makes it easier for you the next time...
Its not your fault Lovely JustAnYtka....It’s your depression..
Can I ask you?.....no need to answer if your not feeling to....When your not in a depressive episode, do you shower or bathe regularly....if so try hard to remember that this will pass...for now though, Please try hard to care for yourself the best can...
My kindest thoughts with my care..
Sorry to hear your appointment wasn't very helpful. Sounds like she gave a suggestion which felt like it didn't really consider what you want.
Good on you for reaching out for help though. You may not have gotten what you were hoping for, but even just reaching out is an important step forward in getting a bit of energy and motivation.
Thanks so much for all your responses.
There are a few more factors I’ve noticed that make bathing harder.
The first one is that I have very sensitive skin, and I’m actually allergic to chlorine externally (so luckily I can drink tap water). This makes bathing uncomfortable because my skin breaks out in hives and I can’t use things like bath bombs to make it more fun. Another thing is my PDA, I didn’t know much about it before but I do know, so I know it can effect things like bathing and eating (which it definitely does for me.)
Im currently in a particularly bad stretch of time. I haven’t bathed for like a month and even though I clean myself in other ways, I still feel repulsed by myself. Eating has also gotten harder. Sometimes I can’t even look at food without feeling sick and I often go most of the day without having anything except an Up n’ Go.
It also makes me really sad that sometimes I’m proud of myself for just making it through the day. (I’m not in danger, I have a huge support network around me.)
Ive also been having struggles with my parents. I feel like they don’t notice how hard I’m trying and often they make insensitive comments about not bathing or eating. I sort of see what they mean but I’m really honest with them so I don’t understand how they keep ignoring me when I get upset at what they’ve said.
My current psychologist is the best one I’ve had so far (and I’ve had at least 5 over the past few years), but I feel like I’m still not fully open with her. I’ve been with her for the past 2 years, it that normal?
Thank you guys SO much! I was crying happy tears whilst reading your comments, I feel like people finally understand.