Does Mental Illness Has an Impact on Your Personal Hygiene?


Does Mental Illness Has an Impact on Your Personal Hygiene?

Does Mental Illness Has an Impact on Your Personal Hygiene?_

Hygiene is something that most people take for granted. Most people don't think about showering or styling their hair because it is second nature to them. The majority of people clean their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, without fail. And the majority of people "put on a good show." Their underwear, shirts, and socks are all changed. They are fitted together from top to bottom when they go out.

These things are more difficult when you have depression or another significant mental health issue. Bathing can be a chore at times. What evidence do I have? Because I have bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and PTSD, and I struggle when I am symptomatic, like I am today.

I haven't had a bath in four days. My garment has a meaty, oniony, and vinegary scent that reminds me of an Italian delicatessen. To be sure, I'm potent and pungent. What about my teeth? Let's just say I went away for the weekend and forgot to bring my toothbrush. It's still in the travel bag it was packed in. My underwear has crusted over as well. I don't have the energy to take it off, nor do I have the energy to take off my black yoga pants.

Of course, this isn't anything I'm proud of. This is not something I believe someone living with a mental illness would be proud of. It's a collection of symptoms that I rarely discuss. I don't tell my therapist or psychiatrist about my unbrushed teeth while I'm having trouble bathing, but it is a symptom of my disease. It's a "reality of life."

According to a Healthline article, "many people struggle to conduct simple hygienic duties when they are depressed."

"This can involve showering, cleaning their hands, brushing their teeth, doing laundry, or brushing their hair," says

Melissa A. Jones, a clinical psychologist in Indiana. "While the rationale is multifaceted, it is primarily driven by a lack of energy, drive, and motivation," she tells Healthline.

"They [those with mental illnesses] report not having the energy to undertake basic self-care duties like brushing their teeth or washing their hair," Jones says. Reduced enthusiasm for activities is also a factor.

I take a shower at some point. I alter my appearance. I brush my teeth as well as my hair. And I do so because I've been here before and know I've come out on top. Because I am confident that I can and will survive. I do so because I have encouraging friends and family who remind me that even basic self-care is important. I am significant. And I'm able to do so because I have a fantastic psychiatrist and therapist who can tell when I'm struggling even when I'm not being honest. Even if I don't admit to my lack of hygiene.

So, if you're having trouble bathing today — if your hair is tangled and you can't seem to wash your teeth — know that you're not a nasty person. You're not insane, and you're not a couch potato. Rather, you're having difficulty. You're in pain. You're in a lot of discomfort. However, there is assistance available. There is reason to be optimistic. You can get through it with time, meditation, medication, and/or treatment. Simply raise your hand. Reach out and ask for assistance.


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