Personal Hygiene and Depression
Depression can drain people of initiative and desire. When this happens, lots of important things in their life can fall by the wayside, personal hygiene being one of those things. When depression has somebody feeling at their lowest point, the last thing on their mind can be marshaling the strength and focus to take a shower and brush their teeth. They often do not see why it’s worth their time and energy to undertake these seemingly inconsequential things when they’re feeling so down. In addition, a lot of people who are suffering from depression resist undertaking personal hygiene activities because they’re also in physical pain, which is another manifestation of depression. So sometimes that dynamic also keeps them from attending to their own hygiene.
When someone is depressed and they then do not attend to the personal hygiene, it can create a vicious cycle, where they feel terrible and then they start to look and smell unpresentable and unprofessional. When that’s the case, other people tend to avoid them and that can be emotionally painful for those with depression. In addition, someone might confront them over their lack of personal hygiene and that can be a triggering event which makes someone feel even worse. In addition, it’s important to remember that poor personal hygiene is often associated with sloth, poverty, and homelessness, and our society tends to discriminate against people exhibiting these traits.
There can also be physical side effects of not taking care of your personal hygiene. Eating with unclean hands spreads germs, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These can lead to conditions such as food poisoning, gastroenteritis, cold and flu, and even hepatitis. People who don’t shower can also end up with skin conditions and infections. And people who don’t brush their teeth can end up with gum, disease, for example. Dentists also warn that an unclean mouth can contribute to various events, pneumonia, and respiratory infections.
A big side effect of depression is a loss of motivation, often because people struggle with concentration, fatigue and lethargy. So they have a lot to push through to keep their hygiene at a reasonable and acceptable standard when they are experiencing depression. But push through they must. For example, they can take very specific steps to make it easier to get clean and stay clean. They can schedule to clean at a specific time when they know they will have the highest energy. It has been shown that if you have a meal and stay hydrated before taking on such a task you will boost your chances of success.
Also opening the windows and the blinds to your house is a good idea – fresh air and bright light can really help you stay focused and motivated on your task. Also working faster than usual can help you complete your task before you lose motivation. All of these ideas are worth trying!