typically, hygiene is overlooked as we often assume everyone does things in similar ways or have similar levels of frequency. however, hygiene can often be the first sign of the start of mental health issues. many people experiencing mental health issues note feeling in a haze where keeping track of days becomes difficult and where there is no energy to bathe, change clothes, or brush teeth, let alone get out of bed. on the opposite end of the spectrum, some disorders like anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder can lead to an unhealthy increase in personal hygiene tasks.
again, helping the individual identify a healthy hygiene schedule is a positive first step. when hygiene habits of someone you care about either increase or decrease, finding a safe, supportive, yet direct way to discuss the change can help support that person in whatever may be going on. bathing regularly, having positive dental hygiene, and changing and washing clothes are some examples of patterns to watch for. if you’re unsure of the frequency with which to engage in a hygiene habit, reach out to a medical provider, dental provider, mental health provider, or someone you trust within your culture for advice and guidance. for over 45 years, our network of agencies has used innovative, personalized approaches to heal trauma, break cycles of harm, and reshape futures.
talking to others about the inner workings of your personal struggles can be a difficult thing to do. maybe you forget to brush your teeth in the mornings or skip out on showers. you may find that talking about this aspect of your mental health struggle is difficult due to the stigma associated with maintaining your hygiene in a responsible, healthy way. if you suffer from major depressive disorder or are in the throes of a depressive episode, your interest in activities and hobbies may be diminished. you may find that getting ready for work in the morning is more challenging than usual, and your living spaces’ general level of cleanliness may also deteriorate. on the other end of the spectrum, you may find that some people who suffer from mental health issues like obsessive-compulsive disorder (ocd) and anxiety treat cleanliness and hygiene like a ritual.
you may find that your hands can never be clean enough or that your living space needs to be reorganized constantly. as these issues worsen, they can interfere with your daily life in a variety of ways. being mindful of these changes in your routines can help you determine if they are worsening and beginning to affect your life negatively. there is help available for the underlying mental health issues you are experiencing that may be affecting your hygiene routine. these interruptions of daily life can sometimes be caused by underlying mental and emotional issues, and they can be challenging to address and talk about. if you feel you are struggling with your mental and emotional health, please do not wait or hesitate.
you certainly can be too obsessed with hygiene. certain mental illnesses might cause people to wash too much or obsess about cleanliness. the poor hygiene often accompanies certain mental or emotional disorders, including severe depression and psychotic disorders. poor personal hygiene, such as on the opposite end of the spectrum, some disorders like anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder can lead to an unhealthy increase in personal hygiene tasks., depression and hygiene, depression and hygiene, teaching personal hygiene to adults with mental illness, lack of personal hygiene causes, shower avoidance syndrome.
creating a routine of mental health hygiene, including daily mindfulness practices, can decrease stress levels and improve mood. for most people, the concept of hygiene conjures up images of brushing your teeth, applying deodorant or taking a shower: simple, daily practices to keep your body clean and healthy. mental illness can cause a person to be unable or unaware of the importance of personal hygiene. lack of cleanliness is especially prevalent the hygiene comes in the form of lowering levels of cortisol, the main stress hormone. an intentional daily practice for stress relief not only one of the many “open secrets” about mental and emotional health struggles is centered around personal hygiene. depression, anxiety, and, psychological reasons for not showering, bipolar disorder poor hygiene, schizophrenia and personal hygiene, borderline personality disorder poor hygiene.
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