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so low I can't wash

(137 Posts)

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Aveiam Thu 28-Apr-16 17:11:40

I feel so terrible right now that I haven't been able to make myself wash in 3 days.
I feel disgusting please don't be mean to me about it.
I really want to be fixed. I'm on 60mg fluoxetine and have been waiting for the psychiatric team to get back to my GP to see about a change in medication. The diagnosis is depression.
I just feel so low. I just want to be better.
Any advice on how to change this, how to get better for myself without tablets?

SageYourResoluteOracle Thu 28-Apr-16 18:23:44

Oh bless you. No one would be mean to you on here. You're ill. It can almost paralyse you when you feel like this, can't it? Have you eaten at all? Had any water? At the moment, washing isn't important. However, do you feel able to get a soft flannel and give your face a quick wash? It might make you feel a wee bit better...

Although when I've felt really low I've almost needed someone to just do it all for me.

UnMn hugsflowers

SageYourResoluteOracle Thu 28-Apr-16 18:25:47

Oh and if you need the tablets to help you through then you need them, just as you would with any other illness. Have you been taking the 60 mg?

Do you have anyone with you?

OhHolyFuck Thu 28-Apr-16 18:26:51

I get like this too, dry shampoo and deodorant have been used far too frequently when I really should have had a bath, it's hard though isn't it? Just feels like too much effort, here for a handhold if you need it

Avebury Thu 28-Apr-16 18:28:34

I second that you would feel so much better if you could just wash your face - and maybe even clean your teeth. Could you set yourself a time to do it - say 7pm - or in the ad break of something you are watching on tv. It might just give you a little boost and help you fight a bit more.
Do you have anyone with you who could help you?
I really hope you get to a better or at least more manageable place soon. There is so much support on these boards so keep posting.

Makesomethingupyouprick Thu 28-Apr-16 18:35:04

If you can post on MN then you can wash. And I'm not being mean - I'm talking from experience. A shower takes 5 minutes. You'll spend far more time posting on MN, waiting for replies - thinking about it etc.

It seems like an insurmountable obstacle but is far simpler and quicker than discussing it on MN and you will feel better having done it.

AnxiousMunchkin Thu 28-Apr-16 18:58:55

Someone on here used the phrase to self-motivate to do something "just because I don't feel like I can do X right now, doesn't mean I'm not going to do it". I think that to myself a lot now when there is something like thi that I'm struggling to be able to do due to low mood. I hope that makes sense.

Also the knowledge that certain self-care things do make me feel a lot better once I've managed to do them. And focusing on what I have acheived each day, however small. There was a thread on here recently "a pat on the back" and sharing our little acheivements was really good. Now on bad days I keep a little note open on my phone and just list what I manage to do as they day goes on - eg, I woke up, I listened to the radio, I got up and fed the cat, I drank some water, I took my pills, I had a shower, I watched the news channel for a bit, I ate some toast, I got dressed. So rather than think "I've done nothing today and didn't even get dressed till the afternoon" I can see the things that I have actually acheived.

As I'm going along on days like that I try to only ever think one thing ahead- so I'll be lying in bed and think, right, after this radio program finishes, I'll get up to go to the loo. Then when I get up I think, once I've finished this I'll feed the cat. Whilst feeding the cat I think, I should drink some water. Etc, just thinking the next step ahead and trying not to 'get stuck' which happens a lot (happening now, been on the sofa all afternoon since a major stress this afternoon).

Hope that makes sense and helps. Time tabling things in to the day or having a very short to-do list helps me too. Are you having/waiting for any therapy? CBT techniques have helped me enormously with this kind of thing, although I didn't realise it initially at the time I was having the therapy. Mindfulness and focusing on self-care as well.

flowers step at a time, OP

dangermouseisace Thu 28-Apr-16 22:04:24

to do lists are definitely the way to go. It is satisfying to cross it off. Then you get double the feel good…feeling better for feeling clean…and having written proof that you've achieved something!

Aveiam Fri 29-Apr-16 09:25:38

Thank you for replies you are all so kind.
I am on my own so no one around to help. I haven't managed it yet. But its also like I don't want to look after myself and that's what having a shower is. I can't eat or sleep really

NanaNina Fri 29-Apr-16 15:05:48

Stop worrying about a shower Avejam - it doesn't matter. Agree with soft flannel on face and anywhere else you can reach! Having a shower isn't the same as posting on mumsnet. I'm having a very crap day but can post on here. It's my saviour really.

When you say you're waiting for psychiatrist to get back to GP, have you seen a psychiatrist? If not could you ask your GP to refer you. How long have you been depressed? Specific ADs work for some and not for others. Have you goy any RL support? Sorry I'm asking so many Qs.

Depression sucks the life out of us doesn't it and makes us feel worthless.

BUT it does disappear and the sun shines again.

flanjabelle Fri 29-Apr-16 15:13:50

Practical step by step advice.

First off, find some comfy clothes to get in afterwards. Get them together so you havent got to worry about looking for them after. That's step one, just see if you can do that. Have you got some nice pj's? A fluffy dressing gown maybe? Also brush your teeth so you don't have to do it afterwards.

Step two: Could you just get yourself in, even just slumped down on the floor of the shower (I've been there) and just let the hot water run over you. It will feel soothing, and calming. Then when you are there decide if you can wash your hair etc. Once you are in, I reckon you will get into the swing of things. I know it's hard, but it really will lift you to feel clean.

Step three: get dressed in the comfy clothes you got out.

You can do it, just take it one little thing at a time.

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Fri 29-Apr-16 17:06:09

I have had pretty moderate depression and if you can post a thread, keep upto date on it and reply you can get clean. Start small. Brush your teeth or use a face wipe.

AnxiousMunchkin Fri 29-Apr-16 23:14:50

Depression affects us all differently, I think it's really unfair to say just because you could do something when you were depressed that the OP should be able to do the same. It comes across to me as judgey and unhelpful.

We all know that we "can do" these things- my legs haven't fallen off, my arms work, I am physically capable in theory of walking to the shower, opening the door, going in and switching it on. But sometimes to suggest that, you may as well suggest I fly to the moon. But using my phone under the duvet hidden from the real world, that I could do.

Baby steps, OP.

NanaNina Fri 29-Apr-16 23:31:51

Absolutely AnxiousMunchkin - if people who have suffered depression can't understand someone not being able to get in the shower, god only knows what it says about the rest of society. Of course it affects us differently, well we think it does, because no one knows how someone else feels. I can recall a time when I looked at the open bedroom door (I was in bed) and I had no idea how I was going to get across the landing to the bathroom, never mind a shower.

I really enjoyed reading your earlier post about "one thing at a time" and the phrase "Just because I don't feel I can do X it doesn't mean I'm not going to do it" - I've read countless stuff on depression but that phrase really got a grip of me and even though I was having a crap day, I told DP I was going to the Farm Shop about a mile away and he looked worried - "but you're having a really bad day" - anyway I went and then to WH Smith and then M & S but pushed myself too far so headed for home. I burst into tears but DP comforted me and I lay on the sofa under a blanket and started to feel safer. I think I'd have been just doing the Farm Shop, but I find that phrase liberating.

Avejam I hope you haven't been put off by the people telling you if you can post on here you can shower. Take no notice - going without a shower for a while isn't going to matter one jot.
Are you feeling any better?

MiddleClassProblem Fri 29-Apr-16 23:37:25

I used to get like this. I had to almost break it down. All I have to do is go to the shower, it's just there, even if one not washing, just getting in and getting wet it's better than how I am now. No pressure, no hair wash, just standing in the water.

On my lowest days I would just lie in bed all day, no food, when my glass ran out, no drink and wouldn't even be able to get up to go to the loo. My partner just did everything for me. It's such a shitty thing to go through flowers

GraysAnalogy Fri 29-Apr-16 23:44:43

You are absolutely not disgusting AT ALL.

Please don't think you are.

When people have physical illnesses we don't think they're disgusting for not being able to wash properly do we?

Every single act is a struggle when you feel like you do. Everything is hard. And thats why when you do manage to do them, when you finally get the strength, it's a massive achievement. I remember being so proud of myself because I'd been able to do the dishes. Sad but true.

And people saying 'if you can post on MN you can shower'.. get to fuck.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Fri 29-Apr-16 23:45:36

I can absolutely empathise - when I was feeling really low I went weeks without a proper bath or shower (not pleasant looking back I know). There was something about taking clothes off and expending the energy that I just didn't feel I had.

I found a 'pits and bits' wash easier to tolerate, you don't get the shock of getting out of the warm shower/bath.

Funnily, when I was in psych hospital I showered daily. It was the one time I had proper privacy, even if your bathroom was vetted before you were allowed in.

Keep taking your meds and if you feel no improvement go back to the GP.

Roundles Fri 29-Apr-16 23:50:29

Super low functioning adult pretender here - if you have access to bath/shower I used to manage better with distraction, cue up something on iPlayer , jump in shower and then dry or just sit while watching.

Roundles Fri 29-Apr-16 23:58:53

Oh and three days is not the worst, I've had eight day hair and similar knickers so you can defo do thissmile

GraysAnalogy Fri 29-Apr-16 23:59:08

If I'm having a bad time I do what Roundles says. I put music on too and usually end up having what I call a 'sit down shower'.

Roundles Sat 30-Apr-16 00:14:07

Grays - thank you smile OP , your having a hard time - make a shower easy or pick a smaller thing. Meds can take a long time to kick in, weeks some time. You have loads of support here so pick one thing and I swear the power of mn will get you through it.

A4Document Sat 30-Apr-16 00:14:43

It can help to break it into stages which are less overwhelming.

So you run a bath, and don't think about getting in or washing. Then rest for a couple of minutes. Think of it as a separate task to "have a bath".

As there's a bath now available, you may decide to get in. Then you might see the soap and wash or you may just soak for a bit. You might even find you're able to wash your hair.

Have a rest afterwards too if it has been energy-sapping.

GraysAnalogy Sat 30-Apr-16 00:16:31

I also went through a phase of getting a flannel and having what my partner calls a 'spanish shower'.

This was at the point I was getting better and even considered washing.

hope you come back OP you're not alone. There's always people here for you who will not judge and maybe have gone through something similar [flower]

Roundles Sat 30-Apr-16 00:18:20

As AD says - just start by turning on the shower or running the bath. Do that one step. I promise you there are people right here who have been there before. We will help .

MiddleClassProblem Sat 30-Apr-16 00:31:24

Flannel wash always seemed more of an effort to me. Also hair brush was once a week (granted I missed a few) on hair wash day.

Hair wash day was the worst. I felt/feel so heavy (now up to twice a week). I have always had a lot of hair. Brushing out a week of knots I thought I would have to cut it off each time, then cry about that for 20 minutes before continuing. Then let it dry all on its own. Hair dryer is too much. But the following day was always better. Something about being fresher made things a little easier. I might actually go to the kitchen.

I will say this though. A phrase got me through a lot.

"Whilst every day may not be good, there is good in every day"

I would use this phrase. The good things could be as small as me throwing a tissue and getting it in the bin, a stranger smiling, a funny Facebook post, that panda sneezing, one of my dogs coming for a cuddle, finding my hairbrush, finding a matching pair of socks. On my most dysfunctional days it could be having a nap with the duvet just right or just even having the gumption to turn on the tv. If you look, there's always something that you can think, well that was ok, nice or even good.

Don't pressure yourself either, if you don't shower for another few days, you won't die, chances are only you will know flowers

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