Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Video: When Was Your Last Shower?

I kind of hate to go here, but I need to for those who are EXTREMELY depressed and their loved ones. One symptom of severe depression is a lack of all self-care, and, in particular, personal hygiene. In retrospect, I think it’s funny that my therapist told me during one of our sessions that I stunk. It’s an indication of how far I sank, but also how much progress I’ve made (no one has told me that I stink in two years!).Of course taking care of yourself goes beyond bathing and wearing deodorant (actually, I still don’t use deodorant–I take my chances, I guess). Taking care of yourself means giving priority to the person that you refer to as “me” or “myself” or “I.” of making sure her needs are met along with everyone elses. To view my YouTube video, “Beyond Blue: When Was Your Last Shower?” click here.To read more Beyond Blue, go to, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.

  • Betty J Ware

    Hello, depression can do a lot of bad things to you.I am not only depressed but am almost homeless. A lady lets me live in her garage I have no shower or hot water. I do have a toilet and a bathroom sink. So I heat water on a camping stove and wash my hair and spounge bath at least once a week. I am hear because my husband tried to kill me. I have a domestic assalt charge against him but so far they have done nothing. I sure don’t want to kill myself I want to live and see him go to prison.. thanks for your ear. Betty

  • Barbara formerly Babs

    Betty J. – My prayers are with you for your safety.

  • April

    That’s a very good point. Not showering is an excellent indicator of your mental status. Sometimes it puts my depression into perspective by giving me that physical wake-up call that tells me “Ok, you’ve gotta do something about this. Your hair looks greasy, your sweatpants are stained, and your face is breaking out. This is not good.”

  • valerie

    This is for Betty J.
    Betty, I’m praying for you. I am thankful that you got out of your abusive situation before your husband killed you. I pray, too, that he is brought to justice.
    I’m crying as I write this as I was in an abusive relationship for three years many years ago and thankfully was able to extricate myself from that because I know it would have ended traumatically–probably the death of me, but maybe even the death of him.
    Keep hanging on. Utilize your computer and whatever resources you can find to get yourself help. Valerie

  • valerie

    Therese–you are so candid. I don’t think I could tell the world that someone told me “You stink.” I guess this is where our humor has to come in.
    And also the part about shopping and the fact that people in New York wear clothes so you had better get something new. Just hearing that and seeing you laugh made ME laugh. Thanks. Love Valerie

  • Mel

    Valerie is right, Therese. There is something infectious about your laugh. I adore your candor about something so personal. I hear people talk about their sex lives on cell phones in the grocery store…but bathing regularly? Why, never!
    On my worst days, where I’ve been wearing the same sweatpants and hoodie for days, my husband (who doesn’t care if I wear makeup or not) will ask, “When was the last time you put on makeup?” or “Why don’t you take a bubble bath and relax?”
    That may be his polite way of saying, “Hun, go soak yourself in lavender so I don’t have to smell you from across the room anymore.”

  • Rahime

    It is nice, in some ways to hear about the bad side of depression. What I mean to say is that we are so busy trying to put even depression into such a nice pretty little package with a bow on it. It isn’t pretty. But no one wants to say these things. Why? We want to speak of it, but we don’t want to talk about the ugly side of this.
    I was laughing when I did see this blog. I was laughing but I was also somewhat relieved. I have suffered clinical depression for over eight years on and off. Including staying in sweat pants for days, making appointments with myself for a bath or a shower. Also going as far as making it a goal, that if I would take a shower that week i was making progress.
    When you are depressed you do not think of taking care of yourself, or how good it will feel just to bathe.

  • wendy

    Yep: I know I stink, & not only that, My House(Total Tip). But somehow I’m determined to get past all of this. As serious as this is, when you laughed, Yep I laughed with you. Brushing my teeth, well thats a chore as well, but we will persevere. Thankyou for sharing.

  • Rahime

    Haha oh you did remind me even about brushing my teeth. ohhhhhh and my house too OUCCCCCHHHHH!!!!!!
    Seriously I really enjoy reading these blogs and the many inspirational stories here. But mostly it’s nice to know really that I am not alone in this. For me I have tried very hard to overcome depression. There are days it seems there is no easy way out.
    I did want to say to Betty, there are many of us, like me, who did leave a very abusive relationship or marriage. Really I did believe that man would kill me. It took me leaving every thing and walking out with only my children nothing else and still there are times I will cry when I think of it.
    My depression was not caused by this but a big combination of things. I will tell you Betty, I do not mean to sound horribly mean. But, Allah has a way of bring justice really. Even if you do not see it in the form of court or jail. You will see it in his life eventually. I did. I did not wish my ex bad. But 21 years later and he has nothing. There are many ways Allah takes his vengence and your best vengence is to survive, grow, and smile again!
    My depression mostly came from years of stuffing all the anger away and then I had a very bad accident that left me unable to feel my body even use my hands, really. I was a vibrant woman strong, not always happy, and really I did not face all my demons as they happened, but I was moving on.
    What I am telling you is back then after i did leave eventually I did see the light of day again really and you will.
    A short note; yes I still stuggle with my depression it is not from the abuse, well it is a little, but most of mine is from pain. I want to tell you I have learned from my accident and from my depression and yes some day, I pray, I will overcome this. They said I would never walk again, they said I would never feel my body again or use my hands and guess what? Never say never. I use the words of a great man (hehe) Bob in the Movie “What about Bob?” Baby steps……Baby steps to the door, baby steps to the bathroom, baby steps to the shower…. and yes Wendy … steps to brush my teeth!
    I’m praying for you Betty!

  • Margaret Balyeat

    Funny this shoud be the topic of today’s video; yesterday I had my (way over-due) hair cut so that I could tetify as a character witness today withoutlooking like a character!(bedhead being my hairstyle of late.)Each time the stylist is shapooing my hair pre-cut, I ask myself why I deny myself thie wonderful pampered feeling that simple act always gives me for weeks on end. Granted, it’s a big chore to get myself prepared to go out and actually get on the bus to go to the salon, but the feeling of pampering is always so invigorating that it would seem to be a “no-brainer” for me to go on a timely schedule. I return home feeling more like the “old” Margaret than I do from any other activity, and it makes personal hygeine so much easier in the days that follow I broke down and purchased a new outfit as well–my stylist works at a salon inside a major retailer) so that my “professional persona” would make a good impression on the folks at the Department of foster Care Services where I was to testify this AM. (a close friend hd been unjustly labeled”neglectful of her teenaged foster daughter” (who feels “neglected” because she doesn’t have the latests cell phone or an unlimited clothing allowance and expressed these feelings–though not their root cause–to a social worker who is part of her health team. (Sdly, at fifteen, the girl is looking at her SECOND kidney transplant) Unfortunately, said social worker never delved into the reasons for C.’s feelings of neglect and instead just made a rather one-sided complaint against my friend without truly understanding that the teenager is(also sadly) a master of manipulation to get what she wants.(It’s worked in the past, so she has learned to use the system to meet her own selfish desires without thinking about how her words and/or actions might impact anyone else’s life. We were uccessful in reversing the Foster Care Authority’s mislabeling, and I ended up feeling like a contributing professional for the first time in a LONG time. As an added side benefit, my son, who dropped in unexpectedly on his way to deliver a car not too far from my home, was able to see his old Mom looking like a real human being for a change!The joy in his smile was enough to offset the difficulties involved in making the trip to my stylist.(Today he saw his “real” mom for the first time in weeks! — his words!)The hair and new outfit had motivated me to apply makeup like I used to and actuallu daub perfume on my pulse points; another “long lost” part of my hygeine protocol. “You even smell like my mom!” my son cried after hugging me! I haven’t been inordinately depressed,but lack of hygeine can become habit, I fear. Thanks for being “right on time” once again, Therese–I’ve already marked my calendar for the appropriate time for my next trim!

  • MAR

    This post cinches it for me – I may be a cynic, and a grouch, and sometimes depressive and pissy, but I’ve obviously never been “depressed” as in “really depressed” as opposed to “gee whiz I don’t like my job today.”
    I’m thankful.

  • pamela ruth munro

    How brave and good of you to bring this up! Only my husband knows how I avoid taking my baths! I spot clean & even wrote an article about it at – but I didn’t mention it was due to my depressed inertia! Certain things I have to do because otherwise my face/hands/skin just itch and get tight! It’s because of the way it feels not hygiene so much. But I suppose they remind me – while other things don’t remind me. I have devised all sorts of shortcuts – but should I really have to? I suppose not. And I can’t clean the apartment – beyond a vague picking up – and force my husband to do most of it, because of my lack of WILL to do it! Wish we could afford a cleaning lady…
    Love the new haircut. I love buying clothes – but only bargains. Department stores and their prices make me very nervous! I also hate having my hair cut & realize that I have opted to try to get a few good haircuts during the year & let them grow out. Not too bad a strategy. Except the place I like is across town & I have had a hard time getting there! I do do my own coloring – at least that’s cheap & easy for me…
    I do wear old clothes – jeans & tshirts around the house – or even just robes (I have a lot of robes.) I wonder that I am not put together enough for my poor husband…I only get dressed up for business or something.
    I drag on – and lately I have been in a slough – down there. Back to where I was years ago, after a spurt of almost a normal activity level. Ugh. I am getting a little done – Thank heaven for the internet and my writing. I am working on my blog at – but you will notice my bp2 (mostly down) doesn’t appear there…just my pennypinching, which is a cheery part of my life.
    Pampering? What is that? The best I can get to is withdrawal – a hot bath & benign neglect. Don’t know if I can afford anything else. Boy – would I like a real full body massage! Or go off to a spa…But reality intervenes….Thank heaven we do have a bubbler in the bath tub & I have bath salts….but it’s too hard to get there.
    Funny my therapist doesn’t mention nitty-gritty issues like that – I suppose I haven’t revealed that – & I can be sortta clean – I arm myself even to go out to the therapist!
    This was good for the soul. Thanks again Theresa.

  • Izzy

    I just took a shower for the first time in 2 weeks last night. The only thing that makes me feel better is to be around other people, but I smell so bad most of the time that I just blow it off, or I go socialize and hope they can”t smell me. I don’t know why it is so difficult to just turn the water on and get in. I bathe my 4 yr old every night but can’t find the energy to wash myself. My mother came to my apartment and is upset that my bathroom and kitchen are so messy, my bedroom also. My daughter’s room however is always picked up. Why is it that I can find the energy for her then slack so much on myself. This is by far the worst depressed state I have ever been in and I am losing this battle. No insurance = life in hell.

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