I hate showering.

There, I said it. When I have depression, getting into the shower feels like torture. I can practice all the behavior activation techniques, and use CBT skills, but I can’t seem to clean myself. Living with a mood disorder is a pain in the ass. You want to do things, but you feel paralyzed. That happens to me when I’m experiencing depressive symptoms. I don’t have major depressive disorder either. What happens is when I get burnt out from panic attacks or generalized anxiety I get super depressed.

I experience common symptoms of depression: loss of interest in the things I once enjoyed, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, dark thoughts and lack of motivation to shower.

So there I am, wanting to clean myself, and feeling scared, lost, and gross. I’m wrapped in a proverbial and real dirty blanket.

In the midst of this hygiene crisis, there was a tub at the end of the faucet, or is that the other way around?

I remembered that there was another way to wash my body – it’s called “baths.”

Sometimes, I get into the pattern of black and white thinking. I envision there’s only one way to practice good personal hygiene, and that’s getting cold and naked and standing in a porcelain oval. But, that’s not true!

Baths have changed my life. I don’t have to worry about the anxiety of taking off my clothes and shivering. I can sit in a warm body of water and good-smelling bubbles. I can read a book, or listen to music. I can even talk on the phone if it doesn’t fall into the tub.

Depression makes it so hard to do anything. Now, I have less anxiety about cleaning myself and more relief. I look forward to relaxing in the tub.

What about you? Do you prefer showers or baths?