Deteriorating mental health affects people differently. For some, it may mean that they lose interest in their hobbies, lose the motivation to do daily chores, lose self-esteem, and in extreme cases, resort to self-harm—to name a few. In my case, when my mental health isn’t at its best, which is perfectly all right, my hygiene is the first or one of the first aspects of my life that is adversely affected.
Normally, I wouldn’t confess this to others or talk about it because the most inevitable reaction would be disgust, if not pity, which is really upsetting because one can’t expect their mental health to be perfect all the time and neither can they completely control the adverse effects of their mental health at all times. However, here I am discussing this because it’s important that we normalise talking about mental health (which I try to do here on my blog), it’s important that we remove the stigma around talking about the effects of deteriorating mental health, and most importantly, it’s crucial that we create a platform on which we can speak up about personal issues to help us grow, connect and inspire others to do the same.
I’ve discussed how deteriorating mental health isn’t always extreme or visible, and that the more you keep an eye on your actions, reactions and changes in behaviour, the easier it’ll be for you to assess your mental health. Sometimes, you may feel perfectly all right but the little things in your routines might say otherwise, and for me, that ‘little thing’ is my hygiene.
Usually when my mental health declines (a bit or extremely), I often find myself not caring about my skincare routine or my hair or not bothering to shower for quite a bit of time, which yes, isn’t very clean but that’s what I have to deal with. I do get sick of it because I feel disgusted with myself for not taking care of my hygiene but at the same time, I lack the motivation to act on it, and so, it becomes this toxic cycle of disliking my actions and not doing anything to change that; such cycles can last up to several weeks or just a couple of days depending on how much my mental health has declined.
I’m able to deal with such cycles before they transform into something more extreme, and if you or anyone you know is unable to do that, then it’s perfectly normal to talk to someone about it. Reminder: going to a therapist or a psychologist does not mean you’re crazy, it means you’re being a responsible person by checking in on your mental health, and that’s the least you owe to yourself.
P.S. I hate the word ‘crazy’ as an insult or a jab at someone’s mental health. Ugh. Red flag alert.