The truth about bathing.


I frequently read about your frustrations about bathing resistance. I think I can try to explain my own frustration. I am 81 and caregiver for my husband with dementia. I am in and out of severe depression all the time apparently also related to my fibromyalgia. I don't have dementia, not even close but I struggle mightily to keep myself clean. It's a constant battle. Clinical depression makesyou a different person. Ive lost interest in everything! Ive always been involved in life and have accomplished a great deal. I have no major illness, look and seem very much younger than I am. My fouled up emotions perceive bathinglike this: I'll be cold, it takes a long time, I'll be even more exhausted, I'll be trapped once I get in the shower or bathtub. Entrapment is a big thing to me. This started 13 years ago when my husband got vascular dementia. Struggling with his bath resistance somehow effected me. Psychological, I know, but I'm stuck. I cant take antidepresants so where do I go from here?

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I understand the exhaustion. So I promise myself a nice nap after the shower and that's exactly what I do. Sometimes I put the shower chair in there for myself and let the extra-warm water just run down my back until it loosens up. Try a clear shower curtain to minimize a closed up feeling.

Lemony fresh.

MyThyme, I get what you are saying. I'm only 66, but I don't like bathing as much as I used to. I no longer go out to work every day, and my hair usually looks peculiar even if I try to style it. Where's the reward? At least in summer, rinsing off the sweat feels great, but being wet and naked in a drafty house is no fun.

I love my antidepressants. Are there none you can take? Maybe just the smallest dose? What about Tylenol? I know it can hurt your liver, but they did a study where people took one a day - non-depressed people - and they tested as even less depressed while on the medication.

What about exercise? I'm such a hypocrite to say this, but everyone tells me that exercise is a great boost. Can you make yourself dress and drive to town and window-shop and get a coffee? Even an hour walking around a store burns calories and creates endorphins.

Everyone is so full of good advice, and when you're depressed, it's hard to do anything for yourself. Is there a friend or relative who could call and encourage you daily? Someone who also gets the blues, and won't preach much?

One thing that really helped me was my Italian American Tibetan Buddhist therapist. Love and encourage yourself. Imagine that cute Dalai Lama with the baseball cap on beaming at you. Seek out moments of joy - sunshine, a nice hot cup of tea, warm socks. Remember that the most important thing for you to do is to choose to be happy, moment after moment. When you get a wake-up call at 2 am, be happy that you can still hear. When you have to clean up poop, be glad that it's not your poop. When you feel depressed, feel glad that you noticed the feeling, and that you can pull back and observe the feeling, instead of drowning in it. Read that old book, Pollyanna. It is really a wise book!

If you want to chat more about depression, post on my wall. I am interested in hearing about your struggles. Compassion always.

i do extremely hard physical work and am often too exhausted to climb in the shower. so i dont screw around with frivolities. i use dish detergent on my hair and body and the mortar dust is down the drain in about 2 minutes. so im sayin showering doesnt have to take much time. lemon-y fresh and squeaky clean in seconds..

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