Why do people with sz have bad hygiene?

In a previous post I explained why I don’t like showers (because I get paranoid that someones gonna hurt me) but I don’t know why I don’t brush my teeth as often as I should or why I bite my nails so bad.

But I don’t really know why…

I know a person who has the worst case of nail-biting I’ve ever seen. As in half of the nail is chewed away and her fingers look stubby. Kinda hard to look at. Nail-biting, as is her case, is usually anxiety-related. The poor hygiene of schizophrenia can often be tied to negative symptoms. I’ve met quite a few schizophrenics who won’t shower out of paranoia. They also tend to be female and afraid of being attacked. I have a self-consciousness about me, and even when I was at my worst, I continued to groom and bathe. I’m male. My routine in the morning is get up, use the bathroom, and while I’m in there, I knock out my shaving, showering, and brush the chompers. It’s just a conditioned thing. It is borne out of habit.


I just have this inability to complete daily tasks. And I have no desire to help myself with anything. And yes, there is an element of paranoia in everything I do.

I try to have good hygiene shower everyday and brush my teeth. I just dont try and forget to look appropriate like shaving or odd combinations of clothing. I just grab whats clean and sometimes ill forget to wash so i have to wear dirty clothes. Me keeping my hygiene is my way of staying in the norm i guess. It helps me cope with all the other crap that comes along with sza

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To answer the title question… because their anxiety makes it really hard to focus, and the medications for the anxiety rob them of motivation? Got no solution for the latter, but for the former…

DBT – http://behavioraltech.org/resources/whatisdbt.cfm
MBSR – http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php
MBCT - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22340145
ACT – https://contextualscience.org/act
10 StEP – http://pairadocks.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-10-steps-of-emotion-processing.html
MBBT – https://www.newharbinger.com/blog/introduction-mind-body-bridging-i-system
SEPT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_Experiencing
SMPT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensorimotor_psychotherapy

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I tend to forget day to day things. All things that I’m not focusing on. I have a very hard time remembering and being motivated to do things like that, hygiene, taking meds, cleaning, getting dressed, anything that should be important to a person day to day.

I am pretty good at taking meds these days though, I really force myself.

I can’t say it’s sz related, could be just absent mindedness.

For me it was…

Tactile hallucinations were worse during a shower.

Negative symptoms made it too hard to take care of myself

I’d forget

I didn’t have the energy to take care of myself like I should.

It’s part of some widespread disability-in-general that affects the ability to hold things together.

Bad planning. Lack of structure. Lack of caring about myself. Lack of motivation. Lack of energy to do anything requiring standing up for more than 20 minutes a day. Etc.

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i shower everyday or else I refuse to go out. I don’t think I have the best hygiene but I’m not bad either

Well said. All of that applies to me at least a little.

I think it’s mostly a matter of negative symptoms… it takes a little bit of effort and discomfort to take a shower (and even some real danger of slipping)…

Any effort is very, very difficult when you are sick with sz. When I first got sick it made me very tense and fatigued even just to wash dishes.

Got much better over a long period of time, but not until a lot of external stressors in my life were gone.


Showing for most is probably a paranoid thing, either someone’s going to come in and harm you, or there’s something in the water that will make you sick…and some may be so lost in their delusions and hallucinations they just don’t think to stop and take a shower.

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I never intentionally not showered or brushed my teeth, I just procrastinated until I ran out of time, but I’d never leave the house until I was presentable.


its weird bc i managed to push myself to brush my teeth this morning and i spat out a lot of blood, thats when i know its been a long time :confused:

i also need to do my washing as i have had clothes lying on the floor of the bedroom and my covers and sheets are just thrown about everywhere lately but i am not usually like this, when things get harder things tend to slip a bit and i find it hard to do anything,

i need to wash and i think i’m going to have a shower today (i hope) it gets to a point when i need to go because i feel so dirty that it starts to make me feel so bad.

keeping the place clean is always a struggle and on top o that i need to try and get dinner and make dinner and its really hard living on my own with sz and idk what i would do without my friend helping me out

Brushing my teeth has always been a problem for me. Noted in my psychiatric records that I have going back to when I was an in patient c1981. For me I think it is a cognitive issue. Truth is for most "normal"people it is probably a normal automatic action ie brush your teeth in the morning/evening but for me it just seems to slip my mind. Ditto washing. For many it’s an automatic daily thing but I can go days/sometimes a week or more without doing so.

my excuse is i don’t like being naked in the shower…lol… :chestnut:

I shower daily but when i get psychotic it gets bad… I still have problem brushing my teeth… I force myself to do it once daily…

On a funny note i have no problem doing makeup for hours or getting dressed or cleaning my apartment… It’s just brushing teeth

For me it’s forgetfulness and problems sticking with and making routines. I am working on it though. I shower every 2-5 days and brush my teeth every night and most mornings. I do not have a strong body odor so no one notices if I don’t shower.