Baths vs. Showers and Why This Schizoaffective Prefers the Bath

June 22, 2017 Elizabeth Caudy

The bath vs. shower debate affects me too. I have schizoaffective disorder and sometimes, dirty hair. Find out why. Read this and vote: bath or shower?A lot of people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and other mental illnesses complain that they don’t like to shower when they're sick. I don’t either—I prefer baths. In my humble opinion, a good hot bath is so much better than a shower, whether or not you have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Here’s why.

I Prefer a Hot Bath to a Shower for Self-Care

Right off the bat, it’s so much easier to shave your legs in a bath. (If you don’t shave your legs you might want to skip to the next paragraph.) This is wisdom. Taking baths actually lends an air of ritualistic self-indulgence to shaving one’s legs—because I take baths, I actually look forward to when I have to shave my legs, and I keep my legs clean-shaven even through the winter.

There’s an air of self-indulgence to taking baths in general. Bathing is downright meditative. Instead of starting each day with a quick shower, I end it with a blissful bath.

A lot of people are surprised that I wash my long hair in the bath. Up until very recently, I was mixing up my bathing routine every few days with a shower to wash my hair. I have to admit, once I was in a shower, it wasn’t that bad. It just wasn’t as nice as taking a bath. But the night before last, I washed my hair in the bath, and I think I’m going to stick with that. It feels right.

Is Schizoaffective Disorder to Blame for My Dirty Hair?

I don’t know if this has anything to do with my schizoaffective disorder, but I hate washing my hair. I love bathing, but not washing my hair.

I’ve always hated this task. I live in the United States of America, in a culture where we bathe (preferably shower) every day and, for the most part, are expected to wash our hair once a day. The only excuse I can give for my dislike of washing my hair is that it takes up so much energy. If baths feel pampering, washing my hair feels like a chore, especially since I like to keep my hair long.

I Need My Energy to Battle Schizoaffective Disorder In and Out of The Bath (Or Shower)

A lot of people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder complain about feeling like we don’t have enough energy to do basic, rudimentary tasks. We’re not lazy—it’s just that it takes a lot of energy to go through the day second-guessing your own thoughts. We are constantly facing battles with our own minds. That saps a lot of energy.

I do my best to be clean and presentable. I bathe every day, and on days when my hair may be a bit greasy, I wear it tied back. And anyway, they say it’s good for your hair not to wash it every day. My duel with my hair doesn’t mean I dislike fashion. I express myself a lot with fashion—I wear statement t-shirts and distinctive silver jewelry. I do what I can. I brush my hair a lot and try to brush away the guilt instilled by so much advertising to wash, wash, wash--and, of course, to use as much shampoo as possible.

Reasons I Prefer Baths to Showers

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2017, June 22). Baths vs. Showers and Why This Schizoaffective Prefers the Bath, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

November, 9 2022 at 1:08 pm

Elizabeth, I wonder if it's possible that my Schizophrenia is affecting how the shower temperature feel on my skin sometimes. It either gets so cold or so hot. I've been living in this apartment building for several years. It wasn't a problem most of the times in the past. Sadly, I live by myself, so I couldn't get anybody to help me. Unlike you, I don't like to bathe in the bathtub. Worst case scenario, I would have to use a pail to wash myself.

November, 10 2022 at 11:44 am

Dear May, Thank you for your comment. I don't know if schizophrenia affects how the shower temperature feels on your skin, but I do know I feel cold all the time, except for in the summer, and one of my friends who also has schizoaffective disorder is the same way. Best, Elizabeth

Jaime Lee Casiano
June, 11 2024 at 8:42 am

Hi I'm Jaime Lee Casiano I think that I might have schizophrenia. I don't hallucinate though I can be very delusional sometimes believing things are going on that know one else sees thy could be true they could be false I know that but I feel like I have to simi believe them in order to protect myself. Im overall a very paranoid person It's like I wana know everything that's going on around me so I try to read people in evry possible way you could read someone. I try to find the side of them they don't want anyone else knowing about. My mind is always racing thinking about different scenarios. It's Also hard for me to communicate properly with people or form relationships though I wana be social there for I die inside.

June, 12 2024 at 10:10 am

Hi Jaime Lee, Thank you for your comment. What you're describing could be signs of a mental illness, but without knowing more about you, it's impossible to say which one, if any. If what you're describing is causing you distress (which it sounds like it is) or if you think you might have a mental illness, you should talk to a medical professional. If schizophrenia is a possibility, you will likely need a referral to a psychiatrist. When you see someone, make sure to be as open as you can about what you're experiencing. I know it can be scary having these thoughts, but you're not alone, and seeing a psychiatrist can help you figure out what's going on and how to get better.

August, 20 2022 at 7:45 pm

I should like to suggest taiji to help us relax.

July, 22 2020 at 5:57 pm

I’m so happy for you and your blog. It seems so helpful to yourself and those of us living with people affected by schizophrenia.
I found your blog while trying to figure out how to get my nephew yo take a shower. I’m very concerned about his hygiene and now with coronavirus I’m more concerned because he works at a high traffic retail store. I’m not sure how to get him to take regular showers and wash his hands constantly due to coronavirus. He does seem to use hand sanitizer though and regularly brush his teeth and rinses his hair in the sink. Any suggestions to encourage regular bathing?

July, 22 2020 at 6:58 pm

Dear Elle, Thank you for your comment. I hate washing my hair, but I've noticed I really like the feeling of scrubbing my scalp with my fingers when I apply shampoo to it. Maybe you could make a list of things you enjoy about bathing, and share it with him. I hope that helps! And thank you for the compliments about my blog. Take Care, Elizabeth

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