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Old 01-26-2010, 01:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default I'm pathetic.. (Afraid to bathe)

I doubt anyone here can relate, as it isn't normal and doesn't have anything to do with SA, but I figured I'll post this anyway. (Might be TMI for some of you, so I warn you, it's pretty gross)

Like the title says: I'm afraid to shower. And I'm not 100% why. The only reason I can think of is maybe because I never really got used to it - I never really liked bathing, but it didn't always scare me. Since I could get away with it, I'd avoid bathing for as long as I could, until my parents told me to. I've had the habit of avoiding it for years now, and even though I've been having to bathe more often than I used to (Parents, sister and I had to move in with my Mom's parents, and so since I'm around more people I've been having to bathe more), I still haven't gotten over this 'fear'. (Just to make it more clear - I could put off bathing for half a year or longer when it was just my parents, sister and me. Now I have to shower once a month/month and a half)

So aside from not being in the habit of bathing, other reasons it 'scares' me is; the water makes me feel like I'm having trouble breathing. Even in the shower. As soon as the water touches my back, I tense up and get the shivers. I have to move out of the water every few moments so I can breathe. (And I don't think it's a water temperature issue. Hot or cold, my body reacts the same)
Then there's soap - I'm always afraid I'm using too much or too little. That my hair is going to be really dry or really oily (I'm not really sure why that bothers me, though. My hair is oily if I don't take a shower, too, yet I'm completely fine with that. :/)
I'm also afraid that I'm using too much water, and the more time that passes, the more panicked I feel.
The worst part though is how the dead skin.. uh.. 'flakes' off (Can't think of a better way to explain it) You know, when you rub your skin after getting it wet and skin flakes off? I'm told it's just dead skin and it does that because I don't bathe often enough, but even when I wash my hands often, the skin on my hands still does that. It feels gross.. dead, wet skin = sticky to the touch. So instead of 'clean' I just feel gross. (Not to mention how long it takes to rub all that dead skin off. It not being my shower I already feel rushed enough, but 20+ minutes of trying to rub all that off? s-t-r-e-s-s-f-u-l )


Anyone have any advice? I can't shower much more often than I already do because like I said, it isn't my shower. So I can't just practice getting 'used to it'.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Can you take baths?
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Can you take baths?
Nope. There's only one bathroom with a tub in it, which is my uncles bathroom. And he doesn't like people using his tub. (Doubt I would either way, though. There are little bugs running all over the place in there! Ew!)
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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You poor thing, I can't even imagine. I am so opposite. I shower at least three times a day. I hate feeling dirty or smelly. I do have a suggestion/alternative for you. When my mother was ill we could not get her to a bath and we found a gel that you rub on that was like a bath and it evaporated. You can get it at any drug store. That might help with odor. I hope you can work through this.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I don't think you're alone in this. I was watching this show about people with anxiety and other problem, and there was one girl who was literally crying while she was in the shower and had a mentor coaxing her from the door. You should research it. It's called Ablutophobia.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I don't think you're alone in this. I was watching this show about people with anxiety and other problem, and there was one girl who was literally crying while she was in the shower and had a mentor coaxing her from the door. You should research it.
I've tried using Google to find links to any sites that has people with a similar problem, but had no luck. Any ideas/suggestions on what I could search for through Google?

EDIT: Ah, I see. Thank you!
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Nope. There's only one bathroom with a tub in it, which is my uncles bathroom. And he doesn't like people using his tub. (Doubt I would either way, though. There are little bugs running all over the place in there! Ew!)

But if you had access to a bathtub, would taking a bath be less scary than taking a shower?

I remember when I was a little kid, like 4 years old, I always took baths, I remember my mom putting me and my brother in the tub along with all kinds of toys and whatnot.

Then I remember suddenly having to take showers and finding the noise and the steam and the impact of the water on my skin frightening.

What if you adjusted the shower head so that the water just kind of trickled out? Maybe you could get used to it little by little, and then slowly turn the water up more and more as you got accustomed to it?
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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But if you had access to a bathtub, would taking a bath be less scary than taking a shower?

I remember when I was a little kid, like 4 years old, I always took baths, I remember my mom putting me and my brother in the tub along with all kinds of toys and whatnot.

Then I remember suddenly having to take showers and finding the noise and the steam and the impact of the water on my skin frightening.

What if you adjusted the shower head so that the water just kind of trickled out? Maybe you could get used to it little by little, and then slowly turn the water up more and more as you got accustomed to it?
Baths are only a little less scary. The only difference between showering and taking baths is that I'd be able to slowly make my way into the water, and wouldn't exactly have to worry about getting water in my eyes. (Never really liked water in my eyes. Even clean water without soap makes my eyes hurt. I don't see how people can look directly AT the shower head with water spraying in their faces. ) But I'd still be worried about using too much soap or water, and skin flaking. Not to mention I'd be sitting in my own filth.

Not so sure if I can adjust the shower head to do that. Even if I could, my Mom or someone else would probably be upset with me if I used too little water because then I wouldn't exactly be 'clean'.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Ask if they can get a detachable shower head so you can decide where the water goes and when
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Estelle View Post
Ask if they can get a detachable shower head so you can decide where the water goes and when
They do. It's definitely better than when I couldn't control the direction of the water, but I still get really nervous and sick to my stomach when I'm told I have to take a shower. (Speaking of, I'm probably going to disappear for a little while - I was told I have to shower today when my Grandpa wakes up, and hes been awake for awhile now. It's just a matter of time until my Mom tells me "it's time" )

EDIT: Bah. I just realized my sister is awake now, too. She'll likely kick me off the computer soon - so I might not be able to get back on until tomorrow.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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...Baby wipes?
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Yeah, I don't really have advice, but I can sympathize. I really, really hate showers...in fact, I've managed to get away w taking baths for years and years (ps im 22, still takes baths in my apt at college). Something about standing up and being really exposed in the shower really bugged me; I hate the feeling, and I hate getting water on my face. I also find it really hard to shave like that. So yeah...at least I hope that makes you feel a little more normal I think, like someone else said, it's a little more common than you'd think. Also, I hate feeling dirty and know I'll just feel better if I shower/bathe, but I'll put it off if I can. I also hate the process following it (I have long hair and HATE dealing with it).
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Hey, I'm sorry for your problem and I can't begin to imagine how horrible that must feel.

I just have a suggestion... I had a operation recently and I was unable to shower for a few days, so what I done was get a flannel, go into the bath room, put a little bit of soap on it and wipe my skin down.

Do you think you could go this far? As to just wet the flannel and wipe your body down with a bit of soap? It might be a start
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Yeah, I don't really have advice, but I can sympathize. I really, really hate showers...in fact, I've managed to get away w taking baths for years and years (ps im 22, still takes baths in my apt at college). Something about standing up and being really exposed in the shower really bugged me; I hate the feeling, and I hate getting water on my face. I also find it really hard to shave like that. So yeah...at least I hope that makes you feel a little more normal I think, like someone else said, it's a little more common than you'd think. Also, I hate feeling dirty and know I'll just feel better if I shower/bathe, but I'll put it off if I can. I also hate the process following it (I have long hair and HATE dealing with it).
I've had this bad habit of putting it off for years now, too. I think I was about 10 when it started getting really bad. The only thing that really kept me calm back then was that I liked the fact that I got to play with my toys in the tub. But eventually I grew out of liking playing with toys and so it seemed more like work rather than play. (I hate getting water on my face, too!)

Yeah, I gave up shaving because I found it so difficult. I still shave my legs with an electric razor, but my under arms.. lets just say I have to wear shirts with longer sleeves. (I tried shaving my under arms with an electric razor once, but that turned out bad. The razor gave me three cuts, and it really stung when the sweat got into those cuts)

I have long hair too, and I feel the same, it's a pain. I have a hard time putting enough soap in my hair without having so much that it runs down onto my face and into my eyes. And having to deal with hair clumps? Ugh. How the hair wraps itself around your fingers when it's wet makes it really hard to shake off. I've considered getting a haircut, or even shaving my head completely, but I'm too worried I'd look ridiculous.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Hey, I'm sorry for your problem and I can't begin to imagine how horrible that must feel.

I just have a suggestion... I had a operation recently and I was unable to shower for a few days, so what I done was get a flannel, go into the bath room, put a little bit of soap on it and wipe my skin down.

Do you think you could go this far? As to just wet the flannel and wipe your body down with a bit of soap? It might be a start
I could probably do that without getting scared. The issue with that is though - it'd take awhile to really get clean. I'm not so sure I'd be able to hog the bathroom long enough for that. That, and my hair would still be dirty.

Thanks for the suggestion, though!
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Surprisingly, I can relate. When I was little I had no problems taking baths but when I first used the shower I remember getting really scared and uncomfortable with the change.. to this day I prefer to take baths because every time I take showers I feel like there is a person outside my curtains.. or I feel someone is watching me from far away. Every single time I take a shower I look out at least 5 or 6 times to see if anything is there.. >.< weird..
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Surprisingly, I can relate. When I was little I had no problems taking baths but when I first used the shower I remember getting really scared and uncomfortable with the change.. to this day I prefer to take baths because every time I take showers I feel like there is a person outside my curtains.. or I feel someone is watching me from far away. Every single time I take a shower I look out at least 5 or 6 times to see if anything is there.. >.< weird..
I've never really feared that someone is outside of the shower, but here it can be a problem. With 7 people and only 2 bathrooms, there's obviously a lot of bathroom use here. And the bathroom I use to take my showers has two doors; one connected to the hall, and one connected to my Grandparents bedroom. The hallway door has a lock on the inside, but the bedroom door doesn't. I was nearly walked in on the last time I showered when my Grandpa didn't realize I was in there. I wasn't in the shower anymore, but I was still completely nude. I had to push the door shut on him to let him know I was in there before he saw anything.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I heard somewhere that after a while your hair starts to clean itself, you could try spongebaths or start with an empty tub and slowly add more water each time. You shouldn't feel bad. Just keep singing that Xtina Aguilera song everytime gets in your face about it! "too dirty to clean my act up" That'll teach 'em.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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I heard somewhere that after a while your hair starts to clean itself, you could try spongebaths or start with an empty tub and slowly add more water each time. You shouldn't feel bad. Just keep singing that Xtina Aguilera song everytime gets in your face about it! "too dirty to clean my act up" That'll teach 'em.
If my hair is cleaning itself, it certainly isn't doing a very good job!

You know, I'm not sure if this is surprising or not, seeing as I don't know how popular that song is, but I'm not so sure I've ever heard it before, lol. Ahh, if only music could fix everything, though. I've actually thought maybe music could calm me down a bit while bathing, but even if I could have one of those shower-radios, it's so hard to hear over the running water!
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Sorry you have to go through this. It seems you would probably need some kind of therapy to get over this, so I don't really have any advice. I will say that you're not pathetic. It's obviously a real problem for you.
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