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What You Should Know About the Girl With Unwashed Hair

The Mighty logo The Mighty 1/31/2018 Chelsey Austin

© Softulka/Getty Images The main thing people ask about my mental health is how I cope when it gets bad.

The answer is, I don’t.

I spend days upon days in bed or zoned out. I barely eat, drink or even move. The problem is that I have college on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and I still have to go no matter how I’m feeling. It may sound gross, but sometimes I wear the same clothes all week, which means on days I go to college, people can see I’m dirty. I don’t brush my hair, just get out of bed and go.

When I get bad, the thing that feels “grossest” about me is my personal hygiene.

Laying in bed for days on end in the same clothes does things to a person, but the fact that I often go a week or more without bathing or washing (yes, it’s disgusting, but it’s the truth) is probably the worst thing that I do. This is due to the fact that I cannot be alone with myself, or the urge to cut gets worse. I’ve gone to college with greasy hair, dirty skin, smelling like a junk yard and I’m disgusted by the state I let myself get in, but in the moment I don’t care. It takes so much energy to just exist, I cannot physically pull myself out of bed for long enough to take care of my most basic needs.

The reality of mental illness can be disgusting and horrible, but I hope I am not the only person who goes through this. Sharing this has been a self-healing, and I hope soon I can get better at dealing with my illnesses when they get bad.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicideprevention resources page.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

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Gallery: 45 doctors’ own mental health tips (courtesy Eat This! Not That!)

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