Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Clothing hygiene

My son was never like this before , but since being on meds he will shower every day but it on same clothes, he had a tee shirt on 4 days in a row despite showering each day, same at times with socks , underwear. When I mentioned he’s just showered he will just say the clothes aren’t dirty! Even though he’s had them on days. Is this common?

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I don’t know if it’s common, but my son has done that many, many times.

He also would shower without using soap a lot - I think he still does that. If I notice he has any body odor, I remind him to use soap and deodorant next time.

He’s doing pretty good with hygiene right now.

But, he still gets attached to clothes - a single shirt, a pair of shorts, whatever - and will wear nothing else.
He suggested that he dress like Einsteen and just have duplicates of everything, so that’s what we do.

Once we figure out he loves something, I buy three or four of whatever it is so I can get him to change at least every other day and put the dirty stuff in the laundry.


That’s a real good idea having two of everything.
A couple of years ago he had these red basketball shorts, we were sick of seeing him in them, my mum tried to hide them when he stayed a few weeks with her. They’ve gone now but yes it’s a strange one.
Was your son like this before he got ill or not?

Mine loved clothing before the illness took over. Now he wears the same couple of things constantly. He does shower and he washes his clothes regularly. They look a lot like rags before he will discard them.

When he wasn’t as ill, about once a year he would seem to wake up and realize “I have no clothing!” He would order some stuff, since he can’t shop in stores anymore, and return nearly all of it unhappy with the fit.

He was always particular about his clothing, now its nearly impossible for him to like anything new.

That’s tough , itscss if priorities change and no longer become important. Similar here, my son was really into his nice clothes but now :frowning:

They end up losing so many little pleasures.

He would always have favorite things. And, we’ve jumped through all kinds of hoops to replace things when they’ve become torn or tattered.

At least he’s not all caught up in brand names. There’s a store here that used to be called Rugged Wearhouse that they’ve rebranded as Gabe’s. It’s a discount place that looks like it sells overstocks from other stores.

We went in there last Sunday & got him 2 pairs of shorts & 6 T-Shirt hoodies - the total was just under $80 so not too much more than some thrift stores
4 of the hoodies were exactly the same because we were both sure he would like them.
1 was almost exactly like the 4 duplicates.
1 was completely different and we weren’t sure if it would shrink or something.
Today’s Friday & he’s worn 1 of the 4 duplicates every day since then.
I keep telling him he should wear his older favorites at home & keep his new stuff for when we go somewhere. He’ll agree & keep wearing the new stuff.

At least I can stay ahead of him with the laundry with the extras.

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I think with my son as he knows he’s not feeling great in his mind he associates it with not wanting to “dress up”. Instead of saying he will wear said clothing when he feels better he will say he will wear it when he gets his soul back​:relieved::green_heart:

Yes in some cases I have heard this, in the past my son would change his shirt and would wear the same underwear and shorts. After so much reminding and badgering…he will now always change his socks and underwear, and if he showers, he will put all fresh clothes on. He showers every 3 or 4 days though, even in the summer…still working on that.

My son tends to wear the same clothes, he also doesn’t like to get rid of any of his clothes tho, even tho they are worn out. He has three pairs of nicer shorts which he wears whenever we go out. Also, I wish he would shower more than 3 or 4 days a week, he always puts on clean clothes after his shower.

Yes very normal. Mine does the same thing

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Family member has gotten to two showers per week. Has started changing clothes more often. I take away dirty clothes, especially socks, and make sure there are clean clothes in an obvious place. Family member sometimes thinks there are no clean clothes if they are folded in dresser drawers.

At one point, when our family member was about to be hospitalized, the ER gave us a plastic bag of their clothes, which were so dirty, just saturated with mud, I tried to think back on last time clothes were changed and couldn’t remember.

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My son had that same habit for about two months, I simply took the clothes out of his room one Saturday morning and threw them away while he was in the shower.

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I believe hygiene problems are common.My brother has developed abscesses under his arms from poor hygiene that needed to be lanced at the emergency room with drains put in. I do not wish to see him in so much pain again. After the e.r. visit I purchased Hibiclens for him to at least wash with a washcloth when he would not shower. I still see him do a partial wash when he does not wish to shower.
Sometimes my brother is willing to shower but has trouble with time. I believe that he sometimes thinks that he showered yesterday when in reality it was 10 days ago. In an effort to help I put up a very large dry erase board where I draw a monthly calendar. I started marking a star with a circle around it when he showered. He started referring to the calendar himself. Then he would shower and put dirty clothes back on. I had to make additional symbols for each individual item of clothing that he would hold on to. Now he marks the symbols himself. Routine and the visualization of events past, present and future work well with him (when he is properly medicated of course).
Please do not think that my brother is easy to work with on this matter. He is extremely sensitive and very defensive.

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My son does this but he only takes a shower every couple days. This so frustrating.

My son had not taken a shower in 3 days or combed his long hair and looked totally disheveled. When he got in car with me, I said you look kinda messy today. He totally seemed very hurt by my comment and I felt bad for saying this. He wanted to go home then right away. I was wondering if any one has any ideas on how to approach hygiene. By the way, he did finally take a shower yesterday. Whew!!!

Are all your sons on antipsychotic meds? I’m thinking it’s them as opposed to Illness?

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Yes, mine is med compliant.

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You are lucky he showers. Mine will go days without showering and deodorant - doesn’t want to use it.

Ten days now with no shower. Trying for once a week. This doesn’t bother me at all as long as underwear and socks are clean each day, but I understand the social implications.