Guide: part 1: Reasons to get dressed


A list of 5, because I’m anal when it comes to listing in neat sets:


  • D=person with a depressive disorder
  • P=mental health professional or friend or carer

P:  “You should try to get dressed every day.”

D: “Why?”


  • (1) “It might make you feel better.”

D: “How is putting clothes on going to stop me hating myself and eyeing up the nearest top floor window?”

P: “Well, you told me…(therapist rifles through his/her notes)… three weeks ago, that when you went for that short walk, even though it was a struggle, you did feel a little better afterwards.  This might work the same way?” (Aside: very very sneaky, this tactic.  Keeping notes and using them against us at a later date ;))

D: “Fine.  I’ll get bloody dressed.  Now leave me alone.” (Charming)


  • (2) You are starting to smell. (controversial approach)


  • (3) Lying around in your pajamas will make you feel worse. (like (1) but the other way around)

D: “I couldn’t feel any fucking worse.”

P: “Okay..but what if you put some clothes on and felt just a little better…  Just taking small steps has been shown to help depressed people feel a little less depressed.  How about giving it a go?”

Two possible reactions (of many):

D: a) “Okay, but I’m sure it won’t help.” (despite negative expectations from D, this is a good outcome, as they are giving it a try)  An alternative:

D: b) “You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.  I feel like shit.  Clothes aren’t going to change that.  Piss off and go worry about your own wardrobe malfunction.  You’re wearing odd socks!” (This alternate response is less desirable for P, but at least there’s some affect there, anger, and anger is preferable to catatonia (for D, at least ;))

ps. don’t worry about the odd socks.  No one else will notice; it’s only because D spends all their time with eyes downcast that they took note of your unfortunate sock incongruity.


  • (4) Ever since we humans evolved from apes, lost our fur and became bipedal, we have needed clothes for warmth.

D: “Huh?”

Doubtful this is the  most successful approach to take.  D won’t thank you for the history lesson, nor will he/she demand you immediately “tell me more about the wonders of evolution”.


  • (5) Get dressed!  If you don’t I am going to give you a big hug, sit next to you and put Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on the DVD player, whilst singing along –

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
We love you.
And, in
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
What we’ll do.
Near, far, in our motor car Oh what a happy time we’ll spend.
Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Our fine four fendered friend.
Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Our fine four fendered friend.

(Ah, bribery/torture…Another controversial approach.  Obviously only do-able if you are a friend or family member; a professional would be struck off.  Proceed with caution.  One has to ask, if D calls your bluff, are you really prepared for the consequences?  …near, far, in our motor car, hum, hum, hum, hum hum…) 


That’s all for now.  The second part of my guide will provide more indispensible advice and ideas, so throw your NICE guidelines in the bin now.


8 thoughts on “Guide: part 1: Reasons to get dressed

  1. Oh I LOVE 5. I totally want my CPN to go for that approach. I would actually get dressed if she did that first!

    Honestly, I don’t get the big deal about getting dressed. If I am not going anywhere then what is the point? PJs are more comfortable, and you avoid the effort of putting on clothes. I think the only reason they like you to get dressed is because getting dressed is what ‘normal’ people do, and you therefore look less mental than when you are in your PJs. But you will in fact be equally mental. Just mental in a different type of clothing.

    • “getting dressed is what ‘normal’ people do, and you therefore look less mental than when you are in your PJs. But you will in fact be equally mental. Just mental in a different type of clothing.” 🙂 LOL love that, very true,

  2. Totally agree what is the big deal, i know friends who slop around in the pj’s sometimes and no-one moans at them that they should get dressed. Have to say if i am not venturing beyond the front door then who cares whether i am still in my PJ’s i don’t. The Wizard of Oz and singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow might convince me though. xx

  3. Hey Louise,

    Your last couple of posts have been great. Your humour and personality seeps through them.

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, theres a terrifying thought – reminds me of when Wednesday was forced to watch Disney films in Addam’s Family 2.

    I have been back home (agoraphobic) since Christmas and I have been in Psychological Therapies so I know what you mean about them sneakily keeping notes from previous occasions.

    Hope your physically well and comfortable on this cold night,

    Dom x

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