Why Does Living In A Mess Make You Feel So Depressed?

Jump to Last Post 1-15 of 15 discussions (29 posts)
  1. Seeker7 profile image81
    Seeker7posted 12 years ago

    I'm actually just having a moan here. I'm right in the middle of decorating the whole upper part of the house. I know it's going to look great when it's finished. But boy I've had a really hard time coping with the upheaval this time. Normally I just focus on what the house will look like once it's finished, what changes I can make and so on. But this time I'm really quite low, fed up and de-motivated. As I said, normally I can shake all this off and work through it, but this time it's a struggle. By why should a bit of temporary mess be so hard to deal with? It seems ridiculous that I should be feeling like this at the moment. Well, that's a bit better, I've had my moan and got it off my chest. Anyone else in a howk at the moment? PS - 'howk' is a great old Scottish word for a mess.

  2. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 12 years ago

    To keep my mind in perfect clarity I keep my environment in perfect order.

    1. Seeker7 profile image81
      Seeker7posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I like my environment in perfect order as well, but that's kind of hard in the middle of building repairs and decorating.

      1. HattieMattieMae profile image60
        HattieMattieMaeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        More like a feeling of why bother, when you do it so many times over and over again through the years. lol  Everyone makes a mess, never cleans up after themselves, never wants to help out, and than you go why bother! lol

        1. Seeker7 profile image81
          Seeker7posted 12 years agoin reply to this

          OMG!!! You've jsut desribed my family so accurately - they must see danger in my face at the moment though because they are scurrying around doing  some form of 'cleaning' that I've never witnessed before!

    2. Hollie Thomas profile image61
      Hollie Thomasposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I'm mostly very untidy. By untidy I mean, that I don't mind having books lying around or allowing my dog to lie on the sofa (dog hair) but, there are degrees of that, and my son is driving me mad. He keeps leaving dirty dishes in his room, it's driving me bonkas. I can cope with a bit of untidyness, but not dirty dishes. Does that make sense? Also, I really want to decorate, but I know I'll have to tidy first. That's peeing me off as well. I've got so much stuff, and so many books.

  3. Moon Daisy profile image80
    Moon Daisyposted 12 years ago

    Ooh, I get what you mean.  When we did some decorating a few years ago I found it very stressful indeed!  (Although that was partly from having builders and plumbers in the house constantly..)  But also whenever I haven't kept on top of the housework and things are looking a bit messy, (well, more messy than usual!), I feel messy in my head.  Doesn't feel quite right.  So then I get the hoover out and tidy things up a bit.

    1. Seeker7 profile image81
      Seeker7posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Moon Daisy - yes! That's exactly how I'm feeling - very messy in my head. I do like a routine on a daily basis although I'm not paranoid about it, but this time I just can't seem to get into a routine at all - but as you say this is kind of hard with decorators and builders in and out all day!

  4. tsmog profile image83
    tsmogposted 12 years ago

    Hooray for you for moaning Seeker7. I can't answer other than for me. For me it is all the memories attached to the mess. Most for me are unfinished projects and the process of saying "Oh well" is a challenge. I promised myself I will start tonight and move forward tomorrow. I think cognitively better at night and more creatively in the mornings. Midday I just kind of float at least recently. The cavalry charge will sound, I'll respond with enthusiasm, but like you pointed out there has to be a vision then a plan.

    1. Seeker7 profile image81
      Seeker7posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi tsmog, I know exactly where you are coming from! When I was clearing out a lot of junk I did come across lots of notes I had made for myself about doing this or doing that - all great plans but never fulfilled. When these 'memories' do come back to you, then yes, it can have a negative effect on mood.

  5. JKenny profile image89
    JKennyposted 12 years ago

    Maybe its a feeling of either losing or not being in control, the thought that everything is getting out of hand, my mom gets like it sometimes, she'll go on a cleaning bender sometimes. I don't know, I might be wrong.

    1. Seeker7 profile image81
      Seeker7posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi JKenny, do you know I think you've hit on something I hadn't thought about before about the 'not being in control'. Now, I'm not a control freak at all, but I do like routine in my life and I like to know each day what I'm doing and when. But at the moment this is just not happening and it is stressful. As I said years ago it was easier to shrug off but perhaps as we get older, 'routine' becomes more important and I'm less tolerant of interuptions from things like decorating and so on.

  6. Rob Hanlon profile image61
    Rob Hanlonposted 12 years ago

    I think you describe where your at very well, it's not really a "moan" - being in the middle of something isn't the most positive place, especially when decorating where preparation takes up the bulk of the time. Good luck :-)

    1. Seeker7 profile image81
      Seeker7posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Rob - many thanks for that, your lovely comment really cheered me up - good luck to you as well!

  7. Minnetonka Twin profile image88
    Minnetonka Twinposted 12 years ago

    I feel for you as it's hard to be motivated to keep things clean in the middle of a remodeling of any kind. I feel so much better when things are clean and in their place. You shall get through this :-)

    1. Seeker7 profile image81
      Seeker7posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi MT - I will get through it no doubts! I do like when my home is looking good and I'm on top of all the chores and so on, and yes your right, when everything is clean and in their place you do feel better! Kind regards!

  8. Rosemay50 profile image60
    Rosemay50posted 12 years ago

    Just stop... have a cup of coffee. clean up what mess you can, i.e tidy the area, throw away rubbish, tidy paint cans, brushes etc neatly. Then have a day off, go out browse the shops, maybe even the decorating shops. antwhere just to get away from it for a day and look through some home and garden mags, just to remind you of why you are doing this. Get motivated again and be able to see the results in your minds eye.
    Good luck

    1. Seeker7 profile image81
      Seeker7posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Rosemay!! What a great answer! I do happen to have the weekend to myself - all the workmen are on days off. So yes, I will definately do what you suggest and tidy up a bit and then I will go out shopping for a bit. I haven't actually treated myself to anything for a long time so I'm due for a treat and I'm looking forward to it! Many thanks Rosemay, you're a treasure!!

  9. Tams R profile image82
    Tams Rposted 12 years ago

    For me, clutter causes me to feel trapped in a mental war game. All the things that need done weigh on my mind and I start making worse messes to clean them up.
    When things are tidy and there's nothing left to drive me crazy, I perform better at everything; even writing.
    I'm just glad I'm not like my Aunt vacuuming heater vents every week. I've got my own routine and it takes me exactly an hour 1/2 to clean everything. It just makes the rest of my day fly by.
    When we moved into this house a few months ago, I thought I was going to go crazy before it was all put away.
    Hopefully your remodeling will go by quickly and you'll have your home back.

    1. Seeker7 profile image81
      Seeker7posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Tams R - I know exactly what you mean. I think the outer mess creates an inner mess with me. Now I'm not a woman who continually scrubs, hoovers and cleans for hours daily, but I do like my home to look nice, and so when this is upset because of decorating and so on, then this kind of erupts into mental messes as well.

      Oh dear, your poor Aunt - how on earth could the poor soul be bothered with that?

      1. Tams R profile image82
        Tams Rposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I honestly don't know how she does it. I know when we were younger I saw her taking a small nail to the tiny holes of the washing machine basket back when they had the ones sitting on top in the washer. I don't know if you know what I'm talking about but there were about 2000 holes. She would clean them once a week, first with a tooth brush then the nail to get the little marks out. Everything she has looks brand new and she notices if something has been moved an 1/8 inch. It's kind of sad really.

  10. pedrn44 profile image92
    pedrn44posted 12 years ago

    The cause and effect I believe is reversed. I think people live in a cluttered mess because they are depressed. The state of ones home is usually the state of their life. I'm not talking about the "lived in" look, I'm talking about being totally disheveled. No desire or energy to straighten things out. Hoarding is at the far end of the spectrum.
    It's a totally different case when one is remodeling. Things are in disarray and that is to be expected.. I lived in that state for 3 or 4 months and was sooo happy when it was done and I could put it all back together!

    1. Seeker7 profile image81
      Seeker7posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi pedrn44! I like the cause and effect reveresed. I've seen this as well with clients I used to visit at home. The state of the house was definately an outer reflection of what they were feeling inside. It's also a vicious circle. The more the house became a trash dump the more their emotions were effected and the less inclined they were to change.

      3 or 4 months! Lady  I salute you for coping over that length of time - thankfully our work won't be as long as that! What a relief that must have been to get things back in order!

    2. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image84
      Marcy Goodfleischposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with pedrn44 - I think depression leads to the mess. However, it also becomes a vicious circle - the mess then makes you more depressed. At that point, it's a longer climb to get out of it.

  11. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 12 years ago

    that is an interesting point. Depression is confusion and confusion is depression.

  12. Disturbia profile image60
    Disturbiaposted 12 years ago

    Maybe a simple change of scenery or a mini-vacation might help.

    I make a living doing interior design, so what you're feeling is not new or strange to me.  Change is stressful.  I often have clients who get overwhelmed by change, especially if they have become very comfortable in their surroundings.  They get impatient and frustrated but eventually it comes to conclusion, sometimes not exactly what they expected either, so there is always an element of anxiety. 

    Or maybe there be something else going on in your life at this time that might be making you feel stressed which in turn is making the mess in the house more difficult for you to tolerate?

    If the depression gets worse, you might want to seek some professional help.

  13. Mighty Mom profile image77
    Mighty Momposted 12 years ago

    Different people can tolerate different degrees of untidiness, clutter, mess and dirt. It's a continuum.
    If you are typically a very fastidious person with a routine, etc. the disruption is going to be the biggest cause of distress. If you are used to living in chaos, then the upheaval of having work done in the house is likely less disruptive.

    I'd be thrilled to know there's a light at the end of my cluttered tunnel with an exciting new look for my house or part of it! I wish you all the best with the remodeling.
    But then again, there always IS an exciting new look to be discovered once I recycle or shred all those papers. paper is the biggest culprit in our house, along with too many books (also paper) and not even remotely enough bookshelves for all of them. Oh, and the clothes. Belong in the closet and not draped over the dresser.

    As noted in previous posts, it's about reaching the saturation point with the status quo. When I reach it I will clean off the surfaces.

  14. GmaGoldie profile image80
    GmaGoldieposted 12 years ago

    Oh, I can relate. You see, I live in a project house. It isn't quite a home yet but we are trying.

    A victory is when we can walk through a room.

    Long story short, we consolidated six households and countless boxes, etc... Mentally all of this brings me down.

    In the Asian culture, I believe they say "feng shui" - I believe in this stuff - we are a product of our environment. If my home is a mess, I am a mess mentally, then my hair is a mess and then my make-up or God forbid my face is naked - the very worst for the world to see.

    I am with Marcy - I am trying to "climb". I must climb out of it. Off to "negotiate" the mess with basement and make room for the holiday decorations.

  15. Slightly Bonkers profile image60
    Slightly Bonkersposted 12 years ago

    Uh, I know how you feel. The same for me here... especially now with a little Toddler around I can only do little bits at a time but even painting a room is a big deal now.... We have a quite little house so everything needs to find its place. If it doesn't and I have to look at the mess the "whole time" (until it finds its place) it nearly drives me bonkers...


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