I Just Don't Care What I Look Like Anymore, What's Wrong With Me?

Do you no longer not really care what you look like? Have you started to neglect your physical appearance. Why does this happen? Are you just going through a bad time or is there something else behind it? We take a look.
I Just Don't Care What I Look Like Anymore, What's Wrong With Me?
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

I just don’t care what I wear anymore. I can’t be bothered to fix my hair. It doesn’t even worry me how I look when I leave the house.” Do you find yourself saying these kinds of words? Perhaps, it wasn’t so long ago that you were rather obsessive regarding your appearance. However, now you just can’t be bothered.

They say that apathy is a lot like falling in love: you don’t know what it means until it happens to you. In fact, apathy is precisely what you’re likely to be experiencing if you’ve started to neglect your appearance. Maybe you put on the same clothes day after day, or you no longer bother to color your hair so your grey roots are showing through. These are signs of a dangerous kind of neglect.

You might go through this kind of apathy for weeks or months without even noticing. In addition, it starts to affect other areas of your life. Nevertheless, you’ve stopped bothering about yourself because you no longer care about your physical appearance or what others may think of you. However, is this type of situation normal?

Obviously not. What’s more, in psychology we know that when someone begins to repeat excessively words along the lines of “I no longer feel….”  alarm bells start to ring. In fact, it means there’s a hidden problem that needs to be sorted. Let’s take a look.

Girl in bed thinking that I don't feel like dressing up anymore

I just don’t care what I look like anymore

If you no longer care about your appearance there’s a reason for it. You don’t simply lose interest in something from one day to the next, even more so when it comes to your personal appearance. In fact, whether you’re the kind of person who can’t leave the house without looking in the mirror about 100 times, or if you’re always ready to go in ten minutes, it’s something about you that never usually changes.

As a rule, you want to look good. You choose what to wear because you know what suits you best. What’s more, the vast majority of us like to make a good impression. Indeed, being well-groomed and wanting to portray  a good image is a basic principle and even a need for most of us. Therefore, when you stop bothering and don’t feel any motivation to dress properly, comb your hair, or even look in the mirror, there’s an underlying problem that needs dealing with.

Let’s take a look at the possible causes.

Your self-esteem has weakened

Can self-esteem weaken overnight? Not literally. However, one thing you should know about this psychological dimension is that it isn’t stable. In fact, your appreciation and vision of yourself and how others see you can fluctuate. Nevertheless, the change is never immediate. It comes gradually and is due to certain experiences.

The University of Pavia (Italy) conducted a study that suggested your self-esteem is very sensitive to everyday problems, disappointments, and emotional failures. This is extremely common when you’re younger. However, by the time you reach the third age, your self-esteem is usually more stable.

Something like losing your job, arguing with your partner, or experiencing a breakup can undoubtedly lead you to lose the desire to stop looking after yourself. As a matter of fact, at these times, your image gets very firmly put on the backburner.

The apathy that devours everything

We spoke about apathy earlier. Those feelings of  “I don’t care what I look like anymore.” These kinds of feelings go far beyond an empty emotional state. In fact, they also suggest your complete attitude toward life. Apathy shows carelessness, lack of response, lack of motivation, and disinterest. It means you’ve fallen into a state of lethargy. In fact, you haven’t got the strength or desire to do virtually anything.

However, this state doesn’t only involve a lack of desire to get out of bed and make yourself presentable before leaving home. As a matter of fact, there’s also a lack of other things. For example, a lack of ability to be productive at work, a lack of interest in socializing, and a lack of desire to talk with your friends and family.

All-consuming apathy is actually a symptom. In fact, in many cases, it can be followed by dysthymia or major depressive disorder. Indeed, if you find yourself suffering from this kind of lack of energy, courage, and desire for more than three weeks, you should seek specialized help.

boy thinking that I don't feel like dressing up anymore

I just can’t be bothered anymore means excess worry

“Bothering about my appearance doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve so many other things to think about. Things that take up all my energy, attention, and time…”

If you find yourself saying things along these lines, it means your mind is overloaded. You’re overwhelmed with worries and you’re focusing solely on other matters. Perhaps work, family, or personal projects. Of course, it’s always good to have motivations and responsibilities. However, your life also needs balance.

Any extreme, any situation where you find yourself displaced, where you’re prioritizing other things for a long time will take its toll on you. Taking care of yourself, taking care of your appearance, fussing over your appearance are all healthy and positive actions. They make you feel good. It’s not about portraying the kind of image that pleases others. As a matter of fact, more than anything else, you need to feel good about yourself.

Getting ready is the first thing you do as soon as you get up. Once you start neglecting that, you’re on a slippery slope. It’ll be just the beginning, and you; start to abandon other things as well. For example, you might give up doing the things you like or stop having time for yourself. None of this is good or recommended. Try not to forget it.

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  • Rosi, A., Cavallini, E., Gamboz, N., Vecchi, T., & Russo, R. (2019). The impact of failures and successes on affect and self-esteem in young and older adults. Frontiers in Psychology10(JULY). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01795

The contents of Exploring Your Mind are for informational and educational purposes only. They don't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment of a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.