Depression and Messy Rooms


Teens who are always a hot mess are a common caricature. Teens frequently rebel against their parents’ authority by refusing to tidy their rooms. However, if a teen’s room is very untidy, it may indicate that they are dealing with a mental health issue such as anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A teen’s sadness might be the cause of their disorganized bedroom.


What Does a Kid’s Cluttered Room Reveal About His or Her Mental Health?


Even if a teen’s room is a disaster, it doesn’t always indicate sadness or other mental health issues. Messiness is often an indication of originality and independence. Alternately, a teen’s lack of attention to their bedroom’s cleanliness might indicate that they are too preoccupied with other activities — including school, extracurriculars, and socializing — to devote time to its upkeep.


However, a sloppy living space may also indicate that you are struggling to keep things together inside. If you let your room grow untidy, it may be a sign that you feel that it doesn’t matter how clean or tidy it is.


Failing to let rid of possessions is another cause of clutter. Suppose a kid has experienced trauma, attachment wounds, or a profound loss. In that case, they may cling to material items that remind them of happier times, even if others perceive them as useless or a waste of space.


Can Depression Be Indicative of Hoarding?


According to Mental Health America, fifteen percent of American adolescents had experienced severe depression in the previous year. And there is a vast variety of symptoms associated with depression. Can you explain the correlation between cluttered living space and emotional distress? Depression among adolescents manifests the link between messiness and mental illness.


Fatigue and exhaustion are warning signs of depression. As a result of these symptoms, teenagers lose interest in cleaning their rooms and become unmotivated to do it.


Antisocial behaviors are common among depressed adolescents. That implies they are not leaving their room, resulting in increased clutter.


Depression is characterized by feelings of gloom, melancholy, and helplessness. Teens may conclude there is no use in maintaining order in their living quarters.


Signs of Depression in Teens

  • One of the signs of sadness is a lack of interest in personal hygiene. Teenagers who can’t take care of themselves inside are reflected in their untidy living spaces.
  • The inability to focus is another sign of depression. Adolescents’ short attention spans might make completing tasks like cleaning their rooms challenging.
  • Insecurities and harsh judgments of oneself are common symptoms of depression. This might lead kids to believe they are unworthy of a tidy bedroom. The person’s cluttered home might be a kind of self-inflicted punishment.
  • Episodes of binge eating and other disturbed eating routines. There will inevitably be a mess if teenagers are holed up in their rooms, munching at odd hours of the night or day.

Depression and Messy Rooms

Could a depressed teen result from a depressed parent’s decision to leave their room out of control? Depression may feed on itself, perpetuating the cycle of a cluttered environment. 


In this way, sadness can lead to a teen’s messiness, and an untidy room may lead to tension and other bad feelings. Many studies on the effects of clutter at home found that it almost always had negative consequences for kids and teens.


Anxiety and untidy living quarters have been linked. Clutter increases stress and has been linked to depression in several studies. 


According to one research, moms who keep their houses disorganized tend to have higher-than-average levels of the stress hormone cortisol. As a result, a kid whose room is usually a mess has a nervous system that is always on high alert, ready to fight or flee.


Is a messy house a sign of mental illness?

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies show that mess and disarray hinder cognitive performance. Here are some ways messiness can affect you:

  • Moods
  • Actions
  • Relationships
  • Appetite


The stress of living in a disorganized space has been linked to an increase in junk food consumption.


Health Benefits of a Clean Home


Removing distractions and unnecessary items allows us to work more effectively and efficiently. Also, research shows that cleaning up makes people feel calmer and more focused. Hence, cleaning may be a mood-lifting activity.


Your Teen’s Messy Room: Strategies for Dealing with It


The age-old challenge of parents everywhere is how to encourage their teenagers to tidy their rooms. We now know that encouraging teenagers to maintain a tidy bedroom may positively affect their physical and emotional health. 


Below are five suggestions for encouraging adolescents to tidy up and feel better:

  1. Create a family tradition out of cleaning the house. Everyone in the household may pitch in to clean the house, one room at a time. Another option is for everyone to tidy their personal space before teaming up in the common areas.
  2. Innocent listening. Every household member may submit their favorite songs to a compilation playlist that will act as the background music while things are put away. In other words, when the music stops, cleaning will resume.
  3. Methodically tackle the problem. Advise teenagers to put aside ten minutes daily to clean up a single section of their room. While it may take more time to get rid of the clutter, it’s an excellent way to clean up consistently.
  4. Discuss and work out a compromise. Even if a teen’s mess is out of control, he or she may feel helpless and unsure where to begin. Take the initiative and offer your assistance. Start by identifying the tasks at hand and assigning responsible parties. A parent may agree to do the laundry if, for instance, their adolescent is willing to collect the filthy clothing and bring them to the washing room.
  5. Add some spark with innovative cleaning tools. Encourage tweens to tidy up their space by letting them pick out some new decor after clearing the mess. Teens may be more motivated to maintain a clutter-free room if provided with a cozy chair, some interesting posters, and a pile of colorful cushions.


A cluttered bedroom is generally indicative of adolescent sadness and difficulties. Teens with filthy rooms may be depressed, so it’s essential to test for depression.


Teen messiness may be treated by addressing underlying depression if it is seen as the consequence of despair, a lack of drive, and/or isolation.


Call Tidy Casa to help you maintain a clean home. There is no shame in hiring quality help.