Self-neglect implies the inability or unwillingness to attend to one's personal needs or hygiene. It may manifest in different ways, such as not attending to one's nutrition, hygiene, clothing, or acting appropriately to care for medical conditions. Self-neglect can occur as a result of dementia, brain damage, or mental illnesses like depression or psychotic disorders. Some people who suffer from self-neglect may engage in unhealthy behaviors such as substance use or abuse, tobacco use, promiscuity, or inappropriate use of prescription medications. The list of conditions associated with self-neglect is very broad, and treatment options depend upon the precise cause of self-neglect. Antipsychotic and antidepressant medications are used when certain mental illnesses are the cause. Extreme self-neglect has been referred to as Diogenes syndrome.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms & Early Diagnosis
Learn the early warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Memory loss and confusion can be signs of normal aging, but...
Alzheimers Disease Quiz: Stages, Symptoms & Signs
Take the Alzheimer's Quiz to discover some of the mysteries behind this cognitive disorder. Learn causes, symptoms, treatments,...
Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Testing for Bipolar Depression
Bipolar disorder (once called manic depression) causes extreme mood shifts and can be disorienting. Our experts define bipolar...
Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, and Aging Brains
What is dementia? Learn about dementia disorders such as Lewy Body Dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Vascular (multi-infarct)...
Depression Quiz: Signs & Symptoms
Many people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With...
Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, Medication
What is depression? Get information on symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types of depression including major...
Postpartum Depression: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Postpartum depression is a treatable medical illness which affects women after giving birth. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis...
Prescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs
Learn about prescription drug abuse facts and statistics about the dangers and misconceptions of abusing common prescription...
Teen Drug Abuse: Warning Signs, Statistics, and Facts
Teen drug abuse is a growing concern today. Learn statistics, facts, warning signs, and effects related to teen substance abuse...
Causes of Self-Neglect
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as...
Alzheimer's disease is a common cause of dementia. Symptoms and warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss,...
Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment...
Brain Damage: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
Brain damage causes destruction or deterioration of brain cells. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI) are...
Brain Tumor (Symptoms, Signs, Types, Causes, Survival Rates)
A brain tumor can be either non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant), primary, or secondary. Common symptoms of a primary...
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, degenerative, invariably fatal brain disorder. CJD generally appears in the later...
Dementia is defined as a significant loss of intellectual abilities such as memory capacity, severe enough to interfere with...
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one...
Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and...
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Symptoms and signs...
Huntington's disease is the result of degeneration of neurons in areas of the brain. Huntington's disease is an inherited...
Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest,...
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes...
Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. Different types of psychotic disorders include...
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that features schizophrenia and a mood disorder, either major depression or bipolar...
Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder that may cause hallucinations and delusions and affect a person's ability to...
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by odd behaviors, feelings, perceptions, and ways of relating to others that...
Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...
Other Causes of Self-Neglect
Examples of Medications for Self-Neglect
- aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristrada)
- bupropion (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban, Aplenzin, Fortivo XL, Zyban)
- chlorpromazine - oral, Thorazine
- chlorpromazine-injection, Thorazine
- citalopram, Celexa
- clozapine (Clozaril, Fazacio ODT, Versacloz)
- desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla)
- duloxetine, Cymbalta
- fluoxetine, Prozac, Sarafem, Prozac Weekly
- fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin)
- fluphenazine concentrate - oral, Prolixin
- fluphenazine liquid - oral, Prolixin
- fluvoxamine (Luvox and Luvox CR have been discontinued)
- haloperidol (Haldol)
- lamotrigine, Lamictal, Lamictal CD, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal XR
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- lithium, Lithobid
- mirtazapine, Remeron, Soltab
- nefazodone, Serzone
- olanzapine, Zyprexa, Zydis, Zyprexa Relprevv
- paroxetine, Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva
- quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR)
- risperidone, Risperdal; Risperdal Consta, Risperdal M-TAB
- thiothixene - oral, Navane
- trazodone (Desyrel - discontinued brand)
- valproic acid, divalproex, Depakote, Depakote Sprinkle, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Stavzor
- venlafaxine, Effexor XR (Effexor has been discontinued in the US)
- ziprasidone (Geodon)
- Zoloft (sertraline)