Facebook user Katelyn Marie Todd has reached viral status after sharing a beautifully written ode to what living with depression is really like.
The post is accompanied by a poignant black and white image of Katelyn pulling a hairbrush through freshly washed hair – alongside which she explains that for herself and others suffering with severe depression, everyday personal grooming routines can be the last thing on your mind.
‘I brushed my hair today. For the first time in 4 weeks,’ Katelyn said in the post, which has now been shared over 260,000 times. ‘It was matted and twisted together. It snapped and tore with every stroke. I cried while I washed and conditioned it, because I forgot how it felt to run my fingers through it.’
I brushed my hair today. For the first time in 4 weeks. It was matted and twisted together. It snapped and tore with every stroke. I cried while I washed and conditioned it, because I forgot how it…
She continues: ‘I brushed my teeth, too, for the first time in a week. My gums bled. My water ran red. I cried over that, as well.’
‘Depression isn’t beautiful. Depression is bad hygiene, dirty dishes, and a sore body from sleeping too much. Depression is having 3 friends that are only still around because they have the patience and love of a saint.’
‘Depression is making your family cry because they think you don’t love them anymore when you’re distant and distracted. Depression is somatic as well as emotional, an emptiness you can physically feel.’
She concludes by asking anyone who sees her message and knows someone with depression to ‘be easy’ on them, and take their battle seriously.
‘We’re trying. I swear we’re trying,’ she adds. ‘See? I brushed my hair today.’
Many commenters left emotional responses to her honest declaration, with some desperate to support Katelyn, even if they didn’t know her.
‘I’m sorry you have to feel that pain, those words are exactly what I’ve felt, I won’t sit here and tell you it’ll be ok because at the time its not and at the time you just need comfort and to cry. I’m always up for a chat if you need anything,’ wrote one commenter.
‘I know this feeling oh so well. You have described it to a T. The guilt is also with you which does not help either,’ said another.
‘Depression is a demon that sucks the very life force out of you,’ a third empathised. ‘I get it. You are not alone. Keep brushing your hair.’