Katelyn Marie Todd shared a post on Facebook about her daily battles with depression and it has resonated with thousands of people across the land.
The post currently has over 209K plus shares, 140K plus reactions and over 14K comments. Massive response and growing fast!
Katelyn shared a picture of herself brushing her hair explaining…
“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 felt to run my fingers through it. 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. When I got out of the shower, I couldn’t stop sniffing my hair and arms. I’ve avoided hugging people for a while, because I never smell good. I always smell like I’ve been on bedrest for a week. I have no clean clothes, because I’m too tired and sad to wash them.
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 crying until there’s no more tears, just dry heaving and sobbing until you’re gasping for your next breath. Depression is staring at the ceiling until your eyes burn because you forget to blink. 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.
Please be easy on your friends and family that have trouble getting up the energy to clean, hang out, or take care of themselves. And please, please take them seriously if they talk to you about it. We’re trying. I swear we’re trying. See? I brushed my hair today.”
A similar post by Shonah Wootton on The Mighty caught my eye earlier this week as well.
She wrote, “One thing about mental health that doesn’t seem to be mentioned a lot is hygiene. So, let’s talk about hygiene!”
Shonah explains, “I haven’t brushed my teeth in at least a month. To most people, that seems disgusting… and it is disgusting. But to me it’s the norm.
Not brushing my teeth, not combing my hair, not showering is all completely normal behaviour in my book.
Living with a mental illness is a challenge at the best of times, so let’s add personal hygiene into the equation. I wake up every morning thinking the same thing I do every day. “I’ll do it tomorrow,” but tomorrow never comes. Everyday is the same — how can I even get out of bed, let alone take a shower and brush my teeth? It’s like there is a black fog above me, pushing me further and further down into my bed…
I cannot get up. I cannot stand in the shower and wash myself. Of course, I know I need to get up and clean myself, but it’s easier said than done. Each simple tasks (to most people) become the most impossible missions, and I’m no Tom Cruise. So I go back to bed.”
Signs and symptoms via Beyondblue
You may be depressed if, for more than two weeks, you’ve felt sad, down or miserable most of the time, or have lost interest or pleasure in usual activities, and have also experienced several of the signs and symptoms across at least three of the categories below.
It’s important to remember that we all experience some of these symptoms from time to time, and it may not necessarily mean you’re depressed. Equally, not everyone who is experiencing depression will have all of these symptoms.
not going out anymore
not getting things done at work/school
withdrawing from close family and friends
relying on alcohol and sedatives
not doing usual enjoyable activities
unable to concentrate
lacking in confidence
‘I’m a failure.’
‘It’s my fault.’
‘Nothing good ever happens to me.’
‘Life’s not worth living.’
‘People would be better off without me.’
tired all the time
sick and run down
headaches and muscle pains
loss or change of appetite
significant weight loss or gain
We recently shared a similar post from a mum sharing her experience with postpartum depression, anxiety, and OCD. Read more on that HERE.
If you or someone you know are struggling with depression please don’t battle alone. Reach out! See your doctor or contact one of the resources below.
Lifeline 13 11 14
PANDA National Helpline Mon to Fri, 10am – 5pm AEDT on 1300 726 306
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