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This Viral Selfie Shows What Living With Depression Is Really Like


(Allure)
Over the weekend, Facebook user Katelyn Marie Todd posted a photo on the social media platform of herself brushing her hair. Sounds simple, but as someone who struggles with depression, Todd had a message to share — and her caption revealed that this seemingly small act of grooming was actually a huge feat for her because of her mental health struggles. "I brushed my hair today. For the first time in 4 weeks," she wrote. "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."
"Depression isn't beautiful," she continued. "Depression is bad hygiene, dirty dishes, and a sore body from sleeping too much. Depression is having three friends that are only still around because they have the patience and love of a saint."



"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."

If you or someone you know needs help with depression, check out the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance's website. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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