Woman's Honest Post on the Huge Toll Depression Takes on Her Life is Going Viral

May 10th 2017

Almie Rose

"I brushed my hair today. For the first time in 4 weeks."

This is the beginning of one woman's Facebook post, which since she posted it on May 6 has over 267,000 shares and 199,000 reactions.

Why do people care about a woman brushing her hair?

Because, as Katelyn Marie Todd explained, personal neglect is the physical toll depression can take on a person — and she's urging people to try to understand what it's like to suffer from the condition.

hair brushing

She went on to write:

"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.

[...] 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," she wrote, ending with a plea: "Please be easy on your friends and family that have trouble getting up the energy to clean, hang out, or take care of themselves ... We're trying. I swear we're trying."

Over 19,000 comments flooded her post, with people expressing their thanks for her openness and saying so accurately how they feel about their own struggles with depression.







Most of the comments relating to Todd's story came from women — and that makes sense.

"Women are approximately two times more likely than men to suffer from major depression and dysthymia," according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

The APA also noted: "Depression has been called the most significant mental health risk for women, especially younger women of childbearing and childrearing age" and that "depression in women is misdiagnosed approximately 30 percent to 50 percent of the time."

This isn't to say that men aren't also affected by the serious mood disorder. "Depression is a common and highly treatable disorder affecting over 17 million American adults annually," according to the APA.

Depression isn't just feeling sad.

As the National Institute of Mental Health explains, "depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Depression symptoms can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy your life ... You can’t just 'snap out' of depression."

That's why little moments like brushing your hair can be big victories.

Read Todd's full post below.