“Depression is bad hygiene, dirty dishes, and a sore body from sleeping too much … ”
The true face of depression is well-hidden. Whether it’s at home in bed or covered up by a smile in public, most people rarely see what depression really looks like. This keeps the debilitating disorder shrouded in mystery and misconception. That’s why a recent Facebook post by Katelyn Marie Todd is getting so much attention. Todd posted a photo of herself brushing her hair to reveal the grim reality faced by the depressed.
“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,” Todd wrote on her Facebook page. “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.”
According to Pasadena Villa, a network of residential treatment services, poor hygiene is a major red flag for major depressive disorder. “When someone is suffering from MDD, they essentially lose the inability to function productively,” the group’s website reads. “This lack of productivity can interfere with their job, their school work, their chores, etc. It can even interfere with their ability to accomplish even the most basic of tasks, such as eating, cleaning, and, yes, bathing themselves.”
Todd’s post doesn’t just expose people to one of the ugly side effects of depression, but it asks others to have compassion for those dealing with the disorder. “Please be easy on your friends and family that have trouble getting up the energy to clean, hang out, or take care of themselves,” Todd wrote. “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.”
Here’s Todd’s full post from Facebook: