Often, we’ve seen depression framed in movies as a beautiful, thin girl in a flowy, white dress, curled up and crying beautifully against a vintage animal fur rug with some indie rock band music echoing through out her cabin in the woods.
But that’s not depression, folks. Depression is feeling a crippling emptiness everyday that you can barely function as a human being. That’s exactly what Kately Marie Todd explained on her Facebook account, which had since become viral.
“I brushed my hair today. For the first time in 4 weeks,” she wrote, along with a black and white photo of her. “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.”
“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.”
Todd also called on people to be kind to their loved ones suffering from depression.
“Please be easy on your friends and family that have trouble getting up the energy to clean, hang out or take care of themselves,” she 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.”
Todd is just one of the millions of people suffering depression in the world. Depression is often wrongly perceived as simple feelings of sadness and loneliness.
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“Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder,” the NIMH website read. “It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.”
It’s a medical condition. So, if you have a loved one suffering from depression, do them a favor and stop telling them to “smile” and “be happy.” Depression isn’t beautiful and sometimes happiness isn’t a choice.