We’re coming to the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, and there have been some striking pieces of personal journalism out there.
One particular post that really struck us was just how realistic and, in its own way beautiful, one women who suffers from depression’s piece was. She wrote about being able to brush her hair for the first time in four weeks following a chronic period of poor health.
Katelyn Todd uploaded an image of her combing through her hair on Facebook.
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.
“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.”
To Ms Todd, depression is “bad hygiene, dirty dishes and a sore body from sleeping too much”. Other symptoms, she explains, include hysterical crying, staring into space for long periods of time and feeling completely disconnected.
The post has clearly had a huge impact on people since she uploaded it on Sunday. At the time of writing, it had been liked more than 150,000 times and shared upwards of 227,000 times.
“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 concluded. “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.”
One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem at some time in their lifetimes. For more information or support on treatment for, and diagnosis of, mental health issues, visit Mind.org.uk here.