Teen Katelyn Marie Todd just made her battle with depression visible — in a brutally honest Facebook post, she told the world that “depression isn’t beautiful” and posted a photo alongside her words. In the photo, Todd runs a brush through her hair. “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.”
After brushing her hair, she moved on to her teeth. ” 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,” she wrote.
After her shower, Todd couldn’t stop smelling her body — she’d forgotten what it felt like to be clean. “I’ve avoided hugging people for a while, because I never smell good,” she said. “I always smell like I’ve been on bedrest for a week.”
“Depression is bad hygiene, dirty dishes, and a sore body from sleeping too much,” she continued. “Depression is somatic as well as emotional, an emptiness you can physically feel.”
Depression is also not just about the sufferer, Todd explained. “Depression is having 3 friends that are only still around because they have the patience and love of a saint,” she wrote. ” Depression is making your family cry because they think you don’t love them anymore when you’re distant and distracted.”
In making her own struggle known, Todd hopes that people reading her post — with 242,200 shares, 171,000 likes and 17,000 comments, her post has reached thousands — will be gentle with and receptive to struggling loved ones. “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.”
Already, her post has resonated with so many who know the exact darkness Todd faces or has loved ones enduring the same thing. “My 17-year-old daughter has been battling this for years as well and my heart goes out to you and to all people everywhere who are suffering with depression,” one mother wrote. “You are not alone and the truth is you are loved and cherished more than you know.”
GoodHousekeeping.com has reached out to Todd for comment and she has not yet responded.