SELF – Why Brushing Your Hair Can Be So Meaningful If You Have Depression

In what became a viral post on Facebook, Katelyn Marie Todd described perfectly what it is like to be depressed, and how hard it is to take care of yourself. Even brushing your hair can be hard.

How common are hygiene issues and what you can do to help a struggling loved one were some of the questions SELF set out to answer for their readers. I was pleased to help with this great roundup of what it’s like to be depressed and how to help.

To read the full article, click HERE.


Depression can impact people on such a fundamental level because taking care of yourself requires energy, effort, and the belief that you’re worth it.


People who suffer from depression don’t tend to have these in abundance, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., tells SELF. “Hopelessness sets in, and hopelessness can fuel feelings of worthlessness that preclude a sense of self-pride and respect in a circular way: ‘I am worthless, so why should I bother?’ becomes ‘I can’t be bothered, so I feel even more worthless,’” she explains.

There can be subtle signs someone is sliding into different self-care patterns due to depression, per Clark. For example, a loved one who always blows out her hair and suddenly stops without reason (coupled with other symptoms of depression), or wearing the same clothes repeatedly when they’ve always taken pride in their appearance, may be signs that they’re struggling.

Above all, Clark says it’s important to avoid judgment and come from a place of love—even though it can be challenging at times. “It can be hard to understand how someone could simply not get out of bed or clean themselves, and even harder not to be alarmed by it,” she says. “Patience and compassion can help your loved one know you care, as can rational reminders that they are depressed and need help. Offering hope is probably one of the most powerful things you can do.”

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD