For people with depression , tasks that seem mundane can feel like a challenge. Doing things like washing your hair or getting up in the morning can further deplete your already-drained energy supply. Stylist Kate Langman shared that she recognized that one of her customers might be suffering from severe depression, so she helped give the client a hairstyle makeover.
Wisconsin woman Kate Langman was working at the Ulta Beauty salon one day when she asked a customer if she needed any help. The woman responded by telling Langman about her struggles with mental health . “This woman suffered from a very deep depression,” Langman wrote in a Facebook post about the experience. “She couldn’t get out of her bed for six months, which meant she didn’t wash her hair or brush it. She kept pulling it back into this bun, which after that long of time turned into a huge dread lock. The bun was so matted that it felt like she literally had rock on the back of her head.” Langman encouraged the woman to put the products back on the shelf, and recommended that she come in for an appointment the next day, instead.
But the woman didn’t show. Two weeks later, the woman called to book another appointment. But she didn’t make it to that one either. “At this point, I figured she wasn’t going to ever end up coming in,” Langman wrote. “It actually, kind of, broke my heart. I wanted to help her so much.”
Then one day, the woman returned. She found Langman and asked if she could get her hair done then and there—now that she was able to get out of bed again. Langman said yes. “I didn’t care how late I stayed,” the stylist said. “I wanted to make sure she got taken care of.” The customer hoped to keep her hair long. And Langman explained that while she’d usually advise someone in this situation to cut their hair off, she was determined to make this work. “I wanted her to know how hard I was going to try to make her feel great again,” she said.
The appointment ended up taking more than eight hours, but their patience and determination was worth it. “By the end of this service, I could see the sparkle in her eyes,” Langman wrote. “And I could see her cheeks get rosy pink from the excitement of not only being able to run her fingers through her hair again, but [feeling like] herself again…If this ever makes its way back to her, I want her to know how great, wonderful, kind, loving, and how strong of a person she is. And not only those things, but how beautiful she is. She deserves nothing but happiness, and I’m so thankful and so grateful I got to help with her first step.”
Depression impacts more than 15 million American adults each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). People with depression may experience persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness; a loss of interest in everyday activities; difficulty concentrating, remembering things, or sleeping; and a decrease in energy.
The extent of the depression varies from person to person—meaning everyone experiences the condition differently. For the woman in this story, depression meant being able to get out of bed on some days and struggling to do so on others. For someone else with depression, life could look entirely different. And Langman’s story is a simple reminder of how meaningful small acts of kindness can be for people who are just trying to get through the day.
Read Kate Langman’s Facebook post about the experience below.
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