In the past, the medical community associated depression with adulthood, but the reality is very much different. Many young people are likely to suffer from this condition during their teenage years. Around 11% of all the teens in the U.S have experienced an episode of depression.
Depression, as a condition, is characterized by persistent sadness, despair, and hopelessness. Although teenagers can be moody at times, this is something way more serious, and it’s crucial for it to be recognized at the early stage.
These people are overly critical of themselves and feel worthless. They can even have suicidal thought and usually isolate themselves from the rest of the world.
People should be aware of the signs that lead to depression and learn how to cope with it, mainly by seeking friendship and trying to be around people, because stumbling upon considering individuals may help in their fight. That was the case with the 16-year-old girl from Waterloo, Iowa. She visited a hair saloon after weeks spent in bed.
The girl told the hairdresser how she didn’t wash nor combed her hair in weeks, because she didn’t feel like doing anything except for being locked in her room. Needless to say, her hair was in an awful condition. It was unlike anything the hairdresser has even seen before.
The girl had a simple request. She wanted her hair shaved or cut really short, because she was well aware there was nothing could be done. But 20-year-old stylist Kayley Olsson knew better than that. She felt she had to take things in her hands and give this girl a makeover to remember. Maybe that could help boost her self-confidence. She knew it would take hours to untangle the hair, but she also knew it would be worth it.
Kayley told the BBC:
“Cutting her hair was absolutely not an option for me. I knew right then and there that we had to keep as much hair as possible.”
Kayley and her fellow stylist Mariah spent total of 13 hours combing the girl’s hair.
Of course, the process was painful, but they wouldn’t let the girl give up or feel like a burden:
“It took a lot of encouraging words, reassurance, and just plain conversation to take her mind off of the pain involved in removing the matting and to boost her self esteem and confidence.”
The two stylist knew how it felt like to be facing with mental issues and they could relate to their client.
“I was able to very closely relate to her mental health problems and the daily struggle that comes with them, due to my struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety,” explained Mariah.
“I understood how it felt to feel worthless – a child should never feel like that. I knew I had to help her, just like people helped me. We all deserve to feel beautiful.” Kayley said.
The girl was very excited. That wasn’t only a hairstyle change, but a life change that would hopefully make her feel good about herself again. She was now ready to get back to school without being mocked about her appearance.
Kayley posted about the incident on her Facebook page, reporting that the girl’s final words to her were:
“I will actually smile for my school’s pictures today, you made me feel like me again.”
The Facebook post has been shared more than 79 thousand times and received more than 200,000 reactions.
Teen depression can be a result of a stressful home environment, poverty or violence in the family, the loss of a close friend or a relative, learning difficulties, or peer bullying.
These teens avoid social events, have lack of focus, are usually exhausted, and even suffer from insomnia. The list of reasons, signs and symptoms is however much longer.
If you know someone who is facing this condition you can encourage them to seek professional help.
If you want to learn more about what teen depression looks like and some ways you can help kids cope, the Mayo Clinic has resources available here.
You can watch the whole video below.