These before and after photos show how difficult living with depression can be

Depression can make it difficult to do everyday tasks, like taking care of oneself or even getting out of bed, as these before and after photos of one woman show.

Kate Langman, a stylist at Ulta Beauty, first saw her future client in the hair care aisle of Ulta, pulling bottles of "All Soft" Redken hair products off the shelf. Langman asked the woman if she needed help, to which she replied she was looking for something to fix her hair. According to Langman, the woman said she had been unable to get out of bed for six months due to depression. During that time, she pulled her hair into a bun, which after months of being neglected, had matted into a "huge dreadlock."

Langman told the woman to put the haircare products back and come in for an appointment instead. The two scheduled an appointment for the next day, but the woman canceled, making an appointment for two weeks later instead. Two week later, and the woman canceled again. At this point Langman assumed she would never see the woman again.


Then, on March 9, the woman came into Ulta and asked Langman if she could do her hair that very same day, noting that she was finally able to get out of bed again.

Eight-and-a-half-hours later and Langman turned the woman’s hair into a style deserving of her strength. "I didn’t care how late I stayed, I wanted to make sure she got taken care of," Langman wrote on a post she shared to Facebook with her client’s permission. "Most of the time the advice is to just cut it off… But I wanted to make this work for her."

More than 30,000 people have shared Langman's post since she first shared it. "I didn’t share the post because of the transformation. I did it because I wanted people to see that depression is a real serious thing," Langman told The Mighty. "And just by simply saying 'I'll help you' can change their outlook on life, so much. The hair was an added bonus to making her feel happy again."

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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