Busy Mom Shares Photo Of Clean Dishes, But Then She Writes ‘This Is What Depression Looks Like’

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content at LittleThings. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for sites like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Unwritten. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law and Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

Everyone gets overwhelmed with life from time to time. Whether it’s family stress, workplace challenges, or personal problems, everybody feels down once in a while.

If that feeling doesn’t go away, though, it could be a sign of depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Depression… is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.”

Unfortunately, many people experience depression at some point in their lives. In the US, it is one of the most common mental disorders. And depression doesn’t discriminate — people of all ages, genders, and races can suffer from it.

Although it’s a common disorder, many people have misconceptions about depression. One woman, Brittany Ernsperger, took to Facebook to explain how depression makes her feel. She shared a photo of clean dishes on her counter and explained, “This is what depression looks like.”

brittany post

Brittany Ernsperger took to Facebook to share what her experience with depression has been like. Her post quickly got a lot of attention. Now it has over 268,000 reactions and over 325,000 shares.

brittany camo

Brittany wrote:

“This is what depression looks like.

“No. Not the clean dishes.

“But that there were that many dishes in the first place; that I’ve gone 2 weeks without doing them.”

brittany dishes

“3 days ago I sat on the kitchen floor and stared at them while I cried. I knew they needed to be done. I wanted to do them so bad.”

brittany brick

“But depression pulled me under. It sucked me in. Like a black hole. Rapidly, sinking quick-sand.”


“I walked by them morning and night and all day long. And just looked at them. Telling myself that I could do them. Telling myself that I would. And feeling defeated everyday that I didn’t. Making the depression only that much worse because not accomplishing something that needs to be done is failure.”

brittany sweatshirt

“Worthless. Failure. Piece of sh*t. Incompetent. Stupid. Lazy.

“All things that roll through the mind of someone with depression. All. Day. Long.”

brittany family

“Throw anxiety on top of it, and you’ve got yourself a real treat.

“Being scared your husband will leave because he thinks you’re lazy. Being scared to let people into your home because they’ll think you’re nasty. Feeling like you’re failing your kids because for the 3rd night in a row you don’t have any clean dishes to cook dinner on.. so pizza it is. Again.”

brittany laundry

“And the worst part of it all, it’s not just with the dishes. The laundry, cleaning, dressing yourself, taking a shower, dressing your kids, brushing your and their teeth, normal everyday tasks. It all becomes a nightmare. A very daunting task. Somedays it doesn’t get done at all.”

“Depression is something that ‘strong’ people don’t talk about because they don’t want people to think they’re ‘weak’.”

brittany strong

“You’re not weak. You’ve been strong for so long and through so many things, that your body needs a break.”

brittany braids

“I don’t even care if the only thing you did today, was put deodorant on. I’m proud of you for it. Good job. I’m in your corner. I’m on your side.”

brittany makeup

“I’m not looking for sympathy, not in the slightest.

“But I am letting everyone know that I’m here for you. I get it. If you need someone to talk to, I’m always here to help.”

When Brittany saw how much her words resonated with others, she updated her post to include a final message:

“I wasn’t expecting this to get as much love as it has gotten.”

“Ladies, if you’re feeling this way, send me a friend request. I’ll do my best to help you or get you the help you need. We’ll figure it out together.

“We can only help one another by lifting each other up. I’m here for you.”