You Can’t Fight Your Inner Demons on Your Own

As a teenager, I was depressed for years but felt too ashamed to tell anyone. I did everything I could to make it appear like everything was fine. I smiled just enough to cover up my lack of confidence.

Prior to seeking help and receiving a diagnosis, it was incredibly hard for me to discuss this with anyone.

I didn’t want to tell anyone because I thought it would only make things worse. I feared they would judge me, or they would dismiss my depression as merely “teenage angst.” And I thought given time, I could overcome my depressive thoughts. Secretly, I bought books and read articles online, but after a few years it only got worse.

Eventually I had had enough. And one day in my freshman year of college I decided to reach out to someone.

I knew that I would struggle with finding the words to express what I was going through, so I decided to write out a detailed text to my parents. First, I did it on a piece of paper, then I typed it out on my phone. I confessed that for years I had contemplated suicide and battled bouts of debilitating insecurity.

I wrote that I knew that I would not be able to overcome this on my own like I had hoped. I asked for help, but I wasn’t sure what could make me better.

My parents showed nothing but support. It was such a relief. I also decided to tell my best friends and my cousin, who responded similarly. They got it in a way I didn’t expect.

I realized how wrong I was: Relying on other people was much better than going it alone because others could offer the support and advice that I might not realize I needed.

The more I worked on beating depression through therapy, the easier it became for me to talk about it. Because I felt accepted and wasn’t assuming the worst when it comes to other people’s reactions, I was able to move past my shame.

By the time I met my wife, I assumed that I had put my depression behind me for good. For the most part that was true. I no longer succumbed to thoughts of unbearable self-loathing or had debilitating insecurities, but there were still some lingering effects. Most notably, I still had some of the same extreme thoughts that were a catalyst for my depression in the first place.

But by that point,I wasn’t ashamed any longer. And I knew how important it was to share what I was going through with the people I love and who love me.

The fact that I took that first step and told my parents I was depressed led me to a place where I could talk about my depression without embarrassment or shame with my future wife, and that made a huge difference in our relationship and my life.

I no longer feel as alone because I know she has my back. And I’ve found that support essential to my continued recovery.




Editor’s Note: If suspect that you or a loved one are suffering from depression, visit for support.


is a recently married writer who grew up in the Midwest but he has lived down under. He believes in love because he's been loved at his worst.
Written By
More from Dean

A Guy’s Biggest Fear in a Relationship

As a man, my biggest relationship fear is that I’m not good...
Read More