Colton Haynes Opens Up About His Decades-Long Battle with Anxiety & Depression: 'It's Not Easy'

"I've talked about this before but I can't stress enough how important it is to seek help when your feeling down or in your darkest moments. I've struggled with Anxiety & Depression since I was in the 5th grade & it's not something that should go untreated or uncared for," he shared in an Instagram post Tuesday

Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Colton Haynes is opening up about his struggle with depression and anxiety.

The 29-year-old Arrow star took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a candid post about his decades-long battle with the mental health disorders, which he has struggled with since childhood, in honor of World Mental Health Day.

“Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay. This is a photo I took of myself about a month ago when I had reached a point where I had no idea what to do,” he began the post, which accompanied a selfie of the actor. “I had been in bed crying/paralyzed for 3 wks with no explanation. My personal life & career were at an all time high.”

Haynes, who got engaged to fiancé Jeff Leatham in March, continued his post by imploring his fans to “seek help” during their own “darkest moments” in life.

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“I’ve talked about this before but I can’t stress enough how important it is to seek help when your feeling down or in your darkest moments. I’ve struggled with Anxiety & Depression since I was in the 5th grade & it’s not something that should go untreated or uncared for,” he continued.

“I know a lot of people don’t understand mental illness & pass it off as ppl being dramatic…but it’s a chemical Imbalance that no one wants to struggle through,” Haynes wrote before admitting: “It’s not easy.”

He concluded his post by encouraging his followers to help those who need a listening and loving ear.

“So let’s all take a second to reach out to those in need of help & those who just need someone to talk to or some encouragement,” he wrote. “A little love goes a long way. My heart is with my fellow survivors & ppl struggling through this disease…you aren’t alone. ❤️❤️❤️.”

In December, the former Teen Wolf star — who publicly came out as gay in early 2016 — opened up to Paper in a first-person piece dated Nov. 2, 2014 about suffering from mental health issues and how he was able to finally move forward.

“I honestly wake up after five hours of sleep wide-awake. It’s probably from the bottle of wine I drank before I finally fell asleep/passed out or the amount of pills I’d had,” Haynes shared from 2014. “I read up on why I’m experiencing numbness and lack of circulation in my hands and feet and it’s due to the stimulants I’ve been taking for quite some time now.”

“What I don’t realize is that I will stay in the same place sitting down for five hours and have no idea ’cause I’m so focused, but with nothing t to do, nothing to create, I’m a vampire. A shell. Wishing I was the old Colton,” continued Haynes. “The person who used to love going out and talking to my family/friends. Now I’m so closed off to the world that I can’t even get up enough courage to go in public. I’m afraid of people and have become agoraphobic.”

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“I used to look forward to working out and working on my physical appearance to build up the idea of what people think I am,” he wrote. “I am not my cover. I am so full of emotion and love and I wish I was able to express that again.”

Sharing another first-person piece dated Nov. 12, 2016, Haynes showed how far he’s come in becoming a happier, healthier person.

“I’m finally realizing is that I can’t and wouldn’t want to go back to that headspace ever again. So clouded and unsure about myself, my life, my privacy, my mental health. I’m finally in a position where I can say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been,” he wrote. “I’ve accomplished so much with so little and my smile is finally not forced. I’ve taken control of my own life for the first time … I’m finally free.”

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