The model and actor known for roles in shows like Arrow and Teen Wolf gets candid about his struggles with mental health and how his life has changed since he first sought help.

by Colton Haynes

The model and actor known for roles in shows like Arrow and Teen Wolf gets candid about his struggles with mental health and how his life has changed since he first sought help.



Nov. 2nd, 2014

Currently sitting at my favorite restaurant in Vancouver, Bin 941. Walked around Vancouver for a while...actually left my house for a change. Got off work ‪around 6pm and went back to my cellar...I beautiful house. I am so comfortable there but it's almost like a fortress. I go home and watch YouTube/fashion docs/drug docs/other docs I won't name. Something's been off recently. I honestly wake up after 5 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. 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. It causes the blood flow to move toward the heart therefore removing it from the lesser needed places like my hands and feet. What I don't realize is that I will stay in the same place sitting down for 5 hours and have no idea 'cause I'm so focused but with nothing to do, nothing to create. I'm a vampire. A shell. Wishing I was the old Colton. 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. When I do leave the house it's for work, the liquor store, or to grab coffee and an occasional sandwich from the store to suppress the hunger. I used to wake up and look forward to working out and working on my physical appearance to build up the idea of what people think I am. I am not my cover. I am so full of emotion and love and I wish I was able to express that again. I just feel like I have so much to give but also expect people to give me that amount back and I'm never met with the same amount of love and compassion. I'm drawn to people who need saving or those who need someone to pick up their pieces. I'm drawn to people who ignore me and make me suspect. I am a crab. I'm a cancer. I have so much to give and won't let anyone other than my closest friends see me fall. There are so many things I want to do in this life but don't know how to start. This is something I say frequently but I am not sure if it's the truth or just an excuse...I don't know who I am anymore.

I can recall the first time I started working oversees and the first time I got my own show and I remember how driven I was, how happy and positive I was. My mind is racing all day and wishing I could figure out what it is that I really want to do. I am a very passionate person but have no direct path. I AM A QUITTER. I often find myself looking at old photos or wishing I lived in past experiences. Why can't I just be happy in the now? In my current situations...I'm always searching for the next thrill, the next break, the next job. My life is a drug...I'm always chasing the next high. To the public eye, my possibilities are endless but in my mind...I'm fading away and battling to hide the pain and emotion that has plagued me my entire life. I've cheated, lied, & finally owned up to it. I actually accomplished something that could have me set for life. I have money but I am lonely...this is my fault though. I don't want to let anyone in. People don't understand the things you give up in life when you step into the limelight. No one really wants to get to know you, they just want you to post a pic of them on Instagram or to like their photo. VAPID. I got myself into this mess and even though I am losing the battle right now...I won't in the long run. Mark my words.


NOV. 12th, 2016

Sitting on my couch in my new home by the beach. Looking through old photos and remembering how different life used to be. I'm often called "Miss Memory Lane" by my closest friends due to the fact that I always look at old photos hoping to relive the memory. But what 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. 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 and won't ever let anyone silence me or my passions ever again. I'm finally free. I'm successful. I'm independent. I'm still short but that won't change lol. I think I'm funny even if others don't haha. But most of all...I'm outspoken.

Don't be afraid to seek help. There are so many people out there who put their jobs first and their mental health last...and trust will creep up on you. There are so many amazing people out there who can help with anxiety and other mental health issues...please don't be afraid and know that it gets better.

National Suicide Hotline: ‪18002738255

The Trevor Project hotline: ‪18664887386

This interview appears in PAPER's new 'Outspoken' issue, which you can buy here.

More from the issue:

Bella Hadid Like You've Never Seen Her Before (cover story)

Fran Lebowitz On Donald Trump, Protests and Moving to Canada

Remy Ma On the Importance of Women Working Together

Hayley Kiyoko On Understanding Her Sexuality and Finding Her Voice

Young Thug On the Fight Against Poverty

You May Also Like

Bushwig Served What the Met Gala Couldn't

​Story by Justin Moran / Photography by Tanner Abel and Nicholas Needham