The Monster Inside Me

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About David Perez

David Perez lives in New York and wears a belt that reads 'FOR SALE' in LED lights at all times. You can talk to him about anything on Twitter @ContrarioMan.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story, David. While I suffer from depression and can relate, it never went as bad for me. You’re doing good, keep up!

  2. Tom Matlack says:

    Great story David. I too suffer from depression. The more we talk about it openly the better off we will all be. Thank you.

  3. Thank you very much for sharing that with us, David. Your article was powerful and vivid, and I could very much relate to some of your experiences.

    Fortunately, most of my worst days are now far behind me.

  4. Thanks for sharing, David. I, too, am a sufferer, and years ago (before I tried my hand at serious writing, so please forgive some of the rookie mistakes), I wrote an essay for my then girlfriend to let her know what living with (and as) a depressed person was like.

    Not trying to generate traffic here, but if you’re interested, it’s here:


  5. Reading David Perez is like riding a gravy train through Eden.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing! I see my son traveling down the same path you were on (he’s 11)…I don’t know what to do for him. He’s very angry, very emotional (both my boys are, the other is 6) (I also have an 8 yr old daughter)….well, all of my kids are emotional, but my boys express their anger and frustration physically. My oldest has said he wants to kill himself (when he was in trouble for something). I don’t know what to do. I am a single mom, I get very little child support, make $300 too much for food stamps…I can barely feed them, much less afford therapy. They go to their father’s house every other week, but he was verbally and mentally cruel and abusive throughout our marriage and I’m sure he is (at the very least) neglectful of them; he has a video game addiction and he works alot and goes to the bar (“working” he tells me at 9 pm)….I didn’t get any documentation of the abuse I incurred, so I have no choice but to share custody. I cannot move away to be closer to my family (I have no one here)…

    Do you have any advice for me? I have struggled with depression and wanting to die my entire life; my husband only made it worse. Now, my children are on the same path, but things are so much worse and harder for them today than it was for me….what do I do? where do I go? How can I help them to have fulfilling and rewarding lives instead of suffering the hell that you and I have? I appreciate any help you can suggest. Thank you.

    • What would have helped you as a child? to avoid what was to come next? That’s what I need to know…. Thank you.

      • David P. says:

        There were plenty of things that went wrong with my treatment during early adolescence; one was that my mother was forced to handle all of this on her own and was quite overwhelmed just trying to keep food on the table–much less handle my mental health issues. Unfortunately, that wasn’t about to change in my situation–or yours–so I think that there simply needs to be recognition that single moms in particular are shortchanged at work by discriminatory pay practices that continue in spite of the Lily Ledbetter Act. It’s a practice that victimizes entire families, especially those most vulnerable to hardships–and it has to stop.

        In getting back off the soapbox, I don’t think that your children are doomed to follow the same path you took. My mother was terrified that I would grow up to be just like her and deal with the same challenges–and in some ways, I did. That’s not always bad, but everyone has challenges that they will have to cope with at some point. It is neither fair nor particularly discriminating in terms of deservedness, but it is a cold fact. Establishing healthy coping mechanisms is vital–how do you deal with problems? what do you when things go wrong? how big a deal is this particular issue?–because when the aforementioned questions don’t get asked or are not dealt with properly, that’s when real issues arise. There’s a place for anger and rage; and, indeed, sometimes they are healthy emotions to express. Finding a channel and filter for such feelings is the key. I’m not a licensed professional by any means, but I think that’s a brief summary of what my experience has been. Thanks for reading.

  7. Thank you for your frank and open piece. BUT how did you or what did you and the last doctor do to end the self-loathing and begin getting better? eventhough, like you said and I agree with wholeheartedly, this monster never goes away

    • David P. says:

      There is no easy answer for this question. In writing this, I asked myself how I was able to move on and came to the conclusion that part of this was simply a matter of maturation. As I entered by mid-twenties, I became less manic and less hard on myself as a factor of not having the same sharp edge to the emotions that I felt as a teenager and in college. That said, my work with Dr. S pointed me in the right direction–there was no preaching and no judging, but plenty of empathy and constructive, natural dialogue. It’s really a matter of chemistry; I needed a father figure-type of shrink and he was perfect for that sort of role. Everyone is different; and there are people for whom medication along with therapy may be the best solution. As I mentioned, a friend of mine was completely consumed by depression and ended up killing herself–she had medication, the absolute best psychiatric care from the time her symptoms first appeared until her death, and two absolutely loving and supportive parents. None of this kept her alive, and it is just a sad fact. Some people don’t make it. Most, however, can cope–not beat–with depression to some degree. There’s no one answer. Pathologically, it just doesn’t work that way; and the sooner that is recognized, the easier it becomes to size up.

  8. thank you, mr. d. perez. love you always.

  9. rick cocktease says:

    you the man don perez, 360 degrees. got your back like you got mine, but you got the talent like you got the talent. keep it coming, please.

  10. Brian (Vancouver) says:

    Thank you for the detail in which you described events. I’ve lived with depression on & off for the past 10 years now, and it always helps to feel “not alone.”

  11. Yeah DP, thanks for sharing these powerful words. It’s good to be real.

  12. David … YES to all of it. There is so much a person has to survive … Depression is corrosive. It’s everything raw that we shove underground until someday, somehow, KABOOM. It’s like salt that gets into *all* the crevices of a car — Eats away at the whole thing from the inside out until one day it just falls apart. And if it starts when you’re a kid — By middle age you feel just about done. You think you’re about to give out, and then comes this voice that does what you’re doing here. You’re saving lives.

    All respect to you.

  13. This is grace and sugar; thank you. Wrote just the other day on my own blog about that to lie, to not lie conundrum. Still sifting it, but to find yours today helps clarify my own thoughts.


  14. I was raised by a mother with borderline personality disorder who tried to commit suicide at least 10 times, twice in college, which resulted in expulsion and numerous times during my adolescence and young adulthood and spent four years in a mental hospital. Additiionally I have a a sister with an eating disorder and extreme irritability and high emotionality (no formal diagnosis). I married a man with a family history of mental illness who is OCD and a recovering alcoholic. I have three children. My oldest is classically bipolar who HAS put his head through a wall and been hospitalized, and a daughter with seasonal affective disorder (she gets extremely depressed in the winter months, migraines) Both my older children have been extremely wild in school and done it all in terms of drugs. Yet they are both highly intelligent, socially skilled, and are getting their acts together. My youngest child looks as though she may be bipolar as well. Myself? I’ve suffered from low-grade depression my whole life, but with all these people to take care of, I’ve never been able to indulge or dwell on it (thank goodnesss). Living for your family is what get you through it. Although, these days, I’m feeling exhausted.

  15. “…I read an old Men’s Fitness article on kettle bells every time I sat in his waiting room. ” Nice imagery there. I love your writing.

    And… I’ve spent weeks at a time in my Paris apartment too, until my friends lure me out or I’m down to one square of toilet paper or cheese. Other than my friends, two things also save me: 1. my sense of humor as the writer/observer in me who stands back and lovingly laughs at my fears and 2. the simple act of breathing in and saying, “Lisa, remember who you are.”

    Dealing with paralysis/depression/fear seems to be a patchwork quilt for me. Chance meetings with strangers, chunks of therapy, inspirational reading, silence in the morning, ah-ha moments, washing my mother’s little old body when she was too sick to do it herself (the mother with whom I never imagined I would ever really connect)… all weave together in their own time and at some point I feel like I’ve grown, yet it happened so subtly that I missed the exact moment.

  16. Sandrap says:

    Thank you for telling your truth. Keep on following your path… it is helping more people than you will ever truly know.

  17. i, too, have suffered both clinical depression and going to swarthmore. not a great combo.

  18. Thank you for sharing this, David. I’ve also suffered from depression coupled with period strings of panic attacks for about 5 1/2 years, and after doing better for a while after quitting lexapro (which made my behavior even more whacked), things over the past few months have gotten darker again and my current therapist is suggesting meds again, which I’m dreading. It’s encouraging to know you found someone who through talk therapy was able to help get you through it and onto a better path.

  19. I went thru most of your problems, obesity,bullying,drop out, fired from work, and I’m still 16, I’ve had my fair share of suicide attempts and therapists and blah blah blah, only one thing changed, I learned how to embrace my monster, me and him are best friends now, we cope with eachother, sounds like insanity doesnt it? but it’s not, we all have a monster, only difference is some embrace it as equal, others conquer it but some just give in to the urges, I no longer wish to die, I just want to delight in the path of destruction and chaos that happens around me, around us, around the world death is there, dont fear it, just learn to cope with it, fear is what drives me.

  20. Writing helps me a lot. At least it helps getting the crazy thoughts out of my brain. I have had depression since I was a kid but over the last few years I have had made fighting the soul sucking depression that has taken most of my life.

  21. good read, I can relate to a degree. I’m glad I read this instead of calling it quits, thanks


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