Jared Padalecki recently revealed that he has battled clinical depression, which has caused him to contribute to charities that help raise awareness for mental illness.
Jared confessed to having a break-down in the midst of shooting a third season episode of Supernatural. Padalecki told Variety that he returned to his trailer for a costume change, when the feeling hit him all at once and Jared says he just broke down on the spot. When it was discovered that Padalecki was having trouble, a doctor was called onto the set to counsel him. The diagnosis of clinical depression came after a 30-45 minute conversation between Jared and the doctor. Production was shut down and would not resume for five days, while Padalecki attempted to get a handle on the sudden onslaught of depression.
"It kind of hit me like a sack of bricks," Mr. Padalecki said. "I mean, I was 25 years old. I had my own TV show. I had dogs that I loved and tons of friends and I was getting adoration from fans and I was happy with my work, but I couldn't figure out what it was; it doesn't always make sense is my point. It's not just people who can't find a job, or can't fit in in society that struggle with depression sometimes."
Padalecki hasn't just taken control of his own inner demons. The Supernatural star has added his name (and his face) to a T-shirt campaign with proceeds going to To Write Love on Her Arms. Jared began promoting the T-shirts, which feature an image of himself along with the words "Always Keep Fighting" written in a bold grey-blue font, with the intention of selling just 1,000 shirts. Padalecki's campaign, which he began when a close friend lost his own battle with depression, has long passed that meager goal, selling over 27,500 T-shirts.
Jamie Tworkowski founded To Write Love On Her Arms in response to a close friend's struggle with addiction and self-mutilation. The organization's name was taken from an article Tworkowski wrote about her friend's experiences.
Jared has a message, or perhaps it's more of a personal revelation, for those struggling with depression and mental illness. Jared urges people suffering from these illnesses not to feel shame in fighting these battles. The mere fact that people with depression wake up every morning to take a new day head on is proof that he or she is winning the battle, Padalecki says. Jared acknowledges that some days are harder than others, but every day is a gift, if only because it stands as proof that we're winning the battle.
Jared's continued success in his personal life and with Supernatural proves he's winning his own battle against depression.
"People who are dealing with depression, addiction or suicidal thoughts or mental illness … they're strong. You're strong because you've been in this fight and you wake up thinking you're going to beat it again today."
[Image courtesy of Twitter]