Health

Jared Padalecki Fans Have An Important Message on Mental Health

Actor Jared Padalecki has come forward about his battle with depression before, and thousands honored his candor by holding fake candles and shouting "Always keep fighting!" during the Comic-Con "Supernatural" panel.

People were referring to Padalecki's Always Keep Fighting campaign and perhaps responding to his alarming tweets in May begging fans to send him love:

This came shortly after he announced he wouldn't be making certain scheduled appearances:

Nonetheless, Padalecki was moved when fans showed him support during his appearance:

Padelecki went on to tell E! News immediately afterward, "I'm holding the candle in my pocket right now, I can't let go of it. At first I didn't know what it is. I thought people were holding up their iPhones or something. And then someone handed me the note explaining it and I found out what was really going on. It took everything in my power not to cry."

The "Gilmore Girls" actor also directly shared a touching message with fans on Facebook:

 

A thank you. To anybody and everybody that had ANY part whatsoever in the Always Keep Fighting Hall H tea light event....

Posted by Jared Padalecki on Sunday, July 12, 2015

"From the very bottom of my heart and my soul, thank you so much," he wrote. "I will never forget this day. I will never forget the love that I felt, and still feel. And, to everybody who held a light for me, please know that I hold my light for you. Though I happened to be the one sitting on stage, I am but one small light in a see of thousands. TOGETHER, we can and will make a difference! Keep letting your light shine. I will do the same. And, keep fighting."

In March, Padalecki told Variety of his Always Keep Fighting movement, "I, for a long time, have been passionate about people dealing with mental illness and struggling with depression, or addiction, or having suicidal thoughts and, strangely enough, it’s almost like the life I live, as well. These characters that we play on 'Supernatural,' Sam and Dean, are always dealing with something greater than themselves, and I’ve sort of learned from the two of them that they get through it with each other, and with help and with support. And I, in the past, have had my own struggles of not [being] so happy with where I am in life, which is strange and I think it goes to show … Maybe a lot of people don’t know this, but Season 3, we were shooting an episode, and I went back to my trailer to get changed and just kind of broke down.​"

Padalecki added that his depression didn't initially make sense to him given his fame and fortune, but was real and overpowering.

"A doctor came to set and talked to me for about 30 minutes or 45 minutes and said: 'Jared, I think you’re clinically depressed. I think I should write you a note and we can shut down production for five days and then we can take it from there,'" Padalecki divulged. "And it kind of hit me like a sack of bricks. 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."

He added that the struggle is real but nothing to ever be embarrassed about.

"I say constantly that there’s no shame in dealing with these things," he said. "There's no shame in having to fight every day, but fighting every day, and presumably, if you're still alive to hear these words or read this interview, then you are winning your war. You're here."