Fans Support Jared Padalecki's Fight Against Depression With Incredibly Moving Comic-Con Tribute
By Antoinette Bueno
Jared Padalecki found himself holding back the tears at Sunday's Supernatural panel at Comic-Con.
The 32-year-old CW star revealed his struggle with depression earlier this year, and came out with an "Always Keep Fighting" shirt to benefit nonprofit organization To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), which supports people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. To show their support for Padalecki's campaign, more than 6,000 fans surprised him by holding up candles for him at Hall H, creating a pretty amazing site.
"I am beyond moved," Padalecki wrote on Facebook, thanking his supporters. "I will never forget this day. I will never forget the love that I felt, and still feel. ... Though I happened to be the one sitting on stage, I am but one small light in a sea of thousands. TOGETHER, we can and will make a difference! Keep letting your light shine. I will do the same. And, keep fighting. Always Keep Fighting."
The actor says he was understandably emotional after the surprise candle moment.
"At first I didn't know what it was," he explained to E! News. "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."
In March, Padalecki revealed his battle with depression in a candid essay he wrote for Variety.
"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," he recalled. "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.' And it kind of hit me like a sack of bricks."
"I say constantly that there’s no shame in dealing with these things," he stressed. "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."