Depression. It’s one of those illnesses that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. Oftentimes, people experiencing it are made to feel as if their illness isn’t real or that their “sadness” is something that they can easily “get over.”
Anyone who has suffered from depression (or is currently suffering from it) knows that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Depression is a real illness that affects real people in real ways. And just like any other sickness, the people suffering from it need love, support and prayer from those around them.
Even a simple show of support can go a long way in the life of someone suffering from depression. Just recently, Jared Padalecki took part in a Supernatural panel at this year’s Comic-Con. In the middle of the discussion, 7,000 of his fans showed support and encouragement for his decision to speak openly about his battle with the illness, by lighting candles in the audience.
How amazing! In response to this outpouring of support, Jared said: “This is so touching and humbling and honoring. I don’t have the proper words to say thank you or how humbled and honored and excited I am, and keep it up, guys. Thank y’all so much.”
Last year, the actor sat down with Variety to talk about his illness and how it has impacted his life:
“I, in the past, have had my own struggles of not [being] so happy with where I am in life. 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. 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….’ 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. You might not win every battle. There are going to be some really tough days. There might be several tough times in any given single day, but hopefully, this will help somebody to think, ‘This isn’t easy; it is a fight, but I’m going to keep fighting.'”
We LOVE this story so much because it provides a beautiful example of how people should respond to those who are dealing with depression. They want to be heard. They want to be understood. They want to be loved. The worst thing you can do is ignore them or invalidate their feelings. The Bible is full of verses that encourage us to be there for those who are “fainthearted” and “weak” (1 Thessalonians 5:14), just as God is always there for us in our low moments.