In a previous blog post, a while back, I wrote about Bruce Springsteen and how he uses his music; specifically, live concerts to exorcise his depressive demons. It is an amazing discussion on someone's insights and struggles with depression, as well as how to not only cope but thrive with depression. For Springsteen, playing his music is a form of resiliency building. The music allows him to discharge that depressive energy, if you will and gives him tremendous cathartic release. We all need that type of release I believe.
The other day, I was reading various articles about the latest San Diego Comic Convention, indulging my geeky side. At one point, I came across an article about one of the headlining stars of the CW's Supernatural horror series (I admit that I watched the show for several seasons, go ahead and judge me). Apparently, Jared Padalecki suffers from depression and has struggled with it for a number of years, even while his television career was seriously taking off. Padalecki discussed his personal struggles in the Variety article, as well as lending his support, along with his fame to a national awareness campaign about depression and suicidal ideation. Padalecki created t-shirts which stated: Always Keep Fighting.
Normally, most celebrities probably don't realize if they make any kind of impact with these types of campaigns. In this particular instance though, Padalecki discovered just how much of an impact he made with his public support of erasing the stigma of depression and suicide. While promoting his television series at the San Diego Comic Convention, several news outlets reported that fans in the audience lit up their cell phones to act as candles to honor his Always Keep Fighting campaign and to honor his disclosure about his public bouts with depression. Based upon the reactions he received at the SDCC, both his story and his awareness campaign is having some impact. I hope others, in various public fields will do the same. We need more people like Padalecki with social cachet to speak up about these issues.
If you're struggling with feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1(800) 273-8255, someone will be there to listen.