Supernatural star Jared Padalecki has opened up about his battle with depression, revealing he was diagnosed with the mood disorder after breaking down on the set of the hit TV series.
The actor has been playing a demon hunter on the sci-fi show for the past 10 seasons, but early on in the run, Padalecki was forced to face with his inner struggles for the first time.
He tells Variety.com, "In season three, 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... 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 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... It's not just people who can't find a job, or can't fit in in society that struggle with depression sometimes."
Two of his colleagues, including his onscreen brother Jensen Ackles, talked Padalecki into taking a break from work in order to get help, and Padalecki has now teamed up with Represent.com to launch a T-shirt campaign to help other sufferers.
The drive benefits charity To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization which supports people struggling with depression, addiction and self-harm, and the actor hopes the shirts, which feature his photo on the front, will help lift the stigma of mental health troubles.
He continues, "There's no shame in dealing with these things... Hopefully, this will help somebody to think, 'This isn't easy, it is a fight, but I'm going to keep fighting,' and that's why we did this shirt."