‘Supernatural’ Star Jared Padalecki Opens Up About Mental Health

Jensen Ackles opened up about his mental health, and how Supernatural fans gave him strength. For Ackles, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic confronted him with new mental health pressures. His co-star, Jared Padalecki, has spoken about his battles with anxiety, too. Padalecki still faces anxiety in his daily life, as he returns to Vancouver to complete filming on Supernatural.

Jared Padalecki
Hanneke Talbot and Jared Padalecki | Colin Bentley/The CW

Padalecki appeared on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast on Sept. 15. He opened up with Rosenbaum about how he approaches anxiety and other mental health issues. Supernatural returns Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

How ‘Supernatural’ star Jared Padalecki talks about mental health is important

Rosenbaum asked Padalecki if he still suffers from anxiety. Padalecki made an important distinction.

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles
L-R: Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles | Colin Bentley/The CW

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“I don’t say suffer,” Padalecki told Rosenbaum. “Not anymore. My point is, I do believe in the power of self-fuliflling prophecies. So, if I say to myself Im suffering from Depression, I’m suffering from anxiety, then I’m the victim and I can’t do anything about it. If I say to myself, ‘Man, for those two weeks in quarantine, I suffered from anxiety. I had a Garmin on my arm that tracks your steps. I’d have 20,000 steps some days in a three bedroom apartment.’ I don’t say suffer. I f*cking hate that word.”

Jared Padalecki’s approach to mental health

Padalecki has a healthy acceptance of the mental health issues he may always confront. For him, it’s pointless to try to be without any adversity. There’s always going to be something. What’s important to Padalecki is how he deals with whatever comes his way, be it mental or physical.

“Here’s my favorite saying: Pain is mandatory. Suffering is optional,” Padalecki said. “So you will deal with pain. Pain is universal. There’s not a human being on the planet, whether tehy’re born a millionaire or born in a terrible, terrible situation, pain is going to happen. You’ve dealt with pain, you will deal with pain. I’ve dealt with pain. I will deal with pain.”

Supernatural: Jared Padalecki
Jared Padalecki | Diyah Pera/The CW

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Going back to suffering, Padalecki finds it helpful to perceive anxiety as a proactive battle.

“It’s my choice whether or not to accept it and try to deal with it or to allow it to make me suffer,” Padalecki continued. “So suffering is my option, so I don’t suffer from anxiety.”

Now, Jared Padalecki has the tools to deal with anxiety and other issues

Padalecki confirmed that mental health is always a component of his life. It never goes away, but as long as he has the tools to deal with it, he can live a healthy life. 

“I’ve dealt with anxiety,” Padalecki said. “I have a relationship with anxiety. These days, I see it as a school bully and I deal with it.”