‘Supernatural’ Star Jensen Ackles Opens up About Mental Health

Jensen Ackles has been waiting five months to go back to work on Supernatural. Production shut down in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He’s back in Vancouver now getting ready to complete the last two episodes, and he shares that the months in between have been a struggle. 

Jensen Ackles
Jensen Ackles | Michael Courtney/The CW

Ackles was a guest on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast on Sept. 8. The Supernatural star opened up about his struggles this year in the hopes of providing encouragement to any fans struggling similarly. Supernatural returns Thursday Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Losing the ‘Supernatural’ routine was difficult for Jensen Ackles

For 15 years, Ackles had a routine. Even with summer hiatuses, Supernatural had almost daily requirements. When the pandemic began, Ackles didn’t know what to do with himself. 

Supernatural: Jensen Ackles
Jensen Ackles | Colin Bentley/The CW

“I haven’t set my alarm clock in four months,” Ackles said. “My alarm clock used to be set every day to get up because I had people waiting for me on set. I had to get up, I had to learn my lines, I had to read the next script, I had to figure out what I was doing, I had to go to stunt rehearsal, I had to go get a prosthetic fitting. You’re doing things, you’re moving, you’re working, you have purpose. When you strip all that away, all of a sudden it’s what am I supposed to be doing right now?”

Jensen Ackles learned he didnt need ‘Supernatural’ to have a reason to wake up

While Ackles waited for word that Supernatural could resume production, he found other activities to motivate him.

Supernatural: Jensen Ackles
Jensen Ackles | Katie Yu/The CW

“That’s a hard ocean to navigate but I think that’s when you find purpose,” Ackles said. “You look around you and you take inventory. You go you know what? I’m going to call my grandmother, I’m going to take my kids outside and shoot some basketball wtih them, I’m going to call a friend. I’m going to find some reason to get motivated to keep moving to the next hour.”

The fans inspired Jensen Ackles too

Ackles also gave a shout out to all the Supernatural fans who open up to the cast about their struggles with mental health. Hearing from those fans for 15 years, Ackles had a grounding to help himself find his way through uncertain times.

There’s a lot in the fandom that are beautifully vocal about their struggles with mental instability or with Depression or whatever it might be. I’ve met a lot of these people that fight it on a daily basis. I don’t envy that but I am encouraged and inspired by how they continually do that on a daily basis. If I’ve felt that I’ve tasted just a fraction of that throughout the quarantine, I would say that what I’ve learned from that is you’ve got to find a way to stay motivated. Find purpose in every day and every moment. That gets you to the next moment.

Jensen Ackles, Inside of You podcast, 9/8/2020