Zachary Levi made waves playing the role of the cheerful and energetic character of Shazam! in the titular film last year. But despite presenting the appearance of a constantly-joking superhero, Levi discusses in an episode of the podcast Inside of You his real-life battle with depression, a mental condition that is seeing more and more people succumb to its effects in recent times, and how important therapy is to getting better,
"I think that, as with any therapy, it really depends on what you need, that you're ultimately going to get out of it. Because we both went to the same place, but both of us, while we might have some crossover in our reprogramming or what we needed to be done in our lives. We might have had some similar issues, we might have had some very different ones as well. What you take out of therapy is what you bring into therapy and decide to work on in therapy."
The reason for experiencing depression can be any number of personal factors in a person's life, and understanding the reason is the first step to managing the condition. Thanks to therapy, Zachary Levi was able to narrow in on the events from his past that led to depression, and what he needed to do to get better.
"Ultimately, what I took away from being there was getting my own life back. I ultimately want to live, which led me there. I left there wanting to live, and being hopeful about what my life could be after having been awakened to a lot of what my major malfunctions were. Where they were rooted, in my past, in my family. My mother specifically, and my stepfather and how they treated me. My father and him not being around Forgiving myself, building the empathy that you need for yourself when you learn how to do that."
Ultimately, the actor came out of his experience with depression with a better understanding of his past, as well as his present, and a more empathetic outlook towards life and other people.
"How that translates to the empathy that you build for your muses. Because at the end of the day, one of the biggest revelations that I took away from all of it was one I continue to champion even now. People are doing their best, even the 'worst people in the world.' They are trying to, or think they are giving their best."
The stigma surrounding mental illness often makes it difficult for regular people to take the first step in seeking help for their condition. Hopefully, fans of Levi will take heart from his admissions and become emboldened to seek help for their own problems. The episode of the podcast features Ellen Wasyl and mental health specialist Sandy Daignault alongside Levi and host Michael Rosenbaum. The group goes into detail talking about.
"The idea of being responsible for your health during these times regardless of your responsibility for the situation itself, the idea of being together while in isolation, and how to overcome anxieties that plague people day to day."
These words were first shared on the Inside of You Podcast.