Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds paused mid-song during a concert at New York City's Madison Square Garden to share an important message about mental health.
"We have a stigmatization in our society today that is hurting our youth, even killing our youth," the 30-year-old singer said on Tuesday to more than 20,000 fans. "We cannot hide the fact that we all need help. It is not a broken thing to be depressed."
To everyone dealing with anxiety or depression or any other mental disorder, this is what Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons has to say. pic.twitter.com/cIbufd1lxU— Allison (@allisonloki) June 17, 2018
Reynolds paused the concert at an appropriate time, as he was singing the band's 2012 hit "Demons" — a song that talks about having a dark side and repeats the phrases, "Don't get too close / It's dark inside / It's where my demons hide."
During his speech, the frontman emphasized that there's no shame in having a mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, and asking for help.
"I have a therapist. It does not make me broken. It does not make me weak," he told his fans. "There are many people out there tonight who are holding it into themselves, not talking to their friends, their parents. If available to you, a therapist — don't hold it in, talk to somebody. You are not broken."
Reynolds has suffered from depression since childhood, BBC News reports, but the condition became severe during the band's Evolve World Tour last year.
"It came to a point where I didn't have an option. It was lose my family and lose my life or seek help," the singer, who has three young daughters with ex Aja Volkman, told the site.
Reynolds then "faced [his mental health struggle] head on for the first time" last year when he went to see a therapist. He's since changed his diet and taken up yoga and meditation as coping mechanisms to "quiet" his brain, BBC reports.
The Imagine Dragons star is now using his experience to spread a message of hope to his fans.
To end his speech on Tuesday night, he said, "I understand the grayness. I understand the numbness. It gets better. There is light up ahead. And above all, your life is always worth living. Always. Always. Always. Always. You are not broken."
On social media, fans thanked the singer for openly speaking out about mental health.
We have lost so many amazing people because of depression like Chester Bennington, Avicii, our friends, our family. We must help people around us in whatever way possible. This is a strong message, Imagine dragons has always been a great inspiration. Thank you Dan, I needed this— RusherGirl (@average_rusher) June 17, 2018
Thank you @DanReynolds@Imaginedragons for the amazing speech about the stigmatism that follows depression, anxiety, and a therapist. Reaching out for help saved me and it can and will save others too. pic.twitter.com/WRQ9ijQT9G— Haley Hutsko (@hyrulianloser) June 18, 2018
Fantastic concert with a much needed message to our youths on depression. Help is always available. Your life is worth living!— Maite Kaye (@MaiteKaye1) June 21, 2018
Reynolds' message is highly relevant, as a number of high-profile celebrities have died by suicide in the past year. Most recently, the world lost fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.
The singer told BBC News that he chose to start speaking out about his depression because he felt "a responsibility to all of the people who invest their time into Imagine Dragons ... an obligation to be honest and tell them what my heart says."
"I was really shy about speaking out," he admitted. "Humanity doesn't like to acknowledge their frailty. We like to only acknowledge our strengths. But I think it's important to talk about it."
"Every human wants to avoid pain at all cost," he added, "but the truth is, that's one time we really grow."
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