Arnold Schwarzenegger's caring response to a depressed fan is a beautiful thing to read.

People who don’t understand clinical depression will often characterize those suffering from its debilitating symptoms as “weak” or “lazy.”

But the disease has nothing to do with will power, it's caused by biochemical changes in the brain.

Telling people with depression to “suck it up” or “quit feeling sorry for yourself” will only pile on their frustrations, making their illness worse.


Ali, a Reddit user from Quebec with the clunky handle 0770059834333178, was dealing with depression when he saw a video of actor, eight-time Mr. Olympia, and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger working out in the gym. Schwarzenegger was pumping some serious iron in preparation for his next “Terminator” film.

On a whim, Ali sent The Governator a direct message through the online forum asking for some help getting motivated.

Ali was blown away when Schwarzenegger responded to his message and it wasn’t with a simple, “Snap out of it!” Instead, the “True Lies” star’s response was heartfelt and showed he understood what it’s like to have depression.

via Reddit

After Schwarzenegger's response was shared on another subforum, Reddit user FormerGameDev thanked him for the inspiration. But Schwarzenegger handed all the credit to Ali.

via Reddit

Ali thanked Schwarzenegger for the encouragement and the “Predator” star praised him right back.

via Reddit

Later, Arnold uploaded a video to Reddit thanking Ali.

“You asked me to pump you up a little bit about your depression,” Schwarzenegger said. “I’m very happy that you snapped out of it and that now you’re pumping up other people that have depression. You’re encouraging them and giving them positive reinforcements. I love that. Hasta la vista.”

Schwarzenegger's kind works and positive attitude gives a deeper a meaning to the phrase “pumped up.” Sure, we can get jacked up on adrenaline at the gym, bit we can also pump each other up through empathy and a nudge in the right direction.

Courtesy of Movemeant Foundation

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This article originally appeared on 03.19.15


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