Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Opens Up About His Battles With Depression
The more we talk about it, the more we normalize it. There’s still a pretty big stigma around mental health in this country, even though millions of us struggle with it everyday. If you’ve ever dealt with depression or anxiety, you’ve probably had people tell you to get over it, or that it isn’t as bad as you make it seem, or better yet, just pray it away. But for so many of us, mental illness is something we struggle with every single day of our lives. And it can start to feel like maybe there is something wrong with us, or we’re doing life wrong. Look at all the happy people! Why can’t I just be like them? So when we hear from someone who seemingly has it all that they, too, struggle with depression, it helps. Dwayne Johnson opened up about his own struggles with mental health, and hopefully, chipped away a bit at the stigma in the process.
Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock, is one of the biggest stars in the world. And honestly, dude always looks so happy. But things aren’t always what they seem.
Got tons of responses to this. Thank you. We all go thru the sludge/shit and depression never discriminates. Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 2, 2018
Dwayne recently opened up about his struggles with depression. He’s been suffering for decades, stemming from his early life and growing up in poverty. It’s easy to forget that stars didn’t always have it all. And that shit sticks with you, you know? He says that his depression set in when he was teenager, after witnessing his mother attempt suicide, months after they were evicted from their apartment.
Johnson told Express, “She got out of the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic.” He recalls cars and big rigs swerving to avoid hitting her. He grabbed his mom, and pulled her to safety. He was just 15 years old.
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Not your typical scene on our comedy #ballers, as I cracked a beer open toasting my character’s brother, William who committed suicide. Got me thinkin’ though bout how many of us have been affected by suicide of our friends, family. Struggle and pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another. My mom tried to check out when I was 15. She got outta the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic. Big rigs and cars swerving outta the way not to hit her. I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road. What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t. Shits of a scene to shoot – didn’t like it – but it did reminder that we always gotta do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ‘em thru it, get ‘em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ‘em that they’re not alone. We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case.
Some years later, a devastating injury ended his dreams of playing professional football. Shortly after that, the end of a relationship brought on his darkest time. Says Johnson, “That was my absolute worst time”. He says he no longer wanted to go anywhere or do anything, and cried constantly. For Dwayne Johnson, things took a turn for the better. He entered the world of professional wrestling, and then later went on to become one of our most beloved acting stars.
Johnson says if it wasn’t for finding his own inner strength, he could’ve easily turned suicidal like his mom. Fans appreciated his speaking out on such a taboo topic.
Thanks for sharing your story – I am currently off work myself trying to get better so that I can get back to being myself again. It's been a long, hard road so far but I'm getting there, bit by bit. ❤️
— Christine Langdon 💙💛🏈 (@CJLangdon0574) April 2, 2018
I'm very glad you choose to share this story, raise awareness, & help destigmatize discussions on mental health. I have struggled with depression my whole life and last year sought out and received tremendous assistance in a mental health hospitalization program. Thanks for this.
— Jared Petty (@pettycommajared) April 2, 2018
Johnson says his mom has no recollection of her suicide attempt. In the interview, he said, “We both healed but we’ve always got to do our best to pay attention when other people are in pain. We have to help them through it and remind them they are not alone.”
Hear, hear Rock! Thank you for speaking out, and showing millions of people that they are not alone.
(Image: Instagram / @therock)