The Rock Started a Conversation About Depression You’ll Want to Send to the Men in Your Life
Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson might embody every aspect of stereotypical masculinity. He’s strong, athletic, accomplished — a man who seems to have it all. But perhaps the strongest thing about Johnson is his willingness to talk about his experiences with depression, which he shared on Sunday in an interview with Express.
“I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly,” Johnson told the UK-based publication.
Johnson first opened up about experiencing depression in 2015 on Oprah’s “Master Class” series. Then earlier this year, he posted a photo on Instagram about a difficult childhood memory he had to face while shooting the comedy “Ballers” — a time his mom had tried to kill herself in front of him by walking into oncoming traffic.
His latest interview, which he shared on his Twitter, highlights just how much his history of speaking about mental health has affected others, especially men. He wrote:
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.
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
His tweet invited more men to share their stories and discuss the importance of opening up about depression.
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
You? You of all people had depression? Heh, well props for being able to keep it hidden away.
But, man, if The Rock of all people can have depression and still be The Rock, maybe I’m not doomed.
— Max Of Few Trades (@MaxOfFewTrades) April 2, 2018
Recently had a few issues myself, it’s good to know that I’m normal, and that one of my heroes has conquered similar things, thanks for speaking out ????
— Jordan Walker (@jordanwalker89) April 2, 2018
For every man that does open up and is honest there’s about ten others hiding in the shadows and saying nothing but suffering. Toxic masculinity.
— David Strover (@The_Strovinator) April 2, 2018
Good on you man. Always helps to open up and talk about it. You’re a great role model for young people. Keep doing your thing! #yourenotalone
— Kyle Okposo (@bookerT2116) April 2, 2018
Thanks Rock! You’re on the money with this. Struggled with it for years but being open about it helped a whole lot.
— Yasuke (@davidapino) April 2, 2018
I think "real strength" comes by acknowledging truth; given the "stigma" that often follows men who discuss feelings. It took me nearly 50 years to seek serious help in coping with anxiety and depression…I now wonder what took me so long.
— Paul Brooks (@Scriptacist53) April 2, 2018
Thanks for being open about this. My kids (especially my son) really look up to you, and it’s great for them to see that someone can suffer from depression and still be an awesome guy. Their mother has serious depression and I’ve had episodes of it, so it’s part of their lives.
— ???? Fin Debacle (@RumRational) April 2, 2018
Recently been diagnosed with depression after the Mrs has battled cancer twice, and suffered two miscarriages, the second a day before my bday. Thank you for letting me know how to win this battle. #MentalHealthAwareness #MentalHealthMatters #mentalhealth
— Darren (@DarrenPalanee) April 2, 2018
Man you are hardcore literally! You are one of the true examples of what being a man is about. Me along with the rest of the world is praying for you brother took a lot of courage to do that. Much respect ✊????
— Lorenzo Taylor (@TheSmallGiant91) April 2, 2018
Men die by suicide 3.53 times more often than women — and depression in men tends to manifest differently. According to HeadsUpGuys, a resource for men with depression, men often don’t acknowledge feelings of sadness, hopelessness or guilt, but instead, “can become irritable and aggressive, work compulsively, isolate themselves from friends and family, drink more than normal and engage in high-risk activities.”
Thanks to The Rock for starting a difficult, but important conversation. And to all the men out there silently struggling, we want you to know you’re not alone.
Image via Wikimedia Commons/Eva Rinaldi