The Rock Gets Real About Depression Battle, Says Men Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Open Up
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wants people — especially men — to know that it’s OK to open up about mental health issues.
The actor shared a heartfelt message on Twitter, thanking fans for their support after he opened up about his battle with depression, and encouraging those suffering in silence to speak up.
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
“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,” he wrote.
As a WWE champion turned Hollywood star, The Rock is known for his action figure physique and great sense of humor. But behind the infectious laugh and inspiring workout videos he shares on Instagram, there is a darker past.
Johnson was 15 when his mother tried to kill herself in front of him, driving into oncoming traffic. “I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road,” he shared with Express.
Witnessing his mom’s own battle with depression was a traumatic, painful experience.“I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly,” he said.
And throughout the years, Johnson went through a lot of ups and downs in both his career and personal life. Before becoming a famous wrestler, he dreamed of a professional football career. But injuries shattered that possibility. Soon after, his girlfriend left him.
Had The Rock not found the willpower to push through tough times and get help, he wouldn’t be where he is today. The key takeaway from the message he shared with his fans on Twitter is that to get better, it’s crucial to talk about it.
For men, that may not be such a natural thing to do. Internalized gender expectations can lead them to be afraid to talk about their feelings or show vulnerability because they don’t want to seem weak or burden others with their own problems.
But if The Rock, an icon of masculinity for many, uses his platform to show that he isn’t afraid to get vulnerable, it can encourage others to do the same.
So, regardless of your gender, background, age or life experiences, remember this: You’re not alone.