SALT LAKE CITY — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson opened up about his struggles with depression in a recent interview with Express.
Johnson said his depression first occurred when he was 15 years old and witnessed his mother's attempted suicide.
“Struggle and pain is real. I was devastated and depressed," he told Express. "I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly."
Years later, Johnson's depression escalated when he couldn’t fulfill his dream of playing professional football after the Canadian Football League released him from his contract. Then, his girlfriend broke up with him, he told Express.
"That was my absolute worst time," he said.
Johnson has previously opened up about his mother's suicide attempt and his subsequent struggles with depression. In February of this year, he shared an Instagram post reflecting on that time, according to the Deseret News.
"Struggle and pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another," he wrote. "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."
In 2015, Johnson spoke on OWN Network's Oprah's Master Class series, sharing how he struggled with depression following the collapse of his football career, according to the Deseret News.
Johnson said he eventually realized he wasn’t alone in his depression, which might have saved his life.
"I found that, with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you're not alone," Johnson said. "You're not the first to go through it; you're not going to be the last to go through it. … I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and (say), 'Hey, it's gonna be OK. It'll be OK.'"
He added that staying faithful can help a person survive depression.
"Hold on to that fundamental quality of faith," Johnson said. "Have faith that on the other side of your pain is something good."2 comments on this story
Johnson’s words come as athletes and professionals have opened up about the mental health struggles they face. NBA star Kevin Love recently penned a piece for The Players' Tribune in which he described how he suffered from depression and anxiety but always chose to keep it tight-lipped, and Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan also opened up about his battles with depression.
"Now, at my age, I understand how many people go through it," DeRozan said. "Even if it’s just somebody can look at it like, ‘He goes through it and he’s still out there being successful and doing this,’ I’m OK with that."