Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Opens Up About Depression and Mental Health
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is best known on social media for his relatable and friendly personality, not to mention his
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is best known on social media for his relatable and friendly personality, not to mention his impressive fitness routines.
But before becoming an influencer superstar, Johnson started his career as a celebrity in wrestling – hammering out a niche as “the Rock,” and creating the “people’s elbow” and the “people’s eyebrow.”
But then he advanced his career to acting – taking Hollywood by storm.
Now, for a man who’s done it all, he’s embarking on a new journey; opening up about his struggles with depression and mental health.
The Rock Opens Up About Depression
During a recent episode of The Pivot Podcast, Johnson opened up about his triple challenges with depression.
The first time he dealt with depression, Johnson was still a football player at the University of Miami. A shoulder injury ended his football career, and it hit him hard emotionally.
Johnson explained, “I’d gone through two, three bouts of depression over the course of years, and the football one for me was a big one.” He added that full reconstruction surgery on his shoulder sent him, “in a tailspin”.
He then explained that depression drove him to leave college. “My first bout of depression was down there in Miami. Didn’t want to go to school. I was ready to leave. I left school. I didn’t take any midterms and I just left.”
At the time, he didn’t realize that depression was the culprit for his struggles. “I just didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know what mental health was. I didn’t know what depression was. I just knew I didn’t want to be there. Wasn’t going to any of the team meetings. Wasn’t participating in anything. I wasn’t working out.”
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And depression came for him again after his divorce from ex-wife Dany Garcia. “Years later, and went through it again when I got a divorce… Didn’t know what it was.”
But by the time he dealt with it for the third time in 2017, he had a name for what he was dealing with: depression. With an understanding of what was happening, he was able to reach out for support. “[I] knew what it was at that time. And luckily, at that time, I had some friends who I could lean on and say, ‘You know, I’m feeling a little wobbly now. Got a little struggle happening. I’m seeing a little grey and not the blue,’” he explained.
Johnson credits his three children for keeping him going during his darkest moments.
The Rock shared a clip of his time on Pivot to his social media, talking about his depression. “I’ve worked hard over the years to gain the emotional tools to work thru any mental pain that may come to test me,” he wrote in the caption, “But years ago I didn’t know what mental health struggle was. As men, we didn’t talk about it. We just kept our head down and worked thru it. Not healthy but it’s all we knew.”
And he encouraged people to reach out to friends and loved ones when they feel down. “If you’re going thru your own version of mental wellness turning into mental hell-ness, the most important thing you can do is talk to somebody. It can’t be fixed if you keep that pain inside.”
Johnson concluded: “Having the courage to talk to someone is your superpower. I lost two friends to suicide. Talk to someone. Despite how you may feel, you’re never alone.”
If you need to speak with someone about depression, feelings of hopelessness or other mental health struggles, the National Mental Health Hotline can be reached in the US at 866-903-3787. And the National Suicide Prevention and Crisis Hotline can be reached in the US by dialing 988.
In Canada, call 1-888-668-6810 or text WELLNESS to 686868 for youth. call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 for adults.
In the UK, text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258.