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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Opens Up About Battle With Depression

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Author: Shernide Delva

Depression will always be a feeling that almost everyone can relate to at one point in their lives. How we cope with depression can vary significantly. Some people abuse substances to overcome their feelings of intense sadness while others self-harm. Finding healthier ways of dealing with depression can be difficult at first but ultimately is the only way to overcome those feelings.

Recently, Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson opened up on OWN’s network’s “Oprah’s Master Class” series about his personal struggle with depression. Growing up, I was obsessed with “The Rock” from his WWE wrestling days. Johnson was extremely charismatic and entertaining. When we see the fun and outgoing celebrity today, it is surprising to learn that Johnson actually struggled with depression in his path.

On the episode, the 43-year-old movie star admitted that he struggled with depression in his early 30s as his football career began to flounder. He was left isolated and unsure what the next step in his life would be. After graduating from the University of Miami, where he played football, Johnson was passed over by the NFL. To make matters worse, Johnson was then cut from the Calgary Stampedes, a Canadian Football League team after just two months on the practice roster.

At 23, Johnson was living with his parents in a cramped apartment. That is when Johnson said he hit a low point in his life.

“You just feel like you’re alone. You feel like it’s only you. You’re in your bubble,” Johnson said.

Johnson talked more about his life in the episode. When he was 15 years old, he saved his mother’s life. After getting into a car accident, Johnson’s mom in a dazed state walked in the direction of oncoming traffic. Johnson grabbed her and pulled her away from the road. His mom still has no recollection of that day but Johnson said it is one he will always remember.

“In that moment, one of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned was how precious life is and how in an instant, it can all go away,” he says. “[It] changed me.”

Now a wrestler-turned-actor, Johnson is a well-known celebrity. He says that depression taught him that you never know what someone is going through. No one is alone in the struggle to overcome depression.

“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. Hold on to that fundamental quality of faith,” Johnson said. “Have faith that on the other side of your pain is something good.”

Major depression is also known as clinical depression and involves a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Depressed Mood (sadness)
  • Poor Concentration
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite Disturbances
  • Excessive Guilt
  • Thoughts of Suicide

Johnson threw himself wholeheartedly into professional wrestling and then acting. He believes the “hardest thing for us guys is to ask for help.” Men are actually proven to be less likely to seek help for depression for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is the gender stereotype that men simply do not need to express their emotions. However, the truth is that men commit suicide four times more than women. This suggests that men are more untreated for depression than women.

If you are suffering from depression, do not hesitate to seek help for your condition. Depression is an illness and if untreated, it can lead into falling into unhealthy coping strategies like abusing substances that can lead into addiction. Anyone can become clinically depressed, men or women. Remember, you are not alone. Get help today.

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