Bruce Springsteen Opens Up About His Struggles With Severe Depression
Often, I hear people talk about depression as if it is just a natural response to going through a rough patch in life. I hear people say things like “everyone gets depressed,” or “you just need to shake it off.”
If only that were true.
Depression is frequently confused with normal and even healthy periods of sadness that come as a result of life events, but in reality, depression is a mental illness that isn’t necessarily prompted by a bad break up or losing your job. In fact, depression can strike people at any time – even when they should be on top of the world. Just ask Bruce Springsteen.
Springsteen is known to many as The Boss, but even he has struggled with depression throughout his long successful career.
The 66-year-old music legend opened up about his battle with depression this week in an interview for CBS’s Sunday Morning while promoting his upcoming book Born to Run. In the interview, Springsteen told correspondent Anthony Mason that his issues with depression started shortly after he entered his 60s.
The musician described the feeling of depression as a feeling that would plague him for over a year before fading away and eventually come back.
“It sneaks up on you,” Springsteen explained. “I got to where I didn’t want to get out of bed, you know?”
For the fans who have watched Springsteen tear up stages in the past few years, this might be hard to believe. But, while the rocker seemed full of life on stage, his entire family was feeling the effects of his depression behind the scenes.
“You’re not behaving well at home and you’re tough on everybody. Hopefully not the kids. I always try to hide it from the kids,” Springsteen said. “But, you know, Patti really had to work with me through it … her strength and the love she had was very important.”
While the singer’s personal struggles with depression began late in life, it wasn’t his first encounter with mental illness. In the book, Springsteen also explores his troubled relationship with his father who also suffered from mental illness.
“I knew I was gonna ‘go there’ in the book,” he told Vanity Fair for their October issue. “I had to find the roots of my own troubles and issues – and the joyful things that have allowed me to put on the kind of shows that we put on.”
While Springsteen says the love and support of his wife helped him through his struggles with depression, he also describes his performances as “the trustiest form of self-medication.”
Of course, most people who live with depression don’t have the opportunity to perform in front of millions of people to relieve their burden. However, Springsteen’s experiences with depression show that the mental illness isn’t just a part of life. It is a serious condition that can appear seemingly out of nowhere at any point in a person’s life, no matter who you are.