Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Opens Up About 'Three Bouts Of Depression' He's Faced In His Life
During an interview on The Pivot podcast, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared his personal experiences with depression. Johnson revealed he faced three separate depressive episodes in his life, including a significant one following his career ending football injury.
He explained during his first bout of depression—which occurred in Florida where he attended University of Miami and played football—Johnson felt a strong aversion towards attending school. Eventually, he decided to leave without taking his midterms or participating in any team activities.
At that time, Johnson had no understanding of mental health or depression. He only knew he didn't want to be where he was—a common feeling while depressed.
You can watch Johnson speak about his experience here:
"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."
"But the interesting thing, at that time, is 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."
He mentioned briefly he also felt a similar way after his divorce from his first wife, Dany Garcia, who is not only his former spouse but also his current manager and business partner.
However, once again, he lacked the knowledge and awareness to recognize it as depression.
In 2017, when Johnson experienced another depressive episode, he had gained enough insight to identify what he was going through and sought help.
"Years later, around 2017 or so, went through a little bit. 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 gray and not the blue'."
He acknowledged he had learned how to handle such situations and reach out to his supportive friends for assistance. He could articulate his struggle and express the emotional state he was in.
Johnson emphasized his three daughters—Simone Garcia Johnson with ex-wife Dany Garcia and Jasmine Johnson and Tiana Gia Johnson with wife Lauren Hashian—played a crucial role in helping him navigate these challenging times.
They served as his source of solace and inspiration. Being a father to them held tremendous meaning and significance in his life.
“The saving grace for me has really been my daughters, the three of them, and being a girl dad, that's been the saving grace."
"You look at them, and you realize, 'Well, I mean, really, this is what it's all about'."
Fans took to Twitter to share their appreciation for The Rock’s vulnerability.
\u201c@TheRock @thepivot And this is why you will always be one of my heroes. Your courage to open that door is so inspiring to others.\u201d— Dwayne Johnson (@Dwayne Johnson) 1683911238
\u201c@TheRock @thepivot True Strength \ud83d\udcaa\ud83c\udffd\ud83e\udd19\ud83c\udffd\u201d— Dwayne Johnson (@Dwayne Johnson) 1683911238
\u201c@TheRock @thepivot This is awesome it show a lot of people how to work though and fix this and if you have not seen the episode I highly recommend it\u201d— Dwayne Johnson (@Dwayne Johnson) 1683911238
\u201c@TheRock @thepivot We recently learned that my wife has cancer. \nAfter the shock, I asked for help. The more I talk about it, better I feel. \nIt\u2019s not a weakness to talk and cry. It\u2019s a step to a healthier life, physically and mentally\u201d— Dwayne Johnson (@Dwayne Johnson) 1683911238
\u201c@TheRock @thepivot Powerful words from a powerful man. I\u2019ve fought depression daily for over 25 years, since a brain injury hit a switch. Every day is a battle I promise myself I will keep winning, for my family. Peace!!\u201d— Dwayne Johnson (@Dwayne Johnson) 1683911238
\u201c@TheRock @thepivot \u270c\ud83c\udffb\ud83d\ude4f\ud83c\udffb\u201d— Dwayne Johnson (@Dwayne Johnson) 1683911238
\u201c@EW Thank you for talking about this. Every single public person that does lowers the stigma just a little bit.\u201d— Entertainment Weekly (@Entertainment Weekly) 1684000264
\u201c@TheRock @thepivot Thank you so much for this advice Dwayne , inspiration most of my life and I needed to hear this today of all days much love \ud83d\udc99 #mensufferto\u201d— Dwayne Johnson (@Dwayne Johnson) 1683911238
The stigma around mental healthcare has lessened since the medical discipline was founded. But some communities still face tremendous pressure to not seek help.
Hopefully hearing from someone like Dwayne The Rock Johnson will help normalize asking for help when it's needed.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/