The Rock Speaks Out On Depression

According to the World Health Organization, depression is a major mental disorder, with more than 300 million sufferers worldwide. If not treated, it can lead to suicide, and currently 800 000 people die annually because of untreated depression.

Moreover, this disorder is badly stigmatized, and often the taboo surrounding the condition results in silence from those who experience symptoms. Harvard Health describes depression as “more than a passing bout of sadness or dejection.”

In recent weeks however, it has been receiving positive attention with a multitude of celebrities speaking up about their own personal struggles. Former wrestler and star of the silver screen Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson added his voice.

During his promotional tour as the lead actor in the upcoming movie “Rampage”, Johnson spoke to The Express after sharing a heartfelt post on Instagram, describing the details surrounding his mother’s suicide attempt.

This event, he explained, had a very negative impact on his psyche. He was 15 years old at the time. “Struggle and pain is real. I was devastated and depressed. I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly.”

Not your typical scene on our comedy #ballers, as I cracked a beer open toasting my character’s brother, William who committed suicide. Got me thinkin’ though bout how many of us have been affected by suicide of our friends, family. Struggle and pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another. 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. What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t. Shits of a scene to shoot – didn’t like it – but it did reminder that we always gotta do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ‘em thru it, get ‘em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ‘em that they’re not alone. We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case.

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His post has since resulted in many fans, other actors, and depression sufferers thanking him for opening up about the condition and contributing to breaking the stigma surrounding the disorder.

“Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in,” he said. “You’re not alone.”

Other celebrities who have spoken out about their struggles with depression include Jon Hamm from Mad Men, Halle Berry, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Harvard Health recommends that a mental health professional should diagnose depression. There are no specific tests for depression, but it is important to be evaluated by a primary care physician to make sure the problems aren’t caused by a medical condition or medication.