Depression is an illness that millions battle, and it can involve a powerful hereditary component. Some feel that it’s like a family curse.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the legendary wrestler-turned-actor known for his sunny disposition and affection for his fans, is opening up about his own experiences with depression.
And revealing that he nearly lost his mother to suicide.
As part of his press tour for Rampage, Johnson opened up in an interview with Express about his secret battle with depression.
And he describes a horrifying moment when, at 15, he nearly lost his mother, Ata.
“She got out of the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic.”
That is absolutely horrifying. Fortunately, he was able to save her life at the time.
“I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road.”
Though Johnson was already tall and muscular at 15, that’s a heartbreaking scenario for anyone to face with their own mother — particularly when that person is only a teenager.
“What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is that to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t.”
Depression can impair memory.
Johnson then goes on to reveal how this has impacted him even more personally.
“Struggle and pain is real. I was devastated and depressed.”
And he describes some tell-tale symptoms of depression.
“I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly.”
Depression robs people of the ability to enjoy their favorite activities, and can also release inhibitions on the expression of certain negative emotions.
He shares that he and his mother were eventually able to manage their depression.
“We both healed but we’ve always got to do our best to pay attention when other people are in pain.”
But he believes that outreach from people who understand can be the key to helping.
“We have to help them through it and remind them they are not alone.”
Johnson has hinted at this struggle in the past.
Once, a fan confessed over social media that they struggled with depression.
Johnson responded at the time, saying:
“I hear you. I’ve battled that beast more than once.”
It’s one thing to have sympathy for a fan for what they’re going to and to then publicly express that. It’s another to share your personal pain to let them know how well you understand their struggle.
Johnson is expecting his second child with his wife, Lauren Hashian.
This beloved actor is cherished by fans for his forthrightness, his ever-present smile, and for destroying stereotypes that say that men with hyper-masculine builds can’t express tenderness, joy, or vulnerability.
His fans adore him with good reason. Since Johnson has threatened to run for President in the past, some people wonder if he might actually have enough popularity and public support to get on a ballot.
Not everyone — even his fans — agree with some of his politics.
But if this last year or so has taught us anything, it’s that America could do far, far worse than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.