Bruce Springsteen is getting real about his experience with depression.
The 66-year-old legendary musician opened up to Vanity Fair in their October issue about his family history with the illness, including his father’s experience.
The mental health disorder “crushed” him, he said, even after he achieved so much professional success.
“[W]hoever you’ve been and wherever you’ve been, it never leaves you,” he said. “I always picture it as a car. All your selves are in it. And a new self can get in, but the old selves can’t ever get out. The important thing is, who’s got their hands on the wheel at any given moment?”
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders, affecting nearly 350 million people worldwide. And Springsteen’s revealing interview corroborates what we already know: Psychological issues can affect anyone, regardless of status.
Despite its prevalence, however, there’s still an alarming belief that the condition is “all in a person’s head” or something they can just “get over.” Research shows that there’s a lack of compassion when it comes to mental illness ― and it’s that attitude that prevents people from seeking treatment.
However, testimonies like Springsteen’s help to eradicate the negative stereotypes associated with conditions like depression ― particularly for men. Men are often undertreated for the condition and middle-age men are also the demographic most likely to die by suicide.
Experts say the more psychological wellbeing is given a platform, the more it becomes normalized in society to talk about struggles with mental health conditions.
“Celebrities who suffer with mental illness and are willing to talk about it send an important message,” Gregory Dalack, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, previously told The Huffington Post.. “Individuals may be suffering from a mental illness and yet it might not be apparent to you. Having a mental illness does not mean that you cannot function at a high level and be successful.”
Props to The Boss for being one of those celebrities who help reduce the stigma.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.