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Dates to Remember
October 23rd • Breaking the Silence Public Forum (Rockland Community College)
Bruce Springsteen Opens Up About His Battle With Depression
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN is a highly acclaimed rockstar. His hugely successful music career belies the personal trials he faced along the way, however. In an interview last year, the rock legend revealed his battle with mental health issues.
Bruce Springsteen, 70, is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. His career has spanned five decades and earned him a host of accolades, including 20 Grammy Awards. The musician is known for his socially conscious lyrics, which largely focus on the struggles of daily American life. In an interview with Esquire magazine last year, the rock legend also revealed his own struggles.
The rockstar revealed he first experienced depression at the age of 32, which occurred during the release of his album ‘Nebraska.’ Despite not knowing the root cause of his breakdown, the rockstar said his formative years played a part.
He said: “All I do know is as we age, the weight of our unsorted baggage becomes heavier…much heavier…Long ago, the defences I built to withstand the stress of my childhood, to save what I had of myself, outlived their usefulness, and I’ve become an abuser of their once lifesaving powers.”
“I relied on them wrongly to isolate myself, seal my alienation, cut me off from life, control others, and contain my emotions to a damaging degree. Now the bill collector [was] knocking, and his payment [will] be in tears.”
The rockstar divulged that his difficult relationship with his father may have contributed to his depression too: “My mother was kind and compassionate and very considerate of others feelings. She trod through the world with purpose, but softly, lightly. All those were the things that aligned with my own spirit. That was who I was. They came naturally to me.
“My father looked at all those things as weaknesses. He was very dismissive of primarily who I was. And that sends you off on a lifelong quest to sort through that.”
According to the NHS, depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days.
“Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days,” explained the health site.
As the health body explained, the symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. “At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living,” it said.
It can be triggered by life-changing events such as bereavement. Bruce also revealed a close friend died from suicide.
He said: “He got very, very ill. So, ultimately, it always remains a mystery—those last moments. I always say, ‘Well, somebody was in a bad place, and they just got caught out in the rain. Another night, another way, someone else there…it might not have happened.’”
It can also run in the family - something Bruce can relate with. The rockstar said his family’s history of depression came before his dad.
How to treat depression
Treatment for depression can involve a combination of lifestyle changes, talking therapies and medication, explained the NHS.
Bruce said music initially helped him manage his depression: “When I was a child, and into my teens…I felt like a very, very empty vessel. And it wasn’t until I began to fill it up with music that I began to feel my own personal power and my impact on my friends and the small world that I was in. I began to get some sense of myself. But it came out of a place of real emptiness.”
The rockstar said his battle with depression has helped him recognise the warning signs: “I have come close enough to [mental illness] where I know I am not completely well myself.”
He now takes medication to keep his symptoms at bay: “I’m on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise I can swing rather dramatically and… just… the wheels can come off a little bit.”
Original article can be found here.