Depression Doesn’t Discriminate
Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s confidence on and off the screen and in the wrestling ring is contagious. It was not always that way, however. At age15, his mother attempted suicide by walking into oncoming traffic. Fortunately, Johnson was at her side, and “grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road,”
Seeing his mother in such a state, coupled with a tumultuous bout of homelessness, left Johnson feeling “devastated and depressed.” As he said, “I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly.”
Johnson’s natural athletic ability carried him through high school and beyond; the sport allowed him to pursue a life beyond the means he had grown up with. Nonetheless, after a four-year college football stint, Johnson went on to pursue a professional career but was beset by injuries and was released from the team. Soon after, his longtime girlfriend broke up with him, sending him into a complete downward spiral. On reflection, Johnson says that that turn of events sparked easily his “absolute worst time.”
Johnson’s athletic ability had carried him so far, and now without it he felt lost. A stud athlete, Johnson had it all going for him. But as he says, “depression never discriminates. It took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes, we have a tendency to keep it in.”
He wants other people struggling to realize that they are not alone. “Pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another.”
Johnson wants to use his spotlight and story to shed light on mental health issues: “I know it will help a lot of people to see someone so confident that also had issues with it. Just know that you are not alone. Everyone struggles."