The actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has recently confessed to his struggles with depression. He told his story to “The Express” in March about a month after he’d posted a long story on Instagram about his mother’s suicide attempt roughly 30 years ago.
Johnson’s mother, Ata, tried to kill herself shortly after being evicted from her apartment in Nashville. Johnson was 15 at the time – and he saw his mother walk into the oncoming traffic of I-65. As he recounted, “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.” Johnson later mentioned that his mother has no memory of her suicide attempt.
Shortly after that, Johnson suffered his first bout of depression. His condition worsened after a break-up with a girlfriend and several injuries that ended his dreams of a career in professional football. Johnson confessed, “I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly.”
Johnson eventually recovered, and he enjoyed a successful career as a pro wrestler during the 1990s. He switched to acting and is now one of Hollywood’s most highly-paid actors.
One of Johnson’s projects is “Ballers,” a comedy that plays on HBO. Johnson filmed a scene in which his character was visiting the grave of a brother who had committed suicide. The script called for him to open a can of beer and make a toast. Johnson struggled with the scene and wasn’t happy with it, for it brought back painful memories.
Johnson’s Instagram post garnered over a million likes and lots of comments from fans and fellow actors praising him for discussing his depression. Johnson commented that a willingness to open up and confide in others is key to recovering from depression.