Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is opening up about facing depression throughout his life. The Red Notice star, 50, recently recalled being “sent in a tailspin” when a shoulder injury ended his college football career at the University of Miami.
“My first battle with depression was down there in Miami,” Johnson said. “I didn’t want to go to school, I was ready to leave.” He left school and didn’t know at the time what mental health or depression was. All he knew was, “I didn’t wanna be there.” The actor added that he wasn’t participating in anything, from team meetings to working out. For athletes, “any kind of sweat and getting it in will get that s— out of you,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t do it because of my shoulder.”
Years later, Johnson went through depression again when he got divorced from his first wife, Dany Garcia. The pair were married from 1997 to 2008 and share 21-year-old daughter Ava Raine. Again, Johnson didn’t know what this feeling was. It wasn’t until around 2017 that the former professional wrestler experienced depression again that he knew what it was. “Luckily, I had some friends that I could lean on and say, ‘Hey, I’m feeling a little wobbly now. I got a little struggle happening, seeing a little grey and not the blue.'”
Johnson explained that the “saving grace” for his mental health has been his daughters (he also shares Tiana, 5, and Jasmine, 7, with his wife Lauren Hashian) and being a “girl dad.”
Mental Health Care For Men
Taking to social media over the weekend, the actor sent an important message about seeking mental health care to his followers, specifically men. “I’ve worked hard over the years to gain the emotional tools to work through any mental pain that may come to test me. But years ago, I didn’t know what mental health struggle was,” he wrote on Instagram. “As men, we didn’t talk about it. We just kept our head down and worked through it. Not healthy but it’s all we knew.”
“If you’re going through your own version of mental wellness turning into mental hell-ness, the most important thing you can do is talk to somebody,” Johnson added. “It can’t be fixed if you keep that pain inside. Having the courage to talk to someone is your superpower. I lost two friends to suicide. Talk to someone. Despite how you may feel, you’re never alone.”
Watch the interview below: