We’ve said before how it is usually hugely positive when a public figure finds the strength to speak aloud about their personal struggles with depression or anxiety. And while we’ve had many an inspiring female frequently speak about their issues, it’s safe to say that male celebrities (not counting our own Bressie of course), often aren’t as forthcoming. Alluding to his public persona, wrestling champion The Rock (also known as Dwayne Johnson) could naturally seem invincible. But his undoubtedly powerful exterior shields the sensitive and vulnerable soul that lies beneath, as his latest revelation will attest.
In a heartfelt video for Oprah’s Master Class, Johnson recalled how an episode of depression eventually led him to his success in professional wrestling (and then acting), and what he learned from the experience is both positive and uplifting.
After being passed over by the NFL and cut from his Canadian football team, Johnson said he felt alone: “It’s only you, you feel it will always be only you, and that you’re in a bubble.” He also said he wished he had someone to reach out and tell him that he wasn’t the first or last person to deal with depression.
We’ve all been there and the hardest thing to do is ask for help. I never did and paid a price. You’re never alone. https://t.co/0gv1Gju4TW
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) November 15, 2015
Under-reported because it’s often seen as sign of weakness. We’ve all been there. https://t.co/nBoPuSOMGu
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) November 14, 2015
“Sometimes the hardest thing for us guys is to ask for help,” Johnson tweeted, and research affirms this. Men are less likely to seek help for depression for a variety of reasons, including pressure to conform to the gender stereotype that men should not or simply do not express their emotions. Johnson’s advice for anyone with depression is inspiring: “Realise that you’re not alone,” he said. “Have faith that on the other side of your pain is something good.”
Watch his emotional speech below, detailing how he managed to overcome his struggle: