Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson isn’t shy about sharing his personal journey with depression. The Jumanji star has long been open about his mental health history, and is now sharing more with fans on Twitter.
“Got tons of responses to this. Thank you. We all go thru the sludge/shit and depression never discriminates,” Johnson tweeted along with a link to a story about his family’s history with depression. “Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up,” he continued. “Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone.”
The story Johnson shared focused on his mother, Ata, and her attempted suicide when he was just 15 years old.
“She got outta the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic,” Johnson wrote in the caption of an Instagram post in February. “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.”
“What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t,” he wrote, adding that while shooting a particularly heart-wrenching scene on his HBO show Ballers he was reminded to “do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ‘em thru it, get ‘em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ‘em that they’re not alone. We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case.”
Johnson’s tweet on Sunday clearly hit a nerve with his fans, receiving more than 36,000 likes and hundreds of replies. Most of the tweets were in support of Johnson using his position to draw further attention to depression, while other fans shared their own stories of mental illness with the movie star and the world.
Twitter user Lone Samurai tweeted, “Thank you for talking about depression openly, I know it will help a lot of people to see someone so confident that also had issues with it, myself included.”
Johnson replied, “Hey man I get it. We all go thru the sludge and shit. Stay strong and make sure you’re talking to good people about it. Us men have a tendency to hold it in. No shame in getting help and wanting to be better.”
The signs and symptoms of depression are often more subtle and less clear-cut in men. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these seven symptoms it’s time to speak to a mental health expert with whom you feel comfortable getting open and honest, just like Johnson did.