Dwayne Johnson Discusses Dealing With Depression: ‘We All Go Through the Sludge’

Dwayne Johnson. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

In an interview with the U.K.’s Express on Sunday, the unflaggingly optimistic Dwayne Johnson opened up about several life moments that left the traditionally upbeat actor at an emotional loss, including his mother Ata’s attempted suicide when the actor was 15. “She got out of the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic,” he said of the incident, which happened in the aftermath of the family’s eviction from their apartment. “Big rigs and cars were swerving out of the way. I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road.” Said Johnson, “What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is that to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t.”

Later in life, the actor says, getting let go from the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders in 1995 and dealing with a breakup left him bereft. Looking back, Johnson says, “That was my absolute worst time.” Of his and his mother’s experience with depression, the actor now explains, “We both healed but we’ve always got to do our best to pay attention when other people are in pain. We have to help them through it and remind them they are not alone.” On Monday, Johnson thanked the fans that reached out and shared their own experiences with depression. “Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in,” the actor tweeted. “You’re not alone.”

Dwayne Johnson Discusses Dealing With Depression