Dwayne Johnson recalls multiple bouts of depression, and what his ‘saving grace’ has been

·4 min read

Dwayne Johnson is opening up about his multiple bouts of depression and who has helped him during those dark times in his life.

The 51-year-old actor spoke about battling depression in a recent interview on the “Pivot Podcast.”

On May 11, Johnson shared a clip from his vulnerable conversation with former NFL Stars Channing Crowder, Fred Taylor and Ryan Clark, who co-host the sports podcast, on Instagram.

In the video, the “Black Adam” star explained that he was not aware he was experiencing depression when he faced mental health struggles for the first time in college.

“So my first bout of depression was down there in Miami,” he said in the clip, referring to his time as a student at the University of Miami. Johnson said he suddenly no longer felt motivated to attend the university.

“I was ready to leave,” he said. “I didn’t take any midterms and I just left.”

He added, “But the interesting thing at that time is I just didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know what mental health was. I didn’t know what depression was. I just knew I didn’t want to be there.”

Johnson, who played football in college, said he skipped team meetings and eventually stopped participating at all. He also dealt with a shoulder issue at the time. He said his experience was “tough.”

“Years later, (I) went through it again when I got a divorce,” he shared. Johnson and his first wife, businesswoman and producer Dany Garcia, were married from 1997 to 2008.

The action star said he was still unaware that he was experiencing depression.

He continued, “Years later, around 2017 or so, (I) went through it a little bit. But, (I) knew what it was at that time.”

Johnson had friends that he could turn to for support. He told them he was “‘feeling a little wobbly now.’”

He would describe his changing mood to those closest to him. “‘I’m seeing a little gray and not the blue,’” he explained to them.

Although his friends played a major role in helping him recover, he revealed that his three daughters—Ava Raine, 21, Jasmine Johnson, 7, and Tia Johnson, 5, are his biggest support system.

“The saving grace for me has really been my daughters,” he said. “The three of them and being a girl dad, that’s been the saving grace. Because you look at them and you realize, well, I mean, really, this is what it’s all about.”

The “Jumanji” star shares Jasmine and Tia with wife Lauren Hashian, whom he married in 2019. Johnson and ex-wife Garcia are parents to model and professional wrestler Ava Raine.

In addition to the video, Johnson also wrote about his bouts with depression in the caption.

“I’ve worked hard over the years to gain the emotional tools to work thru any mental pain that may come to test me. But years ago I didn’t know what mental health struggle was,” he wrote.

He pointed out that men tend to not address their mental health problems.

“If you’re going thru your own version of mental wellness turning into mental hell-ness, the most important thing you can do is talk to somebody,” he said.

He encouraged those dealing with depression to release their pain and speak about it.

“Having the courage to talk to someone is your superpower,” he wrote. “I lost two friends to suicide. Talk to someone.”

At the end of his post, he assured everyone facing mental health issues that they are “never alone.”

Johnson has shared uplifting advice for those battling depression before.

In 2015, he participated in Oprah Winfrey’s “Master Class” series and reflected on what he would’ve wanted to hear when he was depressed.

“You’re in your bubble. And I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s gonna be OK. It’ll be OK.’ So, I wish I knew that,” he explained in a YouTube video uploaded at the time.

Johnson implored viewers to, “Hold onto that fundamental quality of faith. Have faith that on the other side of your pain is something good.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com