Over the past few years, there have been numerous celebrities who have opened up their mental illnesses with the aim of counteracting all-too-common social stigmas, including Kristen Bell and Winona Ryder. There's now another brave celebrity that you can add to this impressive list: Bruce Springsteen.
The Boss addressed his personal battle with depression in Vanity Fair's October issue. The interview was scheduled in anticipation of his upcoming memoir, Born To Run, which will be released later this month.
"You don't know the illness's parameters," he told Vanity Fair. "Can I get sick enough to where I become a lot more like my father than I thought I might?"
Undiagnosed mental illness reportedly ran in Springsteen's family. His father Doug, who died in 1998, also had depression. When the rock legend discovered his own depression in the early 1980s, he sought relief through psychotherapy and antidepressants.
Springsteen told Vanity Fair that when his symptoms showed up at home, his wife and bandmate Patti Scialfa made sure that he received medical treatment.
"Patti will observe a freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track," Springsteen wrote. "She gets me to the doctors and says, 'This man needs a pill.'"
One of the most common illnesses in the world, depression affects about 350 million people. Although women are more likely to live with the disease, a 2016 study published in the Community of Mental Health Journal concluded that men were more likely to feel embarrassed about seeking professional help.
Scialfia said that although she was uncomfortable with her husband writing about his depression, she eventually realized that it was important for him to address the subject.
"He approached the book the way he would approach writing a song, and a lot of times, you solve something that you're trying to figure out through the process of writing — you bring something home to yourself," Scialfia told Vanity Fair. "So in that regard, I think it's great for him to write about depression. A lot of his work comes from him trying to overcome that part of himself."
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