Dwayne Johnson Opens Up About Depression

And his mom's long-ago suicide attempt
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2018 3:40 PM CDT
Dwayne Johnson Opens Up About Mom's Suicide Attempt
Dwayne Johnson, center, his daughter Simone Alexandra Johnson, left, and his mother Ata Johnson arrive at the premiere of "San Andreas" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

In February, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson revealed on Instagram that when he was 15, he saved his mother from a suicide attempt. In a new interview with the Express, he opens up about that—and his own struggle with depression. "She got outta the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic. 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," Johnson wrote on his Instagram post. He tells the Express it happened months after his family was evicted from their apartment, and that she doesn't remember the suicide attempt. Years later, he went through his own dark period when injuries kept him from fulfilling his dream of playing professional football and, soon afterward, his girlfriend broke up with him.

"That was my absolute worst time," the 45-year-old says. "I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly." He was ultimately able to pull through and went on to have success as a wrestler and now an actor, and he says he's learned from both his and his mom's experiences. "We both healed but we’ve always got to do our best to pay attention when other people are in pain," he tells the Express. "We have to help them through it and remind them they are not alone." He tweeted a link to coverage of his comments Sunday night, telling fans, "Got tons of responses to this. Thank you. We all go thru the sludge ... and depression never discriminates. 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. You’re not alone." (More Dwayne Johnson stories.)

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