If you don’t have older parents much like I do you may or may not be familiar with Bruce Springsteen. Bruce is probably one of the most influential singer/ songwriters that came from my parent generation, and recently he put out a book called Born to Run- which is also a song by Bruce.
Like other celebrities like Jimmy Buffet, another example of an influential singer and song writer, who has been open about his own struggles with alcoholism- Springsteen just recently was very open about his battle with mental illness. “It sneaks up on you,” Springsteen explained. “I got to where I didn’t want to get out of bed, you know?”
Sure, if you’ve had depression or have known and loved someone with depression you’ve been just where Bruce has. However, he said without his wife’s undying love and support he’s not sure how he would have survived it otherwise. Also, with having children, it was hard for him to show that side of him to his kids, and openly admits he tried to hide it from them.
Springsteen also says one of the many reasons he struggled so with depression is because of his rocky relationship with his father. Growing up, Bruce says he never heard his dad tell him he loved him, and his father also suffered from mental illness. Bruce says he “went there” in the book, talking about his troubled past, but admits it helps him feel better about the situation. Not only this, but Bruce also finds happiness in his music. He says his depression, if anything has made his songs mean more to him over the years. Bruce calls performing “the trustiest form of self-medication.”
“One of the points I’m making in the book is that, whoever you’ve been and wherever you’ve been, it never leaves you,” Bruce explained in a People magazine interview, and goes on to say ““I always picture it as a car. All your selves are in it. And a new self can get in, but the old selves can’t ever get out. The important thing is, who’s got their hands on the wheel at any given moment?”
Bruce, who is now in his late 60s, is still touring and loving music, though he admits he will go through periods of persistent depression. He says he’s tried therapy and medications, but really, music is what keeps him the happiest. Bruce’s wife also talked about his book saying,
“That’s Bruce. 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. 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.”
Not only does Bruce help himself in his work, but surely reaches countless fans with his openness to dismiss the stigma and social stereotypes of depression. Newsweek expands the conversation, as we all should.