The 45-year-old iconic star of The Scorpion King, Baywatch, Hercules, Central Intelligence, Fast & Furious films and the oncoming film Rampage, spoke to The Express about an incident he posted on Instagram describing how he saved his mother from a suicide attempt and how it left a profound impact on his emotional health.
Dwayne Johnson revealed,‘he was just 15 when his mother Ata tried to kill herself in front of him, months after they were evicted from their apartment. She got out of 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. What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever,” he said. “Probably best she doesn’t.”
Not your typical scene on our comedy #ballers, as I cracked a beer open toasting my character’s brother, William who committed suicide. Got me thinkin’ though bout how many of us have been affected by suicide of our friends, family. Struggle and pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another. My mom tried to check out when I was 15. 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. What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t. Shits of a scene to shoot – didn’t like it – but it did reminder that we always gotta do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ‘em thru it, get ‘em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ‘em that they’re not alone. We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case.
‘Struggle and pain is real,’ Johnson admitted. ‘I was devastated and depressed. I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly. I could easily have become suicidal like my mother,’ he said. ‘We both healed but we’ve always got to do our best to pay attention when other people are in pain.’
“Got tonnes of responses to this. Thank you,” Johnson wrote on Twitter on Monday. “We all go through the sludge and depression never discriminates.
“Took me a long time to realise 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.”
The actor has previously alluded to his battle with mental health. When a fan recently told him he was suffering depression, Johnson wrote back: “I hear you. I’ve battled that beast more than once.”
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) November 13, 2015
Dwayne Johnson is a global icon of physical fitness and strength. His open and courageous act of speaking out about depression will undoubtedly encourage millions of people to open up about common emotional disorders including depression, stress and anxiety.
Depression is a state of persistent low mood or loss of interest or both. It’s a serious emotional disorder that affects thoughts, feelings, behaviour, mood and physical health.
WHO estimates that over 340 million people suffer from depression world over costing over billions of dollars to global economy in lost workdays.