The movie star opens up about a dark time in his life after he witnessed his mother try to commit suicide.
While it may not seem impossible to ever imagine something cracking the perpetual smile that adorns The Rock, Dwayne Johnson has recently opened up about his own struggles with depression.
"The struggle and pain is real. I was devastated and depressed," he told The Daily Express of witnessing his mother's suicide attempt at 15 years old. "I reached a point where I didn't want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly."
After that story broke over the weekend and made its way to the United States on Sunday, where Johnson saw a lot of support and praise for speaking out on such a difficult subject, he took to Twitter to express his gratitude. "Took me a long time to realize it, but the key is to not be afraid to open up," he wrote. "Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You're not alone."
Got tons of responses to this. Thank you. We all go thru the sludge/shit 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— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 2, 2018
The "Rampage" star first hinted at his personal struggle in an Instagram post two months ago where he talked about how his mother's suicide attempt impacted him, writing a similar sentiment: "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."
The melancholy post was in response to shooting a gravesite scene for his HBO series "Ballers." The scene left Johnson pondering suicide and how his mother attempted to kill herself by getting out of their car on a busy interstate and walking into oncoming traffic. "I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road," he wrote. "What's crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. 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.
Johnson admitted to The Daily Express that a combination of getting cut from the Canadian Football League and a bad breakup earlier in life was his "absolute worst time." His dreams of being a professional football player were shattered and he felt directionless. This was before he would go on to achieve international fame as a wrestler and actor.
Arguably the United States' biggest star -- inarguably its highest paid movie star -- Johnson thinks there's a real possibility he could have become suicidal like his mother had he not found the inner strength to move forward. "We both healed but we've always got to do our best to pay attention when other people are in pain," he said, echoing a familiar refrain. "We have to help them through it and remind them they are not alone."