Former wrestling champ and current movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has revealed a more tender side: he recently opened up about his experience with depression. The confession was sparked by a scene from Johnson’s HBO series Ballers, where his character visits the grave of a close friend who killed himself.
Johnson posted a picture from the television shoot on Instagram. The image has a lengthy caption that describes how he witnessed his mother attempt suicide by walking into oncoming traffic. Johnson saved her life by pulling her to safety. He was only 15 years old at the time.
Although Johnson stated that his mother has no memory of the attempt, the incident has stuck with him for a long time. He said he was “crying constantly” afterwards and that it’s “probably best” that his mom doesn’t remember what happened. Johnson wrote that the Ballers scene and his own experience serves as a reminder that “we always gotta do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain.”
His Instagram post got one million likes from grateful fans who appreciated his honesty. Others in Hollywood also commended him. Although the picture was shared a month ago, it continues to generate positive responses.
This past Sunday, Johnson took to Twitter to acknowledge the post and the reception it’s gotten. He shared another article about his statements and wrote that depression “doesn’t discriminate.” Johnson went on to say that it’s important to open up when you’re in a dark headspace. He noted that unfortunately, it’s especially common for young men to “keep it in.” He hopes that by sharing his own battles, that tide will begin to turn. While Johnson is grateful that his mother survived, he knows that “struggle and pain is real” and not everyone is so lucky.