Bruce Springsteen details his lifelong struggle with depression, suicidal thoughts, and his harrowing family history of mental illness in his memoir, “Born to Run.”
Springsteen is often associated with steely grit, but beneath his tough exterior, The Boss secretly battled suicidal depression for decades.
In his deeply personal and moving book, Born To Run, the multi-Grammy winner reveals he has been taking antidepressants since his fifties, and has been seeing a therapist since 1982.
Springsteen has a family history of mental illness that affected his father, several aunts and numerous cousins.
“We had aunts who howled during family gatherings; cousins who left school in the sixth grade, went home and never left the house again; and men who pulled hair from their bodies and heads,” Bruce wrote.
In 1982, Springsteen fell into a “terrifying” depression where he felt hopeless and suicidal.
“It lasted for a year and a half and devastated me,” wrote Bruce, who has three children with his wife of 25 years, Patti Scialfa.
After seeking treatment through therapy and antidepressants, Springsteen recovered, but then fell into another deep depression shortly after his 60th birthday.
“Shortly after my 60th, I slipped into a depression like I hadn’t experienced since ,” Bruce wrote.
“I was crushed between 60 and 62, good for a year, and out again from 63 to 64.”
Springsteen said the recent depressive episode was like a black hole that left him totally numb. “I couldn’t get out of bed,” Bruce wrote.
“Hell, I couldn’t even get a hard-on. It was like all my notorious energy, something that had been mine to command for most of my life, had been cruelly stolen away. I was a walking husk.”
Now doing well thanks to medication, therapy, and his solid marriage, Springsteen is grateful to have weathered some dark storms in his life, and is currently working on a new album.
Born to Run is a remarkable story of Bruce Springsteen’s unlikely road to fame and fortune, his incredible ride as a music legend, and his personal journey toward healing his soul.