Bruce Springsteen Opens Up About Long Battle With Depression

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen performs during The River Tour 2016 on January 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

A secret struggle. Bruce Springsteen opened up in a new interview about suffering through severe bouts of depression over the years. Chatting with Vanity Fair for their October 2016 cover story, the 66-year-old rock star candidly spoke about his mental health.

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The “Born In the USA” singer told the magazine that he often wonders if he will ever end up like his late dad, Douglas Frederick Springsteen, who battled alcoholism and mental illness before his 1998 death. “You don’t know the illness’s parameters,” Springsteen said. “Can I get sick enough to where I become a lot more like my father than I thought I might?”

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The Boss — who recently finished his first memoir, Born to Run — went on to say that he reached a particularly low point not too long ago. “I was crushed between 60 and 62, good for a year and out again from 63 to 64,” he admitted. “Not a good record.”

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In his tome, the newly minted author explains that touring the world with his band helped lift his spirits, while spending extended periods of time at home often launched him into a dark place. Springsteen writes that his wife, Patti Scialfa, is very good at picking up on the music icon’s state and will intervene when necessary: “She gets me to the doctors and says, ‘This man needs a pill.'”

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Though she told VF that the release of Springsteen’s personal life account once worried her, Scialfa — who tied the knot with the Grammy winner in June 1991 — realized that putting pen to paper had been deeply therapeutic for him. 

“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,” she said. “A lot of his work comes from him trying to overcome that part of himself.”

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