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Bruce Springsteen on making podcast with Barack Obama
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The 72-year-old US born singer songwriter, whose rock and roll lifestyle is said to have clashed with spending time with his family, has spoken candidly about how he has also had to cope with his mental health. Speaking in an interview with Esquire the musical legend said: “I’ve had to deal with a lot of it over the years.”
The interview revealed a side of the singer that is not often revealed to the public. When asked if he had ever contemplated suicide he replied: “I once felt bad enough to say, ‘I don’t know if I can live like this.’
“I once got into some sort of box where I couldn’t figure my way out and where the feelings were so overwhelmingly uncomfortable.”
The Born to Run singer started to struggle with depression when he hit his 30s, coupon prevacid and years later entered his 60s with a second breakdown.
He described this period of his life as “an attack of what was called an ‘agitated depression.’
“During this period, I was so profoundly uncomfortable in my own skin that I just wanted OUT. It feels dangerous and brings plenty of unwanted thoughts. Demise and foreboding were all that awaited.
“Feelings became so overwhelmingly uncomfortable that I simply couldn’t find a twelve-by-twelve piece of the floor to stand on, where I could feel a sense of peace on.
“I had no inner peace whatsoever. And I said, ‘Gee, I really don’t know. I don’t know how long I could . . .’ It was a manic state, and it was just so profoundly emotionally and spiritually and physically uncomfortable that the only thing I’ve ever said was ‘Gee, I don’t know, man . . .’”
Talking about his difficult time in his life, Springsteen sounds hesitant, but continues to open up about his mental state.
When asked if he thought he should have been hospitalised at the time he replied: “All I remember was feeling really badly and calling for help.
“I might have gotten close to that and for brief, brief periods of time. It lasted for—I don’t know. Looking back on it now, I can’t say. Was it a couple weeks? Was it a month? Was it longer? But it was a very bad spell, and it just came.”
Although mental health is individual for everyone, some studies from King’s College London have found a connection between genetics and mental health. In fact Bruce himself thinks that his problems stemmed from his father’s.
His father, Doug, was diagnosed with schizophrenia later in his life. Due to this Bruce came to the conclusion that he “had things inside [of him]” that could “lead [him] to pretty bad places.”
In order to “keep [him] on an even keel,” Bruce is on a variety of medications – without which he says things can become rather dramatic.
He said: “I have come close enough to [depression] where I know I am not completely well myself.”
Also aware of his family history, Bruce tends to keep a close eye on his own three children.
Bruce added: “All I do know is as we age, the weight of four unsorted baggage becomes heavier. With each passing year, the price of our refusal to do that sorting rises higher and higher.”
Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the UK. Mind – a mental health charity – explains that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.
The symptoms of depression can be complex and vary widely between people. Psychological symptoms may include continuous low mood or sadness, feeling tearful, having no motivation or interest in things, and feeling irritable and intolerant of others.
Physical symptoms include moving or speaking more slowly than usual, unexplained aches and pains, and low sex drive. Social symptoms include avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities, neglecting your hobbies and interests, and having difficulties in your home, work or family life.
If you are struggling with your mental health and would like to speak to someone about how you’re feeling, you can contact the Samaritans by calling them for free on 116 123, email [email protected] or visit www.samaritans.org.
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