- 28 Nov 18
"I'm on a variety of medications," Bruce Springsteen has revealed.
In a new interview with Esquire magazine, Bruce Springsteen goes into detail about his depression and the two mental breakdowns he suffered - the first in 1989 and the second in 2009.
The Boss, who previously wrote about his battles with mental health in his brilliant memoir Born to Run, also talks in this new interview about the experience of growing up as the son of a paranoid schizophrenic and how it cast a shadow on his life.
“I have come close enough to [mental illness] where I know I am not completely well myself,” Springsteen told Esquire magazine.
“I’ve had to deal with a lot of it over the years, and I’m on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise I can swing rather dramatically and … just … the wheels can come off a little bit.
"So we have to watch, in our family. I have to watch my kids, and I’ve been lucky there. It ran in my family going way before my dad.”
The music icon said his breakdown lead him to therapy. The Boss said he never contemplated suicide, but added: “I once felt bad enough to say, ‘I don’t know if I can live like this.’ It was like … I once got into some sort of box where I couldn’t figure my way out and where the feelings were so overwhelmingly uncomfortable.” He had “no inner peace whatsoever.”
He also stated: "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.
"… And it came out of the roots that I came out of, particularly on my father’s side, where I had to cop to the fact that I also had things inside me that could lead me to pretty bad places.”
Speaking about the breakdowns, Bruce Springsteen also told the magazine: "“All I do know is, as we age, the weight of our unsorted baggage becomes heavier … much heavier.
“With each passing year, the price of our refusal to do that sorting rises higher and higher. … Long ago, the defenses I built to withstand the stress of my childhood, to save what I had of myself, outlived their usefulness, and I’ve become an abuser of their once lifesaving powers.
"I relied on them wrongly to isolate myself, seal my alienation, cut me off from life, control others, and contain my emotions to a damaging degree. Now the bill collector is knocking, and his payment’ll be in tears.”
Bruce Springsteen also told Esquire that he had a good friend who tragically took his own live.
“Well, I had a very, very close friend who committed suicide,” Springsteen replied. “He was like an older son to me. I mentored him. And he got very, very ill. So, ultimately, it always remains a mystery — those last moments," he said.
"I always say, Well, somebody was in a bad place, and they just got caught out in the rain. Another night, another way, someone else there … it might not have happened. They were ill, and they got caught out in the rain.
"… I don’t know anyone who’s ever explained satisfactorily the moments that lead up to someone taking that action. So can I understand how that happens? Yes.
"I think I felt just enough despair myself to — pain gets too great, confusion gets too great, and that’s your out. But I don’t have any great insight into it, and in truth, I’ve never met someone who has.”