Though mainstream discussions surrounding mental health have most certainly improved in recent years, the stigmatization of depression and other potential issues still persists. Thankfully, many celebrities are getting out in front of the discussion in an effort to further humanize a struggle that’s often overlooked by those who haven’t experienced it firsthand. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, for example, recently opened up about his own battle with depression on an episode of OWN’s Oprah’s Master Class series.
“I found that, with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone,” Johnson says. “You’re not the first to go through it. You’re not going to be the last to go through it. I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside [and say] ‘Hey, it’s gonna be okay. It’ll be okay.'” Johnson reveals he suffered from depression during “a real low point” in his early 20s set off by reportedly being “passed over” by the NFL, according to the Huffington Post. Just two months after joining the practice roster, Johnson was removed from the Calgary Stampeders, a team in the Canadian Football League. “You just feel like you’re alone,” says Johnson. “You feel like it’s only you. You’re in your bubble.”
Of course, The Rock eventually decided to abandon football entirely and focus on building a career as a professional wrestler. “It wound up being one of the greatest chapters in my life,” Johnson says of the lessons his period of depression taught him. “Hold on to that fundamental quality of faith,” the star of the forthcoming Baywatch reboot advises. “Have faith that on the other side of your pain is something good.”