Bruce Springsteen's Journey through Depression

Rock music icon Bruce Springsteen recently spoke of his struggles with Depression during an interview with Esquire Magazine. His illustrious career, which includes winning 20 Grammy Awards, has also been marked by periods of intense struggle with his mental health.

Now 69, Springsteen has spent decades in the public eye. He's also spent decades fighting against the problems that stemmed from his childhood, which have led him to a "lifelong quest" to come to terms with. He first entered therapy in his 30s, and credits the skills he learned during therapy sessions in pulling him out of the breakdown that he suffered when he was 32. His next breakdown, which occurred in his 60s, led him to what he calls "agitated depression," which he describes as a state "where 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."

Springsteen's revelations come at a time when public consciousness is starting to shift to awareness that no one, not even a celebrity at the pinnacle of his or her career, is immune from mental illness. Springsteen is not the only celebrity that has gone public about depression or anxiety. From Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin to actors such as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, there has been increased public attention on mental illness. The honesty and candor of public figures opens the doors for others who have been reluctant or ashamed to seek professional health for their own struggles and raises awareness of "high-functioning depression."

High-functioning depression is a non-clinical term for a type of depression that occurs in a person who is outwardly successful and happy but inwardly struggling with depression, stress, or anxiety. Those that are able to maintain their careers and relationships can feel immense pressure to keep performing to the expectations of those around them and are often reluctant to seek help for fear of letting people down. Symptoms of high functioning depression can include:

  • Increasing reliance on self-medication such as alcohol or recreational drugs
  • Increased irritability
  • Masking depressive symptoms during social activities
  • Disrupted sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little on days without work/social responsibilities)

If you recognize these symptoms or other symptoms of depression in yourself or a loved one, seek professional help. Whether through antidepressant medication, talk therapy, or TMS Therapy, relief from your symptoms and recovery is possible. 

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