‘It never leaves you…’
via Flickr user (cc) Rockphotos.se
At the age of 66, Bruce Springsteen is still touring the world and giving his audience epic sets that last up to four hours. He’s an artist whose greasy-fingered vignettes of blue-collar Americana are performed with enough soul to touch the lives of people who’ve never stepped foot in New Jersey, let alone the states. But with all of his success and worldwide adulation, he’s had to fight one tenacious recurring health problem throughout this life: clinical depression.
Depression is a cunning and debilitating disease that can cut people off at the knees no matter how many gold albums or sold-out tours they have. In his forthcoming memoir, Born to Run, Springsteen speaks out about his struggles. “One of the points I’m making in the book is that, whoever you’ve been and wherever you’ve been, it never leaves you,” Springsteen told Vanity Fair. “I always picture it as a car. All your selves are in it. And a new self can get in, but the old selves can’t ever get out. The important thing is, who’s got their hands on the wheel at any given moment?”
Since the 1980s, Springsteen has been in therapy and taken medication to treat his condition. From the the ages of 60 to 64 he went through a particularly dark period with the disease. “I was crushed between 60 and 62, good for a year and out again from 63 to 64,” he writes in Born to Run. “Not a good record.” Throughout his illness, his wife has stood by his side. “Patti will observe a freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track,” he writes. “She gets me to the doctors and says, ‘This man needs a pill.’ ”
Springsteen’s revelations are important to help destigmatize clinical depression. When people see than an energetic performer known for his blue-collar work ethic struggles with the disease, it may give men of his age group permission to recognize their own issues.