Being a “girl dad” has helped wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson deal with his long-term depression, the 51-year-old said on a recent podcast, throwing light on his journey of healing from past trauma and dealing with mental health issues.
“Yes, the saving grace for me has really been my daughters, the three of them. And being a girl dad right that's been the saving grace because you look at them and you realize this is what it's all about,” the Black Adam star said in an hour-long episode of the Pivot Podcast on May 9.
Johnson revealed how he dealt with his “bouts of depression” throughout the years on the podcast hosted by former NFL stars Channing Crowder, Fred Taylor and Ryan Clark. “My first battle with depression was down there in Miami (University). I didn't want to go to school, I was ready to leave. I left school. I didn't take any midterms and I just left. But the interesting thing at that time is, I just didn't know what it was. I didn't know what mental health was, I didn't know what depression was,” he said.
The actor, who was named the most likeable person by The Profile in 2021, also shed light on how his depression came back after his divorce with professional bodybuilder Dany Garcia Rienzi in 2008.
“Years later, I went through it again when I got a divorce — didn't know that it was… Around 2017 or so, I went through it a little bit. Knew what it was at that time and luckily I had some friends that I could lean on and say, ‘Hey, I'm feeling a little wobbly now. I got a little struggle happening, seeing a little grey and not the blue’,” he said.
Johnson spoke about mental health in his promotional post for the podcast on Instagram. “As men, we didn’t talk about it. We just kept our head down and worked thru it. Not healthy but it’s all we knew. If you’re going thru your own version of mental wellness turning into mental hell-ness, the most important thing you can do is talk to somebody. It can’t be fixed if you keep that pain inside. Having the courage to talk to someone is your superpower. I lost two friends to suicide. Talk to someone. Despite how you may feel, you’re never alone,” he wrote.
Johnson has been open about mental health and depression since 2015. The Moana actor had talked about his mother’s attempted suicide in an episode of Oprah’s Master Class.