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Dwayne Johnson opens up about battling 'three bouts of depression' in his life

Dwayne Johnson is opening up about his mental health journey.

The Black Adam star spoke candidly about his experience battling "three bouts of depression" during a recent appearance on the podcast The Pivot. While visiting the show, Johnson explained that he first felt depressed after a shoulder injury ended his football career at the University of Miami.

"[I] didn't want to go to school," he said. "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. I just knew I didn't want to be there. Wasn't going to any of the team meetings. Wasn't participating in anything."

Johnson said he was still unaware that he was battling depression when he went through a second bout of it around the time he got a divorce from his ex-wife, Dany Garcia, in 2008. However, the actor noted that he was better prepared and able to reach out to loved ones when it happened again.

"Years later, around 2017 or so, went through a little bit. Knew what it was at that time," he said. "And luckily, at that time, I had some friends who I could lean on and say, 'You know, I'm feeling a little wobbly now. Got a little struggle happening. I'm seeing a little gray and not the blue.'"

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images Dwayne Johnson at the world premiere of 'Red Notice'

Throughout the hardships he faced, Johnson said his "saving grace" has always been "being a girl dad" to his three daughters: Ava Raine, Jasmine Johnson, and Tiana Gia Johnson. He added, "You look at them, and you realize, 'Well, I mean, really, this is what it's all about.'"

Johnson later took to social media to encourage his Instagram followers to talk to someone if they are struggling — especially men, who may feel unable to openly discuss their mental health.

"I've worked hard over the years to gain the emotional tools to work thru [sic] any mental pain that may come to test me. But years ago I didn't know what mental health struggle was," he wrote. "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."

He continued, "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."

Johnson concluded, "Talk to someone. Despite how you may feel, you're never alone."

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