Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson body-slams mental health stigma in a new interview.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is the epitome of a Hollywood tough guy, but in a new interview, he talks about a painful time in his life.

Speaking with Express, Johnson opened up about his mother's and his struggles with depression. Months after being evicted from their apartment, the then-15-year-old Johnson saved his mom from a suicide attempt.

"She got out of the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic," he told Express. "I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road."


Johnson and his mother, Ata Johnson, in 2016. Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for HBO.

Some time later, his own football career in shambles, Johnson felt the painful pull of depression himself. "I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly," he said, explaining how he and his mother's experiences helped inspire a sense of empathy for others. "We both healed, but we’ve always got to do our best to pay attention when other people are in pain. We have to help them through it and remind them they are not alone."

Johnson previously addressed his depression in a 2015 segment for "Oprah's Master Class."

That video included some great tips about helping yourself and helping others get through tough times in life. Most importantly, it's a call to remember that you are not alone.

"I've found that with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you're not alone," he says in the video. "You're not the first to go through it, you're not going to be the last to go through it. And oftentimes — it happens — you feel like you're alone. And you feel like it's only you. And you're in your bubble. And I wish I'd had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and say, 'Hey, it's going to be OK. ... It'll be OK.'"

GIF from OWN/YouTube.

There's a lot of stigma surrounding depression, anxiety, and mental illness. That's why it's so important for people to speak up and bust myths.

A lot of people (wrongly) view depression as a sign of weakness, which makes it that much more important for people like Johnson, people who have a reputation for their strength, to use their platforms to help change how people view depression. In March, Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love wrote a powerful essay about mental illness, accomplishing just that. The reason this is so important is that stigma keeps people from getting the help they need.

There's no shame in living with depression. Have a problem with that? Take it up with The Rock.

Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for HBO.

Family


Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature

As a child, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia's parents didn't ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Instead, her father would ask, "Are you going to be a doctor? Are you going to be an engineer? Or are you going to be an entrepreneur?"

Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

Keep Reading Show less
Packard Foundation
True

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared