Bruce Springsteen talks openly about his ongoing battle with depression in his new autobiography Born To Run.

Bruce Springsteen On Depression

Over the course of his storied career, Springsteen, 67, has not shied away from discussing his clinical depression, something that he watched affect his father throughout his life. It was just a few years ago that Springsteen went through a rough patch.

“I was crushed between 60 and 62, good for a year, and out again from 63 to 64. Not a good record,” Springsteen writes in Born to Run.

Springsteen explained that when the depression takes hold, it’s hard to know how exactly it will manifest. “You don’t know the illness’s parameters,” Springsteen said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “Can I get sick enough to where I become a lot more like my father than I thought I might?”

“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 added. “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?”

In Born to Run, Springsteen also mentions how his wife Patti Sciafla has become attuned to his moods and knows when his depression needs to be treated with medication.

“Patti will observe a freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track.” Whereupon “she gets me to the doctors and says, ‘This man needs a pill,'” Springsteen wrote.

Scialfa might not be quite as comfortable with the personal anecdotes about her husband’s depression, but she knows that candor is Springsteen’s way.

“That’s Bruce. He approached the book the way he would approach writing a song, and a lot of times, you solve something that you’re trying to figure out through the process of writing—you bring something home to yourself,” Sciafla told Vanity Fair. “So in that regard, I think it’s great for him to write about depression. A lot of his work comes from him trying to overcome that part of himself.”

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