Rick Springfield on depression: ‘You’re in pain, you just want it to end’


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I am well into my 40s and remember all the big events of the 1980s – or at least what I deemed as a big event. I remember when Dr. Noah Drake was introduced on General Hospital. And when a DJ said “new song by Rick Springfield,” that meant turn the volume up. Although I admit that I only followed Rick’s career loosely, I’ve always liked him. I found him to be introspective in interviews and later in life, raw and honest. His latest interview with Feedback’s Lori Majewski on SiriusXM got exactly that – raw. Rick discussed his battle with depression in his 2010 memoir, Late, Late at Night. Sadly he tried to hang himself at the age of 16. Fortunately, the rope broke and spared his life. Rick took that as a sign that suicide was not an option for him, although it has never been far from his mind. Being a dad to his two sons with his wife of 33 years, Barbara Porter, held his suicidal thoughts at bay. But now that his kids are grown, those horrible thoughts are creeping back into the forefront of his mind. Rick said that he’s had those thoughts as recently as last year.

The “Jessie’s Girl” singer, 68, opened up about his lifelong battle with depression in a new interview on SiriusXM’s Feedback, airing Thursday, and shared that he struggled with thoughts of suicide.

“Last year I was close to it, really close to it,” Springfield told host Lori Majewski about nearly ending his life.

“‘Suicide Manifesto’ is stuff I think about. I’ve been close to it,” he said about his forthcoming song from his new album, The Snake King. “When Robin Williams and Chester [Bennington and Chris Cornell] and those guys … I didn’t go, ‘Oh that’s terrible.’ I went, ‘I get it.’ I get being that lost and dark.”

Adding, “You’re in so much pain that you just want it to end. I have been there and I know what it’s like and I understand. It’s just part of your makeup.”

“I’ve taken Prozac and all that kind of stuff and I meditate. Mediation is the only thing that takes me out of it. If I truly meditate and focus and get to that place, I’m not depressed. No matter what’s going on. But it’s pretty hard,” he shared.

[From People]

Rick also discussed these dark thoughts a few years ago when he was interviewed in an Oprah’s Where Are They Now segment. In 2016, he talked about how Barbara helped him in his struggle against the disease. Depression is enough of a monster without the added pressure of feeling required to be its spokesperson. That’s why I am so grateful to Rick and anyone else that opens their battle up to the public. It also breaks my heart. I hope he knows he’s being heard as well as helping others. For my part, I’m adding meditation to my resolutions. I’ve fought it or made half-hearted attempts to get into it but I will find a class for me and my children this week and commit to going. Too many people have shared its benefits for me to ignore any longer.

The Suicide Manifesto referred to in the interview is a song off Rick’s new album The Snake King. There isn’t a preview of that song yet but the album is out January 26th. At 68, Rick is still producing new music and touring. And, in doing so, he’s doing good wherever he can. Like just after Christmas when he coordinated with Make-A-Wish to have an 18-year-old young man named Gavin come up on stage with him to sing Jessie’s Girl, which had been a lifelong dream of Gavin’s. You can see the video Gavin’s mother posted of the performance here. Rick calls him up at 2:13. Man, I keep forgetting what a great guitarist Rick is.

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Photo credit: WENN Photos and Getty Images

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11 Responses to “Rick Springfield on depression: ‘You’re in pain, you just want it to end’”

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  1. Saras says:

    Aww no comments for poor Rick and depressives? Jeez I will give you all hugs and reccomend you call suicide hotline or a trusted person.. I did once and a wonderful man made me feel much better. I was overwhelmed so don’t wait until you get out a gun or pills. Call when you feel just feel bad as that is why they are there. ❤❤❤

  2. KiddV says:

    I didn’t know about any of his depression battles. I was fan in the 80′s, I knew he was on General Hospital but never watched it, I just liked his music. He’s a great musician.

    I can’t imagine having to live with such depression. I never really understood how someone would want to kill themselves, I always thought it was a moment of weakness and if they had just waited things would be better. But now I know that’s not always the case, and it’s been CB and you posters who have educated me.

    • Nettle says:

      I’m 24 and I’ve had chronic depression since I was at least 8. I’ve made 3 suicide attempts: 12 y/o, 15 y/o, 17 y/o. The first time I tried to drown myself in my grandparent’s pool. The second I was going to ingest tablets and pills we had in the house (we had a few different types as my mother and I are chronically sick and injured) but at the last minute stopped myself. The last attempt was also by pills – over a hundred of several different types – and I’d swallowed around a dozen before I thought of the one thing that could stop me… my mother. I couldn’t leave her alone, not with how close we are and how we are really each other’s only *true* emotional support. That day I made a promise to never make another attempt. It’s been 7 years and despite how difficult it’s been, how often I think about it, how much I want it, I won’t go through with it. For her.

      For me, my depression is caused by a few things. I was abused by my father growing up – physically, emotionally, mentally… thankfully not sexually. It’s been over a decade since he has truly laid a hand on me but he left his mark, and am now uncomfortable with almost all men and do NOT like to be touched by them. Don’t like to be touched at all really but I handle it better if it’s a woman. I am disabled… in several ways. I have a neck injury that is deteriorating much faster than was expected and can not be healed. I have several other conditions but that is the main one. People like to say “things will get better” but sometimes they can’t. My neck can’t get better, and I have been living with debilitating pain since I was 10 because of this.

      Everyday I plug on, living with excruciating pain coming from several parts of my body, limited in everything I can do but still having to remind myself to thankful of what I do still actually have. The last while has been even more difficult than normal as my body has decided to spaz out… by giving me a non-stop constant migraine for over three months. This migraine hasn’t let up even *once* since the beginning of September last year. You have no idea how many times I’ve seriously considered suicide these last couple of months.

      I don’t consider feeling suicidal a weakness, it simply means someone is going through so much pain and anguish (whether physically, emotionally, mentally or a combination) that leaving it all behind is more preferable staying. I’m glad though that you too are slowly not seeing as a weakness either.

  3. karen says:

    i’ve always had a tricky relationship with suicidal ideation…it sucks, and im glad he’s speaking out, as its not something everyone struggles with, and thus not everyone can really grok it.

  4. EscapedConvent says:

    I love Rick Springfield. He seems a sweetheart of a guy. Thank you, Hecate, for bringing his story to us.

    Also, is he really 68?! He looks fantastic.

  5. Jag says:

    Rick Springfield’s Jessie’s Girl tour was my first-ever concert. I used to love him, but then he said some stupid things or something which turned me off of him. I’d have to look to see what he said or did.

    Anyone suffering with depression, please talk to your doctor to get some things tested: your thyroid fully tested – not just T3 and T4, your vitamin B12 level, your vitamin D level, your vitamin E level, and your calcium and magnesium levels. All of those are incredibly important to be at normal levels to stave off depression. (Just recently found out about vitamin E being important.)

    Please know that depression is your neurotransmitters in your brain not working properly, and you can get through it long enough for them to start acting right. Get help if you need it. Sometimes people need talk therapy, or medication, or something else to help. (Lexapro, an antidepressant, helped me tremendously years ago.) If you were diabetic or had high blood pressure, you’d get help, so treat depression the same.

    Know that you’re not alone. There are people who care about you and would miss you if you weren’t here. Depression lies. Don’t listen to it.

    Full disclosure: I’ve been suicidal since at least 4th grade. I’ve had many attempts; my last attempt was the night that Curt Cobain was murdered. I was in a coma for 3 days and promised myself that I would never try again. Yes, I’ve been suicidal as recently as last year, but I got myself through it. You can get through it, too. Best wishes. <3

  6. Bachmangrl says:

    Rick was my first celebrity crush st the age of 7 when “Jessie’s Girl” came out. The years 1980-1984, my room was a shrine to Rick and Duran Duran.
    He was M.I.A for a long time due to the depression but I’m happy that he’s back on the spotlight again in recent years like in Dave Grohls documentary about Sound City or his appearances in “Ricki and the Flash” or “True Detective” and “Supernatural”.
    He’s become a great advocate and spokesperson about depression in recent years, saw him in concert a few years ago, and he’s easily one of the warmest persons you’ll ever meet. Really nice, really sweet and very genuine.