Bruce Springsteen opens up about clinical depression: "You don’t know the illness’ parameters"

Springsteen details his family's history of mental illness in Vanity Fair and previews his forthcoming memoir

By Brendan Gauthier

Published September 6, 2016 8:31PM (EDT)

Bruce Springsteen   (Getty/Larry Busacca)
Bruce Springsteen (Getty/Larry Busacca)

Musician Bruce Springsteen opens up about his years-long battle with depression in a cover-story profile in this month's Vanity Fair.

"There is his clinical depression itself," explained Vanity Fair writer David Kamp, "and then a compounding fear that he is doomed to suffer as his father did. 'You don’t know the illness’s parameters,' he said. 'Can I get sick enough to where I become a lot more like my father than I thought I might?'"

Springsteen's father, Doug, suffered "bouts of paranoia and tears" later in life. Kamp cited a passage in Springsteen's forthcoming memoir, "Born to Run":

In the privacy of home, [Springsteen] writes, when the blues descend, "Patti [Scialfa, Springsteen's wife] 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.'''

And Scialfa told Kamp, "If I’m being honest, I’m not completely comfortable with that part of the book, but that’s O.K." She added, "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. 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."

Read the full story at Vanity Fair.

Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Born To Run Bruce Springsteen Depression Mental Health Vanity Fair