Bruce, 69, said he entered his sixties with “a crippling depression.” He credited his Broadway show, Springsteen on Broadway, for giving him peace as he nears his seventies.
“When I was a child, and into my teens I felt like a very, very empty vessel. And it wasn’t until I began to fill it up with music that I began to feel my own personal power and my impact on my friends and the small world that I was in. I began to get some sense of myself. But it came out of a place of real emptiness,” he said.
He further explained that sense of emptiness in his 2016 autobiography Born to Run. In the book, he wrote, “My father was very dismissive of primarily who I was. And that sends you off on a lifelong quest to sort through that.” Bruce also revealed that his father Doug Springsteen was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
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Bruce said his first breakdown happened when he was 32 years old around the time he released his sixth studio album, Nebraska. “I have come close enough to mental illness where I know I am not completely well myself,” he said.
Bruce continued, “I’ve had to deal with a lot of it over the years, and I’m on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise I can swing rather dramatically, and the wheels can come off a little bit. So we have to watch, in our family. I have to watch my kids, and I’ve been lucky there. It ran in my family going way before my dad.”
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