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Bruce Springsteen reveals his crushing battle with depression in his early 60s

Picture, if you will, a man’s man. Someone famous. Someone macho. Who springs to mind? OK, granted, McBain’s got his rugged qualities but how about a non-fictional sort?

For many it would be Bruce Springsteen, The Boss, the all-American hero, the denim-favouring icon whose music is entrenched in blue collar masculinity. All of which makes his following admission that bit more crucial.

In extracts released ahead of his new memoir, Born to Run, the 66-year-old rock star says he has long battled depression, even claiming he first saw a psychotherapist more than 30 years ago and that his wife, singer Patti Scialfa, can “observe a freight train bearing down” during his bouts of mental illness.

Though it wasn’t until much later that the demons really started to plague him. In the upcoming book, the 66-year-old also talks openly about one hard-fought battle with depression around the time of 2012’s album Wrecking Ball, which, aptly enough, included the track This Depression - the lyrics for which you can read below:

Baby, I've been down. But never this down. I've been lost. But never this lost
This is my confession. I need your heart. In this depression. I need your heart
Baby, I've been low. But never this low. I've had my faith shaken. But never hopeless
This is my confession. I need your heart. In this depression. I need your heart
And I've always been strong. But I've never felt so weak. And all my prayers have gone for nothing.
I've been without love. But never forsaken. Now the morning sun. The morning sun is breaking.

“I was crushed between 60 and 62, good for a year, and out again from 63 to 64,” writes the star in the memoir. “Not a good record."

“Patti will observe a freight train bearing down, loaded with nitro-glycerine and running quickly out of track … she gets me to the doctors and says: ‘This man needs a pill’.”

When the book hits shelves on 27 September, we can also expect further insight into Springsteen's troubled relationship with his father, who was unable to tell his son “I love you” before his death in 1998. “You’d hear his voice breaking up, but he couldn’t get out the words,” once said the star. 

Right now though, his brave admission regarding mental illness couldn't be better timed, with World Suicide Prevention Day this Saturday, 10 September. Let’s hope Springsteen’s words encourage more men battling similar issues to open up to friends and loved ones.

He is The Boss after all.

(Images: Rex)