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’80s Rocker Rick Springfield Talks About Battle with Depression, New Book on GMA

Rick Springfield, Springfield

Grammy Award-winning musician and soap opera hottie Rick Springfield, 61, appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday to talk about his new book ‘Late, Late at Night’ and discussed his battle with depression.

I attended Rick Springfield’s concert in Amarillo, Texas in 1983. I must say that there was no indication, from a fans perspective, that his life was spiraling so out of control.

Springfield, who has sold more than 20 million albums and has more than 17 Top 40 hits including ‘Jessie’s Girl,’ said he thought for years that his depression was a case of artistic sensitivity.

“Until ‘Jessie’s Girl’ and all the success … I thought I was just a moody artist.”

Springfield added he “… achieved a lot of what I thought I wanted to achieve … it hit me. Depression came roaring back. I realized what I thought would heal me, which is success and my dream come true, doesn’t heal you. That was when I truly labeled that I was more than just a moody guy.”

Rick Springfield Tried to Take His Own Life as a Teenager:

In his memoir, Springfield talks about the attempt he made to take his own life when he was a teenager, saying he “… made a noose and went out to the garden shed and put it – tied it around a rafter and stood on this [chair] … and kicked it away.”

However, the rope snapped and Springfield walked away unharmed. It was at that time he found an appreciation for life and a passion for music.

“It changed my life. I felt like I had a purpose. I felt like I was here for a reason.”

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Following his attempt to take his own life, Springfield, an Australia native, moved to the U.S. and eventually landed a record deal in 1980 and was cast in the role of Dr. Noah Drake on ABC’s ‘General Hospital’ for a mere $500 a week. He left ‘GH’ in 1983.

Springfield’s 1984 movie ‘Hard to Hold’ was a flop and by 1985, the actor-musician was suffering from burnout. He found himself in the midst of paralyzing depression that all but left him a recluse. In 1988, he began attending daily therapy sessions.

“The scariest thing I’ve ever done was to start going out again. But I couldn’t become a recluse at 37,” Springfield said.

The rocker is honest about how he used sex to stay calm and admits to having been unfaithful to Barbara Porter, Springfield’s wife of 26 years with whom he has two sons, Liam and Joshua.

“It’s something that I did because it made me feel better about myself. If this person is willing to have sex with me, than she must think I’m OK. … It became, like any drug, a habit,” Springfield said.

As a creative-type who suffers from depression, I can relate to what he has been going through all these years. One of the hardest things for someone with depression to do is to talk about it. Rick Springfield should be commended for being so open and honest about this part of his life.

Springfield’s Message to Kids, ‘Give yourself a year”

I really would love to say to the kids on the edge, I know what it’s like. You just want out. You want the pain to stop. Give yourself a year,” he said “Your life will change. Nothing remains the same. I would have missed out on a lot of amazing stuff in my life.”

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Depression Statistics:

The Uplift Program states 9.5 percent of American adults 18 and older suffer from some form of depression. Eighty percent of those with depression go untreated and fifteen percent commit suicide; by 2020, depression is expected to be the second largest killer after heart disease. Depression is a contributing factor to fatal coronary disease.

Rick Springfields memoir, ‘Late, Late at Night’ is now available in bookstores.

Rick Springfield Jessie’s Girl Singer Opens Up on Battle With Depression – ABC News
Depression Fact Sheet: Depression Statistics and Depression Causes, Bob Murray, PhD and Alicia Fortinberry, MS, Uplift Program
Rick Springfield Fan
Personal Experience