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Bruce Springsteen talks about how depression left him ‘crushed’

Bruce Springsteen performs at the Stand Up for Heroes event in New York in 2015. He recently spoke about his struggles with depression in an interview with Vanity Fair.

Bruce Springsteen performs at the Stand Up for Heroes event in New York in 2015. He recently spoke about his struggles with depression in an interview with Vanity Fair.

(Greg Allen/Invision/Associated Press)

With more than 500 pages to work with in his upcoming autobiography, “Born to Run,” legendary rock artist Bruce Springsteen found room to speak about both his continued struggles with depression as well as the shadow mental illness has cast over his life.

“I was crushed between sixty and sixty-two, good for a year and out again from sixty-three to sixty-four,” Springsteen details in his book. “Not a good record.”

Springsteen expounds on mental illness, both his own and within his extended family, in the cover story of October’s Vanity Fair, describing his own depression as “a freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track,” at which point wife Patti Scialfa will step in and make sure he’s seen by his doctor.

“If I’m being honest, I’m not completely comfortable with that part of the book, but that’s O.K.,” Scialfa told Vanity Fair regarding her husband’s transparency about his depression. “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.”

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Clear from Springsteen’s interview with Vanity Fair is that his battle with depression is matched every step of the way with the fear that he may end up more similar to his father than he ever anticipated.

Doug Springsteen, whose embattled relationship with this son laid the groundwork for Springsteen tunes like “Adam Raised a Cain,” “My Father’s House” and “Independence Day,” himself suffered from mental illness until his death in 1998.

“You don’t know the illness’ parameters,” Springsteen told Vanity Fair. “Can I get sick enough to where I become a lot more like my father than I thought I might?”

“Born to Run” is scheduled for publication on Sept. 27 by Simon & Schuster.

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libby.hill@latimes.com

Twitter: @midwestspitfire


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