Amid Scandal, Dwayne Johnson Opens Up About Mental Health Issues

Dwayne Johnson jungle cruise
Credit: Disney

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has become a household name with Disney fans. From voicing the iconic Maui from Disney’s Moana to Frank Wolf in Jungle Cruise (and The Game Plan and Race to Witch Mountain before that) he has woven his way into the heart of Disney fans everywhere.

Dwayne Johnson voiced maui

Credit: Disney

Despite being caught up in a shocking scandal, the actor remains an integral part of Disney. Though he says he is struggling to get work in the wake of a 3 billion dollar lawsuit he will be executive-producer for a live-action Moana. Johnson will also reprise his role as Maui in the film.

The former pro-wrestler has wrestled out of the ring as well. The fight for his own mental health is probably his toughest opponent yet. Johnson recently opened up about his mental health struggle in a candid interview on the popular Podcast “The Pivot.”

The jungle cruise Dwayne Johnson

Credit: Disney

The Jungle Cruise actor said that he didn’t always have the right words to describe his troubles and at times didn’t even recognize it for what it was: depression. It first reared its head after his college football career ended. At the time, he held it in, trying to be “tough.” He stated that he didn’t realize he was suffering from a legitimate health condition.

The depression resurfaced after his divorce from first wife, Dany Garcia in 2008. This time, though, he knew what he was dealing with. “I knew what it was at that time and luckily I had some friends that I could lean on and say, ‘Hey I’m feeling a little wobbly now. I got a little struggle happening,'” said Johnson.

He now advocates for mental health, especially in men who often don’t seek help when they are struggling. “I’ve worked hard over the years to gain the emotional tools to work through any mental pain that may come to test me. As men, we didn’t talk about it. We just kept our head down and worked through it. Not healthy, but it’s all we knew,” said Johnson.

He is seeking to change the attitudes around mental health and hopes that by speaking out about his struggle he will encourage other men to do the same. “If you’re going through your own version of mental wellness turning into mental hell-ness, the most important thing you can do is talk to somebody,” he said. “Having the courage to talk to someone is your superpower.”

Depression affects men and women equally but the symptoms differ. Rather than sad, it can present as anger and aggression in men. This makes it harder to recognize but advocates like Dwayne Johnson are paving the way to greater acceptance and understanding. For more information click here.

About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.