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The Rock Explains How He Wrestles With Sadness and (Sometimes) Wins

In a recent interview, The Rock opened up about a couple of healthy ways he’s learned to confront some of his own emotions.

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During the press tour for Rampage, the most recent installation in the video game turned live-action movie canon, The Rock, who recently has been vocal about his battle with depression, opened up about a couple of healthy ways he’s learned to confront some of his own emotions.  

While talking about your feelings seems like a strange thing to do in an interview about an over the top summer blockbuster like Rampage, the interviewer specifically asked Johnson about a scene from the movie in which primatologist Davis Okoye, who Johnson plays in the film, asks George, the silverback gorilla who’s slowly transforming into a giant rage monster, whether he’s feeling sad. The interviewer took the opportunity to talk to Johnson about “something he wasn’t asked 100 times”: how he deals with sadness.

“My knee-jerk reaction to sadness is some sort of action. I like to go do something, and for me the going to do something, it sounds boring or cliché, but it is what it is with me.” Johnson said. “I gotta hit the gym, I gotta do some kind of physical activity that can let me sweat and let me grind and let me get in, and that way I can not think about the shit that’s making me sad, and in a way, I can just energetically get it out.”

When the gym doesn’t cut it, Johnson employs what he calls “his own form of therapy,” which simply involves indulging his own sadness.

“I can stew in the sad a little bit,” he said. “I’ll put on some music that I know will keep the sad train going. I gotta get in it.”

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This isn’t the first time Johnson has broached the subject of depression this month. In an interview with Express, Johnson admitted that he’s been dealing with it on and off for years now. Still, in a tweet published after the interview, he was sure to say that the only answer is to talk about those feelings.

“Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up,” Johnson wrote. “Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone.”

Johnson is just one of several high profile men who are finally starting to go public about their struggles with depression. Recently, NBA star Kevin Love came clean about his mental health struggles as well. After suffering a panic attack during a regular season game last year, Love said that he “couldn’t bury what had happened and try to move forward.”

“We are all walking around with experiences and struggles — all kinds of things — and we sometimes think we’re the only ones going through them,” Love said. “The reality is that we probably have a lot in common with what our friends and colleagues and neighbors are dealing with.”