Bruce Springsteen opens up about how his wife of 31 years Patti Scialfa saved him from crippling depression

The rockstar has made a name for himself as a musician but behind the facade of a confident singer, he has had his fair share of demons to deal with. Thankfully, he did not have to fight them alone.

Bruce Springsteen is a legend in his own right. The singer has almost 20 studio albums under his belt and a myriad of hits that he has performed over the years with his backup band, the E Street Band.


His lyrics are always rich and full of storytelling about the struggles of the American working class. And Springsteen is not one to shy away from telling stories of everyday people who struggle.

In his memoir, ‘Born to Run,’ the singer wrote about his father’s battle with depression that at times left him bedridden for days.

In his memoir, he also opened up about his own struggles with the disease. Saying that it was a combination of inheritance and experiences from his childhood that led to him experiencing depression as well. John Lennon, once said about Springsteen, “God help Bruce Springsteen when they decide he’s no longer God.” But it was not the adoration stopping that tumbled Springsteen to depression, but his own mind.

Patti Scialfa via

His physical health was suffering which agitated him to no end. Springsteen was underweight and on a steady diet of fast food. It came to a point that his energy levels would deplete so much that he needed help to be escorted off stage.

This pushed him to improve his lifestyle. He started a new fitness regime where he ran for 6 miles on a treadmill and lifted weights three times a week. And while his physical health improved, his mental health still suffered.

He said in an interview, “I’ve developed some skills that help me in dealing with it, but still — it is a powerful, powerful thing that really comes up from things that still remain unexplainable to me.”


When he was experiencing depression despite his new healthy lifestyle, he wrote, “My depression is spewing like an oil spill all over the beautiful turquoise-green gulf of my carefully planned and controlled existence. Its black sludge is threatening to smother every last living part of me.”

He then realized that depression was largely biochemistry and hence needed more than an exercise regime in order to control it.

He has spoken about how to combat the disease at length, saying one of the things that helped him was self-realization. The singer said, “Just naming it [helps]… What most people tend to want to do is, when they feel bad, name a reason why you feel that way: ‘I feel bad because…,’ and you’ll transfer that to someone else ‘…because Johnny said this to me,’ or ‘this happened.’

“And, sometimes, that’s true. But a lot of times, you’re simply looking to name something that’s not particularly nameable, and if you misname it; it just makes everything that much worse. So my ‘skill’ is sort of saying, ‘Okay, it’s not this, it’s not that — it’s just this. This is something that comes; it’s also something that goes — and maybe something I have to live with for a period of time,’” the singer finished.


This is definitely a great strategy to help deal with depression and keep an episode at bay or at least control it to some extent.

Apart from this, in the past, he has opened up about how his wife Patti Scialfa has been by his side and one of the reasons he overcame depression.

“She was stable enough and strong enough and she brought a lot of love, so those were very healing things over a long period of time,” he recalled.

He said Patti has been pivotal in his recovery and battle with depression. The singer said, “Patti will observe a freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track… she gets me to the doctors and says, ‘This man needs a pill.'”

He explained that Patti is the only relationship he has had where his depression was understood, which makes their love all the deeper and special.

The singer said, “She had a lot of understanding of where I was coming from and some of the choices I make and a little bit about the twisted parts of my personality that she knew how to handle and live with better than some of my other relationships.”

It is so heartwarming to see how Bruce Springsteen is open about his struggles with depression and credits his wife for being his rock.

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