Bruce Springsteen Admits He's Had Mental Health Concerns

Bruce Springsteen CBS

Through his generation-sweeping music and his gifts for storytelling and ballads, Bruce Springsteen touches deeply on his own life, his own plight and struggles, as well as the hardships of the everyman living and rooted in America. Despite his fame, wealth, and immense success over the years, Springsteen still connects to his adoring crowd of fans as he puts on one amazing show after the other -- even as he nears his seventies. It is remarkable that he never lost his touch; he has proven himself to be nimble and accessible to audiences of all ages and demographics over the years.

But in a brand new interview to promote his forthcoming Netflix special, Springsteen on Broadway, based on the best-selling stage hit performed at the Walter Kerr Theatre, Bruce Springsteen opened up a little more. Specifically, the renowned musician discussed his personal history with mental illness.

I have come close enough to [mental illness] where I know I am not completely well myself. I've had to deal with a lot of it over the years, and I'm on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise, I can swing rather dramatically and ... just ... the wheels can come off a little bit. So we have to watch, in our family. I have to watch my kids, and I've been lucky there. It ran in my family going way before my dad.

The admission came during Bruce Springsteen's profile with Esquire, where he discussed his late father, Doug Springsteen, and the complicated relationship he shared with him. Upon reflection, Bruce Springsteen later learned his troubled father, who "sat alone, brooding, silent, in the dark of that kitchen" late at night, would be diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. This revelation gave the singer-songwriter an equal mix of "context" and "fear."

Doug Springsteen passed away twenty years ago earlier this year. He was 73, only four years older than Bruce Springsteen right now. When asked if he'll be buried in his family plot in St. Rose of Lima Cemetery, Bruce admitted that its a big question, admitting he isn't sure. The artist claims he might spread himself all over the place, including "a little in the ocean" and, jokingly, "a little in town." He currently plans for his remains to be in a variety of locations.

And when asked if there was anything his father never said to him when he was alive, Bruce Springsteen claims his father "never said, 'I love you.'" In The Boss' own words, his father "never got around to it," but it didn't hurt him because he knew he did, and that it was merely a communication issue.

While Bruce Springsteen has rarely been shy about discussing his past and his own daily troubles, notably in his music, this interview is among the first times Springsteen has opened up so honestly about his own family history of mental illness, and how he feels about it in relation to his own children. To see hear and learn more about Springsteen's life and music, watch Springsteen on Broadway on Netflix. It premieres December 16th.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.