It Can Happen to You Too


This post is not about Bruce Springsteen or his disclosure of depression. However, I was inspired to write this post because I read an article by Alex Lubet, Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota, that addresses the fact Bruce Springsteen is battling depression. At first, I thought the article would contain little more than a detailed list of other famous people who have also battled depression by seeking help or self medicating with drugs and alcohol. Thankfully there was much more to the article than a long list.

Although Lubet, mentions Springsteen’s disclosure is “arguably unique because his image runs counter to stereotypes of depression,” the article mostly describes the stereotype of mental illness and damage caused by the stereotype. For example, Lubet tells us the media has reinforced negative stereotypes of people with mental illness, often depicting them as “inadequate, unlikable, dangerous” and absent a “social identity: single or of unknown marital status, frequently without identifiable employment, confused, aggressive, and unpredictable.”

After reviewing a number of studies on stigma and mental illness, a group of psychiatrists reported most mental illness is not treated due to a poor knowledge of symptoms and treatment. The scientists concluded by stating prejudice and fear of discrimination are major factor in not seeking treatment.

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  1. Thanks so much for reading my article. By “unique,” I was only contrasting Springsteen’s image to that of other rock stars known to have lived with depression. His story is surely quite similar to many others beyond the rough and tumble world of rock music fame. One can only put so much in an op-ed with an 800 word limit.

    1. Alex,

      After brain cancer, chemo, and radiation treatments, I have very little recollection of anything. Long ago, I may have been able to connect musicians to their songs and habits; now I cannot. The reason I think “uniqueness” is such a big issue, is I want my readers to understand their challenges may be similar to those of other people, but the solutions to their challenges are unique. The things that work for one person may or may not work for another. Furthermore, I like how your article provided evidence that disability (depression) may present certain challenges, but it does not prohibit success.

      Thank you for writing the article and sharing your comment.

      Best wishes,


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