Tuesday, August 21, 2012

There's a Darkness on the Edge of Town

I became a Bruce Springsteen fan back in 1975 while going to college in southeastern Pennsylvania, not all that far from the Boss's Asbury Park stomping ground, and almost 10 years before Bruce and the E Street Band rose to mega-celebrity with the 1984 hit, Born in the USA. In the years since, Springsteen has sold over 100 million albums, and continues to play sold out concert venues around the world.

While his music has matured over the years, from the get-go Springsteen's lyrics have expressed wonderfully a perpetual sense of hope amidst despair, as seen though the eyes of one whose background and soul know first-hand the depth of life's struggles -- a theme prominent not only on his early albums like Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town, but one that is present still on his most recent release, Wrecking Ball.

As both a counselor and musician, I was fascinated by a recent article in The New Yorker, in which Springsteen shares with writer David Remnick his life-long struggle with depression and the fact that he has been in therapy for the past 30 years. (I can't quite imagine having Bruce as a client -- but I am willing to give it a try!)

I think it's always a good thing when celebrities go public and disclose the fact that they, too, have issues they can't handle on their own, choosing instead (and wisely!) to seek professional treatment. In so doing they encourage many, who previously struggled in private, to seek much needed professional care.

I find it encouraging that someone with the fame and following of Bruce Springsteen can admit to struggling with depression, and be willing to acknowledge the need for help. We've related to the message of his lyrics for the past 35 years, maybe the fact that he has seen fit to get help with his mental health issues can resonate with us, as well. What do you think? Say more about that...

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