Rick Springfield, best known for his chart-topping hits and roles in a number of movies and television shows, was just 17 years old in 1968 when he landed the opportunity to perform for U.S. troops in Vietnam.
However, during his time there, the Americans came under attack, and Springfield had to help load mortars so they could defend themselves. Unfortunately, one of these explosives killed a Viet Cong soldier.
Once Springfield returned home, he tried to move on, and his big break came in 1972 when he arrived in the U.S. He quickly became a teen heartthrob with a string of hits under his belt. His career stalled for a while, but he made a comeback with his 1981 hit "Jessie's Girl" and in that same year, he joined the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital as Dr. Noah Drake.
Despite all of his success, the Australian-born entertainer struggled with depression and suicidal tendencies, which were further fueled by the guilt of killing a man and the pressures of fame.
"That was a war situation but it is still something that to this day sends a shiver down my spine," Springfield said.
Decades later, Springfield is still experiencing some dark periods, and recently opened up about his battle.
The 68-year-old artist discussed the state of his mental health in an interview with SiriusFM's Feedback.
He dropped some major bombshells during the show, including the fact that he recently contemplated ending his life.
"Last year I was close to it, really close to it,” Springfield told the show's host Lori Majewski.
He also admitted that when he heard about the death's of celebrities like Robin Williams and Chris Cornell, he knew exactly why they committed suicide.
"I didn’t go, ‘Oh that’s terrible.’ I went, ‘I get it.’ I get being that lost and dark," Springfield explained. "You’re in so much pain that you just want it to end. I have been there and I know what it’s like and I understand. It’s just part of your makeup."
The singer-songwriter said that he his doing all he can to get better, including taking medication and meditating.
"I’ve taken Prozac and all that kind of stuff and I meditate," Springfield said. "Mediation is the only thing that takes me out of it. If I truly meditate and focus and get to that place, I’m not depressed. No matter what’s going on. But it’s pretty hard."
This isn't the first that Springfield has dealt with suicidal thoughts. In his 2011 memoir, "Late, Late at Night," he revealed that he tried to commit suicide when he was 17.
"I tried. I don’t know how I survived it, but I survived the hanging," he recalled during the interview with Majewski.
These days, Springfield still thinks about ending his life, but it's "not an option anymore," because he has children.
“When I had kids I said, ‘Okay that takes suicide off the table, that’s not an option anymore, I don’t care how bad I feel.’ But now my kids are grown. It’s really weird … it would devastate them,” he said. “I don’t know how I could ever come to terms with that. But it rides on my shoulder every day."
Springfield also explained that he has been taking life day by day, and isn't afraid to express how he feels when asked.
"I’m alive and well. Anyone says, ‘How you doing?’ I never go, ‘Great.’ Because it’s bulls—. I go, ‘I’m okay — I’m there.’ Sometimes I’ll go, ‘F—ing horrible, I’ve had a terrible day,’" Springfield said.
He continued, "We’ve all had the social front and it just makes me feel like such a liar when I go home and I look in the mirror and I go, ‘Really, you said that to somebody? That everything’s great and you’re feeling awesome? That’s bulls—,’" adding, "I’m at the point now in my life where I want to do what’s truthful."
Springfield continues to make music and tour. His new album, The Snake King, will be out sometime this year. He gets very candid about his struggle in some of his songs, inlcuding the forthcoming single, "Suicide Manifesto."
The complete interview will air on January 11 on SiriusXM's Volume channel 106.
We're happy to see that he is on the mend and starting a conversation about a topic that is often considered taboo.