Rick Springfield, who has battled clinical depression since he was a teenager, calls the illness "a life sentence." Appearing on The KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles, the singer-actor drew from his own experiences in a candid and revealing interview with host Steve Edwards. In the wake of Robin Williams' death last week, he recalled a suicide attempt while in high school/
"I tried to hang myself when I was 17 and the rope came undone. I was fully committed and... my parents were completely, no idea."
Amazingly, though he went to school the next day with a rope burn on his neck, none of Rick's friends said anything. "It's really hard to know, unless somebody says they need help."
The "Jessie's Girl" hit-maker, who first made fans aware of his bouts of depression in his autobiography, says there is still no understanding of what triggers the symptoms.
"It's a life sentence and you don't know why you go dark, but you go dark. And things can send you dark. And I know there's been people saying, 'Just get over it.' It's deeper than that. For me, I thought success would change all that. And it did for a couple of years. But it finally... came back and settled on my shoulders again. And I still wear it, it still happens to me and it ... not really any necessarily, it can be triggered by something. But it can just happen, too."
Depression is not only hard on the sufferer, but it can leave their loved ones feeling helpless. Springfield admits, "There's not much you can do. You can give them a hug and tell them to wait until tomorrow, but a lot of it happens internally. Nobody knows."