Brad Pitt is opening up about his mental health struggles.
The 58-year-old actor got real about a wide range of topics in a new interview with GQ, covering everything from his recurring nightmare of being stabbed (!!!) and learning some new things about himself over the years – including that he suffered from “low-grade depression” for a long time. As he explained:
“I always felt very alone in my life. Alone growing up as a kid, alone even out here, and it’s really not till recently that I have had a greater embrace of my friends and family. What’s that line, it was either Rilke or Einstein, believe it or not, but it was something about when you can walk with the paradox, when you carry real pain and real joy simultaneously, this is maturity, this is growth.”
And it wasn’t until he was able to “embrace” all the parts of himself that he even started to feel that sense of happiness:
“Music fills me with so much joy. I think joy’s been a newer discovery, later in life. I was always moving with the currents, drifting in a way, and onto the next. I think I spent years with a low-grade depression, and it’s not until coming to terms with that, trying to embrace all sides of self—the beauty and the ugly—that I’ve been able to catch those moments of joy.”
Another thing that helped him feel less alone in the world? Art. He shared:
“Art is something inexplicable. Art is something that gives you goose bumps, that makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, that brings a tear to the eye. Maybe it’s because someone understood before you, you’re not alone.”
Along with this new self-discovery about his mental health, the Fight Club star also made some changes with his overall health, such as quitting smoking. Brad explained that after trying to just cut back on the number of cigarettes he smoked each day, he soon realized he needed to quit it altogether during the pandemic:
“I don’t have that ability to do just one or two a day. It’s not in my makeup. I’m all in. And I’m going to drive into the ground. I’ve lost my privileges.”
While the Academy Award winner sometimes misses having a smoke “in the morning, with the coffee,” he acknowledged that it was ultimately not “good” for him:
“I’m just at that age when nothing good comes from it.”
This is just one of the many changes he has made over the years, too. After Angelina Jolie filed for divorce in 2016, he got sober even attending Alcoholics Anonymous for a year and a half where he found a great support system:
“I had a really cool men’s group here that was really private and selective, so it was safe. Because I’d seen things of other people who had been recorded while they were spilling their guts, and that’s just atrocious to me.”
However, that time in his life didn’t come without its challenges. Every night he went to bed for a while, he actually dream of being jumped and stabbed by someone. WTF?! As Brad explained:
“For a solid four or five years there, the most predominant dream I would experience would be getting jumped and stabbed. It would always be at night, in the dark, and I would be walking down a sidewalk in a park or along a boardwalk and as I’d pass under an Exorcist-like street lamp, someone would jump out of the abyss and stab me in the ribs. Or I’d notice I was being followed and then another flanked me and I realized I was trapped, and they meant me grave harm. Or being chased through a house with a kid I’d help escape but got pinned in on the deck – and stabbed. Always stabbed.”
He would then wake up “in a terror” and for the longest time, he did not know why they wouldn’t go away:
“I didn’t understand why it/they would want to hurt me. This stopped a year or two ago only when I started going straight back into the dream and asking simply why?”
Damn! We could not imagine having to go through the same horrifying dream over and over again. And we cannot help but think his very messy divorce from Angelina might have something to do with this haunting vision.
But once he began taking notes and analyzing this nightmare did he understand what it meant:
“My interpretation of the stabbing dreams were on the surface about fears, feeling unsafe, completely alone—but beneath it all they mostly seemed to be about buried needs—those aspects of self that weren’t allowed to bloom as a child—like healthy anger, individuality, or especially a voice.”
Wow… Brad certainly got deep with this interview!
Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below). You can also ch-ch-check out the piece from GQ HERE.
[Image via WENN]
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