Rick Springfield says he wants people contemplating suicide to 'know that the moment will pass'

"I'm an example of the moment passing," the rocker told ABC News.

ByABC News
January 16, 2018, 8:15 AM

— -- Rock music icon Rick Springfield is speaking out about his decades-long battle with depression -- which he says led him to contemplate suicide on multiple occasions -- in hopes that his story will give others suffering from the disease "hope."

"I want them to have hope ... and know that the moment will pass," Springfield, 68, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Paula Faris. "I'm an example of the moment passing, because I've been there a couple of times, and haven't ... for want of a better phrase, pulled the trigger."

The Australian musician, who skyrocketed to fame in the 1980's with his hits like "Jesse's Girl" and "I've Done Everything for You," has opened up about his battle with depression before, writing about a failed suicide attempt at age 16 in his autobiography, "Late, Late at Night."

"I put the noose around the thing, and stood on a chair, and kicked it away, and hung there for a while, until I started to lose consciousness," Springfield told Faris of his adolescent suicide attempt.

PHOTO:  Rick Springfield is seen here May 27, 2016.
Rick Springfield is seen here May 27, 2016.

"The rope ... broke, or came undone, or something," he added. "I still don't know what happened."

Decades later, Springfield said his depression still hadn't left him, and even led him to contemplate suicide again, just last year.

"I was close enough," Springfield said. "I worked my way through it. Which I've always done."

Springfield described his depression, which he calls "Mr. D," as something that "you kind of become acclimatized to ... almost like a friend."

He added that suicidal thoughts are "part of my makeup."

'When you get to the really dark point nothing's enough'

The father of two said he has always "been very open" with his two children about his depression, saying: "They see the darkness in me."

He added that while he knows taking his own life would "devastate" his family, in his darkest moments, he isn't able to think about that.

"You think, 'They'll, you know, they'll get through it.' And they will, because we're human beings and we deal with stuff," he said, adding that during his worst bouts of depression, all he is able to think about is "just getting out."

"When you get to that point the pain is pretty intolerable," Springfield said.

However, Springfield said his family and the "feeling that there's some way that I can help this planet" is what makes him feel life is worth living.

PHOTO: Rick Springfield performs at the Ryman Auditorium, May 20, 2015, in Atlanta.
Rick Springfield performs at the Ryman Auditorium, May 20, 2015, in Atlanta.

Despite his love for his family and his passion for helping the environment, Springfield said the fear that this is "not enough" still creeps in at times when you have depression.

"When you get to the really dark point, nothing's enough," he explained.

'Fame and success and money do not heal' depression: Springfield

The rocker also slammed the misconception that depression doesn't affect those who achieve fame or success.

"Accomplishment is nothing, it doesn't change who you are," he said. "That's a big belief. You know ... 'If I have this house, I have this wife, if I have this car.'

PHOTO: Jacklyn Zeman and Rick Springfield on "General Hospital," July 9, 1981.
Jacklyn Zeman and Rick Springfield on "General Hospital," July 9, 1981.

"That's a big misconception," he added. "Fame and success and money do not heal."

While Springfield treats his depression with medication, he also says he is able to channel some of it into his writing and music.

"I try and write about it, definitely. It's a big motivator for me to sit down, and pick up a guitar, or start writing prose or whatever," he said.

"I don't know what where I'd be if I didn't have that out," he added.

Springfield's words are shedding light on a disease the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes as "a serious medical illness" and "important public health issue."

The disease "is characterized by persistent sadness and sometimes irritability (particularly in children) and is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women," the CDC said in a statement on their website.

If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts or other mental health concerns, trained crisis workers are available 24 hours a day through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Help is offered in English or Spanish. Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)