Rick Springfield on Battle With Depression, Promiscuity

Singer of 1980s hit, "Jessie's Girl," opens up about his battle with depression.

Oct. 12, 2010— -- Grammy-winning artist Rick Springfield, who made it big with the 1981 hit "Jessie's Girl," and went on to become the musical icon of a generation, opened up about his life-long battle with depression and insecurity.

Springfield said it took him years to realize that his depression was more than just a case of artistic sensitivity.

"Until 'Jessie's Girl' and all the success ... I thought I was just a moody artist," he said on "Good Morning America." "Once I achieved a lot of what I thought I wanted to achieve ... it hit me. Depression came roaring back. I realized what I thought would heal me, which is success and my dreams come true, doesn't heal you. That's was when I truly labeled that I was more than just a moody guy."

Springfield, now 61, was 17 when he fought the first skirmish in his battle with depression. The outwardly sunny soul reveals in his new memoir, "Late, Late at Night," which hits stores today, about his dark attempt to take his own life.

"I made a noose and went out to the garden shed and put it -- tied it around a rafter and stood on this [chair] ... and kicked it away," he said.

When the rope snapped and he fell to the ground unharmed, he awoke with an appreciation for life and passion for music.

"It changed my life," he said. "I felt like I had a purpose. I felt like I was here for a reason."

In light of a rash of teen suicides, Springfield urges kids who are going through dark times to stick it out.

"I really would love to say to the kids on the edge, I know what it's like. You just want out. You want the pain to stop. Give yourself a year," he said on "Good Morning America." "Your life will change. Nothing remains the same. I would have missed out on a lot of amazing stuff in my life."

After his failed suicide attempt, Springfield, an Australian by birth, headed to the U.S. By 1980 he was nearly broke when he landed a record deal and was cast as Dr. Noah Drake on "General Hospital" -- a role that put him in the spotlight but paid only $500 a week.

Springfield went on to sell more than 20 million albums. "Jessie's Girl" is just one of his 17 Top 40 hits.

"I wrote a song that was a breakthrough song," he said. "I am very proud of that song."

"Jessie's Girl" was voted the No. 1 karaoke song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.

Springfield: Sex 'Became Like Any Drug'

Despite his success, his depression followed him and led to a lot of promiscuity. Springfield shied away from labeling himself a "sex addict" but admits he was a bit of a womanizer.

"[Sex] calmed a lot of things in me," he said. "It's something that I did because it made me feel better about myself. If this person is willing to have sex with me, than she must think I'm OK. ... It became, like any drug, a habit."

"Once I took enough time off to be away from it and got out of the habit of it, it was much easier not to do it," he said of his promiscuity.

Springfield also writes that he was unfaithful to his wife, Barbara, but that the two managed to stay the course.

"Our relationship is great, and we've been through a lot," he said. "After 30 years ... she's incredible and you don't just walk away. We both know we're better together than we are apart."

"My wife is the most amazing person in the world. I hope the book reads like a love story," he said.

After a lifetime of ups and downs, the devoted husband and father of two said he has no regrets.

"I'm thankful for serendipitous moments in my life, where things could've gone the other way," Springfield said. "Over all life is what it is and regretting is a pointless thing."

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website.