Bruce Springsteen has spoken of his battle with depression, saying the experience left him "crushed" in his early 60s.

Excerpts from the singer-songwriter's upcoming autobiography Born to Run have been published alongside a major interview in American magazine Vanity Fair, with the 66-year-old explaining that he first saw a psychotherapist more than 30 years ago.  

"I was crushed between 60 and 62, good for a year, and out again from 63 to 64," he writes in Born to Run. "Not a good record."

The album Wrecking Ball, released when Springsteen was 62, featured a song called This Depression, but he told the magazine his bandmates did not realise he was in trouble.

He also spoke of how his wife, Patti Scialfa, intervenes when she sees he is struggling.

"Patti will observe a freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track," he said. "She gets me to the doctors and says, 'This man needs a pill'."

Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen onstage at New York's Madison Square Garden in November 2014

In his interview with Vanity Fair ahead of the book's publication, Springsteen shared his fears that he would suffer the same mental health issues as his late father Doug.

"You don't know the illness's parameters," he said. "Can I get sick enough to where I become a lot more like my father than I thought I might?"

In the memoir, Springsteen says relatives on his father's side had mental health issues which included agoraphobia and hair-pulling but they were either undiagnosed or not discussed.

"As a child, it was simply mysterious, embarrassing and ordinary," he writes.

Springsteen also told Vanity Fair of his difficult relationship with Doug, saying that his father could not say 'I love you' before he died in 1998.

"You'd hear his voice breaking up, but he couldn't get out the words," he said.

Born to Run is published on September 27. If you have been affected by issues raised in this story, you can call Samaritans at: 116 123 (ROI), 08457 90 90 90 (NI) or email: jo@samaritans.org.