Rick Springfield: I Tried to Kill Myself

Rick Springfield promotes his new childrens CD 'My Precious Little One' at Borders Park Ave. on August 6, 2009 in New York City.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Rick Springfield in New York City in 2009.
Rick Springfield promotes his new childrens CD 'My Precious Little One' at Borders Park Ave. on August 6, 2009 in New York City. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

(CBS) Sometimes it's hard to imagine that certain people, especially celebrities, could ever have wished they were dead. But that's what 80's rocker Rick Springfield reveals in his new memoir, "Late, Late at Night."

Springfield  tried to hang himself when he was 17 because he thought he was too ugly to live, according to the New York Post. He hung from a rope tied to a ceiling beam for about 20 seconds before the rope failed and he fell to the ground.

In the rash of recent teen suicides, Springfield, now 61, has a message for kids who feel as isolated and hopeless as he once did: Stick it out, it gets better.

"I know what it's like," he said Tuesday on "Good Morning America." "You just want out. You want the pain to stop. Give yourself a year. Your life will change."

Springfield told the morning show that after his failed suicide attempt, he dedicated his life to music, but it didn't save him from his underlying depression. He tried to convince himself that he was just a "moody artist," but no matter how successful he became his "depression came roaring back."

Even penning the 1982 Grammy hit "Jessie's Girl," couldn't remove his feelings of worthlessness.

Springfield says he turned to sex, lots of it, despite being married.

"[Sex] calmed a lot of things in me," he told Good Morning America. "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."

The Australian-American father of two says he eventually kicked the habit he refused to call "sex addiction," and his wife of 30 years stayed by him.

He hopes his new book reads like a "love story" to her.

As for his message to teens on the edge: "Nothing remains the same," he says. "I would have missed out on a lot of amazing stuff in my life."

Watch Good Morning America for the full interview.