“Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It's the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with,” quotes Adam Ant, a singer, musician, and actor, and we can’t agree enough!
Life isn’t always as merry as we expect it to be, some days are just hard for people to comprehend, sustain and survive. It’s a toughest war between mind, heart and reality! While we think it’s just a phase, it’s not, rightly justifies Deepika Padukone — the Bollywood diva, who dealt with depression when her profession was at its peak.
Yes, the YJHD actor was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2014, as narrated by her during a Kaun Banega Crorepati 13 episode. She discussed her personal experience with mental health difficulties extensively during the show, and raising awareness about the same was one of the foremost objectives for gracing the stage.
Here’s Deepika Padukone’s depression story, for you to draw some inspiration
How did Deepika figure out that she was suffering from depression?
During many of the interviews that Deepika has given to advocate mental health, she narrated how she used to experience a strange feeling inside, like there was some emptiness that she couldn't figure out. Finally, when her parents visited her in Mumbai and were flying back to Bengaluru, she started crying, suddenly. Her mother, Ujjala Padukone noticed that there was something wrong with her cry that day. Mothers instinct, you know! That’s when her mother asked her to visit a psychiatrist, Deepika did that and recovered after many months of therapy. However, even if you get better, mental health is something you can't ignore. It is something you have to give attention to. To achieve the same she made some lifestyle changes and has been able to manage her clinical demons.
She acknowledges her mother in every interview she does on mental health because without her support, this facet of her battle with mental illness would not have been possible. She has often been quoted saying, “I give all the credit to my mother for recognizing the signs and symptoms because it just happened out of the blue." She adds, "I was on a career-high, and everything was going well, so there was no reason or no apparent reason why I should've felt the way I was feeling, but I would break down for no reason. There were days when I just didn't want to wake up, I would sleep because sleep for me was an escape, I was suicidal at times,"
Why Deepika started Live Love Laugh – A foundation that helps those suffering from mental health issues.
The official statement by Padukone on the foundations website says "Through my journey to recovery, as I began to understand the stigma and lack of awareness associated with mental illness, I felt a deep need to save at least one life."
Deepika Padukone established LiveLoveLaugh (LLL) in 2015, drawing inspiration from her own experience with depression and anxiousness. The Foundation provides reliable mental health resources, advocates the stigma attached to mental illness, and raises awareness of mental health issues by combining its area expertise and knowledge.
How society, the industry, her extended family and audience pursued her mental health issue?
During a podcast with Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, Deepika explained how her brave decision of candidly talking about her mental health issues helped many Indians recognize that psychological problems are an ordinary component of life and there is nothing wrong to have one. To elaborate she said, “For most of India, it felt like this huge burden lifted off their shoulders. Finally, someone acknowledged the fact that okay, there is such a thing as mental illness but with everything good that you do they’ll always be sort of that skepticism.”
However, there is nothing in this world that gets accepted without criticism, Deepika faced nothing different, while some tried to understand her issue others just criticized it to be a publicity stunt. “So there were a bunch of people who felt that either I was doing this to promote a movie or they thought that I was being paid by a pharmaceutical company. And there were articles where they thought I was being paid by a pharmaceutical company and you know that I’m now going to start advertising for some sort of medication,” said Mrs. Singh on the podcast.
Deepika’s take on spreading mental health awareness
In a candid conversation with IANS the actor revealed how important it is for us as society to foster mental health awareness. She said, ”We need to stigmatize mental illness and spread awareness about mental health. I know in the current scenario we lead stressful lives but you have to keep reminding yourself that it is important to live, love and laugh. After all that is what life is all about. Most importantly for people like me who have had an experience with anxiety and depression, I think it is important to know that there is hope."