Deepika Padukone isn’t one to mince words. The megastar tries her best to stay low-key after being embroiled in controversy surrounding her film Padmaavat upsetting a certain community of individuals. However, there is one thing she doesn’t shy away from speaking about— mental health issues. The Tamasha actress has been very vocal about her struggle with depression and has even started a foundation called The Live Love Laugh Foundation to help those suffering from the illness. On the 20th of January, the actress received an award for her contribution to the field of mental health at the World Economic Forum 2020. The actress took to the stage to share her own story of her battle with the illness. Read on to find out what she had to say:
After receiving her award, the actress took over the stage with her compelling speech on the illness. She spoke about how her struggles with the illness inspired her to spread awareness about it. She stated, “In the time it has taken me to accept this award, the world has lost one more person to suicide. One trillion dollars is the estimated impact of depression and mental illness on the world economy.”
She spoke about how she thanks her mother’s intervention that prompted her to reach out to a mental health professional after suffering from her first bout of anxiety. “Depression is a common medical illness. It is important to understand that anxiety and depression are like any other illness and are treatable. Acceptance is the first step to recovery. It was the experience with this illness that encouraged me to set up Live Love Laugh,” she said.
She ended her speech by addressing the audience and saying “My love and hate relationship with this has taught me a lot and I want to tell everyone suffering from this that you are not alone.”
Deepika’s Struggles With Depression
In an interview with a leading fashion magazine, the actress revealed she went into a state of depression after the breakup between her and her then boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor. She described how every second felt like a struggle and she felt extremely exhausted due to it. She also spoke about how the condition is often misunderstood and that people often confuse it with being sad. She described how a male star once declared that he didn’t have the ‘luxury to be depressed’ and added that depression is not a choice. She spoke about how sharing her struggles and story with others helps her feel extremely liberated and more aware of herself. The actress added that it felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders.
In the past, the actress has also reiterated that the illness is a clinical condition and that one has no control over it. She said, “There is this perception that if you have everything— fame, money, family, why should one be depressed. It is important to understand what depression is and why it happens. It is a clinical condition that is beyond your control.”
The actress has also spoken about how grateful she is to have the love and unconditional support of her family and friends. She has stated her mother saw the first signs of her condition and that is what pushed her to take her mental health more seriously. The actress’s husband Ranveer Singh spoke about how he had no qualms patiently waiting while she took time to recover. He spoke about how recovery depends on the person suffering from it and their willpower to battle the illness. Before tying the knot in a ceremony on the breathtaking Lake Como in Italy, the pair dated for six years. Deepika was on her way to recovery from depression and Ranveer stood by her side, anchoring her down. When asked about having to wait by the side until she recovered, he stated “That’s okay. I had made up my mind a long time ago that she is the one for me. I was unfazed,” he said.
According to Deepika, she first saw the signs in 2014 after waking up with an odd empty feeling in the pit of her stomach. Initially dismissing it as stress, on her mother’s insistence, she contacted a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with the condition. The actress states that depression can impact a person at any point in their life regardless of their financial background or status in society.
Deepika launched her foundation to raise awareness about the condition on October 10th, 2015, which is World Mental Health Day. The foundation aims to create awareness about mental health conditions and erase the stigma surrounding it.
On the work front, Deepika is set to star in the film 83’ which is based on India’s historic 1983 World Cup win. The film also stars her husband, Ranveer Singh in the role of legendary cricket captain, Kapil Dev. Do you believe the country needs a re-education on mental health? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues please contact AASRA: 91-9820466726 (A 24/7 suicide prevention hotline).
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