Depression Is Going to Be the Next Big Epidemic: Deepika Padukone

One in three or five persons suffers from depression. It's going to be next big epidemic to hit our country, says actor Deepika Padukone.

The actor, who has battled depression in the past, was speaking on 'Making Mental Wellness a Boardroom Priority' at the World Congress on Information Technology and Nasscom India Leadership Forum in Hyderabad, on February 21.

She spoke about the importance of raising awareness.

People suffering from depression are not expected to identify the symptoms and reach out to a psychiatrist, so those around them have to understand it. It is important that the people suffering from depression speak about it with their near and dear ones and approach a counsellor.

Speaking from personal experience , she said it was her mother who spotted the signs. "If my mother had not understood the problem, I would not have got the intervention."

In a chat with Nasscom Vice-Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer Wipro, Rishad Premji, Padukone gave tips to technologists on how to battle depression.

Also Read: 12 Things Not to Say to a Person Struggling With Depression

“It’s Okay to Have Moments of Weakness”

Judgement was not something she worried about when she decided to speak about her battle.

"It’s okay to have moments of weakness, okay to break down and okay to cry. It’s okay if you don’t look great all the time. If my mother had not understood the problem, I would not have got the intervention." - Deepika Padukone

The actress, the founder of The Live Love Laugh Foundation, said that frequent sessions with counsellors, medication, lifestyle changes, spacing the work, adequate sleep and the right kind of food helped her battle the problem.

Also Read: India’s Silent Crisis: Our Top Mental Health Stories of 2017

Tackling Depression at the Workplace

Deepika’s advise to the IT companies? Hire counsellors and psychiatrists to help employees who may be suffering from depression.

Employers should also ensure that such employees are not treated differently. There is a lot of stigma attached to mental illness and people don’t speak out due to fear of losing their jobs.

"Personal feel and touch, physical proximity, one-on-one is important, something that technology in some way is taking away from us." - Deepika Padukone

Deepika spoke about social media and how it should not become a platform to seek validation. She stressed on the need for people to come out and speak about mental illness.

(With inputs from IANS)

Also Read: Think Your Friend is Depressed? Look Out for Signs on Social Media

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