A day ago, Deepika Padukone received World Economic Forum’s prestigious 26th Annual Crystal Award for her extraordinary contribution towards the cause of mental health. The actress has been vocal about her suffering from depression and started Live Love Laugh foundation for those who are seeking help for their mental illnesses.
On Tuesday, Deepika Padukone had a conversation on mental health with WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He praised her on Twitter and wrote, “Delighted to discuss #mentalhealth with @deepikapadukone at #wef20. Your openness and vulnerability are helping others to seek help and helping to break down stigma. @WHO look forward to working closely with you. There is no health without mental health. #LetsTalk.”
At WEF 2020 in Davos, Deepika Padukone revealed that she used to lie whenever asked how she was doing. Recalling the time when she was diagnosed with clinical depression, the actress revealed, “Mental illness happened to me when I had least expected it. I was at a professional high, my movies were doing great and I was in an amazing relationship. Everything was going just perfect. One morning when I woke up and I felt all was well, I fainted. Luckily the house help came and saw me on the floor. I was taken to a doctor and I was told it was nothing and probably just some blood pressure fluctuation or something like physical tiredness. Those were the first physical signs. For a long time, I just felt like sleeping, not going out, not meeting people.”
“Luckily, my mother had come to my place and when my parents were packing, I just started crying. She asked me what was it and I had no answer. At that time, my mother told me that I probably needed professional help and that’s how I began consulting a psychiatrist,” she said.
Deepika further revealed that she and her family were skeptical of talking about the issue publicly and letting everyone know about it. “After I was diagnosed with a clinical depression regarding my mental health, I had to even lie when someone asked me how was I doing. I would say, I’m great, though I was actually terrible,” she said.
“As I began on my path of recovery, I also understood the stigma attached with mental health and the need to go public with it. Imagine what would have happened, if my mother had not said that I should take professional help for my problem. I felt that I should do something to help others with their signs and symptoms and that was the reason for going public with my illness and then setting up the Live Love Laugh Foundation,” Deepika further said.
Deepika further encouraged people to seek help. The actress said, “Are you feeling sadness and a low for a long period of time? You need to understand sadness is transient and depression is for a long period of time. It is very important to share with somebody around you about how you are feeling. It is also important that the people around you don’t dismiss it as attention-seeking or some small thing. It is important for caregivers to encourage people to seek help.”
She went onto add that in India, parents are not comfortable in conversations about mental illness. But, slowly it is changing too. “At times, it is other way round too when parents want to take, but children do not want to seek medical help or consultation. I want every person experiencing mental illnesses to know that you are not alone – because there are no obvious physical symptoms. You feel like you are the only one going through this and it comes with a lot of guilt,” she said.
On the work front, after Chhapaak, Deepika Padukone will be next seen in ‘83 alongside Ranveer Singh. Also, soon will start shooting for Shakun Batra’s directorial.