Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone

One of the biggest misconceptions is that someone who seemingly has it all – looks, fame, money, etc – couldn’t possibly be suffering from mental health issues like depression. This is, of course, completely untrue, and Deepika Padukone‘s recent revelations make that even clearer. In fact, in early 2014, when everyone was sitting up and taking notice of her, Deepika was actually feeling a “strange emptiness in her stomach.”

What she went through:

I thought it was stress, so I tried to distract myself by focusing on work, and surrounding myself with people, which helped for a while. But the nagging feeling didn’t go away. My breath was shallow, I suffered from lack of concentration and I broke down often.

Deepika revealed to Hindustan Times that most of Happy New Year was shot while she was going through a roller-coaster of feelings. It is after being put on medication, going through counseling, and taking time off from work that she got to a point where she’s “much better.”

She’s opening up about it now because she recently lost a friend who committed suicide after suffering from anxiety and depression, and thinks she needs to take up the issue since it’s rarely talked about.

Depression is one of the deadliest mental disorders:

We talk about all kinds of ailments, but this is probably one of the deadliest mental disorders. Nothing, including life, makes sense to people suffering from it. Overcoming it has made me a stronger person and I now value my life much more. Accepting it and speaking about it has liberated me. I have stopped taking medication, and I hope my example will help people reach out for help.

Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone

We’re very proud of Deepika for speaking up, and we completely agree with her when she says that people with mental health issues should be supported and understood. There’s way too much stigma and shame attached to this, which is unwarranted – and having someone in Deepika’s position talk openly about mental health will definitely help.

She says she’s working on an initiative to create awareness about anxiety and depression, and she and her team are working on a plan that they’re going to unveil soon. We are, of course, waiting to see the plan, but in the meantime, here are a few things Deepika has highlighted in her HT piece that you should keep in mind regarding mental health:

  1. Sadness and depression are not the same thing. You can probably tell when someone’s sad, but someone doesn’t necessarily ‘look’ depressed when they’re suffering from depression.
  2. Sometimes, a person suffering from depression just wants to talk – they’re not necessarily asking for your advice.
  3. Comments like, “Don’t worry, it will be alright,” aren’t very helpful.
  4. You can be depressed regardless of what you have or don’t have, so don’t ask someone how they can be depressed – even if you think they’ve got everything going for them.
  5. Mental health is as important as physical health.

Thank you, Deepika, for speaking up. It isn’t exactly an easy thing to do, so we appreciate that she’s making these attempts to help people. Hopefully, with time, everyone who requires help will be able to receive it – without having to ever feel any sort of shame.