Deepika Padukone, the actress, is a mental health champion who has openly discussed her battle with depression. The 35-year-old, on the other hand, admits that she was covert when she first sought psychiatric care for her mental illness because she didn’t want “her name to go out.”
“Throughout the entire process, I felt like we were keeping everything under wraps. We didn’t want my name to be made public. We were worried about who therapist to contact and who would keep this information private,” Deepika said on Tuesday during the launch of her initiative ‘Care Package’ on social networking app Clubhouse.
“At that moment, I just went with the flow because I just needed help,” the ‘Padmaavat’ actress continued. But it wasn’t until months later that I realized what had happened and asked myself, “Why were we trying to keep quiet about it?” Why aren’t people aware? Why shouldn’t people be aware of what I’ve been through?’ That, I believe, stemmed from my desire to be as true and honest as possible, and if this is the experience I had, the world has to know. I believe that my coming out and talking about my story was to let people know that they were not alone and that we were all in this together.
In 2014, Deepika was diagnosed with clinical depression. A year later, the actress spoke up about it, and she also founded a mental health NGO called ‘Live Love Laugh.’
Deepika revealed when asked how she felt before being diagnosed with depression, “I would just feel empty and directionless.” It just felt like there was no point in life. I couldn’t feel anything, physically or emotionally.”
The actress credits her mother with saving her life by recognizing she needed expert care at the proper moment. “I had been feeling this way for days and weeks until my mum arrived. They were on their way back home, and as they were collecting their belongings, I was sitting in their room, and I burst into tears. That’s when I believe my mother realized for the first time that something was off. It wasn’t your typical boyfriend problem or workplace worry. She kept asking me what it was, but I couldn’t think of anything specific. “She then encouraged me to seek help,” Deepika says.
The significance of self-care
The ‘Bajirao Mastani’ actress discusses the need of self-care and mindfulness in order to live a healthy life. “I had a different life before depression, and I live a very different life now.” There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about my mental health. Every day, I have to work on myself to get to the point where I don’t return to that spot. As a result, the emphasis is on the quality of my sleep, nutrition, hydration, exercise, and mindfulness, not because these are fancy phrases, but because I wouldn’t be able to exist if I didn’t do all of these things.”