Deepika Padukone - Celebrity Success Story
"It's tough, but there's hope."
In 2015, it just got too much for her. It was a struggle everyday; every second was hard. And she eventually fought depression just the way a champion would. By not only helping herself through strenuous treatments but by also being a beacon light for many others. And this is her story. Her fight to bring out in the open a topic that has been brushed under the carpets for decades in India.
In 2014, the diva of Bollywood was diagnosed with clinical depression. She said, " It was really really hard. Some days I just didn't feel like getting out of my bed in the morning..." In 2015, she spoke about her own struggles and how she wants to bring the discussions about mental illnesses in the open. She once remarked in an interview with Barkha Dutt, "Depression is like any other illness that requires intervention." And that's what she has focused on. Creating awareness about mental illness to everyone- from kids to adults.
Deepika has been championing the cause of mental health awareness for many years with her Live, Love, Laugh Foundation. She founded this organization with Anna Chandy to help create awareness and remove the stigma surrounding Mental Health. " If I can impact one life in this entire process of speaking up and letting people know that it's something I have been through and something that I could deal with because I had a fantastic support system," said Deepika in an interview in 2016. The organization has in many ways worked in many ways such as holding mental health awareness camps on schools, colleges,etc. It believes the age of 15-20 is extremely critical in identifying the causes of depression and bringing forth proper treatment. In 2015, she started a #NotAshamed campaign on Twitter and Instagram to help people feel normal while talking about Depression. She believes the first step is to acknowledge your struggle and ask for help. In multiple ways, she has worked tirelessly to remove the negative thoughts about mental health in the society and make students more comfortable discussing Mental Health.
Deepika has constantly maintained that coming forward and discussing her journey with Depression was a deeply personal choice. Being an extremely successful actresses at the time, especially after the release of 'Padmavat'; she never thought about how speaking about her struggles might impact her career. She emphasized that not just in Bollywood, but all over the nation should start treating depression and other mental health issues as something which is treatable.
The way our beloved 'Naina' has carved her niche in this almost overwhelming space of Bollywood while suffering from Depression is an inspiration in itself. But the fact that she stood up for herself, asked for help and then gave it willingly to so many more speaks volumes about the art of Living, Loving and Laughing freely.