Deepika Padukone, who has been an active advocate of mental health awareness and has been extensively working towards de-stigmatising mental illness, during a recent event in Mumbai, recalled her battle with depression and how she overcame it with the help of medical professionals and support from her family. Deepika Padukone said that she even “felt suicidal at times,” reported news agency ANI. Thanking her mom Ujjala Padukone, the actress said, “I give all the credit to my mother for recognizing the signs and symptoms because it just happened out of the blue.” She added, “I was on a career-high, and everything was going well, so there was no reason or no apparent reason why I should’ve felt the way I was feeling, but I would break down for no reason. There were days when I just didn’t want to wake up, I would sleep because sleep for me was an escape, I was suicidal at times,” reported news agency ANI.
The actress, who came out in 2015 as having battled depression, runs the Live Love Laugh Foundation, which aims to help those struggling with their mental health. Recalling her ordeal with depression, Deepika said at the event, “My parents live in Bengaluru and every time they visited me, even now when they visit me, I always put on a brave front, like everything’s okay, you know you always want to show your parents that you’re fine…so I was doing one of those things like I’m fine…until they were leaving one day, they were going back to Bengaluru and I broke down and my mother asked me the usual hygiene questions like…is it a boyfriend? Is it someone at work? Has something happened? And I just didn’t have answers…it was none of these things. And it just came from a really empty, hollow place. And she knew instantly, and I think that for me was God sent.”
Speaking of how medication helped her get better, the actress added, “Coming back to me… I needed professional help. And then the journey went on…I was put on to a psychiatrist, medication which went back and forth for many months. I was resistant to that at first because there was so much stigma attached to mental illness, so that went on for a couple of months until I finally started taking medication and started feeling better.”
In 2015, Deepika Padukone revealed that she had been diagnosed with depression the year before and had sought help. Speaking to NDTV, Deepika said, “I woke up one morning just feeling empty you know like this pitt-ish feeling in my stomach that I was telling them that I get this pittish feeling in my stomach. I woke up like feeling directionless, I didn’t know where to go, I didn’t know what to do and I had these bouts of feeling so low that I would just start crying at the drop of the hat.”
Deepika Padukone was last seen in Gehraiyaan, directed by Shakun Batra. The actress will star in the Hindi remake of The Intern, alongside Amitabh Bachchan. She will also be seen in Siddharth Anand’s film Fighter, alongside Hrithik Roshan. She also has Pathan with SRK in the line-up. She will also co-star with Prabhas and Amitabh Bachchan in a project.
(With inputs from ANI)