New Delhi: Actress Deepika Padukone is an advocate of mental health and has openly spoken up about her battle with depression. The 35 years old however reveals that she was secretive when she first seeked clinical help for her mental illness and did not want ‘her name to go out.’
“When I went through that entire experience, I felt like we were being really hush-hush about everything. We didn’t want my name to go out. We were scared about which therapist to reach out to and who would keep this information confidential,” shared Deepika at the launch of her initiative ‘Care Package’ on social networking app Clubhouse on Tuesday.
The ‘Padmaavat’ actress continued, “At that point, I just went with the flow because I just needed help. But it was months after that when I was thinking about how this whole thing went about and I said, ‘Why were we trying to be quiet about it? Why can’t people know? Why shouldn’t people know that this is what I have been through?’ I think that also came from my journey of wanting to be as authentic and honest as possible and if this is the experience I had then the world needs to know that. I think me coming out and talking about my experience was to let people know that ‘You are not alone and we are in this together.”
Deepika was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2014. The actress spoke about it a year later and also opened an NGO for mental health called ‘Live Love Laugh’.
Deepika’s mother realised that her daughter requires help
Reminiscing about how she felt before she was diagnosed with depression, Deepika divulged, “I would just feel empty and directionless. It just felt like life had no purpose. I couldn’t feel anything emotionally or physically.”
The actress credits her mother for realising she requires professional help at the right time, which saved her. “I started feeling like this for days and weeks until one day my mother was here. They were on their way back home and when they were packing their bags I was sitting in their room and I suddenly broke down. I think that’s when my mother realised for the first time that something was different. It wasn’t the usual boyfriend issue or stress at work. She kept asking me what it was but I couldn’t pinpoint one specific reason. She then encouraged me to seek help,” says Deepika.
Importance of self-care
The ‘Bajirao Mastani’ actress shares how it is important to practice self-care and mindfulness to be able to live a healthy life. “ I had a particular life before depression and I live a very different life after that. There’s not a day that goes by without me thinking about my mental health. I have to work every single day on myself to be able to get to a place where I don’t go back to that space again. Therefore, the focus is on the quality of my sleep, nutrition, hydration, exercise and mindfulness and it’s not because they are some fancy words but because I wouldn’t be able to survive if I didn’t do all of this.”