Deepika Padukone: Depression not limited to glamour and filmdom alone

Actress Deepika Padukone says depression is not restricted to glamour and film world alone and can happen to anybody irrespective of the economic background.

Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone

Deepika, who has personally been a victim of depression, launched her foundation - 'Live Love Laugh' dedicated to addressing the issue of mental health - today on the occasion of World Mental Health Day. Gauri was present at the event.

"I don't think mental health or illness has anything to do with any particular industry. I think it can happen to anybody. I think we all should realise that beyond the baggage of what we carry of being the so-and-so we all are human beings first. It can happen to anybody. It doesn't matter what your economic background is or what your profession is," Deepika told reporters here in response to a query.

Considering she has good equation with two top stars of Bollywood -- Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh -- both of them have shown their support to this initiative.

"Their love and blessings... you should ask them what they think and feel (about the initiative)," Deepika said.

"I think everyone (Bollywood celebrities) in spirit (are attached to this programme). Everyone is aware that today is World Mental Health Day. In their own personal capacity, a lot of people have come forward," she said.

Deepika is open to act in a film on the subject of depression.

"I think if dealt correctly then why not. I think in the West, a lot of movies are made on it," she added.

The dimpled actress reveals she has been working hard with her team on getting this foundation in place.

"We all decided to do this couple of months ago. It has been a lot of hard work. We have finally put this foundation together much sooner than we thought. We thought of launching it next year," she added.

Although Deepika chose to speak about depression through her foundation as she herself has been a victim of it, she did not reveal much in detail about her causes of depression.

"It germinated from my own experience and mine was stress, anxiety and depression. As a foundation, we would like to focus on this first. There are a lot of NGOs doing excellent work across the field of mental health," she said.

"As a foundation, since we are just starting up, we would like to focus on this first. We don't want to take up too much. Also, this is our area of expertise," she added.

Deepika said she believes people from all walks of life should come forward and create awareness about mental health.

"The idea is to talk to people who can really make a difference, whether it be from sports, entertainment, politics or business and doctors. I feel everybody in their capacity has the power to make a difference," she said.

"Mental health as an issue needs to be addressed very seriously in the country. I think it is high time we did that," she added.

As to the name of her foundation, she said, "It is something I live least I try to live, laugh and love as much as possible. In the current scenario, we remind ourselves to live, love and laugh and have a great life."

The versatile actress said she overcame depression thanks to the support of her family and close friends.

"It (life) has changed... not only depression but a lot of experiences that we go thorough in life make you learn something from it and eventually you become a better person," she said.

"For people like me who have had the experience of anxiety and depression, I think it is important to know there is hope. We, as a foundation, are here to help you and together we need to spread awareness," she said.

The "Piku" actress reveals there are several plans in place to help depressed people.

"Our initial stage is de-stigmatising and creating awareness; we have a website that has all the information, any kind of help related to anxiety, stress or depression. It is a simple process... you would feel like you are talking to a friend... it guides you through your feelings and provides help," she adds.

Deepika thinks government, too, should help in this initiative.

"We are hoping the government will help us. It is time for us to hold hands together and do things. It is high time we focused on mental health... we need support from all quarters," she said.

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