Actor Deepika Padukone talks about how her family including now husband Ranveer Singh was a big pillar of support during her battle with depression, while also clarifying her pregnancy rumours.
She’s single handedly responsible for bringing the topic of mental health to the forefront by sharing the story of her battle with clinical depression with the world back in 2015. And Deepika Padukone has since been passionately championing the need to disassociate stigmas and taboos around mental illness.
“And I won’t die until I accomplish that. It’s my mission in life. I’ll not be able to rest in peace unless we, as a country, stop attaching stigmas around mental health,” shares Deepika.
Asked if it was difficult to share such a personal story with the world, Deepika says, “Not at all. I’m very glad with the way I went about it. Acceptance is the key to recovery and that’s the most important aspect. That’s half the battle won. I didn’t think twice about coming out with my story.”
However, the 33-year-old reveals that path to recovery was challenging as she had to be very patient with her mind and body. “It’s not like fever that you just recover overnight from. The recovery process was tough. I gave myself enough time to recover,” she says.
The actor also emphasises how family and friends play a crucial role during a person’s recovery process. “People around you have to first learn to accept it and then be patient. I know of so many situations where the child was willing to accept that he/she had depression but their parents were in denial that their child could have mental illness and were concerned about the stigma about taking the child to a counsellor,” she says.
And Deepika shares how her path to recovery was easy all thanks to her parents Prakash Padukone, Ujjala Padukone, sister Anisha Padukone, now husband Ranveer Singh, friends and colleagues from the industry. “I had the support of all these people. There was not a single person who was not supportive. I feel very lucky in that sense. They accepted my issue and helped me recover,” she gushes.
So are people in showbiz more prone to get into depression given that so many of them have come out with their respective stories? “In my limited knowledge about mental illness, it can happen to anybody. There are several reason why anxiety and depression can happen to people irrespective of gender, profession, age social strata and so on,” asserts Deepika.
And in another step towards the cause, the actor-philanthropist has launched The Deepika Padukone Closet initiative through which some of the actor’s favourite wardrobe pieces will be sold and the proceeds will go to support the cause of mental health.
“This will serve two purposes. Wherever I go, fans, friends including my mother and sister are like ‘give us na something from your closet’. I thought why not share my most loved pieces and at the same time giving to a cause that I am so passionate about,” concludes the actor.
We want kids but not anytime soon
I think it’s sad that society kind of puts itself and people in this rut that okay you are dating for so long toh shaadi kab hogi, shaadi ke baad bacche and then grandchildren. It’s almost like it’s the said expectation. I’m not surprised (by the rumours), we’re not surprised by it at all. Do we intent on having children? Of course we do, we both love kids. But do we intent on having children anytime soon? Absolutely not! We’re too selfishly at this point focused on our careers and I don’t think it would be fair to have kids at this point . We’re not even thinking about kids.