‘They accuse me of lying even though I’ve gone through those difficult times. They think I’m doing this for a film or I’m getting paid for it.’

Deepika Padukone says people said her depression wasn’t real: ‘They felt I was doing this for a movie or being paid…’

Deepika Padukone told Meghan Markle on her podcast that after she shared her story of dealing with depression in 2015, some suspected she was doing it to promote a film.

Deepika Padukone recently recalled that people doubted her when she opened up in public about her diagnosis of depression in 2015. The actor made the revelation as she joined Meghan Markle, former actor and the Duchess of Sussex, on her podcast Archetypes to discuss mental health.

Deepika Padukone discusses mental health with Meghan Markle.

Deepika Padukone discusses mental health with Meghan Markle.

Meghan Markle praised Deepika for the mental health foundation she started after her battle with depression, and also discussed the taboo around the illness. Deepika shared that while many people felt relieved after she spoke about her mental health, some suspected she was doing it for a film promotion or a collaboration with a pharmaceutical brand.
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Deepika said, “For most of India, it felt like this huge burden lifted off their shoulders. That finally, someone acknowledged the fact that okay, there is such a thing as mental illness but with everything good that you do they’ll always be sort of that skepticism.”

The actor added, “So there were a bunch of people who felt that either I was doing this to promote a movie or they thought that I was being paid by a pharmaceutical company. And there were articles where they thought I was being paid by a pharmaceutical company and you know that I’m now going to start advertising for some sort of medication.”

Deepika had shared in 2015 that a year prior, her mom Ujjwala Padukone noticed the signs of depression and asked her to seek professional help. Deepika later launched Live Love Laugh, a foundation that aims to create awareness about mental health, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and provide credible mental health resources. She recently visited people suffering from mental illness and their caretakers in a village in Tamil Nadu as part of her foundation’s rural outreach programme.

The actor will be next seen in Pathaan alongside Shah Rukh Khan and John Abraham. She also has Project K with Prabhas in the pipeline.

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