Deepika Padukone was recently in the capital to attend the India Economic Summit, where she talked at length about the harrowing experience of battling with depression, and how she is still dealing with the consequences.
The Padmavati actress had courageously opened up about her long-running struggle with depression back in 2015, in an attempt to release the subject from the shackles of a 'taboo' that mental health still is, in a developing country like India.
DP not only played her part in spreading awareness to encourage people to raise their voice and seek assistance, but even set up the organisation 'The Live Love Laugh' which is working day and night for the cause.
Specifically talking about workplace mental harassment, Deepika strongly believes that policymakers and people at workplaces should not only recognise, but actually normalise mental illness, to enable employees to speak up without the fear of jeopardising their jobs.
As far as her own struggle was being discussed, Deepika told PTI, "I don't think I can say that I'm completely over depression. There is always a fear at the back of my mind that I might have a relapse because it has been such a bad experience for me."
According to a report by HT, when Deepika was asked whether her illness might have affected her work in the nature of lack of offers by filmmakers, she said, "Maybe there are people who haven't offered me films because they think I was depressed and I can't act. Maybe, I don't know. I'm in a good space because I can choose the movies that I want to act in, but I don't think everyone has that luxury of where they want to work or when they want to work."
Reportedly, DP was extremely disturbed while preparing for her upcoming film Padmavati's climax, the self-immolation scene or Jauhar. The suicide scene transported her back to the time when the actor was herself battling depression which she openly discussed with everyone later. She also talked about the lack of awareness amongst the people, especially the youth about depression and blamed the education system for the same.
"A large part of the stigma comes from the fact that we (just) talk about physical education in schools. I had physical education in my school, but we didn't have anything to talk about mental health. It's not a part of the curriculum. If we included that in the curriculum and introduced the idea or the importance of mental health at school level, there will be no stigma."
Deepika Padukone chose to share her journey with the world, her struggle and mental exhaustion when she fell prey to depression, not for PR, but to actually make a difference in even a single person's life. A commendable role model, DP revealed that she didn't care about repercussions of it, she just wanted to transform the way people in India saw mental illness, or depression.
Deepika's much awaited film Padmavati co-starring Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh is set to release on December 1st, with its first trailer launch scheduled for 1.03 PM today!