'Fortunate my mother encouraged me to speak to a psychiatrist'

A file photo of Deepika Padukone.© Provided by IBNLive A file photo of Deepika Padukone.

CNN IBN’s Parikshit Luthra spoke to actress Deepika Padukone on World Mental Health Day and the actress has a lot to share about her battle with depression and the way she overcame. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.

1) It’s not an easy task to come out of the closet and talk about depression. What made you come out and speak about that difficult phase?

There was never too much thought behind it, this was something I went through last year and I wanted to share. After having my own experience, I also read up a lot and I found out that one in every four person suffer from such mental health disorder. So I decided to speak about my experience so that it help someone else

2) What were the tell-tale signs?

I think the signs for me were lack of focus and concentration, feeling empty and not wanting to get out of bed and the most tough part was not understanding what as going through. Very fortunate my mother was there around me to encourage me to speak to a psychiatrist.

3) Indians are said to be the most most depressed people in the world, a WHO study a few years back said 36% Indians suffer from depression. Why do you thin there is a taboo attached to talking about mental health issues?

I don’t think I am an expert to say why it has happened, but I can say it is a start of revolution, a lot of articles are being written, a lot more awarenesss is there in last 6-8 months and people realise that they need to deal with it and that there is no need to deal with it in a a different way, why differentiate? Body goes through certain illness and your mind can too. Its imp to treat it the same way

4) You’ve said that your mother played a great role in recognising that you needed help. Tell us more about that. And also how important do you think is the support of the immediate family in battling depression?

It is very important to be sorrounded by right kind of people, most often friends and family notice the symptom and it is easy to identify that. It is also important to not ignore the symptoms because a lot of the attitude to brush it off. It needs to be dealt little differently. There are two steps pre-detection and post-detection…..to encourage a person to seek professional help and after detecting the person requires a lot of care, compassion and understanding and empathy. And it is not easy for person who is lending support. Our website is destination for all the problems, also for the care givers on how to deal with someone like that

5) Through your Live Love Laugh foundation, how do you plan to address the stigma around mental health issues?

We wanted people to share their experience but people are scared. I think the people are scared because their family members will find out, they are afraid of losing their jobs and I think one of the biggest challenge as a foundation is to create awareness and de-stigmatise mental illness.

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'Fortunate my mother encouraged me to speak to a psychiatrist'

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