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More power to you, Deepika Padukone!

One certainly cannot stop admiring the way Deepika Padukone honestly voices out her opinion. Uninhibited, frank and courageous; the actress never takes a step back. Having interviewed her, I can vouch for the fact that she is one of the very few actresses who doesn't make a fuss about every little thing and dares to tackle each question with an intelligent response. In the past, be it while dealing with messy questions posed by certain media members or giving it back to those who try to unnecessarily target her, Padukone has won accolades for putting up a brave front and dealing with such obstacles in her own style. She is not afraid to come out of the closet and deal with such circumstances like just another girl. And her recent revelation not just shows her courage, but also makes us realize that she is indeed an epitome of girl power.

Photo Credit: Filmfare
In a recent first person interview to Hindustan Times, Padukone confessed that behind all the hard work and moments of sweeping away awards last year, she suffered from depression and anxiety; two words that most people dread. I am quite sure that most individuals, who are crushed in this fast paced life and everyday routine, are suffering or have dealt with symptoms of depression in the past. But, we live in a society that will label you faster than they can perhaps boil a vessel full of water. So, they just learn to join hands with silence and not utter a word. Forget even trying to talk to a friend, family member or even a counselor.

"In early 2014, while I was being appreciated for my work, one morning, I woke up feeling different. A day earlier, I had fainted due to exhaustion; it was all downhill from there. I felt a strange emptiness in my stomach. I thought it was stress, so I tried to distract myself by focusing on work, and surrounding myself with people, which helped for a while. But the nagging feeling didn't go away. My breath was shallow, I suffered from lack of concentration and I broke down often."

While she thought it might just be a passing phase, she admits that things began to get worse. All this at a time when Padukone was basking the in the glory of four consecutive successes in a year and shooting for Farah Khan's Happy New Year. It was only after a chat with her mother and an emotional breakdown that she went ahead and met a psychologist, only to realize that she was suffering from anxiety and depression. After being a little reluctant to opt for medication, Padukone learned to deal with her condition and admits that things are much better today. After a two month break, she got back to work and began shooting for her next, Piku, helmed by Shoojit Sircar. Sometime later, a friend of the actress committed suicide due to depression and that's when Padukone decided to discuss this issue in public.


"There is shame and stigma attached to talking about depression. In fact, one in every four people suffer from anxiety and depression. The World Health Organisation has stated that this will be the most widespread epidemic in the next few years. We talk about all kinds of aliments, but this is probably one of the deadliest mental disorders. Nothing, including life, makes sense to people suffering from it. Overcoming it has made me a stronger person and I now value my life much more. Accepting it and speaking about it has liberated me. I have stopped taking medication, and I hope my example will help people reach out for help.  I feel that at times, the patient just wants to talk, and isn’t seeking advice. But, well-wishers saying things like, ‘Don’t worry, it will all be alright,’ might be detrimental." 

The reason why I can't stop lauding Padukone is that being an icon to many, especially young girls and boys in the country, it takes guts and real courage for someone to fight against this issue and talk about her own experience at the same time. Yes, depression is a reality and if we keep shying away from it, things will never change. Maybe after taking a cue from her confession, youngsters who look up to her may just muster up the courage to admit what they have been going through. Like Padukone stated, it is not always about beauty, plush homes and the best of cars. It is about mental health. Maybe after reading about her experience, families of those suffering may just learn to come out and support the patient. Because they really need you.



Keeping all this in mind, the actress is working on an awareness campaign, along with her team, which will be revealed soon. We are quite sure Padukone's campaign will help several patients break the ice and talk about their problems, without worrying about the social stigma.

As for Padukone, I just have one thing to say,
More power to you, girl. Bravo!

Love,
The Dancebee

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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