Sadness is Different from Depressionby Opinion Express September 10, 2018 0 comments
Deepika Padukone talks to Chahak Mittal about her battle with depression.
Her character in Piku was replete with flaws and imperfections, despite being in the spotlight, actress Deepika Padukone has incorporated the idea of laying it bare in her real life as well. Fighting stigma over mental health and combating depression, sharing her stories with people and eventually leading an organisation that could reach out people in need, she has made it all possible.
“After what I have been through, I felt if I could save even one life, my life would be complete,” says Deepika, who has fought against people’s judgements and remarks about her imperfections while forcing the world, especially women to look beyond those insecurities to love themselves.
Anna Chandy, clinical counsellor and psychologist, who had assisted Deepika during her mental struggle, says that a large number of women are a prey of depression yet they are not able to recognise it due to their responsibilities.
She says, “Women are always under stress about their children and their activities, and they keep on exhausting themselves especially if they are working.”
Before talking about how it has impacted Deepika’s life, she asks the assembled people as to how many people know about depression? When only around 20-25 hands from the audience of around 70 persons, raise their hands, she exclaims that she is shocked.
She says it is important to recognise the difference between feeling sad and depressed, “It takes a lot of courage to be upfront and own up to it. In layman’s term, it is feeling low for a prolonged period of time. There is a huge difference between feeling sad and feeling depressed. Sadness is a passing emotion but when it stays for more than two weeks, it should be checked and in such a case, one should definitely seek help because it could grow into depression, which is a medical condition.”
Deepika, who has recently started her NGO, the Live Love Laugh Foundation, believes that there are certain myths around depression as a mental condition which need to be bursted. “A lot of us believe that depression is self-inflicted or may be just bad karma. You start questioning yourself that even if you have everything in the world that you could be contented with, why are you depressed? But these myths need to bursted. It is the need of the hour.”
She wants to remind people that “it is a clinical condition” and “could happen to anyone, irrespective of their age or gender.”
India stands among the top lists of depressed countries in the world. It has impacted and even claimed innumerable lives. However, ever wondered why is it so?
Well, Deepika highlights a few broad points, “Firstly, acceptance of the condition of mental health. One of the biggest issues is that people in India call it by loose words such as, ‘madness’ or paagal, which not only worsens the condition but also doesn’t allow them to accept that it could be a medical problem.”
Adding to her, Pinky Reddy, national president of the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), says, “Lack of awareness in people about where to go and get treatment for it is an issue as is the lack of good doctors who could give a proper help and treatment.”
She also adds, keeping in mind the impact of such an environment on young children, “Teaching the teachers as well as the kids is also very important. At a young age, they take mental illness as a joke.”
Deepika departs with a message saying that since the issue finds its roots deep within the society, removing the stigma around it and accepting it, looking forward to finding a motivation and a reason to live again, is very important.
She says, “Let us be honest to ourselves and the society, accept it with open arms. Be authentic, live love and laugh. It has been there for a long time, the change won’t take place overnight. Educating ourselves is very important. All this will take time but till then let us also work on the human relations, empathy and sympathy towards each other. Because, as you can see, human interaction is really diminishing.”
Writer: Chahak Mittal
Courtesy: The Pioneer