New Delhi: Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone who has always been vocal about her struggle with mental health issues, launched 'Care Package', the world's audio-first festival that 'cares', to talk about self-care and mental health on Clubhouse.
In the session, she openly talked about her difficulties, challenges, and supports. She said, "At that point when I went through the entire experience, I felt like we were being extremely hush-hush about everything. We didn’t want my name to go out. We were scared about which therapist to reach out to and who’s going to keep this information confidential. At that point, I went with the flow because I wanted help."
"When I was reflecting on how this whole thing went by, I thought why did we handle it like this? And why were we trying to be quiet about it? Why can’t people know? Why shouldn’t people know that this is what I have been through? It also came from me wanting to try to be as honest and authentic as possible," she added.
Further, she said, "It was also about letting people know that mental illness exists and it’s okay to seek help because most of us suffer in silence because it’s not something you seek externally so there is a guilt attached to it because you feel you are the only one going through it. You also feel like you are inconveniencing your caregivers and the people around you. Me coming out was really just letting people know you are not alone and we are in it together."
"It basically started in February 2014. I remember waking up one morning with this strange feeling in my stomach and it’s a feeling I don’t remember having ever felt before. For days after that, I felt empty, directionless and it just felt life had no meaning or purpose. I couldn’t feel anything physically or emotionally. I just felt this void and it’s difficult to articulate to someone who hasn’t experienced it," the Chapaak actress added.
Describing her cry during the depression, she said, "I felt this for days, weeks and months until one day my family was here and they were going back home and when they were packing their bags, I was sitting in their room and suddenly broke down. That’s when my mother realized for the first time that something was different. My cry was different. It wasn’t the usual boyfriend issue or stress at work. She kept asking me if it was this or that. I couldn’t pinpoint one specific reason. It was her experience and presence of mind that she encouraged me to seek help."
"Life post mental illness is a 'before and after.' I had a particular life before depression and I have a very different life after that. I keep saying that there’s not a day that goes by without me thinking about my mental health. To ensure I don’t go back into that space, it’s very important for me to focus on the quality of my sleep, nutrition, hydration, exercise, how do I process stress, and my thoughts and mindfulness. These are the things I have to do on a daily basis not because they are fancy words or it’s cool to do this but I won’t be able to survive if I don’t do all these things," she concluded.
On the film front, Deepika will be seen next in Shakun Batra's yet-to-be-titled film. The actor also has an impressive line-up of projects in the pipeline including '83', 'Baiju Bawra', 'Fighter', 'Sanki', 'Pathan', and the Indian adaptation of Nancy Meyers's 2015 hit Hollywood film 'The Intern', which will feature megastar Amitabh Bachchan too.
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