When a top Bollywood star recently talked about her battle with depression, everybody listened. After all talking about Mental Health is a strict no-no, at least among the elite in India. So when Deepika Padukone admitted that she was suffering from depression and took medication to overcome it, the world took notice.
Discussing mental health is taboo in India, especially among the rich; there are many who compare every mental health with madness, which is another reason that many choose not to talk about the subject.
Deepika was praised by her peers for her courage to acknowledge in public that she was seeking professional to deal with depression.
Says Deepika, “The most common reaction is how can you be depressed? You have everything going for you. You are the supposed number one heroine and have a plush home, car, movies… What else do you want?’ It’s not about what you have or don’t have. People talk about physical fitness, but mental health is equally important. I see people suffering, and their families feel a sense of shame about it, which doesn’t help. One needs support and understanding.
Few months back, Deepika Padukone had publicly criticised a media outlet for publishing an entire story about her cleavage. But now she wants to focus her attention on launching a mental health awareness initiative.
Here are some mind-boggling numbers that get affected by anxiety and depression:
- Depression affects 121 million people worldwide (estimates by World Health Organisation (WHO)
- Depression affects a person’s ability to work, form relationships and often causes physical symptoms such as sleeplessness and listlessness.
- Ninety percent of people who commit suicide have a psychiatric disorder and almost 75 percent are clinically depressed
- Social factors such as subjugation of women add to the problem, making many women feel frustrated and helpless
Experts feel that Deepika has already done a good deed by highlighting the issue. After all, it’s not only the wealthy and successful who experience mental health problems.