“Don’t be depressed”, almost all of us have been given this piece of advice in passing at one or other point of time, haven’t we? But is it in our hands? To be depressed or not. Depression is a mental disorder that deserves to be taken a lot more seriously. It’s time we shrug off this cavalier attitude towards this debilitating disease. Perhaps you would find this statistic astounding, but according to the WHO, almost 300 million people are affected by this disease and what’s more, every year, about 8,00,000 people commit suicide, which is one of the most disastrous consequences of depression (1). So you see, it is important that we talk about it.
One of the common perceptions about this disease is that it’s brought on by a traumatic event in one’s life. But we’re here to tell you it’s simply not true. We are going to tell you about 6 famous personalities, who had everything going for them in their life. They had fame, money, and were adored by millions yet, they fell victim to this vicious disease.
1. Anushka Sharma
When popular actress, Anushka Sharma posted a quote about depression on her official handle, in August 2014, in the middle of the night, a lot of her fans and followers wondered why.
In one of her interviews with a leading magazine, she chose to clarify it by acknowledging that she suffered from anxiety and that she was taking medical help to deal with it. She also likened it to a biological problem saying, that if one has a physical ailment like stomach pain they go to see a doctor, similarly, she sought help for her depression. She also said that she wanted to use her status as a public personality to educate people more about this.
2. Shaheen Bhatt
Elder sister of the popular actress Alia Bhatt also battled depression. Speaking about his daughter, father Mahesh Bhatt acknowledged that Shaheen’s depression got to a point where she wanted to commit suicide (2).
Opening up about her condition in an article written in Vogue magazine, Shaheen talked about how it was very difficult for her to escape suicidal thoughts, especially when contemplating an escape route from a bleak future. After the release of Alia’s movie, Dear Zindagi, which focussed on the issue of mental health, Shaheen chose to share her story with the world on Instagram by putting up a post where she said that she chose to accept her troubled history with mental past as something which was a part of her and that she wasn’t ashamed of it.
3. Hrithik Roshan
When the megastar was invited to speak at M Power’s Everyday Heroes campaign, he chose to take the opportunity to throw a little light on the stigma that is attached to mental health issues (3). He acknowledged that he too had suffered from depression and urged people to treat it like any other ailment that can be cured upon treatment.
He also talked about how it’s common for people to suffer from intrusive thoughts when someone is going through a tough time, and in that scenario, it’s okay to seek help from outside as a third’s person’s objective opinion can help one in such a situation.
4. Karan Johar
The always-ready-with-a-laugh director too has been a victim of this disease. Opening about his experience in an interview on NDTV, he talked about how one day, while in the middle of a meeting, he felt as if he was suffering from an anxiety attack and upon following it with a doctor he came to know that it was in fact, a panic attack.
He also said that he followed it up with a psychologist who told him that the panic attack was a result of underlying internal issues that he hadn’t been able to deal with and that ultimately contributed to his anxiety. He admitted that he was on anti-anxiety medication for a year and a half and that had helped him get better.
5. Deepika Padukone
The dazzling diva of Bollywood has been very vocal about her fight with depression on multiple platforms. She talked about the need to destigmatize the illness and the need to make everyone aware of its disastrous effects on life. However, the lady decided to walk the talk by going a step further and founding the Live Love Laugh Foundation.
The organization is aimed at creating more awareness about the subject by tying up with schools and collaborating with national agencies so that people can seek help without hesitating.
Instead of choosing to stay behind closed doors and giving in to the stigma attached to this disorder, these people decided to talk about their disease aloud so that they could help people in similar positions. If you are suffering from depression or if you know of someone suffering from any mental health issues, don’t hesitate to seek or recommend medical help. After all, a healthy mind is the key to a healthy body.
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