Contrary to popular belief, celebrities don’t always have it easy. Who would have ever thought for instance that someone like Siddharth Mallya, the son of one-time business tycoon Vijay Mallya, would have been hit by depression three years ago?
Yet, as he reveals on his insta post, “Exactly 3 years ago today, I was at the lowest point in my life. Drama school had just come to an end and the stuff with my dad was starting to kick off. I would wake up every morning feeling low, lost, empty, and worst of all, alone. We were at a friend’s wedding and having to put on a fake smile and pretend everything was all fine on the surface whilst being crushed on the inside was the biggest struggle of my life. It got so bad that I was prescribed antidepressants (sic).” Siddhartha wasn’t seeking sympathy.
At the first lecture series organised by Deepika Padukone’s foundation Live Love and Laugh in Delhi recently, one of the speakers, a professional on mental health, said the first step towards battling depression is to “talk about it... share their story so that others too will come forward and this is the best way to treat the problem.”
Deepika Padukone was the first to open up about it and many other celebs today are sharing their similar stories.
Actor Karan Singh Grover (Bipasha Basu’s husband) has opened up about his struggle too. He says, “Why I want to talk about mental health is because I have lived it. Depression can be caused because of many reasons and the root needs to be identified. It has been a difficult journey, maybe not for me but for my loved ones because I got great help and support from them. Bipasha was there. It is something that we need to speak about.”
Deepika Padukone said, “In 2014, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. But in India, 90 per cent of people who suffer from depression don't seek help. Depression is like any other illness that requires intervention.” She stressed on the need for one to realise they need help and then to accept it. There is no stigma attached.
Don’t make it a fad
While some actors quietly approach doctors and psychologists, others get the help of life coaches. Hrithik Roshan is believed to have hired the full-time services of a life coach to keep his mind off his problems while shooting for his movies.
But Dr Swapna Patker, noted clinical psychologist and life coach, says that the new trend of people ‘opening up’ is more of a fad. “It is like having a gym trainer now. People don’t want to feel left out when others are talking about it. Just because someone speaks about it openly, they also want to talk about it. They add masala and even cook up depression tales. There is a difference between stress and depression. Everyone has stress, but that does not mean that they are depressed,” she avers.
Deepika herself has tried to explain the difference between stress and depression. “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,” revealed the actress.