Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
 The News Minute | January 15, 2015 | 4.45 pm IST Being a Bollywood heroine literally means one cannot admit to having any flaws. There is so much scrutiny, so much nit-picking of what one says and does, that one honest confession is sometimes enough to finish off careers of many a starlet. Keeping this in mind, it wouldn’t be perhaps wrong to say, that leading actress Deepika Padukone has taken a brave step by opening about her struggles with depression and anxiety. Many people were surprised when Deepika started off 2015 by declaring through social media, that she has decided to dedicate the year to support mental health awareness. I dedicate this year to supporting Mental Health Awareness. — Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) December 31, 2014 Anxiety,Depression and Panic Attacks are not signs of weakness.They are signs of trying to remain strong for way too long. — Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) December 31, 2014 WE are not alone... — Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) December 31, 2014 We are delighted that @deepikapadukone has pledged her support to mental health awareness. #AHealthyMind #MumkinHai pic.twitter.com/PdISvyju8B — Satyamev Jayate (@satyamevjayate) January 7, 2015 And today she shared her fight with depression during a brief period in 2014 through an article in the Hindustan Times. Despite delivering 4 back to back blockbusters in 2013, Deepika said she found herself feeling different, lacking in concentration and breaking down frequently. Initially hesitant to talk about it and blaming it on stress, she finally opened up to her mother who helped her get in touch with psychologists from her home town of Bengaluru.After few sessions and medications, she was finally able to overcome her condition and Deepika says this experience made her take the decision to play an active role in creating awareness about the disease. Speaking to HT, she says,” Being sad and being depressed are two different things. Also, people going through depression don’t look so, while someone sad will look sad. 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.”HTML Her move has found a lot of support online. Bravo! Deepika Padukone: Mental health is our society's worst kept secret. Thank you for bringing Depression out of the closet. — Shobhaa De (@DeShobhaa) January 15, 2015 Bravo @deepikapadukone for speaking up about depression, the all-too-common disease rarely acknowledged, seldom treated. Here's to awareness — Siddhartha Basu (@babubasu) January 15, 2015 Speaking of the unspeakable - Deepika Padukone on dealing with anxiety & depression - http://t.co/ue6iPwALI5 .. Well done! @deepikapadukone — Advaita Kala (@AdvaitaKala) January 15, 2015 Good on Deepika for speaking out about suffering from depression & anxiety. A lot of people wouldn't http://t.co/VpdLACxIFk (via @gradwolf) — Sahil Rizwan (@SahilRiz) January 15, 2015 Respect to @deepikapadukone. Pure respect. It takes a lot!! http://t.co/6RmUDDizNm — Rahul Nanda (@rahulnanda86) January 15, 2015 Much respect for @deepikapadukone for opening up about her depression. More people need to read this: http://t.co/MvWEZwxVZP — Ashish Shakya (@stupidusmaximus) January 15, 2015 Deepika has added that she is working on an initiative to create awareness about anxiety, panic attacks and depression, and help people. She will work with a team of doctors and psychiatrists to address the problems.But perhaps the biggest takeaway of all this is the rare admission of weakness by one of our supposed infallible stars and her decision to talk about it in public, giving people who suffer the same condition perhaps some courage to come out with their stories too and accept depression as a common disease that needs help. Tweet

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