In a recent interview with Barkha Dutt for NDTV, the 44-year-old filmmaker revealed about the issues he went through until quite recently.
While speaking about how he got to know about his clinical depression, Karan Johar said, “I have read people speaking openly about their depression. There was a phase in my life when I was really depressed. When I went through that phase, I thought I am getting a cardiac arrest. I felt it in the middle of a meeting two and half years ago, after which I left the meeting in between saying I have something urgent to do and rushed to the doctor. He then said I am having an anxiety attack. I went to a psychologist post that. Then I realised that I had some internal issues to deal with, which got built up to such point that it resulted in anxiety.”
Unlike many other people who still think depression to be one of the most stigmatised mental health issues and refuse to discuss, the Dharma Productions head honcho admitted that he had to undergo anti-anxiety medication for a year and a half.
“I went through a series of anti-anxiety medication for it. A year and a half post that, when I stopped it, I realised that I am in a much better place. Today I actually feel the emotion of excitement and happiness. When you go through it, you stop feeling that zing of emotion. Today I am getting all of them back,” he said.
— Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) September 26, 2016
Karan further spoke at length about how carrying the baggage of the past and fear of the future resulted in some his severe panic and anxiety attack and how he has overcome it successfully.
“Those sessions (medication) made a big difference to me. During those sessions, we touched on many things of my life. I felt that I did not deal entirely with the loss of my father, though it’s been 11or 12 years, I felt the pain and hurt of certain relationships that had dwindled from my life and I was carrying all that baggage. And the fear of future, the fear that I was not being able to find a life partner. At one point the lack of love in my life was really bothering me. Today I feel a lot more free of it. I feel there are loads of other things to look forward to,” he explained.
During the candid chat, Karan even spoke about how people live in the bubble of the film industry and about the equation they share.
“We live in this bubble all the time as we talk film, we eat film and sleep film and as a result, we build up emotions, which we don’t know are really those for the films or you take those when you don’t work together. So you land up wondering about every equation you make in the movie industry,” he said, adding, “At 44, when you are lonely and not in a relationship, you wonder what your life is going to be and all the success you might get and all the love and attention you get, where does that go? When you don’t have that love to share with somebody, it gets you worried.”
With an emphasis on the point that there is a need to address this issue since there is a lack of awareness in the society, KJo appreciated people like Deepika Padukone who chose to open up about battling depression.
On the work front, the filmmaker is all set to release his directorial venture Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, on October 28.
The film, which shows the roller-coaster ride of different relationships, features Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma and Fawad Khan. Reportedly, Shah Rukh Khan will also be seen in a cameo role in it.
However, the release of the film is at the stake after the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) warned that it would not allow the release of Bollywood films featuring Pakistani cine or television stars, which includes Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees as the movies star Fawad and Mahira Khan respectively.