A victim of depression, Deepika Padukone has been actively championing the cause of mental health awareness. For this purpose, the Bollywood star also founded a charitable trust Live Love Laugh Foundation in 2015, that focuses on mental disorders, particularly depression.
The recent deaths of fashion designer, Kate Spade and celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain once again put the spotlight on one of the most concerning issues. Mostly swept under the carpet, the disease is a silent cry for help and according to WHO statistics, it strikes around 57 million Indians.
The Live Love Laugh Foundation recently issued a statement on the deaths of these celebrities and addressed the concern on why someone, who seemed to ‘have it all’ would want to end their life. Here’s what they said:
”Every 40 seconds, a person dies by suicide (WHO). We are reminded of these grave statistics when the loss is centred around prominent individuals who are mourned across the world. Last week, the world lost two of its shining stars to the growing epidemic that is depression. They did not take their own lives. DEPRESSION did.
Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were pioneers in their respective fields. They both carved a niche for themselves by doing the unexpected. They not only changed the world of fashion and food forever but were also loved by millions across the world. To the outside world, they seemed ‘happy’. They seemingly “had it all”. Then how did they ‘fall’ into depression?
We don’t ask why someone who “had it all” was detected with a fatal illness, why someone who “had it all’ broke their foot or why someone who “had it all” met with an accident. Just like all other illnesses, depression does not discriminate.
The element of depression that is grossly misunderstood is the belief that you have control over your illness. In reality, you don’t. The illness will creep into your life, and if left untreated, may completely engulf you. You are not in the driver’s seat anymore, the illness is. It will tel you where to go, what to eat and when to sleep.
Depression today is a growing epidemic, yet there is so much stigma attached to it that individuals are often dissuaded from seeking help. Asking someone to just “snap out of it” is the equivalent of telling someone with a broken leg to continue walking.
We at The Live Love Laugh Foundation remain committed to the cause we stand for. The only way forward is to continuously champion the need for mental health awareness. The only way forward is if we fight this together. The next time you feel something is amiss amongst family, friends or co-workers, do not hesitate to ask them if they are okay. It may seem like prodding, they may think you are being inquisitive or you may come across as pushy. Even if they do not open up, let them know that you care and that you are there for them when they are ready to open up. One act of kindness and compassion can save a life and #TogetherAgainstDepression we can make a difference.”
What are your thoughts on depression and suicide? Let us know in the comments below.