Several celebrities have opened up about their battles with mental health issue in the recent past. They have bravely accepted living with issues ranging from anxiety to depression. The World Health Organization estimates that every 40 seconds, someone loses their life owing to suicide.
This year, on World Mental Health Day on October 10, here’s a look at celebrities who found the courage to fight mental health disorders and subsequently inspired others too.
The Padmaavat actor created quite a stir when she came spoke about her fight against depression at the pinnacle of her career.
At an event in New Delhi in 2017, Padukone recalled her experience and said, “Two years back, my family had come to see me. They were about to leave and I was all alone in my bedroom, curled up. My mother walked in and asked if everything was okay, I said yes. She asked again if it was work or something else that was bothering me, I said no. She asked me so many times that I felt myself choking and I broke into tears….I want to tell my mother that if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here. Thank you for being with me all through the way. Thank you to my sister, my father and friends who supported me immensely.”
Today, she is an ardent supporter of mental health issues and has also founded ‘The Live, Love, Laugh Foundation’ to reduce stigma and raise awareness about depression.
In 2017, The Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi actor said in response to the quote related to depression she had put on Twitter that she suffered from anxiety.
“I have anxiety. And I’m treating my anxiety. I’m on medication for my anxiety. Why am I saying this? Because it’s a completely normal thing. It’s a biological problem. In my family there have been cases of depression. More and more people should talk openly about it. There is nothing shameful about it or something to hide. If you had a constant stomach pain, wouldn’t you go to the doctor? It’s that simple. I want to make this my mission, to take any shame out of this, to educate people about this,” Anushka Sharma said.
Yo Yo Honey Singh
Rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh mentioned that he was suffering from a condition called bipolar disorder. The singer, who is known for his songs like Dheere Dheere and Angrezi Beat, made a comeback in Bollywood after his 18-month long battle with bipolar disorder and alcoholism.
“I have become stronger now. I never faced such problems in life but when it happened I had my family to support me and help me fight and get out of it,” Singh was quoted as saying.
Hrithik Roshan believes that depression should be treated as a “normal thing”, and must not be stigmatised. At an event in Mumbai in 2016, the actor was quoted as saying, “I have experienced depression, I have experienced confusion, as we all do. It’s a normal thing. We all go through ups and downs. When you go through a down, then the most important thing is clarity of thought. Sometimes, your brain takes over, feeds you with unwanted thoughts.”
“Millions don’t know they might be suffering from something clinical which is not their fault. It is nothing one should feel awkward about. A knee, elbow, back or neck problems are something we are unapologetic to talk about. But when we are going to go through deep anxiety, depression, chaos, confusion or addictive behaviour and even though we know we are going through it, we don’t allow ourselves to talk about the problems that deal with the brain. It is because we have been conditioned since birth that it is something to feel embarrassed about. And we need to stamp out that stigma. We need to set ourselves free. We need to educate people,” Hrithik added.
In September 2019, Shraddha Kapoor came out about facing anxiety issues for six long years. “You need to embrace anxiety and approach it with lots of love,” she said in a social media post. The 32-year old actor said that after the release of Aashiqui 2 in 2013, she experienced pain, which did not have any physiological diagnosis.
In an interview to Pinkvilla, she said, “I didn’t even know what was anxiety. We didn’t know it for a very long time. It just after Aashiqui 2 where I had these physical manifestations of anxiety. There’s this pain happening where there was no physiological diagnosis. We got so many tests done but there was nothing wrong with me in the doctor’s report. It’s bizarre because I kept thinking about why I was getting that pain. Then I kept asking myself why that is happening.”
But now, she’s found the best way to deal with it, she adds, “Today, it’s something that I still deal with but it has become so much better than what it was. Also, somewhere you have to embrace it. You have to accept it as part of yourself and approach it with a lot of love. That made a big difference. Whether you have anxiety or not, you always need to understand who you are or what you stand for.”
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