Deepika Padukone is one of the very few actors in Bollywood who came out in the open to speak about the hush-hush topic of depression. The actress who battled depression in the past has now launched a non-profit organisation, Live Love Laugh Foundation, to help people cope with problems of mental health. Padukone shared the same on Twitter.
The Live Love Laugh Foundation...coming soon! pic.twitter.com/a3tq9cplCE— Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) August 6, 2015
"The fight against depression is a cause very close to my heart and is one of the largest health issues facing the country today. Having experienced depression in the recent past, I realise how difficult it is to recognise the problem, find information and get the right kind of professional help. I was fortunate to get the kind of support and through this platform I hope others get the same kind of help. My team and I are working hard to set up the foundation and the logo launch is a small step in that direction," said Padukone.
The actor had earlier said in an interview to NDTV, "In early 2014, while I was being appreciated for my work, one morning, I woke up feeling different. A day earlier, I had fainted due to exhaustion; it was all downhill from there. I felt a strange emptiness in my stomach."
"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. Over a period of time, it got worse. When my parents visited, I would put up a brave front because they were worried about me living alone and working long hours."
"Then, once, while talking to my mother (Ujjala Padukone), I broke down. She realised the problem, and got in touch with a psychologist friend, Anna Chandy, to get to the root of the cause. I am now working on an initiative to create awareness about anxiety and depression, and help people. My team is working with me to formulate a plan, which will be unveiled soon."
Deepika Padukone's foundation will engage with institutions, professionals and other organisations in the field of mental health.