Anisha Padukone on Deepika Padukone’s battle with depression: There were times when I felt helpless

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Every time the word depression is mentioned, people always have a different outlook and a varied take on it. There is still so much stigma attached to depression but since our celebrities have come out and spoken about depression in public, the perception about people is slowly changing. Deepika Padukone is one such actor who has been vocal about battling depression and she has also started an organisation called The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF). Her sister Anisha Padukone, who is the director of the foundation, has opened up about her sister’s decision to talk about depression and their NGO, TLLLF.

In an interview with News 18, Anisha spoke about how her family helped Deepika cope up with depression. “Honestly, it was difficult for me as I had very little idea about mental illness and the role of a caregiver. Coping with mental illness affects both the individuals and members of their immediate family. There was not much information available where I could learn and equip myself to be of help. There were times when I felt helpless,” Anisha said.

She added, “Fortunately for us, my mother noticed something was wrong. We then approached a counsellor who is also a very close family friend and things worked out.”

When Anisha was asked if Deepika talking about depression has helped initiate a discussion, she said, “Absolutely. In her role as a global social influencer, she felt it was critical to share her story and thereby contribute to sparking (and sustaining) conversations on this key topic. She subsequently founded TLLLF (The Live Love Laugh Foundation) to further the cause of mental health.”

She further said, “Almost every week I hear from individuals directly or through the Foundation that Deepika’s story inspired them to share their own and eventually seek help. As a family, it is a gratifying feeling to know that indirectly you are helping save lives.”

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Three years back, Deepika had opened up about her depression in an interview with NDTV, and said she felt empty and directionless. She also mentioned the reason for talking about her low phase. “If I can impact one life in this entire process of speaking up and letting people know that it’s something I have been through and something that I could deal with because I had a fantastic support system,” Deepika had said.

Deepika constantly fears a relapse. Talking about it, she told PTI, “I don’t think I can say that I’m completely over it (depression). There is always a fear at the back of my mind that I might have a relapse because it has been such a bad experience for me.”

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