Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone is gearing up to take up the initiative to create awareness about anxiety and depression, following her own "breakdown" during the shoot of "Happy New Year".
In an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, Deepika revealed that she suffered depression at the beginning of her career in Bollywood but successfully recovered from it. The actress says there are a lot of people in India, who are suffering from this mental disorder and she will work on creating awareness among them.
"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," the actress said.
Deepika, the daughter of former badminton player Prakash Padukone, started her career as a model and made her acting debut with Kannda film "Aishwarya" in 2006. In 2007, she forayed into Bollywood through "Om Shanti Om", which was a big hit at the box office.
Following this huge success, Deepika was flooded with many Bollywood offers. Though she featured in over 10 Hindi movies, she could not make it big in the initial years. However, in 2013, the lady struck gold with four back-to-back blockbuster movies such as "Race 2", "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani", "Chennai Express" and "Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela".
At the beginning of 2014, Deepika battled depression. "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," she told HT.
Later, she consulted a few psychologists such as Anna Chandy and Dr Shyam Bhatt from Bengaluru. She took a break from her work for a couple of months and spent time with her family, which helped her recover.
Talking about taking the initiative, Deepika said, "My personal experience as well as my friend's death urged me to take up this issue, which isn't usually talked about. There is shame and stigma attached to talking about depression. In fact, one in every four people suffers from anxiety and depression."