Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan, who fronts a new campaign #EverydayHeroes, which celebrates real life people who have bravely spoken up, overcome prejudices and biases against mental illnesses and sought help, says he is proud of Deepika Padukone who opened up about her struggle with depression despite her celebrity status.
Hrithik also recently spoke about a phase when he dealt with depression.
Excerpts from Hrithik’s interview:
Q. You recently spoke about your struggle with depression’
Mental health is important. We all know that, but when it comes down to talking about matters like depression or OCD or anxiety, I feel people find it difficult to seek help even if it is from a close friend, because of a wrong presumption that it is weakness or the person’s fault or that it makes them less in some form. This stigma needs to be destroyed.
Q. Why didn’t you speak about your depression before’
I have never suffered clinical depression. But we all know what depression feels like, we all have been there or will experience it at some point in our life. There is no escaping the dark side of life.
Q. So you haven’t experienced depression first hand’
But I have seen it from extremely close quarters and it pains me to see that people will suffer in silence when there are simple ways to treat it. And help is around. They just need to reach out. It is not their fault.
Q. Does your own vulnerability empower you to help others’
Being vulnerable makes us humane. It’s our vulnerabilities that make us human. I am proud of Deepika Padukone, who so courageously came forth.
Q. You are now associated with the campaign to celebrate Everyday Heroes’
This is a topic where I would invite more people to get involved since it is relevant to each one of us. If by my presence, the message reaches out to a few more people, I will be happy.
By Subhash K. Jha