With World Mental Health Day just around the corner, it’s time to put the spotlight back on mental health disorders. Yes, talk! While gushing about The Perks of Being a Wallflower may come naturally, when it comes to fighting our own psychotic demons we tend to fall short on words. The societal attitude towards mental health issues has always been a stigmatising one, especially in India. Consequently, no one wants to open up and what’s worse is that many will refuse to visit a psychologist or psychiatrist, even when they realize they need help. Despite such negativity, some of our own icons from Bollywood have taken the lead and shared stories about their own mental health illnesses. After all, celebs are simply human and so are you!
Celebrities Who’ve Battled Mental Health Disorders
1. Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone’s bold step towards breaking the stigma associated with mental health requires no introduction. During an interview with Barkha Dutt, Deepika courageously shared her story of being depressed on national television. She spoke about her trials and tribulations. How she would cry for hours and feel lonely even when she had company; Deepika said it all without any kind of hesitation. She is someone who not only gracefully admitted to having suffered from the disorder, but she also established an organization against depression – ‘The Live Love Laugh Foundation’ to help thousands like her, fight the most common mental health illness. She has also appeared in a new depression awareness video that is already making waves.
2. Ileana D’Cruz
In one of her chit chats with Miss Malini, Ileana confessed about her struggles coping with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. She touched upon how the anxiety and depression relating to having a flawed body made her life unbearable and expressed the sentiment that it was something she would never want to recall again. She also explained how constant support from family and friends can be helpful.
3. Demi Lovato
The ‘cool for the summer’ girl was indeed very cool when she opened up about her struggles dealing with both her eating disorder, as well as Bipolar Mood Disorder in the MTV documentary, Demi Lovato: Stay Strong. Demi boldly shared that even after treatment, there have been instances of failure, where she either threw up or cut herself. But that’s what makes us human and no matter how hard it is, we cannot give up.
4. Anushka Sharma
Anushka Sharma used her Twitter handle to raise awareness about the need to visit a doctor when you have a mental illness. She bravely admitted to having sought treatment for anxiety disorders. Anushka went a step ahead and also wrote that she has family members who are struggling with depression and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Something as biological as this needs to be treated just as urgently as any physical ailment!
5. J.K. Rowling
The creator of Harry Potter, every millennial’s favorite boy wizard, J. K. Rowling believes that there is nothing to be ashamed about if you suffer from depression and she has been pretty vocal about her struggles with the mental health condition. ‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light’, and #breakingthestigma is the first step towards it.
6. Yo Yo Honey Singh
Bollywood’s Desi Kalakar, Honey Singh confidently spoke to the media about the horrors of suffering from Bipolar Mood Disorder. Yo Yo shared how medications had also stopped working for him. One of the scariest phases in his life, he recalls how he had become a loner and was afraid of even facing people. From someone who used to perform in front of thousands, he became anxious about even stepping out of the house. But like a true rock star, Honey Singh not only faced his fears, but also boldly made his illness public in order to increase awareness about mental disorders.
7. Randeep Hooda
Randeep Hooda had to battle depression after shooting for his movie ‘Highway’. While his role was greatly appreciated by critics and audience alike, Randeep himself felt trapped in the role of the driver from the movie and couldn’t get over his reel life personality. Similar was the case for ‘Sarbjit’, for which he had shed 18 kgs in 28 days. Hooda admits to still being hung over by these characters and many a times he has to remind himself his real life is separate from his on screen personas.
8. Angelina Jolie
Angelina bravely spoke about her troubled youth to OK! magazine in 2010, when she confessed about her obsession with cutting herself. She has also battled other behavioral problems over the years, from obsessive crushes and drug use, to depression and suicidal thoughts.
9. Russel Brand
Comedian Russel Brand told The Guardian, about his struggle with Bulimia, a rather uncommon condition among men, which made his life particularly miserable. He has also battled a substance abuse problem and confessed that he still attends meetings for recovering alcoholics and addicts to cope with the problem and stay clean.
10. Varun Dhawan
Varun Dhawan too boldly confessed about his battle with depression during the filming of ‘Badlapur’. He clarified that he wasn’t suffering from clinical depression, but admitted that he believed he was heading there. Varun wasn’t afraid to seek help and visited a mental health specialist.
11. Shah Rukh Khan
King Khan too admitted to having been depressed during the time of his shoulder injury. The surgery had almost pushed him into ‘depression mode’, but with proper care and support from family, he soon recovered!
If you feel like you’re falling into a bottomless pit and like there’s no hope, think again. You are not alone, as depression and mental health disorders affect millions of Indians. Take inspiration from your heroes and accept that it’s the time to step out and #breakthestigma!
The images for this article were sourced from Facebook.