A month after her Italian wedding, actress Deepika Padukone’s letter to her fans and those suffering from depression or any other mental illness has been revealed. Padukone wrote an open letter for magazine Elle India’s 22nd anniversary issue talking about her own personal battles with depression. She wrote the letter by hand, days before she married her Bajirao Mastani (2015) co-star Ranveer Singh.
In the personal letter, she discussed how she was diagnosed with anxiety and clinical depression in 2014 and sought professional help with the support of her parents and those around her. As she learnt more about the condition, she realised she wanted to help others and therefore decided to speak up and do something about it.
She wrote: “As difficult as it was for me at the time, I decided to talk about my personal journey on national television with the hope of encouraging others to also seek help. Thereafter, in June 2015, I founded the Live, Love, Laugh Foundation to create awareness about stress, anxiety and depression, and reduce the stigma attached to mental illness.”
Her foundation runs several programs to create awareness nationwide and reduce the stigma around mental health. She and the foundation also launched an online campaign called #NotAshamed, encouraging others to share their stories and let others reach out for help.
Padukone ended her letter with the uplifting, optimistic line: “To anyone who sees darkness, I would like to say that you are not alone and that help is always available. For in the words of Stephen Fry, ‘It will be sunny one day’.”
The actress has recently announced her next project with director Meghna Gulzar titled Chhapaak. She will be starring in the real-life story of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal with Vikrant Massey in 2019. Her last onscreen role was the big-budget Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, Padmaavat (2018).