Courtesy: Dawn News
The Bollywood actor said she doesn’t know where she would be today had her mother not urged her to get help.
Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone shed light on the significance of being vigilant when it comes to your loved ones and noticing any uncharacteristic changes in them. She opened up about her journey and said she doesn’t know where she would be today had her mum not pointed out the signs and symptoms of depression in her, urging her to seek help.
The Padmaavat actor, who has battled depression in the past and runs mental health foundation Live Love Laugh Foundation, is currently in Tamil Nadu. She is expanding her foundation’s rural community mental health program ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10, according to NDTV. Speaking to the publication, she stressed on the importance of caregivers for those struggling with their mental health.
On the family’s role in mental health, she said, “It is extremely crucial. Even in my personal journey, the role of the caregiver has been extremely important that’s why my mother is here, that’s why my sister has been so passionately part of this cause for many years and also therefore when I hear the stories of the caregivers, I understand how equally important that is as well, and the emotional well-being of the caregiver is as important as the emotional well-being of the person experiencing mental illness.”
She expanded on how her mother helped her see what the next step needs to be. “In my own case for example, had my mother and the caregiver not identified my symptoms, in my moment of vulnerability, had she not had the presence of mind to tell me to or help me reach out to the professionals, I don’t know what state I would be in today,” she explained.
She also talked about the effect it can have on the caregiver. “Ensuring I was regular with my treatment, with my consultations with the doctors — of course it takes a toll on the caregiver as well and that’s not something new. I think caregivers in general, whether it is mental illness or any other form of illness, it takes a toll on the caregiver.”
Meanwhile, on the work front, the Gehraiyaan actor has several movies in her pipeline. She will next reunite with Shah Rukh Khan for Pathaan alongside John Abraham, expected to release on January 25. She will star opposite Prabhas and Disha Patani in Nag Ashwin’s directorial Project K, star in American comedy film The Intern costarring Amitabh Bachchan and Siddharth Anand’s Fighter with Hrithik Roshan.
What Is Depression?
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Symptoms must last at least two weeks and must represent a change in your previous level of functioning for a diagnosis of depression.
Also, medical conditions (e.g., thyroid problems, a brain tumor or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression so it is important to rule out general medical causes.
Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can occur at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. There is a high degree of heritability (approximately 40%) when first-degree relatives (parents/children/siblings) have depression.
Depression Is Different From Sadness or Grief/Bereavement
The death of a loved one, loss of a job or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being “depressed.”
But being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities. They are also different in important ways:
- In grief, painful feelings come in waves, often intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and/or interest (pleasure) are decreased for most of two weeks.
- In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.
- In grief, thoughts of death may surface when thinking of or fantasizing about “joining” the deceased loved one. In major depression, thoughts are focused on ending one’s life due to feeling worthless or undeserving of living or being unable to cope with the pain of depression.
Grief and depression can co-exist For some people, the death of a loved one, losing a job or being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to depression. When grief and depression co-occur, the grief is more severe and lasts longer than grief without depression.
Distinguishing between grief and depression is important and can assist people in getting the help, support or treatment they need.
Risk Factors for Depression
Depression can affect anyone—even a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.
Several factors can play a role in depression:
- Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
- Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.
How Is Depression Treated?
Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.
Before a diagnosis or treatment, a health professional should conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and a physical examination. In some cases, a blood test might be done to make sure the depression is not due to a medical condition like a thyroid problem or a vitamin deficiency (reversing the medical cause would alleviate the depression-like symptoms). The evaluation will identify specific symptoms and explore medical and family histories as well as cultural and environmental factors with the goal of arriving at a diagnosis and planning a course of action.