Bollywood star Deepika Padukone
Mental health workers are praising Bollywood star Deepika Padukone on Thursday for speaking out about her battle with depression.
Ms Padukone, one of India's most popular film stars, said it had been "a struggle to wake up" during a period of suffering last year, which led her to seek help and eventually take medication.
"There were days when I would feel okay, but at times, within a day, there was a roller-coaster of feelings. Finally, I accepted my condition," she said in an interview with the Hindustan Times newspaper on Thursday.(Read the article on Hindustan Times)
Ms Padukone said people struggled to understand her predicament when she was outwardly so successful. The 29-year-old star of "Chennai Express" said she was now working on a plan to create awareness about depression and anxiety, which would soon be unveiled. It's not about what you have or don't have. People talk about physical fitness, but mental health is equally important," she said. "I see people suffering, and their families feel a sense of shame about it, which doesn't help."
Professor Vikram Patel, of the Public Health Foundation of India, said he was pleased Padukone had "shown the courage" to talk openly about her condition.
"It's extremely good news that someone who's extremely popular in the public eye has come out and spoken about a health issue that's traditionally stigmatised," he said.
The country's first mental health policy last year was introduced in parliament last year and is awaiting approval