By: Shilpa Prasad
After suffering from anxiety and depression during one of the peak years of her career, Deepika Padukone set out to make a real difference regarding mental illness by setting up the Live Love Laugh Foundation.
Her goal is to not only break the stigmas associated with mental illnesses but also to help others understand them better. This effort is creatively displayed in the newest ad delivered by the foundation, titled, “Dobara Poocho.”
The ad beautifully paints four different stories at once. We see a teenage boy with his father, two brothers, an elderly couple, and two close friends. In each story, we experience the emotions that the characters are expressing alongside them. Frustration, helplessness, and fear are present for each character, regardless of their ages or specific situations.
Every story has two sides. On one side, we see how the characters who are battling their mental illnesses feel as though their feelings are inexplicable. They want to open up, but maybe don’t know how to or where to begin. Even when approached by someone they are close to, they pull away at first for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s a fear of being misunderstood, and for others, it’s simply not knowing how to express the turmoil within. On the other side of each story is the loved one who wants to understand what the problem is, but doesn’t know how to approach their friend or family member and experiences his or her own frustration due to this lack of understanding.
The hesitation experienced by those who are suffering is also most likely generated due to the negative stigma that surrounds mental health problems in not only Indian societies but other populations around the world as well. Often, people tend to disregard mental health problems as physical illnesses. Family members or even acquaintances may think that their loved one is simply being overdramatic or irrational, especially when he or she is unable to put a name to their feelings.
Depression and other mental illnesses are not immediately recognizable upon first glance, but that does not make them any less real. Those that are in need are often the ones that will not ask for help right away. Hence, it is of utmost importance to be extra attentive and persistent. That is what the video highlights and what the Live Love Laugh Foundation is focused on. Even the smallest gesture of care and attention can go a long way.
So, #dobarapoocho. Ask again, again, and again.
— tejashwini (@TShrivasta29) October 11, 2016
— Srishti Saini (@SrishtiSaini3) October 14, 2016
If you or a loved one is battling any mental illness, find out more information on what steps to take or read stories from those who have faced a similar problem on the Live Love Laugh Foundation website and/or feel free to submit your story battling with or preserving with a mental illness.
Shilpa Prasad is currently a pre-med student at Boston University. In her free time, she loves to dance, read and binge-watch TV shows! Her goal as a writer for Brown Girl Magazine is to connect with girls all around the world by sharing her own unique experiences and ideas.