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deepika-padukone-2013-marrakesh-international-film-festival-01There is no universal cure for dealing with anxiety and depression; it's a different path for everyone. That being said, the reminder that you are not alone is important across the board.

Bollywood star Deepika Padukone (Chennai Express, Happy New Year) kept her struggle with depression far away from the press until the recent suicide of a close friend made her rethink her approach. The actress went public with her struggle at the end of 2014, with the hope that sharing her battles with depression would bring hope to others. 

Ms. Padukone tells the Washington Post what it's like in India when she opens up about mental illness: 

???The most common reaction is, ???How can you be depressed? You have everything going for you. You are the supposed number one heroine and have a plush home, car, movies??? What else do you want???? It???s not about what you have or don???t have.... I see people suffering, and their families feel a sense of shame about it, which doesn???t help. One needs support and understanding.???

In India, showing signs of mental illness has consequences far worse than in the states, but depressed Americans can relate to the feeling of shame associated with mental illness. Ms. Padukone reminds us of two crucial factors in making it through depression. 

Don't isolate yourself

Using the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, Ms. Padukone has reached countless fans on Twitter. The response has been overwhelming. Fans across the globe both inspire her to stay strong during her bad days, and thank her for bringing them hope. 

Even in your darkest moments, don't isolate yourself. Allow someone to surprise you with their support and care. 

Keep showing up... even when it feels impossible New Call-to-action

Ms. Padukone was depressed during the Happy New Year film shoot. She still made herself get up every morning and go to set. Despite the glamour associated with filmmaking, it's an exhausting job for anyone involved and requires tremendous commitment. Ms. Padukone showed up every day even when it seemed like the most difficult thing to do. 

By keeping your commitments even when it feels impossible, you can show yourself that you don't entirely need to give in to depression. 

Depression and circumstance are not inherently related, nor does it reflect weakness. Most importantly, remember Deepika Padukone's message: you are not alone. 

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