“I Had Suicidal Thoughts.” Ileana’s Speech About Battling Depression Is Heartbreakingly REAL

It’s never easy to talk about one’s struggles with mental health, especially when it’s a public platform and you’re a celebrity.

People wonder, how does a celebrity, someone whose life is so full of beauty, glamour and attention, could ever be depressed or have severe body issues? Let’s not forget the reality:  stars look shiny from afar, but up close they’re burning hard to shine so bright.

Recently, it was Ileana D’Cruz who braved a public forum to speak about her struggles with depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

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Ileana, who has been a vocal advocate of mental health, was one of the key speakers at the 21st World Congress of Mental Health 2017 held in Delhi last week.

Organised by the World Federation of Mental Health, the Congress was being held at The Ashok in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.

The forum, inaugurated by none other than President Ram Nath Kovind himself, boasted of several prolific speakers, such as Kailash Satyarthi, Prakash Jha, and Union Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

The actress spoke at length about battling depression and major body issues, and how all she wanted was to be accepted for who she was and what she looked like.

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“I was always a very self-conscious person and was picked on for my body type. I used to feel low and sad all the time but didn’t know I was suffering from depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder till I got help. All I wanted to do was to be accepted by everyone.”

According to India Today, in a heart-to-heart with organising Chairman Sunil Mittal, Ileana described how she discovered the gravity of her illness only after she got help.

For Ileana, depression came at a time in her life when she was in the limelight and her career was in full swing. But despite it all, she struggled to the extent that the thought of suicide would feel comforting to her.

Ileana’s journey towards recovery began with a single step. But it wasn’t an easy one.

Depression is like falling down a deep, dark rabbit hole that only you can help yourself out of—by accepting that you are depressed.

“At one point, I even had suicidal thoughts and wanted to end things. However, all of it changed when I accepted myself and what I was going through. I think that is the first step towards fighting depression.”

The Barfi actress broke down while talking about how her mother was the reason she was determined to fight her suicidal thoughts.

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“I feel that she’s done nothing to deserve the pain that she would feel if something happened to me.”

Ileana has shown immense courage and spoken up about her mental health issues on a number of occasions. Her advice to people with similar troubles—embrace your imperfections and seek help.

“It is a chemical imbalance in your brain, and needs to be treated. Don’t sit back and think it will get okay…. If you have depression, seek help. I am not saying that I had this miraculous recovery. Every day is a process, every day is a step towards healing yourself and getting better. You are a human being and are allowed to be imperfect, and you are allowed to be flawed. There is a lot of beauty in your imperfections, in your uniqueness.”


You could say Ileana being awarded the Woman of Substance Award for raising awareness about mental health was well deserved. She gives some excellent advice!

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Ileana has one kickass mantra to get through life: be like Winnie the pooh.

“He wore a crop top, ate his favourite food all day and loved himself, you can too.”

We hope your words are the light shining down at those stuck in dark times similar to yours. We’re proud of you, Ileana!

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