Mental Health Day: Abhinav Bindra and Deepika Padukone discuss past struggles and importance of therapy

At a time when the world is increasingly talking about the mental health issues facing athletes – the impact it has on them when they perform in the public eye, under immense pressure – LiveLoveLaugh Lecture Series 2021 by Actor Deepika Padukone, an initiative of the actor’s namesake foundation that works to raise awareness about mental health, is pushing the conversation with Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra forward.

On World Mental Health Day, the two discuss the important topic of mental health, learning and healing through their experiences. They discuss their regimented life as schoolchildren, in which they both drew inspiration from their athletic experiences. While Padukone played badminton professionally, for Bindra it was a reluctant introduction to the world of sport.

Nevertheless, the demanding nature of the job made him feel exhausted and lost. Especially after winning the medal and achieving the very goal he set for himself.

“I had this gold medal that I had been chasing for 16 years in my pocket, and I was fully dressed, I had nowhere to go. I was lost. There was a great void that this victory created, because my life was only oriented until then. For so long I had gone to bed with a dream… Every morning I woke up to try to achieve this goal… And suddenly [I got that], what now? ”he said to Padukone.

Bindra says he worked on himself and took a long time to understand himself, adding that he had taken a vipassana meditation class.

Padukone says that although she is an actress by profession, she thinks like an athlete. “When you play sports it changes your life forever… It taught me how to deal with success and failure. I don’t think I would be able to do what I’m doing today if I hadn’t had all of these experiences. Today, for me, success is being able to be present, ”she says.

Seeking professional help, Bindra says it’s not a sign of weakness, but it’s actually about empowerment. Padukone, who explained how to live with depression, adds that it’s important to pay the same attention to emotional well-being as to physical health. “There is absolutely no shame or stigma… It’s good not to be well,” she said.

Watch the full video here:

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