Karan Johar opens up about his battle with depression

Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar has become the latest celebrity to talk openly about his mental illness. The Dharma Productions honcho bared his heart out about the “darkest phase” of his life, in an interview with NDTV.  

“There was a phase in my life, when I was really depressed. When I went through that phase, I thought I am getting a cardiac arrest. I felt it in middle of a meeting two and half years ago, and rushed to the doctor. He then said I am having an anxiety attack. I went to a psychologist post that,” Karan said while speaking about how he got to realise about his clinical depression.

Karan said he felt lonely and depressed. He didn’t want to meet people and found excuses to leave the city (Mumbai). “It was dark, deep and helpless time. There was nothing I could do about it,” he said.

“I stopped feeling excitement and happiness. There was lack of sleep and I was always on the edge. I think I hadn’t dealt entirely with the loss of my father. There was also the fear that I was not able to find my life partner. There is so much love I get from my friends but where do I take it all? I used to feel very lonely,” he added.

The 44-year-old filmmaker revealed that he had to undergo anti-anxiety medication for a year and a half, and added that he stopped his medication just three months back.

“I went through a series of anti-anxiety medication for it. A year and a half post that, I realized that I am in a much better place. Today I actually feel the emotion of excitement and happiness. When you go through it, you stop feeling that zing of emotion. Today I am getting all of them back,” he said.

However, he refused to blame working in the film industry as the cause of his loneliness and depression.

“I think the industry per se should not be generalised for the reason of your loneliness but you really wonder how many of your relationships matter. We live in this bubble all the time. We don’t know if the emotions we have are just for the film or do I take it further. And at 44, when you don’t have a life partner or kids, it is difficult to deal with,” the ‘Student of the Year’ director said.

Karan also emphasised on the point that there is a need to address this issue since there is lack of awareness in the society. He appreciated people like Deepika Padukone who chose to open up about battling against depression.

In the meanwhile, Karan is awaiting the release of his upcoming directorial ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. The movie is a roller-coaster ride of different relationships, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma and Fawad Khan. It is slated to hit screens on October 28.