Have no fear in saying 'I'm on medication': Karan Johar on his battle with anxiety

"What happens to me or anybody else, it can happen to anybody. It doesn't mean you need a trigger, sometimes it is a result of many things, sometimes there's a trigger," the filmmaker said.
Filmmaker Karan Johar. (Photo | Karan Johar Instagram)
Filmmaker Karan Johar. (Photo | Karan Johar Instagram)

MUMBAI: Filmmaker Karan Johar says it is important for public figures to discuss their experiences and struggles with mental health issues to empower others to recognise and address such concerns.

Johar, who opened up about his anxiety attack recently, said he decided to openly talk about the issue in one of the episodes of his chat show "Koffee with Karan 8" that featured celebrity guests Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

In the past, Padukone has spoken about her struggle with depression.

The filmmaker said he has been taking medication for anxiety after consulting a professional.

"What happens to me or anybody else, it can happen to anybody. It doesn't mean you need a trigger, sometimes it is a result of many things, sometimes there's a trigger. When I spoke about my anxiety, it was to share a part of life that exists. That exists today as well, while I speak. I've no fear in saying that 'I'm on medication'," Johar said during a press conference for his show "Koffee With Karan".

During his chat with Padukone and Singh, Johar spoke about going through an anxiety attack at the launch of the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) in April this year.

The filmmaker said most of the moments in the show are unscripted and him opening up about his anxiety was something that he felt he needed to share.

"I feel a lot of us, as public figures, go through things, and if you touch on those topics, you are empowering many others to speak about it. I feel I've been, in 2016, in a phase where I discovered I was going through anxiety. You get better and it does come back sometimes, it came back again in the beginning of this year. What you do is you address it, and the first thing is you acknowledge it," Johar said.

He also credited Padukone, who has become the face of mental health awareness in India, for her Live Love Laugh Foundation which helps people suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental disorders.

The filmmaker said he is better now and advised people going through similar mental health issues to seek therapy.

"There are professionals who can guide you where sometimes your loved ones can't, not because they are not capable or don't want to, sometimes they are not in that educated zone to tell you what to do. For that, the only thing I tell people is acknowledge it first, acknowledge it to yourself and make sure your family members are aware, and then take the step that you have to." 

In the same episode, Deepika and Ranveer shared a wedding video of their dreamy ceremony that took place in 2018 in Italy.

Johar stated that the Bollywood star couple made the decision to share their intimate moment with their fans and followers through his chat show.

"The beauty, romance, intensity and emotion of that video comes from both of them, from their hearts and souls. It was their idea to share that with us. I was very touched and very grateful to Ranveer and Deepika for sharing a very private part of their life with me and the entire world. Those four minutes are one of the most precious four minutes of 'Koffee with Karan' in its entirety, spanning in seasons. It takes a very large and generous heart to share the way they did because it was many years after their marriage. It could have very easily not been shared. I've never asked for it, I got it."

'Koffee with Karan' streams on Disney+ Hotstar.

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The New Indian Express