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Meghan Markle and Deepika Padukone Discuss the Stigma Around Women’s Mental Health Issues in New Archetypes Episode

Photo: Julien Vallon, Misan Harriman

For the latest Archetypes episode, Meghan Markle was joined by actors Deepika Padukone, Jenny Slate, and Constance Wu to discuss women’s mental health issues and the negative impact of the words “crazy” and “hysterical”. The candid conversation saw the four women open up about their own struggles, with Markle recalling how Prince Harry referred her to a mental health professional when she was at her “worst point.”

“My husband had found a referral for me to call. And I called this woman—she didn’t know I was even calling her,” Markle said to Indian actor and mental health activist Padukone. “And she was checking out at the grocery store. I could hear the little beep, beep, and I was like, ‘Hi…,’ and I’m introducing myself and you can literally hear her going, ‘Wait, sorry. I’m just—who is this?’ And she could hear the dire state that I was in. But I think it’s for all of us to be really honest about what it is that you need and to not be afraid to make peace with that, to ask for it.”

This revelation from the Duchess of Sussex follows her interview with Oprah in 2021, where she first shared her experience with the British press and some royal family members, and how it lead her to think about suicide. “I went to the institution and said that I needed to go somewhere to get help, said that I’ve never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere, and they said I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution,” she told Oprah.

Padukone—who stars on the cover of Vogue Arabia’s Body & Soul edition this month for raising awareness of mental illnesses in India—also reflected on her struggle with depression. “Everything was going well… My films were a success, personally, beautiful relationships, supportive family. It just sort of came out of the blue,” she told Markle. “I woke up and felt my blood pressure drop and then the next thing I knew my life just felt meaningless. I didn’t want to live anymore, you know. I just didn’t want to get out of bed and I struggled with this for many, many months.” The actor continued to share that she felt “hopeless” and “event” and eventually picked up the phone to speak to a counselor. “From the sound of my voice, she could tell, you know, that I needed help,” said Padukone. “There’s not a single day that goes by without me thinking about my mental health. And so every part of my life today is to ensure that I don’t go back into that dark place again.”

Read Next: Deepika Padukone on Her Rise from Actordom to Stardom, High Fashion Partnerships, and Self-Care

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