New Delhi, Sep 17 : Actor Gulshan Devaiah says the problem with accepting depression as a disease is that a lot of people consider it to be a state of mind.
"There is a problem with accepting depression as a disease because most people think depression is a state of mind, or it is an emotion.
Like, if I proposed to a girl and she turned me down and I say 'I am depressed', and (treat) depression as a state of mind," Gulshan told IANS.
"Depression is used as an expression to express something. But when you are diagnosed with depression, by a mental health practitioner or by a certified doctor, then that is an illness.
It needs to be treated like any other illness like cancer or tuberculosis," he added.
Gulshan feels depression has to be treated, "some without medication and some with medication".
"There are many people who take heavy medication for depression or are undergoing treatment," he said.
The actor continued: "First and foremost, you have to accept that it's an illness, then your attitude will change.
I'm telling you (because) I tried to pep talk about a friend of mine who was institutionalised depressed, and he was put in a mental institution, no amount of philosophy made any difference to him because it's an illness."
"Everybody thinks it is a state of mind and a little bit of philosophy (might) work.
It does work, but you have to accept it as an illness. First, we need to get that acceptance, the causes can vary," said the actor, who has appeared in films like "Shaitan", "Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela", "Hunterrr", "A Death In The Gunj" and "Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota".