Image courtsey- Vogue
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and what better way to celebrate it than to applaud our beloved Bollywood stars who bravely spoke about their mental health.
Just because they are famous and have material wealth, doesn’t mean they are immune to mental illness. They’re constantly in the public eye, which in-fact makes them more susceptible to it. They’ve inspired those who suffer from mental illnesses to be brave, fight the stigma and seek help, and we at Mirchi Play think that’s amazing.
Here are 7 Bollywood Celebrities who bravely opened up about their Mental Health-
“I woke up like feeling directionless, I didn’t know where to go, I didn’t know what to do and I had these bouts of feeling so low that I would just start crying at the drop of the hat”
On screen she was the brave Padmavati, the nerdy Naina, the darling Shanti, but off she was scared, confused and sad. Deepika Padukone battled Depression for a long time and it took a lot of courage for her to come out in the open with it. We love that she was brave enough to do so. She has actively been involved in various mental health campaigns and supported many organisations as well. She has become an inspiration to so many who suffer the same illness and helped in reducing the stigma that surrounds it.
Hrithik opened up about being a victim of depression at a mental health conference in 2016. Events in his personal and professional life triggered it. He was quick to seek help and get better. He spoke up about the stigma around it and the fear many face in admitting it to themselves. He also highlighted the unawareness and the importance of education when it comes to mental health.
“Millions don’t know they might be suffering from something clinical which is not their fault. It is nothing one should feel awkward about”
“I have anxiety. And I’m treating my anxiety. I’m on medication for my anxiety. Why am I saying this? Because it’s a completely normal thing”
Anushka Sharma admitted to her struggle with anxiety. She was very ‘matter-of-fact’ about it and treated it like any normal illness (as it should be). The animal loving actress has a family history of mental illness. She has been a vocal supporter for mental health and advocated for it’s awareness for a while now.
Shraddha Kapoor has been struggling with anxiety for years now and has courageously narrated her experience with it. When he first noticed something was wrong, like most of us, she got tons of medical tests done, but nothing showed up. Her physical manifestations were anxiety related and hence no tests could join the dots. Soon enough she realised it was anxiety and has been treating it ever since.
“Somewhere you have to embrace it. You have to accept it as part of yourself and approach it with a lot of love. That made a big difference”
yo yo honey singh
“For someone who has performed in front of a crowd of 20,000, I was scared of facing 4-5 people. That’s what bipolar disorder does to you”
Hit maker Yo Yo Honey Singh was off the radar for a long time and rumours ranging from drug addiction, to retirement started surfacing. However, little did we know he was grappling with his mental illness, bipolar disorder. He bravely addressed it later on and described his ordeal with his illness. He admitted to it destroying his relationships and transforming him to a completely different person altogether. Medication, therapy and his creativity helped him deal with it and now he’s back and as healthy as ever.
Ileana bravely revealed that she suffered from Body Dysmorphic Disorder which led to depression and even suicidal thoughts at some point. She spoke about it at a mental health conference and highlighted how negative she felt about her appearance. She has become an inspiration to many who don’t love how they look and feel pressured to fit a particular standard, and by being in an industry that seems to define this standard, her revelation is even more courageous. Ileana has learned to love herself and the way she looks (which is gorgeous) and professes everyone should as well.
“Imperfections are a part of life and one should learn to love who you are. You are a human being and are allowed to be imperfect, and you are allowed to be flawed“
Shah Rukh Khan
Even the Badshah of Bollywood wasn’t immune to mental illness. Shah Rukh Khan was depressed for months after the release of Ra One. He had gravely injured his shoulder during that time as well. He opened up about it later on and said it was therapy and the support from his loved ones that helped him get through it.
“I feel so much healthy and refreshed from within — due to the injury and the suffering I had got into a depression mode but now I am out of it. I feel happy and boosted with energy.”
Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,, Body Dysmorphia, Anorexia are just some of the very real and very serious mental illnesses that millions suffer from. However, many times, they aren’t taken seriously and laughed at. They need to be recognised and spoken about, specially by those in a position to do so.
If you think you have a mental illness, talk about it to your friend, family, or therapist. Keeping it bottled up will only make it worse.
Stay healthy and stay safe!
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