By Karuna Tyagi Last Updated:
Depression was considered a taboo and talking about your battle with depression openly was considered a stigma. But with changing times and changing mindset of people, people have started to talk about their struggle with depression and how they have emerged as warriors. Many celebs have opened up about their struggle with depression and how they had felt while fighting with it. Though many celebrities and people have spoken about depression, society still considers it a social stigma and avoid talking about it. Celebrities like Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt’s sister, Shaheen Bhatt have tried to break the glass ceiling and make people aware of the causes of depression and how we can help the people suffering with it. (Recommended Read: Raghu Ram's Ex-Wife, Sugandha Shares A Heartfelt Note For His Newborn Son, Rhythm, Welcoming Him)
Alia Bhatt’s sister, Shaheen Bhatt had penned her struggle with depression and insomnia in her book, Never Been (Un)Happier. She had launched her book on the World Mental Health Day (October 10, 2018) and had explained her thoughts and how she was feeling while she was battling with depression and how no one knew about her struggle. It was in 2016 when Shaheen had first talked about her struggles with depression in a social media post. Shaheen, Alia Bhatt and their mother, Soni Razdan came on Tara Sharma’s show The Tara Sharma Show and Shaheen talked about her thoughts before committing suicide.
When Shaheen was asked “what were you thinking when you tried to end your life?” she revealed, “No, I wasn’t thinking. I was just like, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t look out of the window for one more second and feel this empty.” Alia supported her sister and said that depression should be treated like any other illness. Soni Razdan stated, “What is very important to tell parents is that you have to look for signs. You have to know what they are and you have to look for them.”
In an interview with the Hindustan Times, Shaheen Bhatt had explained why she had decided to come out in the open with her personal struggles. She was quoted as saying, “My entire reasoning for wanting to talk about this is the fact is I honestly, truly believe that even if it’s not mental illness, everyone of us is struggling with some kind of pain. Pain is universal, and happiness is unfortunately not universal. And we have all got very used to not discussing things that are uncomfortable. That was very important for me to sort of let my guard down, to begin with, because I felt it was really holding me back… For me, it (writing the book) was a way of using it as a vehicle, to hopefully spur on the conversation [on mental health].” (Suggested Read: Mukesh Ambani, Akash Ambani And Shloka Mehta Look Picture Perfect At Javed Akhtar's Birthday Bash)
Shaheen had experienced depression for the first time when she was 12 years old. Talking about that phase, Shaheen had written, "The first time I felt it, I was twelve and approaching my 13th birthday. I thought that the niggling feelings of unease creeping up on me had to do with the fact that I had recently gained a lot of weight and was being teased for it at school. So, I spent 4 months starving myself and lost all the weight before my 13th birthday rolled around. Surprise surprise: not only did those painful, uneasy feelings stay put, they got worse with every passing day. I spent a lot of time oblivious and unaware that those feelings could be something more. I spent a lot time in denial when I learned they were something more. And then, I spent even more time angry and bitter because depression was the big, scary monster under my bed that was ruining my entire life. But here’s the thing about monsters: they can only live in the dark. If you turn on the light you’ll see that what you thought was a monster, isn’t a monster at all. And the way you turn on the light is by acknowledging it and talking about it."
After reading her sister’s novel, Alia had shared a heartfelt video dedicated to Shaheen, expressing her feelings about the same. Alia had shared in the video that after a long tiring day at work, just one look at her sister’s eyes would light up her heart. In the video, Alia had also added footage wherein she along with her parents, Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan and her sister, Shaheen is dancing with their grandmother. Alia had reminisced about how happy her big sister looks in the video. She had gone on to talk about how she missed those signs when Shaheen suffered from depression and apologises to her for not being there when she needed her.
Alia had said, “When I read your book, the book you have written with so much ease and honesty, while I struggle to write one letter to you. I feel awful. I feel terrible because despite living with you for 25 years, I have never really understood your silent moments of depression. I never recognized a snappy moment as something much bigger. Every time you refused to go out for dinner, I would think she rather sit at home and watch TV, be alone, not that you couldn’t bring yourself to get out of bed. Thank you for educating me Shaheen, that’s what you have done and taught me so much about life. And lastly, I am sorry, I know you hate the fact that we all are saying sorry to you, take the apology because even though we love you, we understood what you were going through to this extent.” (Must Read: Saif Ali Khan Reacts On Daughter, Sara Ali Khan's 'Aaj Kal' Trailer Says, I Loved My Trailer More)
Kudos to Shaheen Bhatt for sharing her struggles with depression and motivating people!
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