Almost everyone at some point in their lives aspires to the glitter and glamour of stardom. But for the few who actually achieve it, being a celebrity comes at a huge cost. Loneliness, the lack of a fulfilling schedule, not being able to trust anyone fully, and living in a distorted reality have been the prime causes of depression among many Indian celebrities.
India, until very recently, saw having a mental disease a taboo and anyone who decided to talk about it openly risked ridicule and being outcasted. But in the last few years, some Indian celebrities have come forward with their ailments, which not only raised a lot of awareness about these diseases but also made it easy for many to come forward and speak about and get treatment for their own ailments.
Here’s are some Indian celebrities on what depression did to them and how they got out of it –
Perhaps the first celebrity name that comes to mind when we think of depression, Deepika Padukone’s struggle with depression has been well documented. Like many others, she was skeptical about medication for her condition, but eventually took it up and it helped her a lot.
She says (Source) –
“In the beginning, I thought it was stress, so I tried to distract myself by focusing on work, and surrounding myself with people, which helped for a while. But the nagging feeling didn’t go away. My breath was shallow, I suffered from lack of concentration and I broke down often.”
“Every morning, it was a struggle to wake up, and shoot for Happy New Year’s climax. Finally, I had a word with Anna Chandy, a psychologist my mother had referred. She flew to Mumbai from Bengaluru, and I talked my heart out to her. She concluded that I was suffering from anxiety and depression.”
“When she suggested I take medication, I was resistant. I thought talking was enough. Later, I met another psychologist, Dr Shyam Bhatt, in Bengaluru for a second opinion.”
“There were days when I would feel okay, but at times, within a day, there was a roller-coaster of feelings. Finally, I accepted my condition. The counselling helped, but only to an extent. Then, I took medication, and today I am much better.”
Shahrukh Khan is one of India’s biggest names in the film industry and the second richest actor in the world. Known for taking a gamble or two in business and in film, he’s had his fair share of success and failure. But nothing hit him as hard as the failure of his movie RA ONE with the critics and the initial reactions from people around him when he bought the IPL franchise; the Kolkata Knight Riders
He says (Source) –
“I did go a little wrong with RA.One. It made 172 crores at the box-office but still people call it a wrong film. It went wrong because it was different. I was depressed for three months after the release of the film. As a matter of fact, till date I’m depressed and upset.”
“On the other hand, my family told me to sell Kolkata Knight Riders. They said it was only bringing in negativity. But I needed to win that trophy. That’s why I didn’t quit. I’m glad I didn’t. I have finally won. The world at large lynched me year after year for four consecutive years. They completely destroyed me. They questioned my motives and integrity. It broke my children’s hearts.”
“I cried myself to bed. The negativity around me made me sit in the bathroom and cry for hours. A couple of times my kids saw me crying and I didn’t like it. We lost nine matches in a row. I didn’t cry because we were losing. I know it’s a game and we can lose. I cried because of the comments about me the next morning. I love sports and I have played under-19 cricket and know much more about cricket than most of the people passing comments on me.”
Yo Yo Honey Singh
The Punjabi rapping sensation became a recluse after a tremendously successful stint for nearly two years until he came out to the public late last year, with bipolar disorder.
He says (Source) –
“I know there were rumours that I was in rehab (for drug overdose), but I was in my Noida house throughout. The truth is I was suffering from bipolar disorder. It went on for 18 months, during which I changed four doctors, the medication wasn’t working on me and crazy things were happening. My alcoholism added to this mess.”
“One year had passed and I wasn’t responding to medicines, until a fourth doctor from Delhi treated me. At one point, I thought I would live in this darkness forever. I had cut myself off from everyone. I didn’t come out of my room, forget stepping out of the house. I had a beard and I didn’t get a haircut for months. 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.”
While his love stories have enthralled Indians for decades, Karan Johar has had his own battles with depression. His case was so severe, that he first thought he was having a cardiac arrest.
He says (Source) –
“I have read people speaking openly about their depression. There was a phase in my life when I was really depressed. When I went through that phase, I thought I am getting a cardiac arrest. I felt it in the middle of a meeting two and half years ago, after which I left the meeting in between saying I have something urgent to do and rushed to the doctor. He then said I am having an anxiety attack. I went to a psychologist post that. Then I realised that I had some internal issues to deal with, which got built up to such point that it resulted in anxiety.”
“Those sessions (medication) made a big difference to me. During those sessions, we touched on many things of my life. I felt that I did not deal entirely with the loss of my father, though it’s been 11or 12 years, I felt the pain and hurt of certain relationships that had dwindled from my life and I was carrying all that baggage. And the fear of future, the fear that I was not being able to find a life partner. At one point the lack of love in my life was really bothering me. Today I feel a lot more free of it. I feel there are loads of other things to look forward to,”
“I went through a series of anti-anxiety medication for it. A year and a half post that, when I stopped it, I realised that I am in a much better place. Today I actually feel the emotion of excitement and happiness. When you go through it, you stop feeling that zing of emotion. Today I am getting all of them back.”
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