I felt a strange emptiness in my stomach. 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,” says the talented Deepika Padukone who once went through depression.
“I think it’s important for everybody to get themselves checked – mental health is something that’s very important,” says actress Ileana D’Cruz.
“I want to share my story so that people will know that it’s okay to be messed up,” said actress Shama Sikander who attempted suicide.
You may be thinking why am I telling you all these statements? But you know what, I am just trying to tell you that it’s OK to feel depressed some days, to be anxious enough that can give you chills to suicide. But what is important is how you’re dealing with it. Some days we feel just to give up, but it’s even more necessary to look at the other side.
So, on this World Suicide Prevention Day, I am here to speak about our favorite Indian celebs who have gone through a phase in their life when they were actually so depressed and anxious that they could have taken decisions to suicide. But they didn’t, and I am happy that they didn’t because if they had, we would have lost some special peals of our sea. I hope reading their stories will help people seeking out for motivation
Sharing his distress, Suresh Raina, Indian professional cricketer shared an incident where he was traveling in a train at the age of 13 and felt something heavy on his shoulders while he was asleep. He realized his hands were tied and there was a big kid on his chest, who started peeing on his face. Raina somehow pushed the boy off the train to get rid of him. Raina was also finding it difficult to cope up in the Sports Hostel in Lucknow. It was during this period that suicidal thoughts crossed his mind.
In another incident, the Uttar Pradesh cricketer Raina revealed he was hit by hockey sticks, and one of his mates was beaten so badly that he went into a coma-like state. The horrendous stories made Raina quit the hostel after a year but rejoined after two months after his brother convinced him
ALLAHRAKHA RAHMAN (A. R. RAHMAN)
A. R. Rahman’s biography, A. R. Rahman: The Spirit of Music, published by Om Books International, talks about how Allah-Rakha Rahman’s (A. R. Rahman) spiritual leanings have helped him develop a balance and how his irrepressible spirit fought demons of suicidal thoughts. He says in the book, “I live from day to day now. I believe that everything will be taken care of. It gives me a sense of stability instead of me feeling that I need to act or react to everything around me.”
During an interview, he said “I have tried to develop a balance over the years. Whether people praise my work or rip it apart, I trust the possibility that a few months later they may like it.”
“The toughest was when I did not get selected for NSD. I had nursed that dream ever since I was in class seven. I was devastated. I have never come as close to committing suicide as I did then. My friends were scared, and five of them used to sleep next to me and would never leave me alone,” says Manoj BajpayeeIndian film actor who has worked in Hindi cinema and has also done Telugu and Tamil language films. He is the recipient of two National Film Awards and four Filmfare Awards.
One of the most successful stars from 1959 to 1973 who has worked with all of the famous artist of her time like Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Rajendra Kumar, Rajesh Khanna and others. It was the death of this 74-year-old actress that pushed to the edge of the dark zone.
“It was a very bad phase for me. I lost my parents. I was totally alone, and I had to manage everything all alone. It did put me in depression. I was feeling miserable and had these (suicidal) thoughts. Then, I got out of it. It is a struggle, I had to take the advice of the doctors to get out of it,” Parekh told PTI in an interview.
“It is lonesome. On the top, you are always lonely. I was very lucky I had lovely parents with me. My mother was the backbone of my career, my life. So after losing her, I got into depression. It’s a huge relief that the phase is over,” she added.
GOPALAKRISHNAN PADMANABHAN PILLAI, AKA DILEEP
Malayalam actor Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan Pillai, best known by his stage name Dileep who was accused of being involved in a crime against a popular south Indian actress, who was abducted and molested in a moving car earlier this year broke his silence a few months back and shared his thought of committing suicide. Talking about allegations of his possible involvement in the abduction of the female actor, he said, “Two days after the incident, there were rumours about my involvement.” He added that he was very upset about being falsely targeted. “I even thought of committing suicide. But, I didn’t because of my daughter.”
Did you know, that it is depression which is the first step that in future leads to suicidal thoughts? There are many B-Town celebs who have gone through this phase like Karan Johar, Anushka Sharma, Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and so on. I would like to share with you their thoughts and views on how they came out of it victoriously.
Karan Johar, an Indian film director, producer, screenwriter, costume designer, actor, and television personality said, “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 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 realized that I had some internal issues to deal with, which got built up to such point that it resulted in anxiety.”
“I stopped feeling excitement and happiness. There was lack of sleep and I was always on the edge. I think I hadn’t dealt entirely with the loss of my father… when you are lonely and not in a relationship, you wonder what your life is going to be and all the success you might get and all the love and attention you get, where does that go? When you don’t have that love to share with somebody, it gets you worried.”
Today, he is a proud parent of two beautiful babies.
“My breath was shallow, I suffered from lack of concentration and I broke down often. Over a period of time, it got worse. When my parents visited, I would put up a brave front because they were worried about me living alone and working long hours. Then, once, while talking to my mother (Ujjala Padukone), I broke down. She realized the problem and got in touch with a psychologist friend. Every morning, it was a struggle to wake up and shoot for Happy New Year’s (HNY; 2014) climax. Finally, she (psychologist) flew to Mumbai from Bengaluru, and I talked my heart out to her. She concluded that I was suffering from anxiety and depression. 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 counseling helped, but only to an extent. Then, I took medication, and today I am much better,” Deepika told Hindustan Times.
In January 2015, Anushka Sharma in an interview spoke openly about anxiety and depression. “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. It’s a biological problem. In my family, there have been cases of depression. More and more people should talk openly about it. There is nothing shameful about it or something to hide. If you had a constant stomach pain, wouldn’t you go to the doctor? It’s that simple. I want to make this my mission, to take any shame out of this, to educate people about this.”
Ileana D’Cruz in an interview said, “For me, my depression doesn’t revolve around my work, it revolves around me personally. What’s weird is that I’m not insecure about work, so when people ask me ‘are you competitive?’ I say no. If someone’s better than me, they’re going to do better, it’s as simple as that. If I’m good, I’ll get successful to a certain extent. I believe you’ll get to where you deserve.”
“I think the first part is really healing you, is being aware that there’s something really wrong in the first place. I’m glad I’m not one of those people who’s in denial. I know there’s something seriously wrong. I’m aware that I am flawed, I’m aware that I have issues, I’m aware that I need to be able to be healthy, not just physically but mentally. I know that I want to do something about it. I think that’s the most – strangely – defining moment for me. Work is secondary, for me what’s important is having a close-knit family and having someone you can call family. Someone you can actually be yourself with because that’s what’s important at the end of the day – money comes, money goes. It’s not going to make you happy.”
The Rustom girl knows how to keep herself happy.
SHAH RUKH KHAN
In 2010 after his shoulder surgery, Shah Rukh Khan revealed that how he was suffering from depression but also that he escaped from all of 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,” said actor.
After the movie A Flying Jatt got a bit off-track at the box office, Tiger Shroff went into depression. He said “I started on a high with Baaghi (2016). I was over the moon when it opened on 12 crores and did 15 crores on a Sunday. For a newcomer and for a second film, that’s pretty good. And then kept going up. But when the numbers for A Flying Jatt came in, I thought, ‘I put in so much work, why didn’t they like it?’ A month of hard-core depression. A lot of emotional eating. When I started shooting for Munna Michael, I was still in that mindset. I didn’t have any drive. But after I finished my first schedule, I thought, ‘I can’t wait for people to see this now.”
ALL WE NEED IS TO TALK.
There is a shame and stigma attached to talking about depression. In fact, one in every four people suffers from anxiety and depression. I feel that at times, the patient just wants to talk, and isn’t seeking advice. But, well-wishers saying things like, ‘Don’t worry, it will all be alright,’ might be detrimental,” says Deepika.
“Being sad and being depressed are two different things. Also, people going through depression don’t look so, while someone sad will look sad. The most common reaction is, ‘How can you be depressed? You have everything going for you. You are the supposed number one heroine and have a plush home, car, movies… What else do you want?’ It’s not about what you have or don’t have. People talk about physical fitness, but mental health is equally important. I see people suffering, and their families feel a sense of shame about it, which doesn’t help. One needs support and understanding,” she adds.
So on this day, let’s just try and help people get out of this first phase. And if you really want to help, all you need to do is, LISTEN. Yes. and if you’re going through depression, don’t feel anxious to speak about it. Just TALK. Talk with someone close to you, tell them how you feel. I know you may be feeling like you have fallen into a deep, dark pit with no light in sight. But trust me, your friends, your family, your co-workers, we all care about you and IT’S OK.