Bollywood actors are increasingly coming up with tales on their fight with depression

For long, there has always been a lot of stigma attached to the word ‘Depression.’Though Hollywood has often come up with cases of depressed artists, actors, singers, performers, Bollywood has hardly ever had admitted depression. However, the trend seems to be changing. Take for example, Deepika Padukone who first opened up about her fight against depression a few years ago. And now, Aamir Khan’s Dangal daughter Zaira Wasim has spoken about her battle with depression in a long note that she posted on her social media account. At the end of it she also mentioned that she is taking a break from everything including school, work, social life and social media particularly.

While talking about her depression, Zaira expressed how suicidal thoughts, restlessness and starving defined her days. In her post she wrote, “I’m writing this to (finally) admit and confess that I, for a very long time have been suffering from severe anxiety and depression. It’s almost been 4 years and I’ve always been embarrassed and scared to admit it not only because of the stigma that goes around with the word DEPRESSION with it but most importantly because of always being told that “You’re too young to be depressed” or “It’s just a phase.”

Perhaps it could’ve been “JUST A PHASE” but this awful phase has put me in situations, I never wished or chose to be in. Popping 5 antidepressants everyday, anxiety attacks, being rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night, feeling empty, restless, anxious, hallucinations, having sore limbs from sleeping too much to not being able to sleep for weeks, from overeating to starving myself, unexplained fatigue, body ache, self loathing, nervous breakdowns, suicidal thoughts were all parts of this PHASE.

I knew that something wasn’t right with me, I sensed it could be DEPRESSION. I still remember my first panic attack at the age of 12, the other one at 14 and now all I remember is losing count of the number of panic attacks, losing counts of the number of medicines I’ve had and I’m still having, losing count of the number of times I have been told- ‘It’s nothing, you’re too young to be depressed.’

I was always made to believe that there’s nothing wrong with, but I knew- I always did and I still do. I remember being told that there’s no such thing as depression, it only happens to people who were above 25 years. But I could never actually accept the fact that I suffer from a disorder called DEPRESSION- that affects almost 350 million people worldwide; without asking for their permission to ruin their mental and emotional state or asking them their age. I was always pushed into the bubble of denial, despite knowing the reality and I would always lie to myself and others and just shake my head in yes when they would say – It’s nothing, you’re too young to be depressed, I would just lie to myself and call the doctors crazy.

Depression and anxiety is not a feeling, it’s an illness. It’s not somebody’s choice or fault. It can affect anyone-anytime. It’s almost been four and half years since I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and today I’m finally ready to understand my illness and embrace the version of myself which I’ve always wanted to accept, without being ashamed, embarrassed and having the fear of being judged for it.

I just need a complete break from everything, my social life, my work, school and especially social media. I’m really looking forward to the holy month of Ramadhan as it may be the perfect opportunity to figure things out. Please remember me in your prayers. A big hug to all the people who stood by me through all my emotional ups and downs, especially my family, I can never thank you enough for being so patient.”