Mental health is a part of our overall health and wellness. No matter how healthy you are physical, your mental health plays a vital role in your general wellbeing. Mental health refers to cognitive, emotional, and behavioural wellbeing. Several issues can potentially affect someone’s mental health, directly or indirectly.
Mental health issues have become part and parcel of most individuals’ daily lives, commonly manifesting as stress episodes and panic attacks. However, if left unaddressed, they may lead to severe issues like suicidal thoughts and depression. The younger generation is more vocal and aware of these issues. Moreover, Bollywood has made some brave actors come out and advocate for the acceptance of such mental health issues.
Bollywood brings stardom to most individuals at a very young age, but little do we know how many of them can sustain this stardom. Today, Bollywood and mental health almost go hand in hand. Peer pressure, hectic commitments, and stressful schedules manifest as stress and anxiety.
However, despite all these issues, some celebrities have been brave enough to come out, accept, and talk about their struggles with mental health.
Deepika Padukone has been open about her mental health issues on multiple platforms. She has confirmed that she had fought with depression for some time and is thankful to have identified it early. She has also been vocal about her journey in dealing with mental health and how she felt about it. The first sign was stress, which eventually led to shortness of breath, distractions, breaking down, etc. The emotional challenges were much more than physical. Now, she is fighting against the social stigma of mental health and associated issues.
Bollywood and mental health can be more than a personal issue when you are a celebrity – when you attain stardom, you essentially become a public personality. Acceptance is the first step toward getting it right. Most people don’t know that even Anushka Sharma has dealt with anxiety and depression. She has admitted that it runs in the family, and she is taking treatment for the same. Anushka has also been advocating for people to come out and speak about it.
Apart from her past episodes of depression, Ileana has been dealing with body dysmorphia.
Body dysmorphia does not let you accept your body as it is. You may get highly obsessed with a part of your body and dislike it. Bollywood and body image issues are intertwined: all the models in tabloids and newspapers have picture-perfect bodies, slimmed, cut down from the waist, and plumped wherever desired. Young girls fall for these unrealistic body types and expectations. Ileana professes that there is no perfect shape and size: being happy in your skin is the key to mental and physical wellbeing.
She’s been the heartbeat of India with her excellent hits and an impactful launch into Bollywood. However, Manisha Koirala has also battled cancer. Cut off from her friends during this journey; she suffered from clinical depression while battling this deadly disease. Her book Healed showcases her experience in fighting ovarian cancer. Her journey through her healing is a testimony. How the treatment shatters her mentally, yet she triumphed over it.
Shama Sikandar is a television actor who has dealt with clinical depression and bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that gives rise to mood disorders and personality variations. During her recovery, Shama has been putting up a brave fight against it all and opened up about her mental problems in 2016.
As Bollywood is a place considered the home of the successful, Parineeti went through a phase of depression during the low times of her career. In 2014, when she was not doing so well in her films, her professional life took a toll on her mental health. She has always maintained that only her family’s support and love from friends were what helped her go through this gruelling phase.
During a particularly depressive phase of his life, Hrithik Roshan gained significant weight, which he lost with due support from family and friends. The actor disclosed that mental issues are not restricted to the mind but can also indirectly affect physical health – evident from his apparent weight gain during these times.
Bollywood and mental health issues are not an unlikely duo. With immense success comes the pressure to maintain one’s status and name. It can often be pressurising, which often leads to depression and anxiety. Nevertheless, Bollywood has been addressing mental health issues more bravely in the recent past. Mental health is as important as physical health, and more celebrities coming out and speaking about it helps spread awareness and understanding about this widely prevalent issue.