Many people assume that the rich and the famous are immune to mental health issues because they seem to have "everything".

Sameera Reddy Parvathy Amala Paul who have spoken about depression
Flix Mental Health Monday, June 15, 2020 - 14:03

The death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput has once again brought to focus the conversation on mental health.

Many people assume that the rich and famous are immune to mental health issues because they seem to have "everything" — money, fame, success and attention. However, this is not true.

In recent times though, there has been increasing discussion on mental health, both off screen and on screen.

Parvathy

Actor Parvathy, who has acted in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi films, opened up in an interview with FirstPost about dealing with depression. The award-winning actor spoke about how she was taking online therapy during the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and went on to elaborate about her struggle with depression.

"I have been open about it from a very young age. Whenever I felt emotionally low, I used to open up and talk about it with school and college friends. Unfortunately, some people I was close with used to say, “Oh my god, you’re addicted to self-pity. Snap out of it.” That was an issue because for a long time I did try that, you know. For years I thought I was making a big deal out of it, maybe I should just snap out of it. Then I realised I was repressing things, that I end up imploding sooner or later. No one would know what to do with me. So, I learnt to be honest with myself. I sought medical help. I figured ways to write down my feelings and tell people," she said.

Parvathy also added, "As an actress I’m used to people having an opinion on me – I stopped giving a damn a long time ago. And while I do suffer from depression, I’m proud of myself. I’m everything I am today, right now speaking to you in this moment, because of how I’ve survived. And continue to. At some point I switched to the mentality of a survivor rather than someone who is suffering every day. Sometimes it’s every waking minute, and I have to literally say out loud: no no, you’re not giving up. It has been an important journey to constantly unlearn the mentality of victimhood and to remind myself with every tool possible that I have the strength to overcome."

The actor also spoke about handling panic attacks and why she apologised for using the word 'bipolar' in a negative sense during another interview. You can read the full interview here.

Amala Paul

A few months after popular actor Amala Paul lost her father to cancer in January this year, she wrote on Instagram about how important it was to open up and take help if needed if someone was going through hard times.

The actor revealed that she had been on the verge of losing herself and her mother to depression.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

LOSING A PARENT is a feeling that cannot be described, it's a MAJOR DOWNFALL and you begin to TRANSCEND into the UNKNOWN DARKNESS and experience varied emotions. Losing my PAPPA to CANCER OPENED a whole new DIMENSION IN MY LIFE. It made me realize so many things. Here's one such thought! . We live in a big beautiful world. Like the Yin to the Yang, we also live in a world carved out by 'SOCIETAL NORMS' that DICTATE our EVERY MOVE and EVERY THOUGHT. We start getting CONDITIONED from a very YOUNG AGE and SHUT OURSELVES through the TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES and LOCK parts of our INNER-CHILD in to these BOXES. . Unfortunately in the RAT RACE TO THE TOP, we often AREN'T TAUGHT to LOVE OURSELVES. We don't ALLOW ourselves to OPEN THESE BOXES and HEAL our INNER-CHILD from these TRAUMAS and conditioning. . We shift from RELATIONSHIP after RELATIONSHIP, craving for company and searching for the missing 'HALF' in PEOPLE, THINGS, CAREER, SUBSTANCES, MOMENTARY PLEASURES, EXPERIENCES all a mean to ESCAPE OUR TRUE-SELVES only to be left more emptied. . WHEN WILL WE LEARN TO LOVE OURSELVES AS A 'WHOLE' AND FULLY EMBRACE THE DARK, LIGHT, GOOD, BAD, HAPPINESS, EMPTINESS, VULNERABILITIES ,PAIN, INSECURITIES, FEARS ? . Yes I have decided to WHOLEHEARTEDLY accept this and COURAGEOUSLY WALK THE PATH LESS TRAVELED.. no more ESCAPE! . MOST IMP - THE WOMEN we grew up looking up to have forgotten that they're as important as their family. Our MOTHERS have really forgotten to LOVE THEMSELVES, let alone HEALING!! They spend their whole life taking care of their HUSBAND, CHILDREN, FAMILY and NEVER FOR ONCE STOP to do SOMETHING for THEMSELVES. It's our responsibility to educate and make them understand about loving and nurturing their INNER-SELF BEFORE THEY LOSE THEMSELVES FOREVER!! I almost lost myself and my mom to the verge of DEPRESSION but here we are gearing up to FLY LIKE A PHOENIX in to transformation THROUGH LOVE AND HEALING. . Thanks to my constant support system, my dearest BROTHER for all that he is and especially for making my CHILDHOOD TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES very entertaining and still continuing to do that  Lots of love and healing to all the broken hearts 

A post shared by Amala Paul  (@amalapaul) on

Amala pointed out that people were often conditioned to keep their traumatic experiences locked in and that in the 'rat race to the top', people forget to love themselves.

Shruti Haasan

Shruti Haasan, who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films, has also opened up about dealing with mental health issues. In an interview with Lakshmi Manchu, Shruti spoke about why she took a break from cinema: “I was also unwell. I haven’t spoken about it but I had a medical condition. And you can't talk about these things. People are always saying, 'Shruthi has become fat'. I was trying to heal myself. I stopped caring about what people were saying. I had to figure it all out. I took a one year break."

“A healthy body is the first step. You need a healthy body and a healthy mind to deal with the outside world. If you aren't healthy inside, you can’t challenge the world,” she added.

On Instagram, the actor has also spoken about dealing with body shaming and how it has affected her health: “I’m not one driven by other people’s opinions of me but the constant commenting and she’s too fat now she’s too thin is so avoidable. These two pictures have been taken three days apart. I’m sure there are women out there who relate to what I’m going to say. Most often I’m at the mercy of my hormones mentally and physically and over the years I work hard to try and have a healthy relationship with it. It isn’t easy. The pain isn’t easy, the physical changes aren’t easy but what’s become easier to me is to share my journey. No one famous or not is in a position to judge another person. Ever. That’s just not cool. I’m happy to say this is my life, my face and yes I’ve had plastic surgery which I’m not ashamed to admit. Do I promote it? No am I against it? No — it’s just how I choose to live. The biggest favour we can do for ourselves and others is just be and learn to accept the changes and the movement of our bodies and minds.”

Sameera Reddy

Sameera Reddy, who played the female lead in hit films like Vaaranam Aaiyiram, has been vocal about dealing with postpartum depression and weight gain, among other issues, on her social media pages.

In an interview, Sameera said, "What happened during my first pregnancy was that I took a lot of hormones. I had problems with my pregnancy and I was bed-ridden. I had tonnes of issues but it was my mental state that consumed me. I felt like I failed at myself. I let my body go. I touched 102 kg, my face was so fat and it was the horror that somebody will look at me. And they did, like I have had people say, 'is that Sameera Reddy?' but I said I was a good mother because even if I went to the bathroom and cried, Hans (her son) never saw it. I always came out and was top notch with him. I was the best wife that I could be to my husband, but internally there was another story going on."

The actor, who had another baby recently, also did a video on how it's important to take care of the mental health of children during this lockdown. She broke down even as she was speaking about the anxiety that's showing up in a lot of people, including children.

Ileana D'Cruz

Ileana D'Cruz is another actor who has worked in the southern industries and has spoken about mental health issues. The actor said that she battled depression and body dysmorphic disorder: "There was a period; approximately 3 years ago, I had gone from happy to being completely depressed and not knowing what it was. The most comforting thought for me was what if I end things now! And I thankfully realised that this is not right. I never thought I'd be somebody dealing with anxiety or depression."

"They told me you know that you have depression; you have anxiety, you're going through body dysmorphic disorder. There was an acceptance that almost came in immediately and I think that it is one of the biggest steps that you can take towards change or you can't move forward otherwise. I don't care if I'm gonna fail again! I just wanna keep pushing and you know you're not meant to be perfect; you're meant to be flawed," she added.

In Bollywood, Deepika Padukone, Karan Johar, Shah Rukh Khan, and Anushka Sharma are among those who have spoken about their battle with mental health issues.

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers.

Tamil Nadu:

State health department suicide helpline number - 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in TN

Andhra Pradesh:

Life Suicide Prevention Helpline No.78930-78930

Roshni Helpline 1: 9166202000 Helpline 2: 9127848584

Karnataka:

Sahai: 24-hour helpline numbers: 080- 65000111, 080-65000222

Kerala:

Maithri helpline - 0484-2540530

Chaithram helpline: 0484-2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.

Telangana:

Telangana government suicide prevention toll-free no: 104

Roshni- 040-66202000, 6620200SEVA- 09441778290, 040 - 27504682 (between 9 AM and 7 PM)

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