Alia Bhatt’s elder sister Shaheen Bhatt is very vocal about her mental illness however, this wasn’t always the case. She kept it a secret for a long time and only opened up about it after she became suicidal. In a recent post, she also revealed how she was chucked out of a photoshoot because she was overweight and darker than her sisters. Alia and Pooja Bhatt.
She wrote, “Mental illness has been a part of my life since I was 12. I woke up one day & felt empty & confused. Even without doing anything, I was so fatigued that tasks like brushing felt impossible. I’d look out the window for hours, trying to make sense of how broken I felt, but didn’t find an answer. No one really spoke about mental health back then.At first, I thought I was being a ‘teenager’–one who’s irritable, sleeps a lot & never leaves her room. At that point, everything triggered my anxiety–like the photoshoot incident with Alia & Pooja where I was asked to step out of the frame as I was overweight & much darker. Incidents like these, along with schoolmates making fun of my weight made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.”
“For 6 years, I avoided therapy because I didn’t want to seem ‘weak’ or ‘crazy’. It was my ‘problem’ & I could ‘fix it’! So, I tried to write away my depression in a journal–I believed that when the pen hit paper, I’d heal. That was my version of self-care! But it didn’t work. It took me becoming suicidal to realize I couldn’t keep my struggle a secret. So I started seeing a therapist, pushed myself out of hiding & shared my feelings with my loved ones,” wrote Shaheen.
“My family was really supportive. When Alia told me how guilty she felt about not knowing, I almost wished I’d opened up to her earlier. They made it so easy for me to talk to them! In 2016, I went public with my depression & was flooded with messages from people who were going through something similar. So I shared myself in the biggest way I could & wrote a book about my journey with depression–all in the hope that I could help even one person feel less alone,” she further added,
“Today, I accept & love myself in ways I never did before. I don’t wait for things to go bad to take care of my mental health–I deserve to be loved & cared for even on good days! If I’m having a bad day, I don’t beat myself up–it’s kind of like the weather; when it’s raining, you don’t yell at the skies to stop! I simply take a deep breath, chill with my cats & just have faith that eventually, it’ll pass,” Bhatt concluded.