Shaheen Bhatt is the sister of Bollywood’s diva Alia Bhatt. Shaheen has been battling with depression for many years. “I’ve lived with depression since I was 12-years-old and since then I’ve been suicidal on more than one occasion. I’ve experienced the sheer terror of contemplating a life filled with unrelenting anguish, and I’ve been consumed by the terrifying thought of having but a single means of escape from a bleak, unbearable future,” read an excerpt from Shaheen’s article for Vogue magazine.
25 years ago today, I was just moseying along, minding my own business, when my life changed forever. Alia, Aloo, Bob – My friend, my companion, my personal defence lawyer, my most tireless cheerleader, my paranoid caretaker, witness to all my highs and lows, partner in random midnight hysterics and co-cat parent – I’m so lucky to have you as my sister and I’m so proud of the kind and nurturing soul you have grown to be. Thank you for being you. Happy Birthday my beautiful girl. P.S. I love you so much it hurts.
The headline of her article for Vogue reads as, “Shaheen Bhatt on the recent suicides: “It could have been me.” In November 2016, Shaheen has opened up about ‘living with depression’ via a lengthy Instagram post.
I've lived with depression on and off since I was about 13 years old. This is not a revelation or a confession. Those who know me know this about me. It's not something I take any pains to hide, I'm not ashamed of it or particularly troubled by it. It's just a part of who I am. I have days where I feel good and then I have days where I don't. One minute everything's fine and the next it's like someone turned the light off inside my head. I go quiet and it's difficult to get out of bed. Like it always does the world around me loses focus and I struggle to make sense of it. Sometimes these bouts last an hour – sometimes they last days. Today, I'm on day 4. I say I live with depression rather than I struggle with it because for me (and I speak only for myself here) I don't see why it has to be a struggle. I once read an idea by an American essayist called Richard Mitchell which stayed with me; it's now become how I try to approach the dips in my week or month. The idea is this: To be sick, or to suffer, is inevitable. But to become bitter and vindictive in sickness and suffering and to surrender to irrationality, supposing yourself the innocent and virtuous victim of the evils intentions of the world, is not inevitable. The appropriate answer to the question – Why me? is the other question – Why not me? *** Why am I writing about this? Well, I spend a fair amount of time on social media during the course of my day and today I found myself looking for something to post because it's been a few days since I've posted anything. I couldn't find anything so I figured I'd just talk about this – how I'm doing, instead of what I'm doing. It's as simple as that, and we could all stand to do a little more of it. P.S. That picture just seemed to work in this context.
Explaining depression, she wrote that it’s ‘shame, isolation.’ “And at its worst, depression leads to suicide,” she wrote for Vogue.
“Every day that we shy away from the subject, someone plunges further into their depressive hole, isolating themselves and believing they’re freaks. Every minute that we continue to stay silent we lose one more person to the horrors of depression and suicide. Every second that we choose comfort over reality we fail another Anthony and another Kate. Talking about depression is no longer an option, it’s a matter of life and death,” she concludes.
Alia shared her sister’s article on social media and wrote, “Shaheen, you are brilliant! My sister has battled and lived with depression since she was 12. She speaks her heart out and without any hesitation addresses the giant elephant in the room – Mental health and the lack of our understanding & acceptance!”
Shaheen you are brilliant! My sister has battled and lived with depression since she was 12. She speaks her heart out and without any hesitation addresses the giant elephant in the room – Mental health and the LACK of our understanding & acceptance! https://t.co/ih0PmzujYl
— Alia Bhatt (@aliaa08) June 14, 2018
Just a few days back, even Deepika Padukone, who had fought depression in her life. had shared a long Instagram post about Depression.
Deepika had founded the NGO Live Love Laugh Foundation to help those with mental illness. In her exclusive interview to a leading news channel in 2015, Deepika had said, “If I can impact one life in this entire process of speaking up and letting people know that it’s something I have been through and something that I could deal with because I had a fantastic support system.”
Depression is curable with love, warmth and help of family and friends.