Jim Carrey once said, “I wish everyone could experience being rich and famous, so they’d see that it wasn't the answer to everything.”
Something similar happened to Aamir Khan’s daughter, Ira Khan, when she opened up about her mental health. The filmmaker announced on social media on World Mental Health Day that she has been battling depression for the last four years. But, instead of getting support from her fans, she was attacked with insensitive comments and questions. People asked her why and how she can be depressed when she is so privileged and wealthy.
In fact, a user even commented on her Halloween post saying that she doesn’t ‘look’ depressed. The user wrote, “Ira Ji i don't know why but you don't look like a depressed person. You are looking alright. Does your dad knows about your depression?” Ira’s cousin, Zain Marie, replied to the user, “Depressed people don’t look like anything. They look like people.”
Ira recently posted a new video on her Instagram handle where she talked about her privileges and how she is handling her depression. She explained in the 10-minute long video that she has been trying to come up with rational answers and figure out the right reasons behind her depression.
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HINDI VERSION - LINK IN BIO. I never spoke to anyone about anything because I assumed that my privilege meant I should handle my stuff on my own, or if there was something bigger, it would make people need a better answer than “I don’t know.” It made me feel like I needed a better answer and until I had that answer, my feelings weren’t something I should bother anyone else with. No problem was big enough to ponder too long about. What would anyone do? I had everything. What would anyone say? I had said it all. I still think there’s a small part of me that thinks I’m making all this up, that I have nothing to feel bad about, that I’m not trying hard enough, that maybe I’m over reacting. Old habits die hard. It takes me feeling my worst to make myself believe that it’s bad enough to take seriously. And no matter how many things I have, how nice to me people are because of my dad, how nice to me people are because they love and care about me... if I feel a certain way, a certain not nice way, then how much can rationally trying to explain these things to myself do? Shouldn’t I instead get up and try and fix things? And if I can’t do that for myself? Shouldn’t I ask for help? . . . #mentalhealth #privilege #depression #repression #divorce #sexualabuse #letstalk #betterlatethannever #letitout #depressionhelp #askforhelp
In the video, Ira opened up to her followers about a traumatic incident--she was sexually abused at the age of 14. However, Ira said that it was not something that scarred her for life. She said, “I was sexually abused when I was 14. At that time I couldn't understand whether the person realised what he was doing and I didn't know how to confide in. It took me a year to be sure that the person was aware of his actions. I immediately wrote my parents an email and got myself out of that situation. Once I was out it didn't feel so bad. I was not scared anymore. It's not something that has scarred me for life".
When Ira had opened up about battling depression for the first time, Kangana Ranaut had responded to the same and commented that children who grow up in a broken family are generally depressed. However, Ira in the video specified that she does not think that her family is broken or her parents’ divorce (Aamir Khan and Reena Dutta) ever traumatised her. “When I was small, my parents got divorced. But that didn’t seem like something that would traumatise me because my parents’ divorce was amicable. They are friends, the whole family is still friends. We are not a broken family by any means,” she said.
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A lot has been going on, a lot of people have a lot to say. Things are really confusing and stressful and simple and okay but not okay and... life all together. There's no way to say it all in one go. But I'd like to think I've figured some stuff out, or at least figured out how to make it slightly more understandable. About mental health and mental ill-health. So come with me on this journey... in my awkward, quirky, sometimes-baby-voice-y, as-honest-as-I-can-be... way. Let's start a conversation. Happy World Mental Health Day. . . . #worldmentalhealthday #mentalhealth #depression #journey #letsstartaconversation
Mental illnesses don't discriminate on the basis of caste, colour or economic status. Someone who is well-established socially and economically could be battling depression while looking absolutely happy from the outside. On the other hand, someone who has very limited privilege could be completely content with whatever they have in life. It is highly important to understand that each individual has their own journey and struggle, and every human reacts differently to different situations.
Ira expressed that her privileges made her hesitant to talk about her depression. She said, “I never spoke to anyone about anything because I assumed that my privilege meant I should handle my stuff on my own, or if there was something bigger, it would make people need a better answer than “I don’t know.” It made me feel like I needed a better answer and until I had that answer, my feelings weren’t something I should bother anyone else with. No problem was big enough to ponder too long about. What would anyone do? I had everything. What would anyone say? I had said it all.”
More power to Ira Khan for coming out and expressing herself so honestly! We hope this helps spread awareness about the importance of mental health and encourage people to seek professional help when required.
Feature Image: Instagram