Recently, a lot of Bollywood celebrities have come forward and opened up about their mental health. Actresses like Shraddha Kapoor and Alia Bhatt have spoken about their anxiety and how they felt confused about it initially. It not only motivated a lot of their fans to seek the required professional help for themselves but also created more awareness about mental illness in our country. And now, actress Shruti Haasan has also come forward and bared her soul while talking about her mental health.
During an interview with a leading publication, Shruti revealed that she had been battling anxiety since a very early age. The actress said, "It took me a long time to come to terms with it. I have had anxiety for many years, and I think it was triggered by certain traumas which is the case with most people."
While talking about her traumas, the Luck actress explained that different people have different trigger points and they react to them in their own ways. She said, "Trauma feels like a very heavy word, but anything can trigger it. Trauma is basically something that’s inflicted, (it) could be large or small. That’s why it's a bit complicated with anything with mental health, because what may be traumatic for you may not be traumatic for me. But it is the way each individual’s mind processes trauma, and there are various reactions to it. In my case the reaction was anxiety."
Apart from being a talented actress, Shruti is a phenomenal singer as well. She has floored her fans with her singing skills at various live gigs. But, it comes as a huge shocker that the actress had stage phobia for a very long time. In fact, it was in her 30s when Shruti finally realised that she was battling anxiety.
She said, "So as a child I felt a little bit more competitive energy would affect me negatively. Getting on stage was a phobia for the longest time. When I started singing and performing on stage, since I was 19 I was in music school, I would get these symptoms of really bad anxiety. But I just thought I was not steely, courageous or strong enough for this big bad world. It took me many years, I think actually into my 30s to realise that I had an anxiety disorder."
The Vedalam actress also explained that she was possibly too hard on herself and that triggered her anxiety a lot. While her parents never judged her, she was hell-bent on pretending to be 'okay' while not feeling the same way emotionally and mentally. She added, "For me it wasn’t fear of being judged, for me the fear was ‘I am supposed to have my s*** together’, ‘I am supposed to be okay’. For different people there are different triggers. In my case, my parents wouldn’t judge me. But that could translate into various things, so it’s difficult to talk at first for anybody"
According to a recent survey, mental illness kills more than 135,000 people in India every year. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently labelled India as the second-most depressing country in the world. One of the major reasons for the same is that people are still unaware of the symptoms of mental illness. Moreover, the stigma attached to mental health issues makes it extremely difficult for people to seek the required professional help for themselves.
We laud the fact that celebs like Shruti Haasan are coming forward and opening up about anxiety, traumas, and other mental health disorders with their fans. It comes as a reminder for everyone struggling with mental health issues that they are not alone and help is just one step away from them.
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