Zaira Wasim, a 17 Year old Bollywood actress who starred in movies like Dangal and Secret Superstar, opened up about her mental health in a lengthy note.
Zaira reveals that she’s been battling depression and anxiety since last four years, while most people failed to even acknowledge it because she was still young. Living with crippling depression is hard but you know what’s harder? living in a country where depression and counselling is considered a taboo, where parents even fail to even acknowledge the mental well-being of their children.
She shared an important note about mental health on her social media handles.
“It’s almost been 4 years and I’ve always been embarrassed and scared to admit it not only because of the stigma that goes around with the word DEPRESSION with it but most importantly because of always being told that ‘You’re too young to be depressed’* or ‘It’s just a phase’,” she wrote in the note.
“Popping 5 antidepressants everyday, anxiety attacks, being rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night, feeling empty, restless, anxious, hallucinations, having sore limbs from sleeping too much to not being able to sleep for weeks, from overeating to starving myself, unexplained fatigue, body ache, self loathing, nervous breakdowns, suicidal thoughts were all parts of this PHASE.”
Zaira reveals she got her first panic attack at the age of 12 and since then she has suffered countless such episodes.
“Something wasn’t right with me. I sensed it could be DEPRESSION. I still remember my first panic attack at the age of 12. The other one at 14. Now all I remember is losing count of the number of panic attacks, losing counts of the number of medicines I’ve had and still having. Losing count of the number of times I have been told- ‘It’s nothing, you’re too young to be depressed.'”
While people told her that depression doesn’t exist. It’s something that happens to only adults.
“I was always made to believe that there’s nothing wrong with, but I knew- I always did and I still do. I remember being told that there’s no such thing as depression and it only happens to people to were above 25. But I could never actually accept the fact that I suffer from a disorder called DEPRESSION. And that it affects almost 350 million people worldwide; without asking for their permission to ruin their mental and emotional state or asking them their age.
I was always pushed into the bubble of denial, I would always lie to myself and others and just shake my head in yes. While they would say – It’s nothing, you’re too young to be depressed, I would just lie to myself and call the doctors crazy.”
But today, she finally understands and accepts depression, and mostly importantly, she isn’t ashamed of it.
“It’s almost been four and half years since I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and today I’m finally ready to understand my illness and embrace the version of myself which I’ve always wanted to accept, without being ashamed, embarrassed and having the fear of being judged for it.”
Zaira is now planning to take a break from school, work and social media to figure things out.
Sending love and hugs. Hope you feel better soon!