In 2015, Deepika Padukone’s revelation on dealing with depression took everyone by surprise. Reason being, depression was not even remotely discussed in our society. At least not publicly. It was all the more shocking considering that Deepika is a public figure. Now, yet again, another member of the fraternity, actor Zaira Wasim has broken her silence about her battle with depression.

Zaira said she was pushed into a “bubble of denial”

On Friday (May 11), 17-year-old Zaira Wasim, broke her silence on depression. The young actor took to social media, posting a note about her struggle with depression. The National Award winner, via Instagram, mentioned how she has been suffering from depression for over four years, but was pushed into a bubble of denial.

She admitted that she has been suffering from depression. The youngster, who shot to fame with Dangal and Secret Superstar, in her note, goes on to mention that she knew there was something wrong with her. “I sensed it could be DEPRESSION. I still remember my first panic attack at the age of 12, the other one at 14 and now all I remember is losing count of the number of panic attacks, losing counts of the number of medicines I’ve had and I’m still having, losing count of the number of times I have been told — It’s nothing, you’re too young to be depressed.”

Sometimes, she resorted to as many as five antidepressants. Overeating, starving, unexplained fatigue, body ache, self-loathing, nervous breakdowns, suicidal thoughts, were all parts of her phase.

 Zaira revealed that she has been fighting depression for over four years but was too “embarrassed and scared to admit it” due to the stigma attached to it. She added that she was often told that she is “too young to be depressed” or “it’s just a phase”

She shared how she could “never actually accept the fact” that she suffers “from a disorder called DEPRESSION” and something which “affects almost 350 million people worldwide”. She also wrote that depression and anxiety isn’t a feeling. It is an illness, which is not a choice or anyone’s fault. This is something that can affect anyone, anytime.

She mentioned how she has finally made her peace with depression and thus came to the decision of sharing her struggle. Depression and anxiety, she says, needs serious attention. She has decided to take a break from everything, including work, school, and social media, and is looking forward to the holy month of Ramadan, as it will be the perfect opportunity to figure things out. She expressed her gratitude to her family and all those who have stood by her.

Read her entire post on instagram:

A post shared by Zaira Wasim (@zairawasim_) on

Yes, the young can suffer from depression too

Zaira has shown how mental health issues can affect people across all age groups. It affects our mood, thoughts and behaviour. However, people generally find it hard to get help since it is not a “visible” ailment. The actor even mentioned how she was repeatedly being told she was ‘too young to be depressed’. This gave rise to a question whether young children can suffer from anxiety too. Of course, they can.

Motivational speaker Nisha Jamvwal affirmed that children are prone to depression as much as adults.

Young voices on anxiety and seeking therapy

Young India is not shy to talk about their ordeals. However, there are still certain aspects that need to be addressed and talked about when it comes to handling depression and why we have such a problem when it comes to seeking help in times of emotional and mental distress. Here are some voices:

“Anxiety is torturous. Last year, it dawned upon me and hit me so hard that I almost went into a shell. My mother advised me to seek therapy, which I was always apprehensive of. Personally, I did not believe in the idea of opening up to a stranger especially when sharing it with family and friends was equally difficult. Work helped me get busy but there were instances when I would sit alone and cry for several hours. Rapid heartbeat, sinking feeling were a part of it. Not overthinking helped a little. Eventually opening up to close ones helped. I did not like the idea of taking professional help then. Now, I feel it is important to talk about it, seek help and consider it as a serious issue which needs to be resolved.” – Prabhleen Malhi, 25.

“With the kind of stressful lives we are leading, it will not be wrong to say that mental health problems are becoming common among young people. There is so much to handle. Having said that, I feel that we no longer shy away from asking for help or visiting a therapist. I remember discussing the issue with college friends and they admitted how they too have tried therapy and it is normal to do so.” – Charvi Kathuria, 22.

“I think in this era, where social networking and smartphones are attracting you to make more friends, it’s likely they are making you feel lonely, sad and depressed. Even I have felt it at most times. Whenever that feeling strikes, just communicate. Call up your closest friend or family and tell them what you’re up to. That’ll help”- Malvika Bansal, 21.

“I believe therapy is helpful. However, it has to be done right. Issues surrounding anxiety and depression have to be dealt sensitively. Seeking professional help, but in the right place is what holds importance.” – Ishaa, 24. 

It’s the stigma around depression that still keeps so many from dealing with their problems. We are all so quick to judge and form opinions about those who suffer or behave differently. Let’s just pause and help one another because a conversation helps and so does kindness.

Also: Deepika Padukone: Depression is Going to be the Next Big Epidemic

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Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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