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“It damaged all my relationships”: Shaheen Bhatt on her depression, isolation and more

Popular actress Alia Bhatt’s sister Shaheen Bhatt opened up about her depression and publishing of her book (I’ve never been (un)happier) in an interview with Rajeev Masand yesterday.

Bhatt started by expressing the positive reactions and messages she received from everyone regarding her book and Instagram post in which she first spoke out about her problems. She then went on to talk about her opinion on depression as she claimed: “shame is central to any feeling of depression.”

However, the process of writing the book set her into a “six-month episode” of depression since she was forced to revisit old memories.

Image source: Shaheen Bhatt’s Instagram

Recalling an incident from her childhood days, where she was asked to step away from a photoshoot with her sisters due to her tanned skin and looks, she admitted: “my self-worth was definitely affected.”

Bhatt also spoke about the codependencies of substance abuse and depression as she stated that her father, renowned Bollywood film director and producer Mahesh Bhatt, was an alcoholic because he dealt with depression without even realising it.

Bhatt also confessed to having some drinking problems as she said: “I just started focusing on having fun,”  talking about how she overcome her depression.

However, the screenwriter-in-the-making explained the difficulties her and her family faced as she would lock herself up in her room for days and that her mother “couldn’t understand what was happening.”

Speaking about relationships, the author confessed that depression damaged all of her relationships. While explaining her reasoning, she stated: “you stop making an effort even if you want to” and that “being depressed is hard, but loving someone who’s depressed is just as hard.”

However Bhatt spoke highly of her sister Alia while explaining their relationship and her support by admitting: “she’s always been the bridge between mum and me”, “she’s been like my lawyer.”

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These are our happy faces.

A post shared by Shaheen Bhatt (@shaheenb) on

While Bhatt believes that her depression is cyclical and that there is no complete cure for hers, she does encourage others to “be okay with being vulnerable”.

She explained that while medication does work for her, “there is no one way to overcome it”, since every individual has a different cause for depression and sadness.

The author also spoke about the society in general and that in the current world “You’re taught to hide and put away anything that’s negative”.

She expressed her concerns for her generation and the pressures they have to face and for which the language that surrounds mental health needs to be changed for people to speak out about their problems freely.

Stressing on usage of words that surround mental health, Bhatt added: “people should be called survivors rather than sufferers.”

You can find the entire interview here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URfwo7CEisw&w=560&h=315