We've seen celebrities increasingly opening up in recent years about their struggles with depression, as they try and lift the stigma that exists about people with mental health issues. Alia Bhatt's sister Shaheen has also penned her own experience in a book that was launched recently.
In 'I Have Never Been (Un) Happier', Shaheen has detailed her painful struggle with anxiety and depression. The book launch was attended by the entire Bhatt family including Alia, Mahesh Bhatt and Pooja Bhatt.
In what can only be termed as the most personal conversation, the Bhatt family members bared all about their insecurities and struggles, including alcohol addiction and mental illness.
Pooja, who had earlier spoken out about being an alcohol addict, said apart from Alia, everyone in the family has inherited a 'genetic flaw' from Mahesh Bhatt, that of being blunt and honest about their struggles. She said that Bollywood requires people to keep up with appearances, which Shaheen and she are not very good at.
"We say things as they are and not how the people expect us to say them. And, I think the reason you (Alia) are so successful is that because you have not inherited that exactly like Shaheen and I have. You're able to separate the two. The truth does not go down well in Bollywood. We're living in a fake world which is full of appearances, where people don't want you to say, 'I'm not okay.' They don't give a damn whether you're a cocaine addict or have an alcohol problem. As long as you look okay and show up and your waist size is perfect, nobody cares about what's going inside," Pooja said when Alia asked her about how she gathered the courage to put it out there so bluntly.
Pooja then recalled Shaheen's birth and why she would never forget that day in her life.
"I just want to go back to the day when my mother woke me up one afternoon and said, 'Wake up Pooja, You have a sister!' It was 28th of November and my father called her from the hospital when Soni gave birth to Shaheen and it was the moment that I won't forget. People might look at us and say, 'You guys are a very dysfunction family, but I can assure you that our dysfunctionalities are far more functional than most of your functionalities," she added.
Pooja, who is making her acting comeback with Sadak 2, also urged people to never ask somebody that why they are depressed. She also said that there's a big misconception that depression is just a "rich person" problem which "needs to be erased as it's not a luxury."
Watch her talk at the launch event:
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