Zaira Wasim opens up about her struggle with depression

Zaira Wasim of Dangal fame opened up about her struggle with depression. She revealed her ordeal via a lengthy Instagram post.

She was pushed into a bubble of self-denial because of the stigma that surrounds depression. She was often told that ‘You’re too young to be depressed’ or ‘It’s just a phase’. She had the first panic attack at the age of 12 then another one at the age of 14.
Thereafter she lost the count of the number of panic attacks she had. At times she had to pop as many as 5 antidepressant pills. “From overeating to starving myself, unexplained fatigue, body ache, self-loathing, nervous breakdowns, suicidal thoughts, were all parts of this phase,” she wrote.

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She was made to believe that everything alright, but she always knew that something was wrong with her. However, she could never accept the fact that she could ever suffer from depression as people around her told that it only affects people over 25. She would lie to herself and call the doctors crazy.

She further stated, “Depression and anxiety is not a feeling. It’s an illness. It’s not somebody’s choice or fault. It can affect anyone, anytime.”

Zaira has finally come to terms with reality, and decided to share her ordeal “without being ashamed, embarrassed and having the fear of being judged for it”.

She said, “I need a complete break from everything, my social life, my work, school and especially social media. I’m really looking forward to the holy month of Ramadan as it may be the perfect opportunity to figure things out. Please remember me in your prayers.”

At last, she thanked her family members and all other people who stood by her side in her struggle with depression.

In December last year, the actress had accused a person named Vikas Sachdeva of harassment in a Vistara flight. “He (the accused) kept nudging my shoulder and continued to move his foot up and down my back and neck,” she said in the video post.

But, Vistara said the crew did not observe any misbehaviour by the male passenger during the flight in a two-page letter to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation ministry and the National Commission of Women. The actress did not respond when a crew member asked if she was alright. The actress and her mother refused to file a police complaint too.

Here at SatyaVijayi, we had questioned the intent of this claim, since rubbing one’s foot over the beck and back of another person sitting in front of them, and in an Indian domestic airline at that, seemed highly improbable.

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Moreover, a co-passenger who witnessed the scene said, “I saw Sachdeva doze off immediately after he settled in his seat after boarding the flight at Delhi. His fault was he kept his legs on the armrest, which was wrong. I did not see him misbehaving. He also apologized when the actor shouted at him when the flight landed at Mumbai airport and the matter was settled then.”

The wife of the accused said “My husband’s uncle died, so my husband was coming to Mumbai from Delhi. He was very sad and upset. His mental condition was not good either. He wanted to sleep, so that is why he also asked for a blanket in the flight. But I’m surprised by the allegations put by the actress.”

Later, the case was withdrawn by Zaira. Given her poor mental health, is it possible that the actress blew the incident out of proportion? Several Indian twitter users were quick to come to the same conclusion.

The only fault of Sachdeva was that he kept his legs on the armrest of the actress’s seat. Probably there wasn’t any ill will involved. But depression took the better of the actress, and she wrongly accused Sachdeva of harassment.

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