Shaheen Bhatt on her book I've Never Been (un)Happier: Want to encourage others to open up about depression

FP Staff

October 19, 2018 12:53:10 IST

Shaheen Bhatt — sister of Bollywood star Alia Bhatt — released her debut book, I've Never Been (un)Happier on World Mental Health Day on 10 October. Speaking to DNA, she opened up about what prompted her to pen a personal account of her battle with depression, how her family has supported her and who set the ball rolling to discuss mental health in Bollywood.

Shaheen Bhatt released her debut book, I've Never Been (un)Happier on World Mental Health Day

Shaheen Bhatt released her debut book, I've Never Been (un)Happier on World Mental Health Day

"Honestly, I hid the fact that I lived with depression for a long time. I never spoke about it because I thought there was something wrong with me. It took me a while to understand that what I was going through was an illness, which could be controlled and it’s not something that I need to be ashamed about. Since then, I have encouraged others to come out in the open about it as well," says Shaheen, who wants to lead by example by writing this book.

Shaheen also spoke about how despite suffering from depression from the tender age of 13, she didn't always understand her condition until she was much older. This journey of learning how to deal with depression, in fact, helped her empathise and understand others more, she says.

She adds that her whole family from father Mahesh and mother Soni Razdan to her sisters Alia and Pooja and brother Rahul have all read the book already, adding that her siblings are perhaps more excited about it than her.

Shaheen also credited Deepika Padukone for starting a conversation about depression by sharing her own experience. "When somebody in that position talks about something that has not been spoken about before, it helps to change the perception," she said.

In the wake of the deaths of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain earlier this year, Shaheen had penned an extremely thoughtful article revealing her own battle with depression.

Writing for Vogue, Shaheen opened up about how she's struggled with the crippling illness since the age of 12 and has even contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. "I’ve experienced the sheer terror of contemplating a life filled with unrelenting anguish, and I’ve been consumed by the terrifying thought of having but a single means of escape from a bleak, unbearable future," she wrote.

Updated Date: Oct 19, 2018 12:53 PM