Alia Bhatt Cried Because She Didn’t Understand Her Sister Shaheen Bhatt’s Depression. Mental Health Issues Aren’t Always Obvious.
I am a very emotional person who is very protective of her loved ones. I hate to see my loved ones sad or hurt and feel even worse when I am not able to make it all go away for them. That’s how love works, right? Be it your family, your BFF or the love of your life – you cannot see them sad. That’s how I know relationships and it cannot be otherwise for me. So I completely understand why Alia Bhatt broke down talking about her sister Shaheen Bhatt’s depression at We The Women event hemmed by Barkha Dutt.
Alia, who seems like a sensitive individual had made it clear on her arrival on stage that if she starts crying, she will not be able to stop and understandably so. Shaheen Bhatt was depressed since the age of 13 but got diagnosed with depression only at the age of 18. Just like that, five years she suffered in silence. And until recently, she kept her journey through depression to herself. But in a brave move, she launched her book I’ve Never Been (Un)Happier and welcomed the readers into her head.
Talking about Shaheen’s book, Alia spoke how despite of living with her entire life, she didn’t understand her sister’s condition as she does now, after having read the book. She said, “I felt terrible as a sister. I didn’t put myself out there enough to understand her.”
In fact, Alia expressed how she believes in Shaheen, even though she doesn’t so much. “I have only believed that she is the most brilliant person in my family. To some extent, she has never believed that about her own self but that always broke my heart. I was sensitive but I feel guilty for not understanding as much as I should have,” Alia said.
Sometimes, even though we have the best intentions in heart, we fail to understand our loved ones if they suffer from mental health issues. We sympathise, but do we empathise? We don’t know what it’s like being in their shoes. This is why what we need is more awareness of mental health in India and also encouraging people suffering from these issues to communicate.
Alia Bhatt took to Instagram to support her sister and wrote, “Here comes the sun. No better feeling than talking about your sister’s first book! @shaheenb you are brilliant and I love you!” Deepika Padukone, who herself suffered from depression and has been actively working on creating awareness for mental health called the sisters “cuties”. Their mom Soni Razdan too left a positive comment reading, “My gorgeous darlings.” Arjun Kapoor who is known for his witty comments called Shaheen a bigger star than Alia. Arjun wrote: “@shaheenb thank you for your kind words. It truly makes me happy and proud knowing you have turned something everyone thought was a weakness into ur biggest strength & dared to share when most would shy away thinking what the world would think & say…big love and all the best with everything. PS-@aliabhatt your sister is a biggish star (sic).”
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Alia had penned down an open letter and made a video for her sister. “When I come home after a long day at work or I am just sulking because of life, just one look at your older but still sparkling brown eyes just lights up my heart like you can’t imagine,” Alia said. She further added, “When I read your very first book, a book that you have written with so much ease and honesty, while I struggle to write one letter to you. I feel awful. I feel terrible because despite living with you for 25 years, I have never really understood your silent moments of depression. I never recognised a snappy moment as something much bigger.”