Talking about mental health associated issues calls for a great deal of courage in a society where it’s still considered a taboo. But when we see others accepting their anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, it helps us also normalise the talk. Celebrities play a major role in inspiring people, so here’s a list of few Bollywood celebs who gathered the courage to speak up.

1. Kapil Sharma

Kapil Sharma’s OTT debut on Netflix through the show I’m Not Done Yet was different from his previous comedy shows. It was surely less funny but it touched fans’ hearts because of the candid way Kapil talked about his own struggles with depression and alcoholism on the show.

Hum logon ko aise lagta hai ki ye jo depression hai gore (white) logon ki bimari hai. Yeh humein nahi ho sakti… 

2. Deepika Padukone

Deepika was one of the first few Bollywood actors who opened up about their struggles with mental health on public platform. Back in 2015, she shared her story of having battled depression through 2014 in a conversation with Hindustan Times and since then she has been supporting others.

Last year, during a Clubhouse session, Deepika shared that the decision to speak about her mental health in public wasn’t immediate. People around her didn’t want her issues to become public and everyone was being hush-hush about it. It’s only later that she realised how the handling of her mental health problems and making it public was so wrong.

When I was reflecting on how this whole thing went by, I thought why did we handle it like this? And why were we trying to be quiet about it? Why can’t people know? Why shouldn’t people know that this is what I have been through. It also came from me wanting to try be as honest and authentic as possible.

3. Shamita Shetty

Sushant Singh Rajput’s death by suicide led many celebrities to talk openly about their own mental health struggles. One of them was actor Shamita Shetty. She penned long note about her battle with depression and what she went through.

I know the pain because I’ve been through it.. it took me a while to recognise and accept muster up courage, look it right in the eyes n say I’m stronger than you .. n I will beat you! I don’t know why I felt like writing this today .. I feel like this world is changing, so much is happening around us that is changing us , but let this phase make us stronger not weaker.

4. Anushka Sharma

The actor is never afraid of talking about issues that are important to society. In an interview, she accepted that she suffered from anxiety and was taking treatment for it trying to remove the stigma associated with it.

I have anxiety. And, I am treating it. I am on medication for my anxiety. Why am I saying this? Because its a completely normal thing. It is a biological problem. There have been cases of depression in my family. More and more people should talk openly about it. There is nothing shameful about it or something to hide. If you had a constant stomach pain, wouldn’t you go to the doctor? It’s that simple. I want to make this my mission, to take any shame out of this, to educate people about this.

5. Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan once revealed that a shoulder injury in 2010 affected his mental health greatly. Talking to ANI, he said:

I feel so much healthy and refreshed from within- due to the injury and the suffering I had got into a depression mode but now I am out of it. I feel happy and boosted with energy.
DNA India

In an old interview SRK was seen talking about how her sister battled long years of depression and how he copes with it.

A part of me keeps on working round-the-clock, keeps on being happy despite the things which are said about me or make a joke about things that I do but still keep doing them because if I do not, I think I would be in the same state of potassium deficiency and depression. So, to avoid depression, I act.

6. Karan Johar

The filmmaker once talked about a phase in his life when he did not want to meet anybody and avoided people by travelling to strange places. It took him a long time to realise that he was suffering from anxiety attacks.

There was a phase in my life when I was really depressed. When I went through that phase, I thought I am getting a cardiac arrest. … rushed to the doctor. He then said I am having an anxiety attack. I went to a psychologist post that. Then I realised that I had some internal issues to deal with, which got built up to such point that it resulted in anxiety.”
The Week

His father’s death, the fear of the future and of being unable to find a life partner, were some of the reasons behind his mental state.

7. Manisha Koirala

We all know how Manisha Koirala fought cancer but no everyone knows about her suffering from depression. She has talked about this several times now. In one interview she said:

Utaar chadav har ek ki zindagi mein aata hai. Aur meri life mein bhi aaya hai. Pehle jab aata tha toh main prepared nahi hoti thi… lekin abhi jab aata hai toh mujhe tools pata hai. Abhi mujhe maloom hai ki kya karna chahiye. So I can ride through smoothly, in the tough phases. Anxiety is the most common thing today. It’s good to accept that. It’s good to take help…. and do not be ashamed about it.

8. Yo Yo Honey Singh

Remember the time when the rapper and singer was on a long break? There were rumours that he was in some kind of rehab, but he later clarified that he was suffering from bipolar disorder and was under treatment. 

It was scary. One year had passed and I wasn’t responding to medicines, until a fourth doctor from Delhi treated me. At one point, I thought I would live in this darkness forever. I cut myself off from everyone. I didn’t come out of my room; forget stepping out of the house. I had a beard and I didn’t get a haircut for months. For someone who has performed in front of a crowd of 20,000, I was scared of facing 4-5 people. That’s what bipolar disorder does to you.
Bollywood Hungama

9. Shaheen Bhatt

Alia Bhatt’s elder sister, Shaheen opened up about her struggles with mental health from an early age of 13 in a book titled ‘Never Been Unhappier’. Talking to Humans of Bombay, she said:

I refused help for a long time. For 6 years, I avoided therapy because I didn’t want to seem ‘weak’ or ‘crazy’. It was my ‘problem’ and I could ‘fix it’! So, I tried to write away my depression in a journal — I wrote down every negative thought I had and genuinely believed that when pen hit paper, I would heal. That was my version of self-care…way before we even called it that.

10. Hrithik Roshan

The actor once revealed that he had suffered from depression and that it’s a normal thing and one should be casual while talking about it.

I have been through my ups and downs. I have experienced depression and confusion. It’s a normal thing and we should be very casual when we speak about it. I have experienced issues in my life….  I have seen this problem from very close quarters. I have seen the jubilation when you have an understanding that it is not your fault and the fact that it can be cured.
mid day

11. Shraddha Kapoor

After the release of Aashiqui 2 in 2013, the actor suffered issues with her mental health. It took her a long time to get diagnosed and accept that she had depression. While speaking to Pinkvilla she revealed:

I didn’t even know what was anxiety. We didn’t know it for a very long time. It just after Aashiqui 2 where I had these physical manifestations of anxiety. There’s this pain happening where there was no physiological diagnosis. We got so many tests done but there was nothing wrong with me in the doctor’s report. It’s bizarre because I kept thinking about why I was getting that pain. Then I kept asking myself why that is happening.

It’s inspiring to see them talk about mental health, fight the stigma and normalise seeking help. If you think you or anyone you know needs help, seek help.