The girl that first rose to fame with TV show Yeh Meri Life Hai, went AWOL for a long time right afterwards, only to recently return with a short film on sex addiction – Sexaholic. What was the actress up to in between though, apart from transforming her look radically?

According to a Miss Malini report, this long break was intended for Shama to find herself.

“I took this long gap for soul-searching. I did a lot of introspecting. I feel many of us are scared to do that as we don’t want to stir our demons. Today, I have accepted myself in a better manner and thank God for it. I have a better understanding of what I want to do and where I want to reach. The gap was a blessing as it helped me reconnect with my soul.”

And the last year was particularly difficult for the actress who battled bipolar personality disorder and depression and her relationship with actor Alexx O’Nell hit the rocks. However, in the face of the direst of times, Sikander fought hard to overcome her demons.

With her friend and now fiancé, James Milliron by her side, Shama sought treatment in the U.S.A and things are now starting to look up again.

She spoke about the stigma that mental conditions bring with them extensively, and urged people to stop making the grave mistake of confusing chemical issues in a brain’s functioning with craziness or being possessed.

Especially in these stressful times, when depression and similar mental ailments are commonplace.

“Parents should teach their kids to be honest, be true and be accepting of themselves. It’s about how you deal with your angels and your demons. In fact, your demons need more love than your angels. I thank my family and friends for standing by me. I am extremely grateful to my doctor in the US and meditation, which helped me reclaim my life.”

Good on you, Shama. For sharing your story with us, and for spreading the word about the scary world of mental illness. We all thank you for your courage.