Mahira Khan On Battling Depression After Backlash Over Raees: “I Felt Attacked”

Renowned Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, widely recognized for her role opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the 2017 Bollywood hit film “Raees,” has recently revealed her ongoing battle with bipolar disorder.

In a candid and heartfelt conversation on the FWhy podcast, Mahira Khan bravely disclosed how her diagnosis and subsequent challenges were exacerbated by the backlash she faced following the release of the movie.

Mahira Khan’s Struggle with Bipolar Disorder:

The actress shared that she received her diagnosis of manic depression during a visit to a psychiatrist’s office, marking the first time she has publicly spoken about it. She revealed, “This is the first time I’m saying that, I don’t know if I should. It’s been six-seven years, and I’ve been on anti-depressants. I tried leaving them in the middle, and I went into a very, very dark space.”

Turmoil After the Uri Attack:

Mahira Khan further elaborated on how her personal turmoil intensified when Pakistani artists were prohibited from working in India following the 2016 Uri attack, which compounded her emotional struggles. She also disclosed that she briefly discontinued her medication last year, which led to a deteriorating state of mind.

Overcoming the Darkest Moments:

Reflecting on her lowest points, she shared, “Last year, I was bad, I was in bed… I remember, very well, that I couldn’t even get up from my bed to go to the bathroom. I was that bad, it was that dark. I remember praying, ‘I promise you Allah, if you show me even this much hope or light, I will take it and I will run with it.’ And when he did, and when I went back on my medicines, I woke up feeling like, ‘Oh my god, I feel like I can smile, feel lighter.'”

Acknowledging the Gravity of Clinical Depression:

Throughout her journey, Mahira Khan emphasized the seriousness of clinical depression and the challenges that come with it. She stressed that even during her darkest moments, she never projected her struggles outwardly. She noted, “Even in my darkest, worst moments, I never project it. It’s all inside me, mere andar tabahi mach rahi hai, but… It’s been a journey with my depression. I’ve had to work through it, I’ve had to dance through it.”

Gratitude to Support System:

Mahira expressed profound gratitude to her family, friends, therapist, and her current partner, acknowledging their unwavering support during her most challenging times. Her story serves as a testament to the strength it takes to confront and overcome mental health battles.

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