Addressing Bourdain’s death, mental health… Shaheen Bhatt talks about her battle with depression


Mahesh Bhatt’s elder daughter and Alia Bhatt’s sibling, Shaheen Bhatt, has made her way to the headlines for a reason that people prefer brushing under the carpet – Mental Health. Last week, the news of model Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain suicide came as a shock to people around the world. Shaheen chose to address the deep-rooted evil, as she penned an article for a leading magazine, where she revealed that she has been suffering from mental depression since she was twelve years old. The news of these suicides had Shaheen thinking that it could have easily been her, instead of them.

She wrote, “As my mind slowly went from drowsy to wakeful, I struggled to piece together and make sense of the words staring at me from my screen. Unbidden, the first thought that flared from the hazy recesses of my mind was “Oh God, no. Not another one.” Admittedly a huge fan of the late chef, Shaheen expressed, “I love Bourdain, but that wasn’t the only reason I was crying. I was crying because every time I hear of someone who was unable to go on living with the darkness within them, I’m reminded of how that could have just as easily been me.”


But one must know that her written word is not for self-pity, pseudo-empowerment or plain attention-seeking. Shaheen, who has been battling depression and has even fought suicidal thoughts, wrote the article just to bring into light the grave situation and the stigma around mental health. In an interesting comparison of hamburgers and depression, Shaheen explained the gravity of the state along with statistics from the WHO. She said, “Depression is a lousy hamburger that can instantly rob you of the will to live. It’s lying motionless in darkness for 48 hours, unkempt and unbathed. It’s shame. It’s isolation.”

Alia, who has always credited her achievements to her sister, shares an extremely close relationship with her. She took to the social media and applauded her sibling's effort with a message: “Shaheen you are brilliant! My sister has battled and lived with depression since she was 12. She speaks her heart out and without any hesitation addresses the giant elephant in the room - Mental health and the LACK of our understanding & acceptance!” Alia tweeted.

A man who knows his way with words better than most men in the Bollywood industry, filmmaker and father Mahesh Bhatt tweeted, "She is made of ‘stars’. She shines in the dark night of the soul. This is young India."

A few days back, Deepika Padukone, also addressed the issue via a post on her social media. A depression survivor, the Padmaavat actress posted:

From Nirvana's Kurt Cobain to Linkin' Park's lead vocalist Chester Bennington and EDM artiste Avicii, many talented artists and celebrities have put an end to their own lives. It is probably the time we start talking and stop hiding.