Celebrities are finally speaking up about mental health and we’re listening

It's high time

KARACHI: Everyone agrees that there isn’t enough of a conversation around mental health. To this day, mental health is poorly understood by many, which is why it’s considered a taboo (not just in Pakistan but all over the world). Internationally, many celebrities, such as Zayn Malik, Lady Gaga, Deepika Padukone and countless others have chosen to tell their fans that they suffer from anxiety and depression too.

Two celebrity suicides perhaps sparked the conversation in Pakistan as well. Fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain took their lives in the span of a few days, shocking fans all over the world.

It led to many stars speaking about depression.

Read more: Women are no longer tolerating things they once used to: Mahira

Shahbaz Taseer, son of Salman Taseer who was abducted by militants in 2011 and released four years later, took to Twitter to share his own suicidal tendencies and how he deals with them.

In the recent past, other celebrities have also shared their experiences with anxiety and depression, reminding the rest of us that everyone suffers from mental illnesses.

Singer Momina Mustehsan spoke about having panic attacks and encouraged others to reach out and ask for help if they’re suffering too.

Life is incredible, but we all have moments of weakness. While we share our moments of joy and strength on social media, it’s important that we acknowledge that none of us live a picture perfect life. I have been immensely busy lately – occasionally taking multiple flights a day, running on almost no sleep and working all day every day for weeks without a single proper day of rest. All this while I had kept telling myself I was doing okay, keeping it together outwardly until I almost hit mental, emotional and physical exhaustion. I woke up yesterday having a severe panic attack because I almost hit my threshold. Yes, those are real. And they crush and paralyze you for the moment. But that moment stays for as long as you let it stay. I always try dealing with all my problems by myself, but I reach out to people close to me when I know I could use help. Please know that it’s okay to reach out for help. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human. If someone you care about starts behaving differently in any way, please take a moment to check whether they’re doing okay – even if they say they are fine. Sometimes all one needs is for someone to have a little faith in them and tell them that they believe in them. We are all self sufficient, but we all occasionally need that extra push and reassurance from the people that mean the most to us. To my near and dear ones that have helped me back up on my feet before I’ve fallen: Thank you. For believing in me when I find it hard to keep believing in myself. Thank you for seeing good in me when I’m unable to. For going the extra mile to help me find my strength again when I lose sight of it. Thank you for making me want to work harder to be a better human every day.

A post shared by Momina Mustehsan (@mominamustehsan) on

A model known for breaking stereotypes, Saheefa Jabbar Khattak also spoke about feeling suicidal in an attempt to start a conversation around the taboo topic.

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