Mahira Khan reveals she battled depression after backlash to her role in Raees, smoking pics with Ranbir Kapoor


Mahira Khan has opened up about her mental health struggle and being diagnosed with manic depression by a psychiatrist. The Pakistani actor said in a recent interview with FWhy Podcast that she learned to face her mental health struggles, especially after stepping into Bollywood with the Shah Rukh Khanstarrer Raees, and the 2017 incident, where pictures of her smoking with actor Ranbir Kapoor emerged online. Also read: Mahira Khan talks about Bollywood friends

Mahira Khan worked in only one Bollywood film, Raees, alongside Shah Rukh Khan.

Mahira Khan on Raees backlash

She also talked about the 2016 Uri attack, after which Pakistani actors were banned from working in Bollywood. Mahira said, “I had finished the film (Raees) and everything was going fine and then suddenly this attack (Uri attack) happens. Politically everything gets messed. With India, it is always political. But the fact that it could get this messy! I was not scared, but I was threatened. Constant tweets, in fact, I would get calls, and very scary ones. The only thing I wanted was that ‘Okay fine I can’t go to India to promote it (Raees), but I hope it releases in my country because I knew people would rush to watch it as he (Shah Rukh Khan) is loved here (in Pakistan).”

Raees released in 2017, the same year the smoking pictures scandal with Ranbir Kapoor happened. Reflecting on that time, the actor revealed she dealt with immense backlash, calling it ‘unexpected’.

Mahira said she was not able to sleep

Mahira said, “That (backlash) brought out the anxiety and depression hidden inside me. That was a hard time for me. I felt attacked. The constant backlash… you are getting mean tweets, comments on their channels (Indian channels). That was a time my faith broke and I developed severe anxiety to the point that one day I had a panic attack and fainted. That’s the first time I went for therapy. But that didn’t work out, as I went to several therapists… that year was rough… I couldn’t sleep, my hands used to shake.”

Mahira added she has been on antidepressants for the past 6-7 years. She said she tried leaving them in the middle but ‘went into a very, very dark space and a dark whole’. Mahira also said that this is the first time she is opening up about the fact that she has been taking medication for so many years.

She said she has been ‘in and out of hospitals trying to get help’. Mahira also said that everybody has ups and downs, ‘bad times and happy times, but clinical depression is like any other mental illness or physical illness’.


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