Kailash Kher’s wife Sheetal Bhan talks about her suicide attempt and battle with depression
Sheetal Bhan talks about her battle with depression and how she came out of it. She says she wants to educate youngsters about the preventive measures.
Sheetal Bhan, 33, is a Mumbai-based author. Married to singer Kailash Kher for eight years, Sheetal faced sexual abuse as a child. She bares her heart about her battle with depression, suicide attempt and how she survived all this.
She says, “I experienced sexual abuse as a child. Unfortunately, there is no culture of talking about our bodies or good touch-bad touch in our families and society. A lot of turmoil, insecurity and fear grew over the years.”
She has a point when she says that we are waking up to the reality only now. “We have started recognising depression as a mental issue only recently. I am the eldest among cousins in the family and thus I took it upon myself to teach my brothers and sisters about such issues.”
After Deepika Padukone and many other celebrities talked about their battle with depression, it has started a discussion on the issue. Sheetal believes talking about depression is the first step towards happiness. She says, “It’s not brave but a survival mechanism.”
Most of the time the abuser is known to the family, but how you tackle it is important. Sheetal says, “I am a Mumbai girl. I come from a huge family which is extremely social with many people coming in and out of our house.”
She further says, “What went wrong was that we didn’t have a set-up where we can go and talk about our issues. We don’t have anywhere to go if suddenly a child stops talking or gets irritated without substantial reasons. Humare yahan toh bachche pal jaate hain.”
Is the family in the wrong then? “See, our familial ties are as strong as they could be, but we lack the infrastructure where we can go for counselling. You’re taught how to earn money, but never how to be joyful.”
She also speaks about how she came to terms with the harrowing experience. “Are you going to blame people who do such things because nobody is born to be a paedophile. Nobody is born to be anti-social. So, do I hate the person? I have forgiven the person. In fact, that person doesn’t matter to me. I have met such amazing people because of that bad experience. That’s part of my journey,” adds Sheetal.
Most of the time, teen years can be difficult to handle. She says, “I attempted suicide only once. The other time it was more of self harm. I attempted suicide when I was 15. This was happening at a time when I was being abused and I did not have anyone to go and speak to.”
She adds, “Everyone’s parents love them, so what is it that stops people from going and talking to them? It’s the surrounding and the conditions. I wasn’t a good student. I didn’t get best marks in the school. That made me believe that I am bringing humiliation to my parents. I was also shy. As a child it’s easy to blame yourself for others’ unhappiness. I didn’t see any purpose in life.”
She explains the situation, “In our society, the moment you hit 14, you find yourself under so many restrictions. People don’t realise that this is the time when one needs support. Hormones are kicking in, body is changing. Then there are boards exam. So all the factors were there and I crumbled.”
She concludes the conversation with an insight into the kind of support group we need in similar circumstances. “I went to college and met some amazing people… I am alive today because of them. They gave me value with utmost acceptance. It made all the difference. This also gave me the spirit to fight. I decided to talk about it even at the risk of others thinking me as a stubborn person. If I speak up and somebody’s saved then I will definitely do it.”
Sheetal has also featured in a video in which she talks about her life, journey and the preventive measures we can use.
Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha
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