Fatima Sana Shaikh opens on her epilepsy for the first time: Was scared that if I tell people that I have it then I will not get work | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Fatima Sana Shaikh opens on her epilepsy for the first time: Was scared that if I tell people that I have it then I will not get work

ByVinay MR Mishra
Nov 29, 2022 01:01 PM IST

Actor Fatima Sana Shaikh reveals why she did not speak up about her being diagnosed with epilepsy earlier. Read the exclusive interview.

On her way, in a flight, actor Fatima Sana Shaikh started getting seizures. Soon she was rushed to the medical facility of the airport, then to a hospital where she was hospitalised for two days. Shaikh recalls, she had five clusters of seizures, and she was all alone with no familiar face around her to take care of her. “It kept my work and life on hold. For me this was a big jhatka, I really thought I’m lucky that I survived. I’ve had big episodes in the past, but this was the most difficult as I was all alone. Now I cannot travel alone, I need someone with me,” Shaikh shares .

Fatima Sana Shaikh opens on her epilepsy for the first time: Was scared that if I tell people that I have it then I will not get work
Fatima Sana Shaikh opens on her epilepsy for the first time: Was scared that if I tell people that I have it then I will not get work

That “major” episode that Shaikh endured resulted in her talking about her neurological condition epilepsy for the first time on social media which coincided with the ongoing National Epilepsy Awareness Month (NEAM). “I’ve not hidden it, but kabhi mauka nahi mila. I took some time to understand what it was. There’s so much stigma attached. You think log sochenge that you have an ailment. I didn’t want people to think I’m weak. I was scared that if I tell people that I have this then I will not get work. I, also, didn’t want to accept that I have a neurological condition,” she explains in details.

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Shaikh’s last episode led to her producers cancelling two days of shoot of Meghna Gulzar’s Sam Bahadur, which stars the 30-year-old. “I realised as a person who is going through this,it’s my responsibility to tell my producers that you have a person who has this condition. I have had seizures on set and people have taken care of it. I give them a certain protocol to follow,” she states.

The Dangal actor states that there are several reasons for her to talk about her condition. The first one is to spread awareness and debunk myths. “People in the rural areas think drugs kar liya, devi chadh gayi. Logon ki shaadiyan nahi hoti because people don’t know about it. They cannot work, because you become a liability. That is the reason I wasn’t talking much about it or telling anyone about it,” she adds. She remembers helping another crew member from one of her film sets, when they were having a seizure. “I never saw anyone having a seizure. For me it was very scary to see it. It was also emotional, as I thought, this is what I look like, this is what happens to me. And it’s unfair to say that people don’t understand. I didn’t understand till I got this. So I felt talking about it is right, and we should talk more about it,” she ends.

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