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What's killing our celebs?

Randhawa's suicide reiterates the troubled life of actors. How to beat stress?

india Updated: Feb 10, 2006 12:07 IST

What is it about the glam world that can either make or break you and more shockingly even kill you?

The suicides deaths of model-turned-VJ Nafisa Joseph, veteran actress Parveen Babi and most recently TV star Kuljeet Randhawa, to name a few, just goes on to reiterate the dreary life of actors behind the lens.

Here's a low-down on the troubled life of actors and how they tackle stress...

TV actress and anchor Rakshanda Khan puts in 14 hours of work daily. By the time she is home, she is thoroughly jaded. Here's how she breaks free. "I make sure I have a lengthy conversation with my friends. That's my biggest stress buster. The TV, like films, has very long working hours. In fact erratic hours. I admit that so much pressure can take a toll on anyone but it depends how actors handle it."

Rakshanda goes on to say that "too much ambition" leaves the actors with "practically no time" for themselves.

"The nature of work has become such that the demand is increasing every minute. More seems to have become less today which affects relationships too," she adds.

However, stress is not just confined to showbiz. There are other fields, like journalism and event management, that are equally high pressure oriented and Delhi-based psychiatrist Samir Parekh agrees as much.

"Suicide is poisoning our generation. It is the eighth biggest killer especially among the youngsters. Stress is not just restricted to showbiz. Meeting deadlines, achieving targets, inability to make it big, being in the limelight constantly can all lead to stress, be it the line of journalism, acting or executives. But for actors, the pressure of being in the limelight in any of these high visibility professions is what achievers need to address"

"Also, the private and public domain of celebs is getting merged. Their privacy is abused by public," explains Parekh.

Mona aka "Jassi" Singh says, "I don't think stress could be the reason that led to Kuljeet Randhawa commiting suicide. Mumbai is a place which can make actors feel so lonely especially when you don't have friends to talk to, no one to share your views with. It can be very frustrating at times. Also, bad relationships can lead to great amount of anxiety. As far as odd working hours are concerned, no one really puts a gun on your head and say that you have to work. One can always put his/her foot down. I feel stress is in every line. One just need to work out the timings and strike a balance. The best way to beat stress is to spend time with your family and friends."

Stiff competition, irregular and odd working hours with huge expectations lead to anxiety among many artists.

Khallas girl Isha Koppikar says, "When you are shooting for a film, you have no clue how long it will take for the shoot to continue. You are moving from one place to another. Actors do not have fixed schedules because of continuous travelling and besides that you are away from your family members for months."

"Even after all that if your work doesn't click, it will amount to severe depression in any artist. It happens with me too and even with the established actors of the film industry. The best way to fight stress is to take time off from your die-hard schedule for yoga and other relaxing exercises," she suggests.

Not just Isha, many other actresses too feel that working for the small screen is much more stressful than acting in movies because serials are more frequent.

As Kanchi Kaul, a leading actress from the popular TV soap, Ek Ladki Anjani Si,

How stars beat stress
'Suicide poisoning us'

puts it: "I am working almost round the clock because when you meet one deadline you have another one to handle. I don't even get time to sleep."

"Thankfully I have not undergone any depression so far but I will have to take time out for relaxing my nerves otherwise they will break down," Kanchi confesses.

Besides these factors, issues like unpredictable response to your work is another reason which is keeping celebrities on their toes every minute. Both TV and film artists feel the rising level of stress these days.

Says Sakshi Tanwar (of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki fame), "There are artists who have to turn for the shoot even if they are suffering from fever and other health problems. You have no way out. Serials and schedules can't stop for anyone. Directors have so many options that if you are not consistent with your work, they always have some replacement ready for you. So, newcomers have to face lot of problems and stress is also one of them."

So, is there no way out? Glam doll Amisha Patel sums up, "One should learn to beat the stress and anxiety because they are part and parcel of the glam world. Several times I go into a state of depression when things don't go the way I want them to. One has to close eyes, take a long breath, have faith in Almighty and then just carry on with one's duty. That's how I deal with stress."

First Published: Feb 09, 2006 19:17 IST