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Timely help got me out of anxiety: Shriya Pilgaonkar

The actor hopes her short film, What’s Wrong? encourages people to come out and talk about depression and mental health

regional movies Updated: Nov 11, 2017 19:53 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Shriya Pilgaonkar,Fan,Shahrukh Khan
Shriya Pilgaonkar wants people to come out and talk about mental health

Actor Shriya Pilgaonkar’s social media accounts are flooded with messages from people across thanking her for speaking up about depression. The Fan (2016) actor revealed that she had a two-week bout of anxiety attacks last year, and decided to be a part of a short film on chronic depression called What’s wrong, directed by Shraddha Singhvi.

The film talks about the life of Rhea, who struggles to her daily life despite everything around her being okay. “People have written to me saying they did not feel alone while watching the film. They felt like someone can relate to them and can be at peace,” says Shriya, who found it challenging to portray the role of a person suffering from chronic depression.

Shriya says, “Last year, I went through two weeks of anxiety, and I was confused, because I did not know where it was coming from. Timely help and support from my parents helped me get out of it. I did visit a counsellor and that seemed to help. Through this film, I hope I am able to spread the message that seeking help is important and there is no harm in discussing mental problems.”

The actor says the short film helped her dispel some myths about depression in a small way. “I wanted to be a part of this film so I could try and make a difference. I know how it feels to be helpless and it is the biggest fear one can experience. In my case, I wasn’t in denial, but I know of people who have a closed mind, and we always have a tendency to not visit the doctor until things get bad.”

She adds that in the entertainment industry actors are constantly under scrutiny, which leads to personal attacks. “However, it is up to each individual to develop an unshakeable core and not get caught up in an emotional ride,” Shriya says.

The actor adds that it’s important for celebrities to talk about issues. “I feel, we actors are out there a lot, and people are hell bent on trying to create perceptions of our lives. We tend to influence people through our lifestyles or mannerisms. It is important that we be honest about our emotions. We need to reach out more, as that will give people the confidence to speak up. However, for this, we need to know how to deal with such issues, and hence it is important to raise awareness about mental health,” she says.

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 18:23 IST