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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

Tanmay Bhat on tackling clinical depression post Me Too: ‘I feel paralysed, unable to participate socially online or even offline’

Tanmay Bhat, one of the creators of popular comic group AIB, says he has been diagnosed with clinical depression. Details inside.

tv Updated: Jul 01, 2019 12:56 IST
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Tanmay Bhat is a popular stand-up comic, known for his acts in AIB.
Tanmay Bhat is a popular stand-up comic, known for his acts in AIB.
         

In October last year, when the Me Too movement was in full swing in India, several popular and famous names were accused. Among them was comedian Utsav Chakraborty of Tanmay Bhat’s All India B****** (AIB). Since then, AIB has seen a download spiral. Now, in a fresh video, shared on Instagram, Tanmay has revealed that he has been diagnosed with clinical depression, how he feels paralysed and that the doctors have told him to do something about it. 

Sharing a video where he is speaking to the camera, a tired-looking Tanmay reveals how the Me Too controversy hit him hard as AIB was badly affected. He says: “I think after everything that happened in October, I just mentally checked out and I feel almost paralysed, unable to participate socially online or even offline. Think a big part of my self worth growing as...someone looked like me became my work. For most of my adult life, I worked in a company that I was trying to build and having to watch..... letting the office go and all the people who worked with us..... having to say good bye to all that took a toll on me.”

He continued how matters came to a head when towards the end of last year, he was diagnosed with clinical depression. He added that the “doctors told me that I was diagnosed with clinical depression and may be I should consider doing something about it.”

In the aftermath of the controversy, AIB tried to salvage the situation by issuing a statement condemning Utsav’s behaviour and offered an apology for having played a part in the story and said that they were removing all videos featuring Utsav, pending an investigation.

 

However, the damage had been done. One of major fallout of the controversy was loss of business. On May 23, Tanmay shared an AIB statement which read: “After the events of early October, things moved fast. Almost all of our partners hit freeze on future associations, while others pulled out of active projects effective immediately. All if this hit revenues hard.

We’ve always prided ourselves on being a hundred percent independent, creator-owned company. We’ve been free to choose our own destiny and set our own content standards as a result of this independence. However, the flip-side to this is that with business going to zero, the lack of revenue inflow made it impossible for us, as owners, to sustain outgoing costs.”

The statement went on to say how they had to let their office space and entire team go overnight.

Read the complete text here:
Hello, how’s it going? Just wanted to put something out there. I haven’t done this since so long. A lot of you have been writing in, asking me how I am, what I am up to, what’s happening with AIB, Comicstaan, when am I going to do a stand-up again, why am I not posting any more, etc etc. And I just thought I wanted to quickly address some of it, in one go.

I think after everything that happened in October, I just mentally checked out and I feel almost paralysed , unable to participate socially online or even offline. Think a big part of my work growing as someone who looked like me became my work. For most of my adult life, I worked in a company that I was trying to build and having to watch letting the office go and all the people who worked with us, having to say good bye to all that took a toll on me, mentally and physically, which finally came to a headway, somewhere around the end of last year, where the doctors told me that I was diagnosed with clinical depression and may be I should consider doing something about it.

A lot of you have been asking fair questions like why don’t you move on, why don’t you rebuild, and all of their advice but I don’t know for some reason, I have just watched something that I have worked for large part of my adult life come crashing...”

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First Published: Jun 30, 2019 17:25 IST

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