Mahira Khan Opens Up About Dealing With Manic Depression & Anxiety Ever Since ‘Raees’

Before September 2016, several Pakistani artists including actors and musicians used to work in India and contributed significantly to the Hindi film industry. People like Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Atif Aslam, Ali Zafar, etc. had a tremendous fan following in India and people looked forward to them working on many more Indian projects. It was the time when Mahira Khan was shooting for ‘Raees’ and Fawad Khan was busy with ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’.

But then, the Uri attack happened on September 18, 2016, and the relationship between India and Pakistan shifted massively. Besides the surgical strikes and severe political complications, India declared a ban against Pakistani artists, cricketers and other professionals. It was also the time when Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan and other Pakistani artists had to face immense backlash, online and otherwise.


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A post shared by Sadaf Fawad Khan Studio (@sfkbridals) 

When it came to Mahira Khan, alongside the backlash she faced because of political tension, a picture of her smoking with Ranbir Kapoor was also leaked on social media. This caused an additional wave of trolling and harassment which further led to a decline in her mental health.

In a recent podcast, Mahira Khan opened up about battling manic depression and anxiety, being on prescribed anti-depressants and actively going for therapy. She blamed her mental health condition on the controversies she was tied to in 2016.


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A post shared by Mahira Khan (@mahirahkhan) 

“That (backlash) brought out the anxiety and depression hidden inside me. That was a hard time for me. I felt attacked. The constant backlash… You are getting mean tweets, and comments on their channels (Indian channels). That was a time my faith broke and I developed severe anxiety to the point that one day I had a panic attack and fainted. That was the first time I went to therapy. But that didn’t work out, as I went to several therapists… that year was rough… I couldn’t sleep, my hands used to shake,” she revealed.

She went on to add, “I was not scared, but I was threatened. Constant tweets I would get calls, and very scary ones.”

She has been on anti-depressants for 6-7 years. When she tried to leave them in the middle, it took her to a very dark place. She understood that clinical depression was something that couldn’t be cured with prayers or spending time with friends.


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A post shared by Mahira Khan (@mahirahkhan) 

“Last year, I was bad, I was in bed… I remember, very well, that I couldn’t even get up from my bed to go to the bathroom. I was that bad, it was that dark. I remember praying, ‘I promise you Allah, if you show me even this much hope or light, I will take it and I will run with it.’ And when he did, and when I went back on my medicines, I woke up feeling like, ‘Oh my god, I feel like I can smile, feel lighter’.”

You can listen to the podcast here.

This goes on to show how social media harassment and online hate can have severe real-life consequences. Let’s all strive to be a little more sensitive on social media, even with the people we do not seem to like.

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