Pratyusha Banerjee’s suicide: Why depressed celebs shy away from taking professional help


All that glitters is not gold. How well this proverb suits Bollywood? TV actor Pratyusha Banerjee’s suicide brings to the fore this stark reality once again. With dreams of fame and money in their eyes, thousands of women troop into Mumbai from far off lands hoping to become the next Priyanka Chopra or Deepika Padukone. But soon they get trapped into a vicious cycle which only leads them to depression. And for those who have already made a name for themselves in television like Pratyusha, maintaining status quo becomes a problem. Either they fade away after one hit show or their attempts at making it big in Bollywood go kaput, both of which leads to immense financial and mental depression. It becomes a battle of survival of the fittest and the ones who lay down their arms end up unfortunately giving up their very lives.

With depression becoming an in-your-face problem in the tinsel town, we spoke to eminent clinical psychologist Seema Hingorani to find out what forces celebs to avoid seeking help during such times.

 Popular yet lonely: It is said that it is quite lonely at the top. Despite having a huge fan following, celebs can feel lonely. Says Seema, “Depression is becoming rampant and it’s affecting a lot of people. The main factor is unable to come to terms with loneliness. A celebrity has a lot of friends, fans yet they complain about feeling absolutely lonely which leads to depression.”

Depressed but can’t let the world know about it:

“This is a big problem where a celeb can’t show he or she is depressed because their reel life is so exciting and full of glitz and glamour that they don’t want the world to know that in their real lives they are depressed. When I ask them if they have a support system or buffer they categorically say no,” says Seema.

Dependent on boyfriends:

“Many of them in this industry have huge relationship problems. There is a lot of co-dependancy on relationships. They feel that I need to have somebody besides me. What will people say if I don’t have one. Break-ups don’t come very easily. You have to be really strong to say that you have broken up. A celeb however thinks about what his or her fans, colleagues and others will say if they tell them that they have broken up. This people pleasing thing is too big in them and that leads to depression.

Avoiding professional help fearing social stigma:

“Taking help is not easy for celebs. The social stigma runs very deep. Even when actors drop into my clinic they say please make sure no one is around. I don’t want other actors to know that I am coming here. No matter how much ever you explain to them that depression is just like any other common mind disease which can treated it doesn’t go down well with them. Taking help for them is a problem,” explains Seema.

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