Mahira Khan
Image Credit: Insta/ mahirahkhan

Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, who starred opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Rahul Dholakia’s ‘Raees’, opened up about her bipolar disorder in a recent FWhy podcast interview. She revealed that her illness was triggered after Pakistani actors were banned from working in India after the 2016 Uri attack.

Khan said that though the issue was genetic, the 'Raees' backlash was the trigger and she ended up in the psychiatrist’s office where she was informed that she had manic depression. Six years after being in and out of hospitals, she’s still on anti-depressants. She also revealed that when she tried to give up medication, she went into a very dark space.

'Raees' released in 2017, the same year that the smoking pictures controversy involving Ranbir Kapoor led to intense speculation. She described this period as ‘unexpected’ and shared that the negative attention added to her anxiety and depression.

Khan said, “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, 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’s the first time I went for 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.”

Khan revealed that she was a very hopeful person but what she was going through couldn’t be set right through prayers or being with her friends. Though everyone has sad and happy times, clinical depression is real, she said.