Indulge Time Pass: Shruti Haasan gets candid about facing mental health issues and therapy
Shruti Haasan has been one of the most prolific performers of this generation, working across industries and sustaining a career in music simultaneously. For the recent edition of the Indulge Time Pass webinar — which engages some of the best minds of the country to help us keep up with the new normal — the actor came clean about the fact that she realizes that her job is a high-pressure one, but to have no understanding about a code of one’s own anxiety only makes it worse.
Haasan who was last seen in the Tamil thriller Kadaram Kondan opened up about a lot of debacles which have helped her grow; from being a misfit in the industry to not being good at schmoozing to staying in touch with her thoughts, Haasan helped us explore her process.
“As an actress, I have been kind of a misfit. Nothing about me, say my facial features or my demeanour, made it easier. After a while, casting agents didn't know how to cast me. But once I came to terms with that, it has been a great learning experience. In fact, I like being this indescribable and non-geographical person,” Haasan tells journalist and author Kaveree Bamzai during Indulge Time Pass.
The actor has also been one of the few celebrities to open up about anxiety and mental health which has helped her connect to her fans. “You know how we have disclaimers in the beginnings of films.. we don’t injure animals or we don’t promote alcohol or tobacco usage, there’s a certain level of explanation. Similarly, as people, sometimes we don’t realize that it’s important to say these are my flaws, these are my journeys to strength. It’s not about showing up to the first-place podium with your muscles flexed. I felt like I was only aiming to appear like the perfect gold-cup holding bodybuilder, and it wasn’t me. It was someone else’s version of me, I was starting to become a caricature of myself,” she remarked.
Haasan, who revealed that turning 30 was the best thing that happened to her, has also been open about talking about the significance of therapy, and how she stayed in touch with her mental health amid the lockdown. “The reason I’ve been okay with the lockdown is because I’ve begun to isolate myself and have alone time with myself. That’s a part of therapy, to not avoid the anxiety but to let it pass through. It’s never going to go away, everyone’s recovering from different versions of anxieties, it’s a journey of compassion towards yourself,” Haasan said.
The actor also talked about the stigma surrounding therapy, and how she decided to speak up about it when she realized that most people aren’t comfortable with it. “I felt like talking about anxiety might help because I wish I had more people talking about this when I was going through it. You can talk to your friends and family but they don’t have the ability to have an objective perspective and that’s where a therapist comes in. If you’ve a migraine or a fever you’re going to go to a doctor, so it’s baffling to me that people believe that the mind doesn’t need the same sort of assistance to rehabilitate,” says Haasan