- "And finally, here she is," wrote Shaheen Bhatt
- "Truly, this is inspiring," Soni Razdan commented on the post
- "So proud my heart could explode," Pooja Bhatt wrote
On World Mental Health Day, actress Alia Bhatt's elder sister Shaheen Bhatt launched her debut novel titled Never Been (Un)Happier, which is an account of her own battle with depression. Shaheen shared the first look of her debut novel on Instagram and wrote: "And finally, here she is. Today, on World Mental Health Day I'd like to proudly (and shakily) introduce you to my first book, I've Never Been (Un)Happier - an account of my life with depression." Shaheen's mother Soni Razdan commented on the Instagram post and wrote: "Truly, this is inspiring." Shaheen's sister Pooja Bhatt also shared the first look of her debut novel with her Instafam and captioned: "And an author is born. The third in the family and the first woman! So proud my heart could explode! Shaheen Bhatt you're an inspiration to us all! Love you to death and beyond!" Though the book is available on the online platform, it has not been formally launched at an event yet.
In November 2016, Shaheen revealed that she had been battling depression from the age of 13. In a lengthy Instagram post, Shaheen wrote: "I've lived with depression on and off since I was about 13 years old. This is not a revelation or a confession. Those who know me know this about me. It's not something I take any pains to hide, I'm not ashamed of it or particularly troubled by it. It's just a part of who I am."
I've lived with depression on and off since I was about 13 years old. This is not a revelation or a confession. Those who know me know this about me. It's not something I take any pains to hide, I'm not ashamed of it or particularly troubled by it. It's just a part of who I am. I have days where I feel good and then I have days where I don't. One minute everything's fine and the next it's like someone turned the light off inside my head. I go quiet and it's difficult to get out of bed. Like it always does the world around me loses focus and I struggle to make sense of it. Sometimes these bouts last an hour - sometimes they last days. Today, I'm on day 4. I say I live with depression rather than I struggle with it because for me (and I speak only for myself here) I don't see why it has to be a struggle. I once read an idea by an American essayist called Richard Mitchell which stayed with me; it's now become how I try to approach the dips in my week or month. The idea is this: To be sick, or to suffer, is inevitable. But to become bitter and vindictive in sickness and suffering and to surrender to irrationality, supposing yourself the innocent and virtuous victim of the evils intentions of the world, is not inevitable. The appropriate answer to the question - Why me? is the other question - Why not me? *** Why am I writing about this? Well, I spend a fair amount of time on social media during the course of my day and today I found myself looking for something to post because it's been a few days since I've posted anything. I couldn't find anything so I figured I'd just talk about this - how I'm doing, instead of what I'm doing. It's as simple as that, and we could all stand to do a little more of it. P.S. That picture just seemed to work in this context.
Earlier this year, Shaheen Bhatt wrote an article for Vogue magazine in the wake of the shocking deaths of celebrated fashion designer Kate Spade and chef-food critic Anthony Bourdain. Both of them had committed suicide after battling depression for several years. In the article, Shaheen explained how her eyes were filled with tears when she learnt about Anthony Bourdain's death and she also talked about her personal battle with depression. "It could have just as easily been me ," she wrote.
Several Bollywood celebs such as Deepika Padukone and Karan Johar have talked about their struggle with depression and mental illnesses. Deepika founded Live Love Laugh, an organisation which aims to help people who need assistance to overcome mental illness.
Alia Bhatt and Shaheen are daughters of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan. Pooja and Rahul Bhatt are Mahesh Bhatt's children with his ex-wife Kiran Bhatt, born Loraine Bright.