The two words — mental health — have been tossed around too often in recent times, mostly by people who have little understanding of the subject’s complexity. When something tragic happens — especially in showbiz like the death of 21-year-old actor Tunisha Sharma — all sorts of “explanations” start doing the rounds from people who clearly don’t know better. Some of her insensitive colleagues dubbed her a ‘gone case’ while others claimed she suffered from a split personality, whatever they think it means. There were other ‘reports’ about her receiving shock treatment for her condition and getting frequent anxiety attacks. Chronic depression? Yes, that, too. All this is being carelessly circulated about a young person who is not around to speak for herself.
We are talking about a young professional trying to make something out of herself in a business which is high-stress, competitive and frequently cruel. Research has confirmed that those working in the arts tend to be more vulnerable to depression and anxiety. The pressures on young actors to make it are so tremendous that, at times, they suffer a collapse, but can’t take time off to recover and recuperate. Often, the people managing the actors are family members who knowingly or unknowingly push their wards to the edge, acutely aware of their truncated shelf life. There have been claims that Tunisha has left behind property worth crores to her mother Vanita, who has staunchly denied this. She has, in turn, pointed a finger at Tunisha’s former boyfriend and co-star Sheezan Khan, who is currently in judicial custody on the charge of abetment to suicide, saying that her daughter was distraught after their break-up.