Bollywood and Mental Stress

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Success is no guarantee for satisfaction, as I condemn, Bollywood says it all!

The limelight, the glitter, little bling, bold and killer attitudes, looks to die for and a glimpse which takes your breath away, such is the impression of the personalities in the spotlight.

Life at Bollywood

Bollywood is no less than a dreamland. The actors and actresses as in the role of the shining stars set dreams on fire and rule hearts of the millions of people. They are watched, they are copied, mimicked, idealized, judged, hated and worshipped too.

I personally presume Bollywood as the most psychologically demanding career option. The celebrity status and success might be an oxymoronic situation everyone wants to keep intact forever and in order to do so, face a lot of Mental Turbulence.

Pertaining specifically in the culture which is constantly judged, biased, glorified and goes on the face value. It is quite a devastating fact that success is largely dependent on its functionality, glamour quotient, and novelty, glory is more fleeting than ever, and those who win the attention of the public worry incessantly about losing it.

Sometimes it comes as a price celebrities pay in order to create and maintain their Public Image because they just don’t get paid for being a movie star but the most significant part of their income depends upon their endurance to sustainability and it comes from the BRAND they become.

No matter how irresistibly juicy the Bollywood appears for one, a career in Bollywood doesn’t guarantee a sane life in the long run. Perhaps stress and depression is tied to genetic and environmental causes as well, but the nature of the work can worsen the distress.

What could be the factors of stress in Bollywood stars?

  • The eternal pressure to look good all the time
  • Consistently thrive to excel at work
  • A lot of travel
  • Strict deadlines
  • Paparazzi
  • Social Appearances
  • Long working hours
  • Lack of privacy and security
  • Disturbed sleep cycles

The life of a Bollywood star is always at the display and with the advent of the complete Social Media Culture, a less durable one, everything becomes a piece of news or a meme joke. Even relationships, marriages and kids are not spared from the loose statements and snide remarks.

Albeit, they have put themselves in this position by making their life public but I insist they do exist as a human being with us, they have lives, they have kids and maybe other struggling situations at their personal end.

It is the other side of fame, spotlight and the cost of sustaining in the dreamland. Some are external factors, rabid fans, gold diggers, paparazzi, critics, peer-pressure and some crop within as self-doubt, addiction or in seeking solace.

The career of the stars is decided with a single movie at the box office, the critics, the public opinion and constant reviews and rating by each and every one.

Also Read: Society Stigmas and Mental Health

Some examples straight from Bollywood

Rajesh Khanna

The moniker of SUPERSTAR was first used in Bollywood to define the crazy fan following Rajesh Khanna had, from girls marrying his photos, to leaving lipstick marks on his car, the actor saw fan frenzy like none other but someday the sun has to set and a new star has to rise and so was the case with him as Amitabh Bachan started making his mark as the Angry Young Man in Bollywood and after a series of flops in an Illustrative career of Rajesh Khanna his downfall began, but he was not prepared for this, the sudden shift of focus from him to another Star made him a recluse, he started drinking heavily and avoided people all the time, even after years after his frenzy had died down he still could not accept the fact that his time was over and after years of loneliness and a drinking habit he couldn’t overcome, he passed away in solace. He one created a sensation and had a huge number of crazy fans who worshipped him, later he could not handle the success and shut himself down.

Parveen Babi

Magnificently beautiful and flawless Parveen Babi was believed to suffer a Mental Break down in her life wherein she shut herself from the public appearances and eventually died alone. It is believed that she was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Parveen Babi case was a very disheartening one, she was one amongst the top actresses who had worked with every major movie star of the era, her last movie was Iraada in the year 1990  and after that she completely withdrew from the glare of the public, her mental condition got worse but sadly there was no one to take care of her, it is reported that she was so delusional that she believed that people were trying to kill her and she locked herself up without even going outside her house, she had a string of affairs with Mahesh Bhat, Danny, Kabir Bedi. But it is believed that she was very serious about Mahesh Bhat but unfortunately none of them could save her from mental illness and self-destruction. She died in her flat alone with no one besides her, her body was found in a bloated and decomposed state after 4 days and the cause of death was starvation and multiple organ failure. No one could believe that Parveen Babi who could create a flutter in the hearts of men with her smile died a lonely death with on one by the side.

Deepika Padukone

Actor Deepika Padukone broke the silence and stigma around depression by sharing her battle against the Mental Illness she was going through. A rough patch in her life and how she found it difficult to open up but yet gained the courage to share her story as an attempt to break the stigma around Mental Health right after two of her films became blockbusters, Chennai Express, and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.

Read her exclusive Interview here as Full Transcript

There are numerous examples in Bollywood which breaks the stereotype and bursts the bubble of a perfect life of a movie star. A Life in Bollywood is not all glitz and Glamour, there are many other factors that we as a common man need not go through and they as celebrities have an obligation to stick to.

Its not easy being under the watchful eye of the public who will not waste a single chance to shred your image into pieces, We can argue that they choose this life, Yes indeed they do but somewhere even they are not able to anticipate the side effects of stardom as it is never discussed or showed to the public at large.

Conclusion: India is no wonder one of the most depressed countries in the world and over 1 lakh people on an average kill themselves in India every year and these are the only reported figures of depression and suicide.

Despite these statistics there continues to be absolutely an unneeded stigma a sense of embarrassment when it comes to talking about depression or mental health. Its time to talk!

Much love and gratitude



17 thoughts on “Bollywood and Mental Stress

  1. Very well described dear😊 Getting success & fame and handling the same is totally a different thing. Most of them make a distance from the grounded reality and then caught in depression.


  2. Nice post. Film stars hold a glamorous life, they are often imitated, followed and looked upon as ideals. No one tries to understand that how much struggles are behind their stardom. Good research on actors Priyanka. I knew about Deepika only.


  3. Well researched Priyanka! The article pulls up the curtains and reflects the dark shadows behind the limelight. True that even the faces behind the glamorous world can also fall victims and they also need some personal space.


  4. Hey Priyanka Nair ✨ Sorry ive been catching up late with ur post. This one is such an important post. Not just bollywood every industry has such kind of mental stress among people. Deepika padukone story is very important how she overcome instead of falling deeper into the depression.✨✍️ Well written.


  5. It takes a lot to be a star not just in Hindi film industry but Hollywood, the constant pressure to stay fit, working beyond hours, the drudgery or public appearance. Actors and stars work extremely hard, shuttling between film shoots, ads or brand launch. I am happy today many are coming in the open to speak about depression ailing them.


  6. I love how your article was a mirror to society. So truthful, so honest. And very hard-hitting and realistic! I’m looking forward to reading more of your work! I was wondering if you could checkout my new piece on living in a hierarchical patriarchal structure where slut shaming still exists. And I would really appreciate it if you could comment some feedback to improve the writing style. Looking forward to hearing from you. – Kiran


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