Mahira Khan Reveals She Battled Depression After Backlash Over Her Role in Raees

Mahira Khan reveals that she was diagnosed with manic depression and bipolar disorder.

2 min read

Pakistani actor Mahira Khan recently opened up about her mental health struggle following the 2016 URI attacks, when Pakistani actors were banned from working in India.

In an interview with the FWhy Podcast, the actor revealed that she was diagnosed with manic depression and bipolar disorder and is currently on medication for the same.

Mahira also shared how the backlash she received for her role in the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Raees triggered her mental health issues in 2017.


Speaking about the Uri attack, Mahira shared on the podcast, "I had finished the film (Raees) and everything was going fine, and then suddenly this attack (the Uri attack) happens. Politically, everything gets messed up. With India, it is always political. But the fact that it could get this messy! I was not scared, but I was threatened. Constant tweets; in fact, I would get calls, and very scary ones. The only thing I wanted was that 'Okay fine, I can't go to India to promote it (Raees), but I hope it releases in my country because I knew people would rush to watch it as he (Shah Rukh Khan) is loved here (in Pakistan)."

In the same year, Mahira also found herself in the midst of controversy when several pictures of herself smoking with actor Ranbir Kapoor surfaced on the internet.

Addressing the same, Mahira told FWhy, "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 news 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."

Mahira also revealed that she had been on antidepressants for the past six to seven years and that this is the first time she has opened up about her mental health illness.

Meanwhile, on the work front, Mahira is all set to star in Netflix's first Pakistani-themed original series, adapted from the 2013 Urdu novel 'Jo Bachay Hain Sang Samait Lo,' written by Farhat Ishtiaq.

The show will also star Fawad Khan, Ahad Raza Mir, Sanam Saeed, Bilal Ashraf, Maya Ali, Iqra Aziz, and Hania Aamir, among others.

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