Our Take

Not so secret

Not so secret
With Dangal-fame Zaira Wasim deciding to take a break from a world that had given her everything and taken her somethings, the subject of depression among young adults has come into sharp focus. By her own admission, her bouts of hyper anxiety, stress and medication were attributed to a hormonal phase of growing up as depression is generally assumed to be an adult malaise. But the 17-year-old clearly could not deal with the baggage of being a super achiever. Early success in films meant she could not be a normal schoolgirl hanging out with friends anymore. Conditioned for making the right speech and conducting herself in a pre-decided manner in the public space, she became an appearance rather than the emotion behind it.
Being a Kashmiri girl, she had to deal with trolls judging whether she owned up to her origins and was committed to her identity or not. So while she gave play to the emotions of her onscreen characters, in real life she was all bottled up. Teen stress is manifesting itself through aberrant behaviour and depression all over the world. Growing up may seem normal to us adults as we reference our young with our early years. But what we forget is that we never dealt with the pressure of performance, were never subjected to a brutal rat race of grabbing only the best and not make peace with mediocrity of any kind, never had sleep deprivation as kids today swing between schedules to become multi-talented or never felt that a peer group could be demanding instead of comforting. Besides, with branded identities of a consumerist world, nobody wants to stand out but fit in. Zaira says she doesn’t care if she is judged anymore. The teens need more than concern, they need a delicate understanding.


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