8 things Imran Khan said about his mental health, depression and comeback | Bollywood

Bollywood’s Imran Khan has opened up about his private battles with mental health, from his fight with severe depression to engaging in therapy. As anticipation builds about his potential return to the screen, we reflect on several insights he shared about his journey and mindset. (Also read: Exclusive| The Imran Khan interview: From his depression, to comeback after 10 years, to ladylove Lekha Washington)

Imran Khan’s personal life, including his relationship with Lekha Washington, often garners media attention.

Confronting Severe Depression

Following the release of ‘Katti Batti’ in 2015, Imran took a hiatus from the film industry. In a heartfelt interview with Film Companion, he disclosed the intensity of his depression, which rendered him practically nonfunctional.

“At that stage, I was utterly incapable of normal actions. When you grapple with profound and intense depression, the mere act of waking up, brushing your teeth, and showering is herculean,” he commented.

Speaking with Hindustan Times, he elaborated, “There are nuances to depression and anxiety that elude you until you possess the right terminology. I never equated my experiences with anxiety until I found myself waking at 4:30 AM, unable to sleep. It wasn’t until late 2016 that the pieces clicked.”

“There came a point when I acknowledged I wasn’t okay. It sneaked up on me, much like chronic back pain that you disregard until it demands your attention. I had to face that the person I viewed myself as wasn’t reflective of my true state—wracked with anxiety and fear,” he confessed.

Embracing the Significance of Mental Health

In a revealing interview, Imran recounted how the years 2016-2017 highlighted for him the necessity of prioritizing mental well-being. “Acting is a choice, but looking after your mental health isn’t,” he stated, recounting the fluctuating nature of fame.

He reminisced, “Just before ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ hit theaters, I went unnoticed on the streets; fast forward to a week after, and people would chase after my car.”

Stepping Away from Film Projects

His mental health issues also spread to his professional life, causing him to step down from certain films. “At that time, I had been in talks for several movies, including what became ‘Thar’ on Netflix, a role that was eventually played by Harsh Varrdhan. I began to withdraw without formally announcing my retirement,” Imran explained to Hindustan Times.

The Role of Therapy in Healing

In an intimate conversation with Vogue magazine, Imran emphasized how therapy was crucial in reconnecting with his true self. He started attending therapy sessions four times weekly beginning in 2017.

“I felt internally broken and was desperate to heal. Just as one would visit a physio for a hamstring injury, I went to therapy for my mental distress,” he articulated.

Describing this step as pivotal, he said, “Similar to someone overcoming addiction or quitting alcohol, they can cite the exact count of their sober days. I apply the same to my mental health journey.”

Adopting a Minimalist Lifestyle

In coping with his challenges, Imran transitioned to a more minimalistic lifestyle, which included moving from his grand Bandra bungalow to a more modest apartment during his divorce from Avantika Malik.

“I moved into a nearly unfurnished space, slowly adding only what I genuinely needed—a television for movies and a sofa. Gradually, I invited items that served a purpose in my life,” he recounted to Film Companion.

The Physical Toll of Depression

Imran took to Instagram to share how his depression led to significant weight loss, sparking unjust drug abuse speculation in the media.

“As depression worsened and I stopped exercising, I became the thinnest I’ve ever been. The media’s reaction to photos of me at that time was deeply shaming, forcing me to withdraw even more. While I might envy guys with muscular physiques, I’m at peace with myself,” he posted.

Delay of His Anticipated Comeback Film

Imran’s planned return to cinema with Abbas Tyrewala’s spy thriller was unexpectedly shelved.

“Abbas approached me last July with an excellent script for a collaboration, which was in its early stages at Hotstar. Then, as Hotstar merged with Jio, our project got lost in the shuffle,” he shared with Film Companion, adding that he appreciates not having to portray violence-oriented roles.

Future Endeavors in Film

The film industry is abuzz with speculation about Imran’s upcoming project. Despite the rumors of ‘Happy Patel,’ a comedy film, Imran denied such claims.

“Having strived for a decade to remain out of the spotlight, the sudden curiosity about my return seems counterintuitive. Despite several brands offering endorsement deals in the past year, I declined them all to avoid giving the impression of a comeback motivated by money,” he expressed to Hindustan Times.

At the IFP Festival’s 13th season in Mumbai, he remained open, “I can’t give a definitive answer, yet I’m actively reading scripts and engaging in creative talks with film directors.”

Leave a Comment