Sumati Singh is currently wowing viewers in her role of Keerti in ‘Kismat Ki Lakiro Se’. The actress is also known for popular shows like ‘Tere Mere Saath Rahe’ and ‘Yeh Hai Chahatein’. As the world observes World Mental Health Day on October 10, Sumati opens up on her personal experience battling mental health issues, and also shares words of encouragement for those going through the same.
While the entertainment industry is known for its glitz and glamour, Sumati shares that it comes with its own set of challenges when dealing with mental health. She shares,
“Mental health is a very big topic and I feel most people are struggling with this all over the world. The awareness around good mental health is very little so only a few people understand that. In rural areas, mental health is not considered as important. In the industry, there is constant pressure of looking good; being fit, looking glamorous and competition is also there. Competition is there in every field, but in the entertainment industry, the pressure in the industry is public, and this affects us mentally. We don’t even get to know that we are under so much pressure and we become very sad, lonely and depressed. We are surrounded by glamorous people but we are actually lonely and sad. We all try to look happy, glamorous and attractive so that people follow us; this pressure of fitting into these characteristics often makes us hide all the problems.”
Sumati recalls a low phase of her life when she was just 12 years old,
“When I was in 8th standard there were some problems going on in my family, and I sometimes absorbed things going on around me and got too involved. I was so involved in my family problems that I got depressed and all these things just got sunk in me. I was in a very dark phase of my life at that time. I used to feel like my family was going through so many financial problems. We stopped going to school because people used to give threats to my dad on our name. All these things affected us very much. One day, a man came to our home and said that if my dad doesn’t give his money back, he will take me with him. This was very depressing for me as I was just 12 years old at that time. I used to take bath wearing my clothes because I always had a fear that he would come and take me with him.”
The actress shares how she managed to overcome this traumatising period by embracing spirituality,
“From this point of my life, I started taking spiritual things seriously. After a month, we started going to school again when things got normal. I started reading spiritual books, listening to motivational speakers to get a good state of peace. From that point, God became my therapist.”
She emphasises the need to be vocal about mental health issues, and not be afraid to seek help,
“If people face any such problems related to mental health they should go out, speak up and seek help. They should see a therapist or psychiatrist, nothing is wrong in that. It’s very difficult to talk to people about these things. People should sometimes call their friends or parents to share their problems keeping their ego aside. People do go through ups and downs but that’s not the end, becoming strong and learning from that is a very important thing. It’s not wrong to be sad, depressed, but coming out of that strongly is very important. People should take a break if things don’t fall into place according to them and keep trying. If people meet me now, they only know that I am a strong, happy and independent person but I have seen the darkest phase of my life.”
Sumati Singh reminds us that no one is immune to rough patches in life, but she emphasises the importance of talking to others about it, and using it as a period which makes you even stronger!