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‘Felt very self-critical, had mom-guilt’: Alia Bhatt opens up about mental health struggles

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Bollywood star actor Alia Bhatt, who is from one of the most influential families, talks about taking therapy after post-childbirth. She has always been very candid in her interviews, be it about her professional acting career or her personal life, or talking about her family.

Recently, she opened up about her mental space in her post-partum period. After welcoming her daughter, Raha Kapoor, in November 2022, the same year she got married to Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor, she has been taking therapy to navigate the challenges of new motherhood. Bhatt describes it as an “ever-evolving, ever-growing process.” She also talked about being very busy with her schedule and getting very little time to spend with her newborn; she talked about the concept of “mom-guilt.”

“I’m always wondering what people are thinking. Do they actually think I’m managing well, or are they only saying it to placate me? Even if there isn’t judgment, you feel very critical of yourself. But I work hard on my mental health — I go to therapy every week where I voice these fears. And it helps me understand that this is not something that I will be able to figure out on day one or five or even ten; it’s an ever-evolving, ever-growing process. You have to be able to pick up the pieces of yourself and build anew every day. There’s nothing like, ‘Oh, I’ve got it together… I’m coping excellently… I have all the answers.’ No one has all the answers,” Bhatt shared.

In various interviews, she has shared about her weekly therapy sessions that have provided her a space to share her fears and to come to terms with the absence of a definitive guidebook on parenting. She emphasised that it is crucial to “be able to pick up the pieces of yourself and build anew every day”.

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Apart from her mental health, she also talked about her long-standing struggle with body image issues. The public scrutiny that comes with her profession led to immense pressure to maintain her image. Bhatt was also criticised heavily during the release of her debut film, Student of the Year, where she had answered incorrectly in her first interview in Koffee with Karan. She was called out for ‘nepotism.’

Alia Bhatt sought therapy during the lockdown as a means to take care of her mental well-being. In doing so, she has become more aware of her anxieties surrounding weight and has actively worked towards confronting them more healthily.

Her elder sister, Shaheen Bhatt, has also multiple times mentioned about ‘going through depression’ in her interviews. This shows how the Bhatt family embraces the mental health concerns, raising awareness for good.

Bhatt also mentioned, “That’s a struggle that’s been constant. Everyone around me would see it, but I would not see it.”

“When I started therapy, I did it just as a hygiene thing. To take care of my body, I go to the gym; I need to take care of my mind as well. It’s something I started amidst the lockdown when everybody was going through a hard time, and I thought that maybe this would be a good time to start. I started as a generic thing, but what I discovered through those sessions is that I have so many issues when it comes to… I always knew I was anal when it comes to my weight because I’m facing the camera, she added.

Alia Bhatt is known for her straightforwardness and has consistently been transparent in revealing facets of her life beyond her film career. Whether discussing her bond with husband Ranbir Kapoor, her daughter Raha Kapoor, or her fitness regimen, the Gangubai Kathiawadi star has frequently been forthcoming about her private life, including her experiences with mental health and the decision to undergo therapy.

 

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