Shama Sikander: I died for five years every day thinking that I am going to die

Published: Jun 02, 2020, 10:51 IST | IANS | Mumbai

Shama Sikander on battling bipolar disorder, depression

Picture courtesy/Instagram account - @shamasikander
Picture courtesy/Instagram account - @shamasikander

Shama Sikander has been very vocal about her battle with bipolar disorder and depression. Years after emerging victorious against her struggles, the actress describes the illness as a "pandemic". She says that she doesn't have words to describe how painful it was for her every moment over those five years, when she often felt she would die.

It was in 2016, when Shama, who rose to fame playing Pooja in the 2004 slice-of-life TV show "Yeh Meri Life Hai", came out and spoke about her struggles.

"That is the darkest time anybody can ever have. That is like waking up with a pandemic almost every moment and minute of your life. You don't know what's going to happen, you are so uncertain. You don't even have desires at that time. The saddest part is that you don't have any hope. A desire is something that keeps a human being alive because if we lose all desires then you don't know the purpose of your life," Shama told IANS.

"Depression or bipolar are mental situations where you tend to lose hope and desires and that is the darkest space any human being can ever be in," she said, adding: "I don't think there is anything sadder than that. It's the worse a human being can go through and if you survive that you can survive anything, any pandemic."

"As they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger... We all have that strength, some of us just give up before that strength or the revelation of that strength within us comes to us," said Shama.

Shama calls it her "new birth", after recovering from the illness: "But maybe I was stronger than I felt I was, and that attitude of mine has brought me back to life and has given me a purpose. There is immense light after darkness. This is a new birth for me."

"I died for five years every day thinking that I am going to die and I should die, and there is probably nothing for me to look forward to. So, I want to tell people who might feel vulnerable and helpless that you will find the light. You just have to hang in there," she said.

She says that the reason behind mental illness still being considered a taboo is society's conditioning. "It is our conditioning problems. We have a lot of do's and don'ts and sharing your actual life with another person comes in don'ts most of the time. People are so scared," Shama told IANS.

Shama says not many dare to come out and speak the truth.

"From my childhood, I remember I was very honest. I would reveal whatever I went through in life and was never ashamed of it. People would shame you, they would make you feel bad, ashamed, and guilty for being right because they themselves have been living their lives with all the lies. Not many people have the courage to speak the truth to themselves, forget about others," she declared.

She went on: "The society is the one which ruins it all. To be a part of a society or a herd you want to just pretend to be like them and obviously being honest means standing alone, and that is scary. People who have problems sharing their problems can end up with mental illness because you've suppressed that energy so much that now it is becoming an illness inside you."

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  • 1/8

    Shama Sikander is not only working out at home and cooking, but the actress has also turned out her social media into a philosophical outlet. Sharing her workout video, Shama wrote, "Kasrat Karo Mast Raho.. It removes bad toxins from body, staying still will weaken your muscle strength so use loop bands and do not forget to train ur glutes its d biggest muscle in your body its what keeps our back strong with its support... #stayfit #stayhealthy and don’t forget to enjoy, laugh, smile and dance... [sic]" All pictures/Shama Sikander's Instagram account

  • 2/8

    While cooking a cuisine, Shama Sikander also shared how much fun it was to create something so fresh! "Some hand made video with handmade pasta everyone!! My first time in d kitchen cooking after ages, I had to film it also sharing the courage with all of u to say if I can cook you can certainly too enjoy sm [sic]"

  • 3/8

    Shama Sikander also gave some couple goals to her fans by cooking with her partner, James. The actress posted the video and wrote, "Got hunger pangs! Here’s something for you! Here's our collective effort to bake a cake in lockdown! Did we do a good job? Hmmm...! why don't u see and decide yourself!! P:S this is real life comedy @jamesmilliron #couple trying to #cook !! [sic]"

  • 4/8

    It is not all of a sudden, but Shama Sikander has been sharing some philosophical and positive posts during the lockdown period. Let's take a look at some of the quotes now.

  • 5/8

    Sharing a pretty picture wearing a mustard yellow top, Shama Sikander wrote, "The Universe wants to give you so much, if you could just let it in. To let it in, slow down. To let it in, relax. To let it in, unwind. To let it in, be calm. To let it in, let go. You are now letting it in..."

  • 6/8

    This easy-breezy air-in-the-hair post read, "Just a little sunshine... thats all that is needed [sic]" Well, it is true indeed.

  • 7/8

    This one's something that will surely enlighten your day! "There is a hidden message in every waterfall. It says, if you are flexible, falling will not hurt you..."

  • 8/8

    "Look at urself today... Adore and Admire what you see in the mirror of all that you have been blessed with... [sic]" We totally get you, Shama Sikander!

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