Actor Kushal Punjabi died of depression in his house in December last year. The news of his suicide sent shock waves in the entire industry and actor Arjun Bijlani was one of those good friends who couldn’t believe what happened. In his latest interview with a news agency, he took an opportunity to talk about the mental health of the actors, especially TV actors and how they tend to develop suicidal tendencies.
Arjun, who’s known for his performances in shows like Naagin, Ishq Mein Marjavaan and Mile Jab Hum Tum among others, said TV actors are dealing with a lot of pressure on a regular basis. He said there’s a lack of comfort while talking about depression or mental health because it is likely that one would stop getting work in the industry after coming out with his/her story.
The TV industry, as compared to the film industry, demands more time from the actors who are usually shooting on a never-ending shift basis. This already hampers with their body clock and affects the lives of their loved ones around. It gets even more difficult for a person with no emotional support to survive in such pressure. Arjun added that it’s a sad state of actors working in the TV industry because sometimes, they want to open up but they can’t due to trust issues. “People won’t give you work because they’ll think you’re depressed. It’s a very weird situation for actors sometimes. They want to open up but they can’t, they don’t trust anybody, it’s a sad state actually,” Arjun told IANS.
The Naagin actor went on to say that even social media adds to this pressure. Arjun asserted that it’s difficult to not look at others’ pictures and think about those things and opportunities that we lack in our lives. The actor said the happiness in social media pictures, which more often than not is pretentious, makes others feel that ‘everything is only going wrong in your life and everything is going right in somebody else’s life’. In the case of actors, if another actor has bagged a project or if the person is partying around and having fun in life, his/her social media account would immediately reflect that which leads the other person who doesn’t have all this happiness to feel depressed.
Arjun then highlighted the importance of being content in life. He said even he wants to have fame like Shah Rukh Khan but he knows he can’t have that and it is important for him to accept that fact and move on in life. The actor said life is about challenges in which one either fails or wins but one should be ready to accept failure and try things differently. “Work is an aspect of life, but happiness truly comes from being with the people around you and family and many other things,” he said.
Kushal Punjabi’s body was found hanging to the ceiling of his house in Mumbai when his family members and a friend, Chetan Hansraj, opened the door with the help of a key-maker. The actor had left a one-and-a-half page suicide note in which he mentioned the distribution of his property between his son and others in the family. It is believed that Kushal was struggling with a troubled marriage.