Art & Entertainment

Neelu Kohli On Mental Health: People From Entertainment Industry Are More Subjected To Mental Trauma

Neelu Kohli, who was recently seen in the Netflix release ‘Jogi’, opens up about mental health in the wake of World Mental Health Day.

Neelu Kohli
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Neelu Kohli says that she has always tried to build a bond with her close ones where she is able to tell if they are low. She adds that where her family is concerned, she has always normalised mental health.

“Speaking about mental health at one time was a taboo. I'm so glad people are talking about it now. I majored in clinical psychology. I knew about mental health years back when I was in college and unfortunately my mother-in-law suffered from Alzheimer's. People were not aware back then of what Alzheimer's was, nor did I. I just knew the symptoms. But when I would try to say that she needed to go to the psychologist or a psychiatrist because I wasn't really clear about what it was, I sensed an unawareness of why we needed a psychiatrist. We finally did manage to give her help but because of her age and other things she could not survive. But I really wish that people were aware of what Alzheimer's was. But I see today when stars talk about it, thanks to them that at least people are aware and talking about it like normal diseases like any physiological disease and I'm so grateful to all of them. Because of this awareness, people think of going for a consultation with a psychologist and psychiatrist. It is not taboo. So, we have progressed a lot in the last 35 years because I have seen this progress personally, happening in my life. We have come a long way,” she says.

She adds, “For good mental health, it's very important to speak and share. It’s very important to let people know that you're not feeling good. And I don't know why people have so much inhibition about saying, ‘I'm not feeling good’. Yes, we have progressed but yet I see a lot of people having those inhibitions. So, for me, good mental health means sharing your weaker moments with your family, and thankfully I have a very close-knit family and we share everything. And, of course, being a mother, the way my child says hello, I understand that my child is not feeling good. That is also to do with that fact that I'm aware of. So, for me, it's very important to have that bond with my friends, with family so that I am able to tell them that it's okay to not feel okay.”

The actress says that members of the entertainment industry are often prone to anxiety and depression because of the nature of their work. “Our industry is a very cutthroat industry. We live from project to project. So, there are a lot of insecurities where finances are concerned. It is natural when your finances are not in place, you're shaken because your grounds are not strong. So, the people from our industry are more subjected to mental trauma. We have long working hours, there's a lot of stress, and there's this fight for survival all the time. But we are also being targeted because we are in this business of being in the public gaze all the time,” she says, adding, “The entertainment industry makes us so strong because we're physically working for 15 hours a day. We're mentally working for that long as well. Also, when we're not working, we are looking for work. This is the other side of what I just said. So, we people can bear far more than what normal people can.”

Ask her how she keeps herself upbeat, and she says, “For me, on days that I feel low which normally now I don't because of my spiritual journey or because of a loving family, a good cup of coffee with friends or with family is all that I need to give me a kick-start for the day.”

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