"I went into a very, very dark space.”
Mahira Khan has revealed that she has bipolar disorder.
The actress is currently on medication and she said that the backlash she faced after Raees was a trigger.
She and other Pakistani stars faced backlash after they were banned from working in India after the Uri attack in 2016.
On the FWhy podcast, Mahira detailed her experience with mental illness and revealed that her symptoms became almost unbearable when she briefly stopped taking her medication in 2022.
She said she was diagnosed around six years ago.
On what happened after Raees, Mahira said:
“I ended up in a psychiatrist’s office, and she said, ‘We’ll talk about everything later, but I need you to know that you have manic depression’.
“This is the first time I’m saying that, I don’t know if I should.
“It’s been six-seven years, I’ve been on anti-depressants. I tried leaving them in the middle, and I went into a very, very dark space.”
While she is usually a “very hopeful person”, Mahira Khan understood that her mental health issues required professional help.
Mahira said she was “in and out of hospitals” until as recently as 2022, when things became very bad.
She continued: “Yes, everyone has sad times and happy times and success and failure, but clinical depression is real.”
Describing how she felt when she was at her lowest, Mahira said:
“Last year, I was bad, I was in bed.
“I remember, very well, that I couldn’t even get up from my bed to go to the bathroom.”
“I was that bad, it was that dark.
“I remember praying, ‘I promise you Allah, if you show me even this much hope or light, I will take it and I will run with it’.
“And when he did, and when I went back on my medicines, I woke up feeling like, ‘Oh my god, I feel like I can smile, feel lighter’.
“Even in my darkest, worst moments, I never project it. It’s all inside me, destruction is raging inside me, but… It’s been a journey with my depression.
“I’ve had to work through it, I’ve had to dance through it.”
Mahira thanked her family, friends and therapist for standing by her side.
She also gave a special mention to her partner, who was so understanding despite not having experienced what she was going through.
On the podcast, Mahira expressed gratitude for the “glimmer of hope” that she can still sense and wants as many people as possible to know that they are not alone if they are experiencing something similar.