Nargis Fakhri speaks about her battle against depression with an Emirati YouTuber

lady laying in a bath bed

In a chat with Emirati Entrepreneur and Speaker Anas Bukash, Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri spoke about being depressed for the last two years, which also contributed to an obsessive eating pattern, gaining 50 pounds and how she came out of it.

Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri opened up about struggling with depression and extreme anxiety for the last two years in an interview that was released in June 2020 . This chat was hosted by Emirati entrepreneur Anas Bukash on his Youtube show called #ABTalks

For the first time, American born Bollywood actress spoke about how extreme anxiety contributed to unhealthy eating patterns, strained relationships with her estranged sibling, and turbulent childhood.

Nargis made a dream debut in Rockstar opposite Ranbir Kapoor in 2011, but left everyone shocked when she packed her bags and left India in 2016. When talking to Indian publication DNA, she said she was battling a life-threatening illness. She had to run back to the United States because she had arsenic and lead poisoning.

When talking to Anas about her health after leaving India, Nargis spoke about the difficult eating pattern that she developed after becoming stressed, “I’m a foodie. But in the last two years, I’ve been packed with anxiety and depression and I don’t know what I’m going to do next. I left India to go home and get better as I was unwell. I was in the space of not knowing my future and what I’m going to do next. And that created a fear of anxiousness. I started eating. I gained 50 pounds. Whenever I had a feeling that I didn’t know how to cope with, I would go for a cake or a doughnut. And the sugar would make me happy, and then I’d feel guilty for myself. It was a loop.”

She also said that she had had several moments of feeling sad, being in her bed, watching Netflix, ordering burgers, and eating until she wanted to vomit. “It wasn’t just food. I was trying to fill this void. It wasn’t filling, yet I kept eating.”

How did she pull out of depression?

The 40-year-old, who was lauded for her excellent comedic timing in Mellisa Mccarthy’s Spy, spoke at length, describing how yoga helps her cope with problems and maintain her mental health.

“Meditation helped me the most. It’s been hard. I feel for those who suffer from depression. For me, the past two years have been difficult on depression. I think I’ve had few episodes of depression since my childhood.

I’ve been unwell for the last two years, and then I started doing meditation, yoga, going out for a walk because movement is necessary. I tried to eat better, but I would still slip down.

Nargis finally got into Buddhism and began to chant. Another factor that supported her through the depression was a sense of gratitude, “I will praise God for the great shoes I’ve got or the food I’ve had. I’m not religious. I’m spiritual, but I’ve always thanked God for everything.

picture of nargis fakhri

I feel happier because I feel grateful for the little things in my life. At times, I get  so overwhelmed with the feeling of gratitude, that I feel like crying. I feel so grateful and happy for things and I would get teary-eyed. When I was a child, I would cry when I would see a tree or a bird.

But I lost that quality eventually. In the last few years, I realized that I was once again noticing the beauty of nature, and being thankful.” The Rockstar actress called this chat ‘her most intimate interview’ on an Instagram post.

Bollywood Actress also opened up about her turbulent upbringing. Born and raised in New York City to a Pakistani father and a Czech mother, Nargis described her younger days as “poor.”

She spoke about the trauma she’s had with her for a long time because she didn’t have a normal childhood. “If I were to explain my childhood in three words, it would be destitute, abusive, and innocent. From where I grew up, everyone was in a similar situation. I wouldn’t want anyone to grow up that way. But I want to think differently, and I know my upbringing has made me who I am now, and I am so proud of myself that I am doing well.

When people look at me, they can’t even imagine where I was coming from. I guess it’s because of the way I look. Yet there’s still aggression inside of me that occasionally comes out.

I had to forgive my past and I realise now that I have to forgive my parents as they couldn’t do any better.

My dad passed away when I was very young, but sadly he wasn’t the best person, and that’s all right. My mother tried her hardest, but sadly she didn’t have the tools and the ability to provide best for her kids. But now I realise that my mother has been through hell, and I don’t know how she’s survived.

She also spoke about her younger sibling Aliya Fakhri, “I have a sibling and I don’t talk about her as she is not well. We are sisters and we chose a different lifestyle. if one day we ever talk again, which I don’t know if we ever will. I want us both to talk on camera about our growing up years.”

She also spoke about being constantly sick and spending a lot of money on treatment –

A couple of years back I had a weird relationship with money. I just had a conversation with my friend, with whom I am staying here (Dubai?) If you didn’t grow up the way you did, you wouldn’t have the drive to keep working and succeeding. I fear going back to that kind of a life where I don’t have enough and that’s why I keep on working all the time. I push myself so much that I end up having a lot of issues, like stress, exhaustion. My therapist told me, “Look at yourself. You work so hard to the point that you are hospitalized all the time. So you are spending your money on hospital bills and clinics as you are constantly sick. You also give away your money to family, friends, and whoever needs it. But you never buy anything for yourself. I am a very low maintenance person.

Nargis talks about her transition to a new phase in her life where she decided to slow down, “I eventually slowed down. I enjoy what I do and sometimes I don’t. For the last 2 years, I had to take time off as I had a very bad illness. It was tough to slow down. But now that I am going through a transition, I tell myself that it is a good thing. I tell myself that I should slow down as I have enough for my bills, I have enough money to eat and to have a roof over my head. So I want to go into the new future of being happy and okay with work and real-life problems.

I did not see my family and friends for years when I was living and working in India. I did not see my mother for three years.

I also discovered that family for me is the most important thing. But I don’t have a family, it’s broken. If you have never seen a family that functions in real life, you don’t believe that you could have one yourself. It screwed up my manifestation process. Like I want to have a family for myself but deep down inside I don’t believe in it. So I need to work on that.”

This article was published on September 4, 2020

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