Dr. Sheeza Mohsin, who has a passion for mental health awareness and education, talks about the importance of mental health and its impact on celebrities.
We are well aware of the fact that our mental health not only influences the way we think, feel, and behave in daily life but it also affects the ability to cope with stress and overcome challenges. However, conversation around mental health crisis is still considered a stigma. Even though many celebrities have spoken up about their mental health problems, there are some stars who are unable to deal with the hardships life throws at them and they ultimately give up.
In a bid to know more about the importance of mental health and how it affects celebrities, we got in touch with Dr. Sheeza Mohsin, PhD., SPHR (LMFT, LPC), who has a remarkable set of competencies in communication and leadership as well as passion for mental health awareness and education.
Being a Public Speaker, Educator, Leadership & Executive Coach, Couples & Family Therapist/Counsellor, Dr. Sheeza shares that just like physical health, it is very important to make an investment in doing small things to stay mentally healthy. “It might make sense to compare mental health with a beautiful car. The paint, design and shape can look amazing but if you’re not oiling the engine and you are not investing in the internal infrastructure, the car cannot complete its journey in a safe manner,” she explained.
She further went on to say that the car can look beautiful but it won’t feel beautiful when it is not running and doing what it’s supposed to do. “Our minds are no different. They need to be nurtured/matured and we need to learn how to emotionally regulate ourselves, so we can live our best lives,” added Dr. Sheeza.
Talking about celebrities and what factors impact their mental health, the expert informed, “I know that many people reading this may feel like celebrities are the privileged class and would not have any problems. What many people don’t realize is that money is not the only problem to solve in life. Joy, happiness and the pressure of social acceptance is hard for everyone, especially celebrities.”
According to Dr. Sheeza, these celebs are people who rely heavily on their audience for the ratings and to validate their work. “While their audience can build them up by praise and being their fans, they are all too quick to judge them for any mistakes they make,” she said in an online conversation with Instep, adding that maintaining a real idea of life and relationships can be a very hard journey for them amongst other things.
As for why young celebrities resort to extreme measures of harming themselves or even committing suicide, she felt that the main reason behind it is the social pressure. “Social pressure and the pressure of media that celebrities face today is multi fold, compared to 20 years ago. While the opportunities get bigger, the risk also becomes bigger. There is a lot of awareness in the west about mental health for celebrities but in countries like Pakistan we still have a long way to go.”
She adds, “Just like celebrities invest a lot of time and energy on a daily basis on their physical health and appearance, very few invest a decent amount of time to make sure that their mental health is sustained. When that goes unchecked, it’s like a pressure cooker with un-processed feelings brewing that can burst any time.”
On ways to cope with these problems, Dr. Sheeza shared that every individual’s mental health requires a different formula that is needed for them. “Just like each body is different, each mind is different. Your family background, your upbringing, your own personality, circumstances and experiences that you have had in life, all shape your mind.”
In recent times, various celebrities have come out in the open about their problems and have also sought professional help along with taking proper medication, yet they end up taking their lives. Why is that so? She responds, “Unfortunately, because of society and how it is shaping. In fact the ‘pill popping’ culture is very ‘in’ for celebrities. There is very little realization that these are escapes and not sustainable ways to stay sane and happy. The other big realization is that other people cannot make you happy, which can be very confusing for the star who is noticing their followership, their friendship and their fame to maintain their livelihood.” She explains that the lines between the artificial world and the real world, fake friends and real friends, can be devastating when it is violated. “They end up not knowing which relationship to trust or which relationships are agenda based. This can give them a sense of mistrust in their own abilities and instil insecurities about their true worth. In my view, investing in mental health is a requirement for celebrities and not an option,” stresses Dr. Sheeza.
On a parting note when asked what measures should be taken to stay mentally healthy and have a positive approach towards life, the expert advised people to commit to a collection of daily habits in order to make sure mental health is maintained and sustained. “From learning about human behaviour, relationships and mental illnesses to making a commitment to doing your part in making yourself emotionally healthy and everything in between, what you feed your mind is very important. Be mindful.”