Anam Tanoli’s death has raised many questions regarding just how much importance we’re giving mental health in Pakistan. Various celebrities have spoken out regarding the harrowing death that was allegedly triggered by cyberbullying and social media trolls, and have urged Pakistanis to not sweep matters like depression under the rug. PTI presidential nominee Dr. Arif Alvi called for a 24/7 helpline for members of the public suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts, and celebrities such as Mawra Hocane, Ushna Shah, and Imran Abbas have also spoken out about the realness of mental health.
Last night, Momina Mustehsan took to social media to talk about Anam’s death and shared her own battles with depression
The singer has always been very vocal about her struggles with the mental illness and has shared her harrowing experiences of overcoming it and how it is a continual inner feud. Momina posted a picture of when she was suffering severe depression and emphasized the importance of mental health on par with ‘physical health.’ She dedicated her post to Anam in an open letter, asking for forgiveness for the world not reaching out to her in time, and was ‘sorry [she] had to give up.’ The singer talked about bullying and how detrimental it can be and how ultimately it can be the sole cause to take one’s life.
This is a picture of me from when I was going through turmoil not very long ago. It happens to the best of us. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and we all hit points in our lives sometimes when all seems to be falling out of our control. Dear Anam, I’m sorry you had to give up. I’m sorry I didn’t understand the intensity of how much you were hurting. I know you were trying your best to be positive and you were a champ. I was super proud of how far you had come in the 9 years I had known you and the person you had grown to become. I swear you had the strength to keep fighting back, staying strong, and standing tall. But you just needed to hear more of that from the people around you, a little more often. I’m so sorry.. I know how it feels when you hit a point so low that it makes you feel like giving up. We all know that feeling. Every single person is fighting their own battle from behind the face we put up for society to make it look like all is under control. Fortunately or unfortunately, with the growth of social media, random people’s uncalled-for opinions and hate speech make their way to us. Now more than ever, we need to learn to love and value ourselves, and KNOW our own selves and our own worth, so that peoples opinions of us don’t get to us and impact our perception of ourselves. For the trolls: Let people be. Give them the right to be human sometimes. Give them the liberty to make those occasional mistakes. Because without that, no one can ever learn or grow. Reflect and focus your energies on fixing and working on yourself more than scrutinizing, judging and putting others down. Let’s please all shun bullying and hate speech. When you see it happening to someone, please stand up for them and make it stop. Build each other up, don’t be a bystander watching someone being tormented. #BullyingIsNeverOkay
The singer then followed the open letter to Anam with another post dedicated to everyone who might be a silent sufferer of depression
‘I’ve spoken about dealing with depression in the past and overcoming it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still have moments of weakness’ Momina revealed. She was wonderfully optimistic in her words as she stressed that we all have bad days, but we mustn’t give up on ourselves. She said how we can’t let ‘anyone else’s opinion define [us] or become [our] reality.’
Reach out. Speak up. Love and value yourself. Never feel trapped and caged that you find the need to want to escape. Every person is unique, every person is special. Every person matters. I consider myself a fairly positive person and most people have always seen me smiling and full of excitement. I’ve spoken about dealing with depression in the past and overcoming it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have moments of weakness. A few months ago, I went through a phase of emotional turmoil. We all hit that occasional road block. Please remember to remind yourself of all the goodness and little joys you have in your life. And remember, the only opinion of you that really should matter is your own. Don’t let anyone else’s opinion define or affect you, or become your reality. Easier said than done, but I promise you it’s possible.
What are your thoughts on Momina’s message to Anam and everyone suffering from depression?