Mumbai: Actress and US-based activist Somy Ali has revealed she has had suicidal thoughts. “Yes, I have (had suicidal thoughts) and have no shame in admitting it. I am a huge proponent of speaking up against the stigma attached to mental health. More so, as a trauma survivor, from sexual abuse to rape and domestic violence, of course I have had those thoughts,” said the former Bollywood actress, who has acted in films like Anth: A Dream for a Better Tomorrow and Chupp.
“I sought help and went through countless sessions with not one, but three different psychologists. It truly helps one to heal if not fully, but enough to eliminate suicidal thoughts by seeking therapy and even anti-depressants. For me, it was the former as sharing my trauma with a trained specialist truly helped me heal from it. Again, no one in my opinion can ever fully heal from the above-mentioned abuse, but they can be functioning and successful professionals. In fact, several celebrities and countless successful people universally are products of terrible childhood abuse,” she added. She says that according to researchers, ninety percent of people who die by suicide have an underlying and potentially treatable mental health condition.
“No one takes their life for a single reason. Life stresses combined with known risk factors, such as childhood trauma, substance use or even chronic physical pain can contribute to someone taking their life. Asking someone directly if they’re thinking about suicide won’t ‘put the idea in their head.’ Most will be relieved someone starts a conversation,” said Somy.
She feels that people who are suffering do not speak up. “I blame us. I blame our society for making fun of people with mental ailments. This is not a laughing matter. It is literally a matter of life and death. People who are suffering do not speak up because they are afraid of being mocked or deemed crazy. Even in 2021, statements like ‘Oh she or he is completely crazy,’ or ‘She/he is a nut job.’ All these statements are deterrents for many individuals and to a level where they end up taking their lives. This has to stop and only us speaking up can make it stop,” she added.
Mental health pertaining to financial failure and relationship or marriage failure are often the major causes that drive people to take the drastic step. And she agreed, “Yes, definitely, but again there is help out there and it is beyond sad that people like Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Guru Dutt, or even Marilyn Monroe were unable to seek help. After several sessions when I sought therapy, I realised that this life is precious, and we have one shot at it. We can’t give up and my healing took place by helping others through the initiation of No More Tears, my NGO. I always say it the most selfish act I have committed as helping others and saving lives makes me happy and gives me a purpose to exist,” said the founder and president of No More Tears, Inc.
Post-pandemic insecurity in job, work, business, relationships and marriage has increased a lot. She feels that communication is the only solution.
“We must talk our problems out or else matters will only deteriorate. I cannot stress on this enough for people suffering after the pandemic to seek help. There are NGOs universally that will provide therapy for free and people should use their services given they are absolutely free of cost,” said Somy.
Personally, she feels that exercise is a must to stay sane. “We all know it releases endorphins which raises our serotonin level and makes us automatically feel good. Plus, spending time with my friends, only two, I prefer quality over quantity and people never cease to disappoint you. That is just the nature of life and the human species. My work in itself is my motivation and nothing inspires me more than to rescue someone who needs NMT’s support and our services,” she said.