Aamir Khan’s Daughter Ira Opens Up on Sexual Abuse & Depression

Ira Khan opened up about her depression and the potential causes behind it.

Published
Mind It
3 min read
Ira opened up about her depression and the potential causes behind it.
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(If you feel like you may have mental health issues or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs)

Aamir Khan's daughter and filmmaker Ira opened up about her depression and the potential causes behind it. She revealed she had been sexually abused when she was 14 years old in a 10-minute video posted on Instagram.

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HINDI VERSION - LINK IN BIO. I never spoke to anyone about anything because I assumed that my privilege meant I should handle my stuff on my own, or if there was something bigger, it would make people need a better answer than “I don’t know.” It made me feel like I needed a better answer and until I had that answer, my feelings weren’t something I should bother anyone else with. No problem was big enough to ponder too long about. What would anyone do? I had everything. What would anyone say? I had said it all. I still think there’s a small part of me that thinks I’m making all this up, that I have nothing to feel bad about, that I’m not trying hard enough, that maybe I’m over reacting. Old habits die hard. It takes me feeling my worst to make myself believe that it’s bad enough to take seriously. And no matter how many things I have, how nice to me people are because of my dad, how nice to me people are because they love and care about me... if I feel a certain way, a certain not nice way, then how much can rationally trying to explain these things to myself do? Shouldn’t I instead get up and try and fix things? And if I can’t do that for myself? Shouldn’t I ask for help? . . . #mentalhealth #privilege #depression #repression #divorce #sexualabuse #letstalk #betterlatethannever #letitout #depressionhelp #askforhelp

A post shared by Ira Khan (@khan.ira) on

Ira had spoken about being diagnosed with clinical depression last month, and said she did not seek help earlier or speak to anyone as she “assumed that my privilege meant I should handle my stuff on my own.” She opened up about struggling with why she had depression, and in turn, invalidated her very real and valid feelings - something many of us do with little access or awareness of mental health issues.

“It made me feel like I needed a better answer and until I had that answer, my feelings weren’t something I should bother anyone else with. No problem was big enough to ponder too long about.What would anyone do? I had everything. What would anyone say? I had said it all.”
Ira Khan

One of the most persistent myths of depression, is that it is not a real illness and ‘it’s all in your head.’ Mental health and illness is so stigmatised, it’s made almost invisible. It can become easier to believe that it doesn't exist at all! But we need to listen closer -and talk to the people around us to see just how common mental illness really is.

According to the Americal Association of Psychiatry, mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behaviour (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities. As FIT earlier reported, they are extremely common and nothing to be ashamed of.

“I still think there’s a small part of me that thinks I’m making all this up, that I have nothing to feel bad about, that I’m not trying hard enough, that maybe I’m over reacting. Old habits die hard.”

Like Ira says, feeling like ‘you aren't trying hard enough’ is a common response to depression. But mental health conditions are medical conditions too and there are .professionals to help with these health conditions.

The stigma around mental health and illness in India makes it extremely difficult for patients to seek help. Mental illnesses are real health conditions and can be treated with regular therapy, medication, peer support or a combination of these. The point is, they are very much real and manageable.

Abuse May Worsen Mental Health

Ira then also speaks about her abuse, adding, "I was sexually abused when I was 14. At that time I couldn't understand whether the person realised what he was doing and I didn't know how to confide in. It took me a year to be sure that the person was aware of his actions. I immediately wrote to my parents an email and got myself out of that situation. Once I was out it didn't feel so bad. I was not scared anymore. It's not something that has scarred me for life".

If you are struggling with mental health issues, it is important to ask for help. Often, this is extremely hard so if you know someone who is struggling, reach out to them.

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