Zara Noor Abbas Just Bravely Opened Up About Her Struggle With Mental Health

By Alizeh Naushad Gheewala | 12 Aug, 2020

Zara Noor Abbas shared her mental health journey in a brave discussion

The stigma around mental health is high, in Pakistan. Everyone is slowly learning to accept general discussions on the subject but no one’s accepting of the fact that almost all of us have mental health journeys that we need to undertake for better communication, mental state and relationships. Zara Noor just bravely helped take a step in the right direction regarding discussions around mental health in Pakistan.


Recently in an Instagram Live session, Zara Noor Abbas bravely opened up about her mental health journey

While speaking to famous RJ and VJ Dino Ali, Zara shared her career and personal journey vis-a-vis her mental health.

source: @dinoaliofficial/Instagram


Along with Zara Noor Abbas sharing her mental health journey, Dino also shared his personal struggles and how that affected his life and relationships

Dino said that talking about mental health and creating awareness is not an easy task for someone like him who is a very private person with only a few group of close friends. He shared that he was depressed for almost two years. Dino could not initially understand what he was going through. His depression started while he was in London but it was not as severe then. He realized the severity of the issue while he was at an airport in America, waiting to catch his connecting flight to Pakistan, when he had a complete nervous breakdown.


He explained how embarrassed he felt because he was not the sort of person who would let his emotions show in front of people. He described how he felt during that period, and how he was not sleeping enough and had developed an eating disorder along with frequent panic attacks where he felt like he could not breathe and would have breakdowns right before going on stage to host an event. Dino also mentioned this started after his very long, serious relationship ended which acted as a “catalyst that resulted in a spiral breakdown”. 

Dino Ali said that towards the end of his relationship, the relation itself had turned toxic and verbally abusive. He further told Zara that when he opened up to certain people he would get to hear routine things like, “you do not lack anything and have money and fame”. In response, Zara replied that it’s not always about fame and money and Dino agreed. He admitted to seeking help from a therapist. Zara enquired about the moment when Dino felt like he needed help. To which Dino replied, “The moment I started feeling hopeless about life not once, but continuously”. He said that before actually seeking help he told his mother and sisters about what he was going through and it was because of them that he had recovered. “If it wasn’t for my family I wouldn’t be here right now.”

Zara Noor Abbas spoke regarding her struggles with mental health issues and her clinical diagnosis of the same

Zara shared that she has been clinically diagnosed with Mental Health issues like depression, anxiety and stress. She said, “after marrying Asad everything went really well. I did a TED talk before where I elaborated about my life and my mistake.”

Zara went on to say, “when everything’s intact, your life, your family, your career, that’s when it (mental health issues) creep up, and hit on you.”

She said that she suffered from mental health issues for roughly two to two and a half years. Her first anxiety attack was on the sets of her drama serial Qaid, that was a production of Shazia Wajahat and Wajahat Rauf. Shazia and Wajahat stopped the shoot after seeing Zara’s condition. Both of them supported her immensely and told her that everything can wait and that she needed to focus on herself. Zara further pointed out that many people confuse sadness and depression with one another and she emphasized how they are not the same. “Some days I was happy, but there were some days I just didn’t want to get out of bed.” 

source: @zaranoorabbas.official/instagram

She said that a key moment during her struggle with deteriorating mental health was when she was playing Rani, a funny, bubbly personality  while shooting for Ehd e Wafa. “Saifee Hasan was the director and he noticed that right before the scene, I would go to the washroom and come out with red eyes”, she said. Zara felt like she would not be able to get to the next day, and that time was simply just not passing by. She said that Saifee Hasan suggested that she go back to Karachi, as she was in Punjab for the shoot of the drama. He told her the shoot could wait and she should go with Asad and see a psychiatrist but Zara ignored that suggestion.


Her other major episode was when she had gone to Dubai for the PISA awards recently which she expressed her disappointment about also

View this post on Instagram

A cup of coffee and a few thoughts. First of all my heartiest congratulations to everyone who won an award lastnight and enjoyed a show with their fans in Dubai lastnight. And my heartiest apologies to everyone who was not there lastnight and felt disappointed and disrespected for their names being used and commitments not fulfilled. Artists all over the world are extremely sensitive people like myself and take everything to the heart. They love being loved and love entertaining people with their art and craft. However, I would urge you all to be more compassionate to each other as fellow actors and support each other in what we all do for the love of our country and art. Everyone who travelled here had no clue of who would be eventually present here or not present here. We all as a fraternity will always stand together in the good the bad and the ugly. Award shows and get togethers like these are a celebration of art and our industry as a whole. Let's all respect that and also respect each other's opinion. And hey, let's stop comparing to who wore what and how better they wore it. Who showed skin and who showed a personality. Let's all welcome diversity and differences. I missed everyone who was in Pakistan and was miscommited. But I also loved the actors who were there lastnight to support Pakistan. Let's just be more compassionate with each other. I was told that I am winning an award too but before my category could be announced some uninterrupted and unfortunate event happened. I would like to thank all my fans for voting for me. For voting for my fellow nominees and for wanting to see everyone out there who you love for their art and work. All said and done, Pakistan phir Pakistan hee hai. ❤️🇵🇰 Apnay mulk main awards Ka maza hee kuch aur hai.

A post shared by Zara Noor Abbas Siddiqui (@zaranoorabbas.official) on

She said that she was out shopping when suddenly she froze and started crying. The people in the store helped her and she went to Asad and that’s when she realized she needed help. She further explained how she was scared to take any pills because like everyone she thought that she would get addicted and would be dependent on it ruining everything but she realized how wrong she was. “Pills make it a lot better. They balance the imbalance in the brain”, she said.


She explained that the reason she wanted to talk about this was because of Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput

Zara said that after Sushant’s passing she realized realized, “how important one single life is” and how many things and people are linked to that one person. She wanted her fans and every single person out there to know that they were not alone and that even celebrities like herself suffer from mental health issues. She said that during this time Asad Siddiqui was her biggest support and a lot of people around her were very toxic and she did not know until she was “six feet deep into it”. To this Dino replied that we are looking for light when in the phase of that darkness and that’s when one can distinguish between the toxic people and the well wishers. 


You can watch Zara and Dino’s discussion here:

Team MangoBaaz appreciates both of these celebrities for coming out with their struggles and we hope that they continue to spread awareness. We send them lots of well wishes for their upcoming projects and applaud them for their courage.


Cover image via: @zaranoorabbas.official / Instagram

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