Shadow behind the smile: The unfortunate death of actress Tunisha Sharma has brought mental health issues back into the spotlight: how as a society we are failing those who need help – The Tribune India


A dull young life; that too supposedly for a suicide by a rupture. Tunisha Sharma’s story has brought mental health issues back to the fore, and with it our failure as a society to support those in need.

Unfortunately, Chandigarh girl Tunisha joined the long line of celebrities who have reportedly taken their own lives, including Vaishali Takkar, Kushal Punjabi, Pratyusha Banerjee, Sejal Sharma, Soujanya, Preksha Mehta, Susheel Gowda, Asif Basra and Sandeep Nahar. .

While there have been reports of Tunisha struggling with mental health issues and the alleged breakup that brought her to the brink, the entertainment industry presents its own challenges. Ups and downs, personal life unfolding in the public space, strange work schedules, and job uncertainty are some of the challenges that celebrities face.

“People only see the glamor part and don’t see what goes beyond the hours of filming,” says actor Hiten Paintal, whose niece Sarah Paintal was working with Tunisha on a show. “Sarah was so shocked that a 20-year-old would just take her life like that. If people start committing suicide over failed relationships, there will be hundreds of deaths every day. I feel very sorry for his parents,” says Hiten.

The entertainment industry is a tough place, but it comes with its own advantages, actress Sneha Jain feels. “There are so many couples like Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt making a life together, but the fact is that many relationships don’t have the same fate. For an actor, managing personal and professional life becomes challenging due to tight schedules. If they break up and still have to work together on a show, it’s really heartbreaking,” says Sneha. “If she could, she would have told her to leave the show if she found it difficult to work with the co-star. Work comes and goes, but life matters,” says Sneha.

Constant pressure from the public and from social media plays its own role. “Oh, this person isn’t getting a job, oh, this person might not be good enough… all of these things can really wreak havoc on a person’s mind. And trolls are a new nonsense added to anyone’s life,” says actress Jonita Doda, who is working to create an organization where mental health experts are available to support those going through difficult times.

Some are still trying to come to terms with Tunisha’s death. “I feel that something is wrong. Someone who was able to post such a motivational quote just eight hours before her death, it’s hard to believe that it was a suicide,” says actress Kate Sharma. “I have a lot of empathy and sympathy for Tunisha and her family. She was a very young girl who had not seen life. Life is beyond what you think it is right now. It always gets better,” says actress Priya Paramita Paul.

“If you are sensitive enough to feel so much pain and want to end it, you have to be sensitive enough to think about the pain others will suffer after you are gone,” says Karan Singh Chhabra. Meanwhile, Tunisha’s ex-boyfriend, Sheezan Khan, reportedly told police he was “so disturbed by the atmosphere in the country that emerged after the gruesome murder of Shraddha Walkar” allegedly by his partner, that he decided to end their relationship. because of belonging to different communities and their age difference.

Chandigarh Connection

Tunisha Sharma made her acting debut with Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap as Chand Kawar in 2015. She has worked in Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, Ishq Subhan Allah and Internet Wala Love. He made his film debut with Fitoor and worked in Baar Baar Dekho. Tunisha studied at a private school in Chandigarh and moved to Mumbai at the age of 14 with his mother Vinita.

expert opinion

  • The number of suicides is on the rise, and in all age groups. While in the elderly the main cause of death continues to be coronary disease; among young people, the second after accidents is suicide.
  • Suicide is largely a preventable tragedy. First, look for warning signs. If someone you know has a sudden change in routine, increased alcohol or substance abuse, talks about taking their own life, or feels worthless, it’s time to get them in for a mental evaluation.
  • People are facing mental health issues more than ever, and while post-COVID the stigma of seeking help has been reduced, many still view it as a weakness. It’s the opposite; it just shows your determination to live a better life.
  • Mental health problems do not go away on their own. Counseling, medication under a psychiatrist is safe and reduces the risk of suicide.

Dr. Sachin Kaushik, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at Max Mohali and Mind Peace Clinic Panchkula

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