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Art is not a luxury, but a necessity.

Need to create awareness on mental health in India, says Nitin Kumar Gupta

With rising number of cases of depression and suicide, doctor-turned-filmmaker Nitin Kumar Gupta believes there is a need for creating more awareness on mental health in India. Jyothi Venkatesh
Gupta, who is also a doctor from the K.E.M. Hospital in Mumbai, is known for his work on “Death of an Ambassador”, “Hannah – Love Story of the Devil”, “Sayonee” among others, says in India there is more unawareness about mental health as compared to physical health. Gupta said the disbalance of hormones and chemicals can cause diseases like depression, anxiety, OCD and psychosis. “People do not go to psychiatrists in case they are depressed or have OCD, the concept of grief counselling etc is unheard of. Psychiatric centres are also very less as per our population. Psychiatric problems also tend to be mocked at rather than receiving support,” he says.  Gupta stressed about the fact that people should understand mental diseases need proper medical attention.  “Relaxation and meditation can help to relieve minor day-to-day stress, but mental diseases like depression, ocd, paranoia, psychosis, etc need psychiatric medication and even electroconvulsive therapy, apart from councelling,” he adds.

Gupta said he reaches out to his family

Gupta, who has donned various hats from being a producer, director to a music director, thinks the entertainment industry is fickle and that careers of people change overnight, depending on their last project. “Entertainment industry is very volatile, which means a successful person may be deemed unsuccessful in just a few months. Job offers may suddenly dry up. Actors, writers, musicians and directors also tend to be sensitive and emotionally fragile and get hurt more easily than others,” he says. Sharing insights about how he deals when he feels low, Gupta said he reaches out to his family, friends, who cheer him up.  Besides, he also keeps himself occupied with creative work – either working on a script or creating a new melody. “Anything creative improves my mood. If nothing else I go for a jog with some music. Medication is absolutely essential for many mental diseases like depression, OCD and various psychoses like schizophrenia and mania,” he adds. Gupta asserts everyone should communicate their problems with their close ones and seek help. “There is no shame in struggle or suffering, others will be more than willing to help out in any way if they know about it. If you are a very private person, then a psychiatrist and regular counselling can do a world of good,” he suggests