Bigg Boss 14 contestant Eijaz Khan opens up about his mental illness, says ‘I am still scared of being alone’

It’s not easy to talk about your mental illness on a public platform especially when you are haunted by the stigma around it. It is even more difficult when you are a public figure and your life is exposed to the world. It definitely takes a lot of courage to talk about mental issues and break the stereotypes and that’s the path actor Eijaz Khan has chosen to walk on. He is currently a participant in the recently launched Bigg Boss 14 and without being hesitant, has openly spoken about his mental illness and how he is still recuperating from it.

“I haven’t come out of mental illness. It is an on-going process. There are times I am still scared of being alone and sometimes I am scared of my own self. The two years from 2015 to 2017 have been the most difficult one. But now, I know it is fine to seek therapy, it is ok to put your trust in someone else. It is very important that you expect the way it is. It is important to understand, I am like this and I am feeling this way. The more you try to run away from the fact that nothing has happened to you, the more you will suffer from anxiety issues. If I get a chance I will talk,” Eijaz Khan told TOI in an interview.

He continued, “But unfortunately what happens is that whenever I talk I feel people should not think I am doing it for sympathy. Initially, people would not believe that there is anything like mental health, now mental health has become a hashtag because a lot of people have half knowledge about it. I have knowledge about it. I will surely speak on the show if I get a chance but not at the cost of the show. I know this show is watched by kids, youngsters and elders who have passed on toxicity from generations to generations saying there is nothing like mental illness. If one life also changes because of me talking about it and if even father or mother tells their kid come let’s sit and talk I think my job of spreading awareness will be done.”

Eijaz further explained how mental health issues are being treated in our society and how people should normalize this illness like any other. “We have been told since childhood, ‘Hey shut up, common buck up, boys don’t cry and get out of it. It doesn’t happen like that in real life. I am getting goosebumps while talking about this. If given a choice I will talk about it. And in the pandemic it has taken a toll on everyone and all of us are sailing in the same boat. Don’t think why are you being isolated, all of us are there and all of us can take care of each other and we should. But the most important thing is if you are putting this out, friends give advice because they themselves feel good about giving advice. If you have access to a therapist please reach out to him. We have to have at least one therapist for 100 kids. We need to meditate and have access to mental health,” he said.

When asked if he has temperament issues, Eijaz said, “Maybe I don’t have and that’s why I’ve been cast. If I would have had it they wouldn’t have roped me in. But I see it as a plus point. It’s not that I am taking it very lightly. I am aware of the fact that I can’t tolerate people, when I am shooting for my shows, my staff sees to it that nobody comes and talks to me because I like to be in a character. But this is not acting, this is real life. How I am going to deal with people in this show, is going to define how I execute my life. I am more than excited and not scared. There is a temperament issue, people have some shortcomings or the other but I know where my heart lies. So, even if I have an immediate reaction, I know eventually I will figure out what needs to be done. And if I am wrong I will apologise and if I am right I’ll stick to my decision.”

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