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Impact and aftermath of films on the mental health of actors

5 Feb 2023

“Our involvement happens subconsciously. Which is why we clap, we cry, we whistle, we dance, we sing along or at the best there is repulsion,” Dr Mickey Mehta said.

Movies have become a benchmark of our reality. We tend to not disconnect the illusion from the ground reality. Getting carried away by what happens in the scenes on the silver screen, we want to emulate the same, we become the aspirants of the same. It is a very powerful indirect and direct influence on our lives. Movies constantly beckon us. 

Right from their favourite actor’s fashion and fitness routine, food and travel preferences, and the larger-than-life lifestyles, people ty to ape everything. Bollywood films often glorifies the princely, the majestic, the treacherous, the stealthy, the dons of the world and that has an adverse effect on the audience.

No wonder those are stories that we just want to see, know, and remain detach with but that doesn’t happen. “Our involvement happens subconsciously. Which is why we clap, we cry, we whistle, we dance, we sing along or at the best there is repulsion. This is getting subconsciously involved with it. So certainly, there is an impact mentally as well,” Dr Mickey Mehta, Global leading holistic health guru/corporate life coach told the

Also, when the stars enact their roles, they literally play the character, they play the personality, they become the personality for that time being and that also impacts their lives mentally. “It can be emotionally and psychologically draining. The emotions associated with the character can often trigger psychological and emotional reactions which can be traumatic,” Dr Mickey Mehta said. 

In an exclusive interview, Bollywood actor Sanya Malhotra said, “There are times when I need to see a psychologist after an intense film or a scene. While shooting for Love Hostel, I had to take help and come out of the character.”

“Because let’s say, even if you mimic a laughter, your happy hormones like serotonin, oxytocin will grow, your diaphragm will move full 10-12cms, your T cells and B cells will be triggered and immunity will happen,” Dr Mickey Mehta added. Comedy movies reduce anxiety and stress levels by releasing cortisol and dopamine in the brain. But if the opposite happens, let’s say if you are processing a pain and if you are crying, then obviously cortisol and epinephrine and all the defense mechanism, the constriction of your whole being happens, the body gets into a fight and flight and the blood gushes to the extremity leaving the core vacant and weak. It can cause adrenaline and heart rate to spike up drastically. 

This is exactly what happens to people who play their part and for people who watch the screen. 

Kartik Aaryan, who was recently seen in Freddy, told the, “I started talking and walking like the character. My Shehzada team and co-stars pointed that out. I didn’t even realise that I am behaving like Freddy.

Neena Gupta explained, “We put it a lot of hours to make the characters look real on screen and that takes a lot of of hard work and often impact us mentally.”

Remember each time you are the watcher, the infinite watcher, you are observing what’s happening, you are not a part of what happens.  But we tend to become a part of what happens. We move along with it; we get moved along with it.  

Here’s how you can maintain a balance

Dr Mickey Mehta explained, “Mental health impact, certainly happens which can be neutralized by meditating, observing silence, deep breathing, disconnecting, going on long nature walks, rest and recovery. It is important to keep your emotional and psychological equilbrium. Such activities will get you in tune and in balance with yourself, cleanse your negative emotions, destructive and disruptive thoughts, and bring a sense of rhythm in you. With this rhythm and flow, there will be empathy, compassion, harmony, sympathy flowing out of you.”

Being aware that this is not a reality and it is not happening to us and we are in the centre of it just watching it all as it passes by, everything being so impermanent and transient just to free ourselves from it.

This will help you physically, mentally and emotionally shed the character and help you function as being you yourself.

Published In Financial Express

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