Sushant's family condemns Barkha Dutt's interview with his "supposed" therapist
Late Sushant Singh Rajput's family has called out journalist Barkha Dutt for her recent interview with his supposed therapist Susan Walker. In the interview, Susan opened up about the late actor's mental health condition, even claiming that he had been suffering from bipolar disorder. Sushant passed away by alleged suicide in June, leaving family and fans across the country devastated. Here's more on this.
On June 14, Sushant, widely considered as one of the country's finest young actors, was found dead at his apartment in Mumbai. He was 34 years old. The police termed it a case of suicide. While a debate around mental health was reignited across the country, many alleged foul play in his death. Currently, Mumbai Police and Bihar Police are investigating the matter, separately.
In an interview published on Saturday night, Sushant's purported therapist Susan claimed he suffered from bipolar disorder. "Sushant was suffering terribly during his bouts of depression and hypomania," she said. She added that Rhea Chakraborty, Sushant's alleged girlfriend who currently faces criminal charges in his death case, was his "strongest support." Susan said it was her "duty" to clear the air around Sushant's condition.
Sushant Singh Rajput's Therapist Susan Walker reached out to @themojo_in broke her silence. Says Media's irresponsible coverage on Mental Health dismayed her made going public her "duty". Says Sushant "suffered from Bipolar Disorder" "Rhea gave him courage to seek help" pic.twitter.com/R4wITRsPcB— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) August 1, 2020
In a lengthy blog post published on Sunday, Sushant's brother-in-law, Vishal Kirti addressed the interview in question, saying it was unethical as well as illegal for the therapist to reveal such sensitive information to the public. He also talked about mental health and his family's accusations against Rhea. Vishal said his blog was an "independent opinion," and he wasn't making any fresh criminal allegations.
Vishal said he had known Sushant for more than two decades as they went to the same school. Calling himself a feminist, Vishal opined that the criminal charges leveled by his family against Rhea should not be termed as "misogynistic." "Caring about women's issues is not incompatible with filing criminal charges against a female suspect...criminality is not outside the purview of women," he wrote.
Talking about mental health, Vishal said the stigma attached to it is prevalent across countries all around the world. Contesting the decision of the therapist, Vishal said that disclosing a patient's mental health information is "not only unethical but also illegal (except for certain circumstances which don't apply here)." "I leave it to my father-in-law to press charges on this matter," he added.
Further questioning Susan's claims, Vishal said that it takes years to diagnose someone as suffering from bipolar disorder. Susan, on the other hand, has claimed she met Sushant only towards the end of last year. "Susan very conveniently diagnoses Sushant in less than two months, with a life-changing diagnosis," he said, adding that prior to meeting Rhea, nobody ever complained about Sushant's mental health.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings that can range from episodes of manic highs and depressive lows. The exact underlying reason remains unknown. However, some experts attribute it to severe emotional distress, as well as genetic and chemical factors.
Further in his blog, Vishal questioned Rhea's role in the matter, alleging she might have been giving psychotropic drugs to Sushant even without his knowledge. He went on to suggest that Rhea could be suffering from "Narcissistic Personality Discorder and/or sociopathy/psychopathy." He also added that it will be surprising if Rhea is eventually found out to be a loving partner and not an opportunist.
Ending his blog, Vishal noted he was disappointed with Barkha's coverage of the case. "Unless proven in the court of law that Sushant took his own life because of a mental illness that happened without any foul play (gaslighting, blackmail, covert medication, or overt over-medication), this is not the example to use to create awareness around mental illness," he concluded.
Meanwhile, as part of its investigation, Mumbai Police has interrogated nearly 40 people thus far. A four-member team of Bihar Police also recently arrived in Mumbai for probe, following the complaint from Sushant's family. Separately, in a fresh statement, Rhea has claimed to be innocent. The Enforcement Directorate has filed a money laundering case after the late actor's family alleged suspicious transfers of money.
In case you need help or know someone who does, you can reach out to AASRA for suicide prevention counseling. Their number is 022 2754 6669 (24 hours). You can also contact the Hyderabad-based Roshni NGO at +914066202000 or COOJ at +918322252525. Sneha India Foundation, which works 24X7, can be contacted at +914424640050. Vandrevala Foundation has trained counselors, and their number is 18602662345.