Mental health is not given enough attention in Pakistan. If anything, the matter is often ignored or shrugged aside as unimportant.
Social media users are calling out the Hocane sisters for their comments on mental health during a recent interview.
Mawra and Urwa were promoting their clothing brand – UXM.
In a video clip that has gone viral, the sisters were seen saying what we eat affects our mental health. But the problematic part is when Urwa casually says that people are only suffering from depression because of what they are eating and “no other reason”.
They were discussing nutrition and food and how it impacts a person’s mental health.
‘Depression’ explained😂😂 pic.twitter.com/AVvEIvttxh
— Affan (@Affansaifullah1) August 6, 2019
“Aaj kal kitne maslay hain, ke yar depression hogaya, mental ‘disease’ hogai, it’s all because of food! Aur koi reason hi nahi hai. [We hear so many stories of people suffering from depression these days or of mental ‘disease’, it’s all because of food. There’s no other reason],” Urwa can be heard saying in the clip.
Mawra said ‘it is what you put in your body’.
Several Twitter users called the sisters out with comedian Shehzad Ghias explaining why their statements were problematic.
The way you experience life may not be the same for someone else.
Please do yourselves a favour and talk to someone who is actually suffering. Trust me all every depressed person wishes not to be depressed – if it was as simple as praying or eating right, all of us would do it.
— Shehzad Ghias Shaikh (@Shehzad89) August 6, 2019
In a country that is already at odds with accepting the importance of mental health, casual statements from prominent personalities, including celebrities, which trivialise the matter, is worrisome.