Dilip Kumar Mental Health: When he consulted a psychiatrist as the 'Tragedy King' tag led to depression
Photo by PTI

Legendary actor Dilip Kumar breathed his last on Wednesday (July 7) at Mumbai's PD Hinduja Hospital. He passed away at 98 due to various age-related ailments.

The multiple-award-winning actor's career spanned over more than five decades and during the golden era of Hindi cinema, Dilip Kumar charmed millions of hearts with his performance in more than 65 films.

He was also popularly known as the First Khan of Bollywood and also the first superstar.

Born as Muhammad Yusuf Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, he began his acting career with the screen name, Dilip Kumar.

Known for his tragic roles in iconic films, Dilip Kumar was called 'Tragedy King' of Bollywood.

However, the fame did not always sit easily on him. As many of his stories had tragedies written into them, at some point, the reel started impacting his real lilfe. He went through a bout of depression in the 1950s and decided to opt for lighter roles in films like 'Ram Aur Shyam' and 'Gopi'.

Elaborating about this phase in his life, the actor wrote in his autobiography, "I had been playing characters who were ill-fated and a morbid outlook had seized me as a result of my extreme involvement and my living the character beyond working hours."

In an old interview, Dilip Kumar had also admitted how playing such characters or being a part of such films affected his mental well-being, calling it as a 'punishment to our nervous equipment.'

He had said that tragedy has an impact for a longer time and stories of Laila Majnu or Shireen Farhad, where the ending is tragic or the characters are in pain, tend to stay more with the audience. He added that his acting in such films and the tag given to him lingered on only because of how tragedy continues to stay with the people.

He had revealed that because he was attempting such roles at an early age, he was getting impacted and sought help of an acting coach as well as a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist had then asked him to experiment with other genres such as action or comedy.

"Directors say act like your mother has died. Now, I know that this is not my mother nor she is dead. I know that she is Lalita Pawar and she was very much alive a while ago. She just had food. But as an actor, in that moment, you are allowing that emotion to take over you. Doing this every year or in every film can have an impact on you," he had said.

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