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Sushant Singh Rajput depression T-shirt controversy: specialists accuse the actor of mental health fraud

Sushant Singh Rajput

A T-shirt picturing late actor Sushant Singh Rajput with the tagline “Depression is like drowning” has sparked outrage among Rajput’s admirers, prompting the #BoycottFlipkart hashtag to trend on Twitter. It has also sparked a broader discussion on mental health, with experts calling it mocking and “insensitive imagery.”

“Such misinformation and disinformation can exacerbate mental health issues, making it more difficult for people to seek help,” says Natasha Mehta, a senior counseling psychologist in Mumbai, adding that “such a thing needs to be corrected publicly, through an apology or by calling out, or it will continue to exist on one platform or the other.”

Rajput was discovered hanging at his Mumbai residence in 2020. His death, which was ruled a suicide, spawned various speculations, prompting a probe when his family filed an FIR charging his girlfriend, actor Rhea Chakraborty, and her family with aiding and abetting suicide, among other allegations.

Several of his followers turned to social media to criticize the site, calling it “cheap and insensitive marketing” and questioned why his picture was used without his family’s permission.

Indeed, his supporters have expressed that such a picture not only brings back negative memories but also has a personal impact on them. “Sushant Singh Rajput image on the T-shirt looks amazing.” What gets under my skin is when I hear people talk about depression. The administrator of an actor Fanclub, Rohit Lakhendra Thakur, questions, “What was the point of placing it there?”

‘I want to know why Flipkart is bringing out this T-shirt,’ asks another. What was the concept behind it? It’s merely hurting people’s feelings.” Indeed, one Instagram user remarked, “Family must take strong action immediately against this disgraceful behavior… It is slander. They owe an apology to SSR’s fans and family.”

Divya Singh, a psychotherapist, comments on the impact of “careless” messaging for the sake of fashion, saying, “His suicide is still fresh in the hearts and thoughts of so many of his followers… And celebrity suicide can have a chain reaction…. According to the T-shirt dispute, “mental health is not well understood in our community, and the ramifications of such events might provoke emotional well-being of individuals battling with mental health.”

In addition, on the condition of anonymity, a Mumbai-based psychologist asserts that “such messaging is not okay because it invades the privacy of the individual,” adding that Because of the romanticization of mental health, “it is not good for mental health narratives.” Mental health stigma is exacerbated by this, and it’s a setback.”

Meanwhile, the tee has been withdrawn from the online selling platform. “As a marketplace platform, we enable sellers to connect with customers around the country,” they responded when we sought to contact them. Maintaining the quality, suitability, and sensitivity of products offered on the platform is our primary focus as part of our ‘customer first’ concept. In compliance with this, we have delisted the product/T-shirt representing a sensitive problem that customers reported to us.”

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