Sushant Singh Rajput’s brother-in-lawVishal Kirtihas written alengthy blog postafter the late actor’s therapist claimed in an interview that he had bipolar disorder and Rhea Chakraborty was his ‘strongest support’.
Vishal begins with a disclaimer that his comments are an ‘independent opinion’ and a response to the interview of Susan Walker, who said that Sushant and Rhea were consulting her since November-December 2019.
Vishal said that though he last saw Sushant in July 2017, during his trip to India, they shared a ‘healthy relationship’ over the years. “I have known him since 1997 (my 8th grade) since his sister Shweta (my wife now), he and I went to the same school. Shweta and I were in the same grade and he was a grade junior,” Vishal wrote, adding that even after he moved to the US in 2006, he was in touch with Sushant till early 2019.
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Calling himself a ‘feminist’, Vishal said that it would be wrong to term the FIR against Rhea ‘misogynistic’. “My first point is that caring about women’s issues is not incompatible with filing criminal charges against a female suspect. Calling criminal charges against Rhea misogynistic is an incorrect assessment of the situation. While on average, more men tend to engage in criminal behavior, criminality is not outside the purview of women,” he wrote.
Vishal said that he personally believed that mental health issues should not carry a ‘special’ stigma. “The reason I said ‘special’ is that it’s nearly impossible to completely eliminate stigma from health issues. For eg., if there is a person suffering from diabetes, there will be some amount of stigma about his/her lifestyle even if this person was genetically predisposed. Similarly, whether we like it or not, there is no country in the world where stigma around mental health is zero,” he said.
“However, since there is an enormous amount of stigma today, mental health information is protected by the law of the land. Disclosing mental health information by a psychotherapist/psychologist 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.
Vishal questioned Susan’s diagnosis of Sushant as bipolar, asking how she could have made that assessment in less than two months. “Diagnosing mental disorders is an arduous task and diagnosing someone Bipolar (I or II) is even more so. Not only do you have to observe the person very closely, but you also have to observe them over long periods of time (it takes six years on average to diagnose after the onset of symptoms). Susan very conveniently diagnoses Sushant in less than two months (perhaps over a couple of appointments), with a life-changing diagnosis,” he said.
Vishal added that Susan not only had the ‘audacity to disclose this information in the public domain’ but also made it clear in her statement that the treatment was sought by Rhea and not Sushant himself. “Prior to October/November 2019 (and certainly prior to meeting Rhea), as far as I know, no one who has lived with Sushant has ever complained about his mental health, nor has Sushant himself,” he said.
Vishal then went on to question Rhea’s role, using information ‘available in the public domain’. He said, “The FIR claims that Sushant was perhaps given psychotropic drugs by Rhea (maybe even without his knowledge). Covert/Surreptitious medication is also perhaps illegal in the 21st century. There could be many explanations of this sudden onset of mental health issues in October/November of 2019. This could be a result of covert medication and withdrawal of psychotropic drugs (perhaps the covert medication stopped during their Europe trip in October 2019 [perhaps because of eating out mostly so no opportunity to covertly medicate him with food? or perhaps intentionally not medicating?], which led to withdrawal symptoms). And then, he was perhaps taken to the psychotherapist under the pretext of care.”
According to Vishal, the fact that Rhea set up Sushant’s appointments with the therapist and was present at their sessions ‘could be a sign of keeping a tab on Sushant’s conversations with the psychotherapist’. He also alleged that she may have been doing it to ‘keep evidence of mental health issues so that it can be used later for blackmail or to justify the firm control on his resources’.
Rhea’s presence at the therapist’s office would mean that Sushant had no real privacy to discuss ‘if what was bothering him was Rhea’s gaslighting and blackmail’, according to Vishal. He said that the more pertinent mental health issue that needed to be discussed was ‘that of Narcissistic Personality Discorder and/or sociopathy/psychopathy for Rhea’.