Sonya Hussyn recently landed a lead role in a drama serial called Saraab in which she takes on the role of schizophrenic patient. Taking on this role she decided she really wanted to own her character and so went onto a quest to understand what schizophrenia really is and how it affects people.
While speaking to Express Tribune in April she states that she had done sufficient research on the sensitive topic. 'For about two months, the makers kept in touch with me about my training which gave me the confidence that I can pull this off," she had said.
The actor added that as a part of her training, she visited rehab centres with her director and producer to meet with patients suffering from the disorder before officially taking on the role. According to Sonya herself, the drama serial is 'entire documentation from diagnosis, to treatment and to potential recovery. It is basically the story of a seemingly ‘normal’ girl in a normal setting, who has symptoms of schizophrenia that people around her are unable to recognise.'
Last week Sonya uploaded a poster from the drama serial that addressed many mental health issues ranging from depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicide, postpartum and most importantly the one that got her the most backlash, Autism.
She received many comments as to how autism is not a mental health issue but a disorder. A fan commented that she is a mother of two autisitc children and that “autism is not a mental illness, it is a disorder,” to which Sonya responded with,
“It is one of the symptoms of schizophrenia.”
After the post and response, many fans and people left hundreds of comments about the fact that autism is not a mental illness. The actor was then schooled by Twitterati on her 'ill-informed' comment. Hussyn, over the weekend, took to Instagram and clarified her stance. In a lengthy note, the actor made her stance clear.
"Amidst the debate, we should always remember to focus on the bigger picture. At the end of the day, we’re all hoping to spread more awareness about mental health and benefit the cause."
The rest of her post goes much like this,
“It is sad that as a society, we are led by a few to ignore someone's intent and bigger picture. Instead, we choose to focus on small details that result in negating the original purpose of benefiting a cause or an individual. Mental wellness and health are subjects I have spoken about before becoming an actor. I have always encouraged others to feel comfortable when starting conversations about the same. This is a subject close to me because of my experience with Ammi, who struggled with depression for 15 years.”
She also stated that she will discuss the topic further on the platform with a qualified mental health expert. She also shared her motivation to speak more about the topic which was, “All those who only choose to bash or criticise others, have given me more reason to talk about such issues.” She also encouraged fans to send in their queries for the healthy discussion.
As someone who has ample power over how to influence hundreds and thousands of people, Sonya Hussyn could easily clear the mistake and express exactly how autism a disorder can be related to the mental illness schizophrenia. At the same time people on social media can also learn to be easy on those who may make mistakes or put out unclear messages and ask for clear explanations. Now we wait for the future session that Sonya Hussyn claimed will hold on her social media with a qualified mental health expert.