Being in the spotlight as a public figure comes with both admiration and its fair share of challenges. Richa Mehta, a prominent actor and model in the industry since 2018, knows this all too well. While she dazzles on the runway and the big screen, she has also faced online bullying and negativity. People have made negative remarks about her fame, questioning its longevity. Yet, instead of letting the negativity consume her, Richa has found a way to deal with it one step at a time.
In this article, we'll delve into how Richa Mehta, Actor and Model, Founder, Luxurydot.PR and Ear To Hear, navigate the world of online bullying and maintain her mental well-being. We also spoke to our expert Archana Singhal, Counsellor and Family Therapist, Founder, Mindwell Counsel Member of Counsellors Council of India and WICCI NPWC, who shared insights on coping with cyberbullying.
Handling Cyberbullying and Negativity
Mehta said, “As a public figure in the modelling and acting industry since 2018, I have experienced online bullying. People said negative things about me, claiming that my fame was temporary and that I would eventually disappear. This affected me personally.”
She added, “To handle it, I learned to take things ‘one step at a time’. I stopped reading comments on my posts because I realised that focusing on myself is important. I remind myself that I am doing this for my growth and improvement. My goal is to become a better person and create good content for my fans.”
According to BMC Psychiatry, cyberbullying victims are more likely to have depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts, and these negative consequences last longer.
Balancing Social Media and Mental Well-being
Mehta said, “I have recognised the addictive nature of social media, especially when it comes to fame and popularity. To stay grounded, I have made a habit to take regular breaks from social media.”
She further said, “This helps me detach from the constant limelight and attention that comes with being in the public eye. Regardless of what story or post I share, there are always repercussions, so taking breaks allows me to rejuvenate and regain perspective. These breaks have proven beneficial for me in staying balanced and focused.”
Creating Support Systems to Combat Negativity
Mehta founded 'Ear to Hear' in 2021, a platform focused on mental health and creating a safe space for open conversations. This community empowers women to share their thoughts and experiences without fear of judgement, helping them and others deal with negativity both online and offline.
Mehta added, “Through this community, I aim to break barriers and provide a platform for women to come forward and support each other. It allows me to connect with others, provide support, and find solace in the shared experiences and understanding within the community. What makes this community even more remarkable is that they provide their services free of cost. It's truly heartwarming to witness their genuine dedication to helping others.”
Tips for Models and Actors Coping with Cyberbullying
Mehta advises taking life one day at a time and giving oneself space when faced with negativity. She highlighted, “Surprisingly, those negative experiences contribute to becoming a more positive and better person. They teach us valuable lessons and allow us to develop resilience, which ultimately helps us navigate life at a better pace.”
Coping with Cyberbully: Insights from an Expert
Singhal said, “Cyberbullying can be deeply upsetting, leading to emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. In addition, it may lead to physical health problems and impulses towards self-harm. Recognising the detrimental effects of cyberbullying is crucial for seeking help.”
Actions to Take Against Cyberbullying
Singhal said, ”Individuals should refrain from engaging with bullies and seek solace by confiding in a trusted person. Documenting evidence and informing relevant authorities or administrators are important steps. Ensuring protection by blocking or reporting cyberbullies is of utmost importance.”
Singhal highlighted, “Setting privacy controls on social media sites and becoming informed about the many types of cyberbullying are the first steps in preventing it. Internet safety education and taking breaks from social media are essential for safeguarding digital presence.”
Advice for Parents
Singhal informed, “Parents should actively listen to their children if they experience cyberbullying and create a safe space for them to seek help. Restoring their self-esteem should be a priority, and parents should support them throughout the process.”
The information provided in this article is based on a true story and insights from the expert. However, it is recommended to seek guidance from a mental health professional if you are facing cyberbullying or any other mental health concern.