Actress Farah Nabilah reveals past struggles with depression

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It seemed like a glitzy, glamorous time in her life.

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Back in 2017, actress Farah Nabilah finally got her big break when Titian Cinta, a 28-episode series which saw her playing leading lady, became wildly popular.

Unknown to many, Farah’s meteoric rise to fame had an unexpected effect on her.

“I don’t talk about this much but I got into depression at the time, ” the 27-year-old actress reveals in an interview with StarLifestyle.

“The reason I wanted to act was just because I loved acting. I wasn’t looking to be popular and I didn’t expect (that popularity) to come.”

But naturally, the success of Titian Cinta brought about a lot of attention on her.

“Every where I went, there were people who recognised me. So I thought if I didn’t wear makeup, people won’t recognise me but even then, people did because there were a few scenes in the show where I didn’t wear makeup.”

Farah shares as her depression began to set in, she didn’t feel like leaving her house at all. Her mum realised something was amiss with the actress and decided to intervene early on.

Her mum encouraged her to make lifestyle changes which included going out more and doing activities that helped her unwind and relax.

“Thankfully, it didn’t go on for too long. I think about two months. I was lucky that I had my mum. Otherwise, it would have gone on.”

Farah has gone on to find success in more romance dramas including 2018’s Cik Reen & Encik Ngok Ngek and this year’s Kau Yang Pertama.

Speaking of romance, the actress recently introduced her husband-to-be, pilot Mohammed Amirul Yunus, 28, to the press for the first time. The pair have known each other for seven years and will be tying the knot next month.

Farah and Amirul talk about how they met. The actress also recalls paying her dues as an extra besides facing depression.

1. What were some symptoms of depression you experienced?

My mum was like, “What’s happening to you? You should be happy. Everybody knows you and everybody likes your performance on screen.” I myself didn’t know why I was like that.

I just didn’t want to go out. And even when I was at home, I stayed inside my room. I didn’t want to see my mum. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I was just in my room doing nothing for days and weeks. I felt so restless.

And I just thought, “Oh my God, what is this?”

2. Why do you think it’s important to talk about your mental health struggles?

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I think not all Malaysians are open about this yet. They think, “Oh depression, that’s nothing.”

And seeing a psychologist in Malaysia is not a norm yet. But I believe one day, people will be educated about this. Somebody has to say something. And as a public figure, I have to be one of them.

3. Prior to Titian Cinta, you worked as an extra for two years. What were your career beginnings like?

While I was in college, I went for castings for commercials and TV shows.

I still remember my first job. I was paid RM80. I was playing a passerby in the background. I was there from 7am until 2am. I spent the whole day waiting because it turns out, my scene only started at midnight.

When it finally aired, I was like, “that’s it?” I couldn’t even see my nose (laughs). But it was a good experience.

After that, I was still an extra but I was given dialogues. And then I got supporting roles.

In 2015, there was an open casting for the lead role of a drama, Inikah Cinta. I tried out for it and I got the part. I was an extra for almost two years.

4. How did you first meet your husband-to-be?

This was way before I became a celebrity. I think at that time I was still trying to get through a heartbreak when he first started pursuing me.

He tried following me on Instagram but I didn’t approve. But he was very persistent.

(Actress and friend) Izara Aishah even brought him to meet me once and we got to know each other a bit then.

But at that time, I was still at that “I don’t need a man” phase. He still didn’t give up. In the end, he won my heart.

5. You’re an actress. He’s a pilot. How do you guys make it work?

Throughout these seven years, we only meet when our off days coincide. That doesn’t happen very often but we’ve managed to make it work. We do a lot of video calls.

(Since our relationship wasn’t announced publicly), of course, there could be other people going after him over the years. And if that’s the case, I need to tell myself that it’s his loss. I think it’s important that I know my worth.

And when people pursued me, I didn’t pay them any attention because I only had eyes for him. -The Star


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