What is depression?
A depressive disorder is more than a passing mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness, and it cannot be willed or wished away because it is a change in the chemicals of the brain (neurochemistry) which trigger a certain mood.
It is characterized by hopelessness, loss of meaning in life, self-worthlessness and feeling of sadness without being able to identify the cause of the gloominess in life. It does not discriminate with regard to race, educational background, social status or religion
Islam being not just a religion but also a complete way of life has provided us with a solution out of every problem, and depression is one problem to which the solutions are found in the teachings of Islam.
As a Muslim, we do get affected by life’s troubles and disturbing thoughts like everyone else, but we can deal with them much better because we have a clear roadmap of where we came from, where we are going and why, so we have a head start having this fundamental knowledge from its source
Position of depression in the world
Major depression is the 4th most disabling condition in the world, and 2nd most in the developed world. At the rate of increase, it will be the 2nd most disabling condition in the world by 2020, behind heart disease.No wonder that major depression is classed as “the nation’s leading mental health problem”
Causes of depression
There are well-known depression triggers: Trauma, grief, financial troubles, loss of someone special, unemployment etc. It is hard to pinpoint a specific cause. In truth, there may not be a concrete reason for depression.
Solution to depression
Let’s discuss some practical steps which will help knock out depression.We will not discuss anti-depressants as they are more chemical than practical.
The hardest battle for the strongest soldiers
No human is burdened with difficulties which they cannot bear. Quran mentions “(ALLAH) will never place a burden on a soul that it can not bear.” (2:286) How many times in life, we felt that we cannot take it anymore, but we lived through it?
This too shall pass!
Tough times only mean that the times of ease are near.The fact is nothing remains forever and nothing remains the same. The Quran teaches “Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (94:5-6) There is a season for everything & all will come to pass. And so will your depression.
Come out of trials better not bitter
Remember that heartbreaks happen to push us towards Allah so grab the opportunity and make the trials a means to attain the nearness of ALLAH.You are not in control of what happens to you but can choose what you want to do. Have an optimistic approach towards the events.
Be INSPIRED by & ASPIRE to follow the examples of the Prophets. They all underwent great tribulations, yet they accepted & believed firmly in Qadr (destiny) while striving to the end. Read the Biography of the Prophets and their stories wherein you will find comfort.
When the sun goes down, the stars come out
Life is one difficulty after another. However, it is important to know that while life tests us, there is ease after hardship. Everything has a high and a low. What goes up, must come down. While the storm you must take care of yourself, rely on ALLAH and know that He is always with you and only He can give you strength in difficult times. Also, remember that He will help you can come out of a trying situation as a better person if you deal with it positively.
Not why me? It’s try me!
Don’t Tell ALLAH how big your storm, tell your storm how big ALLAH Is. The pain we feel today is the strength we will feel tomorrow so Instead of blaming the situation acknowledge that hardships are curing us. It’s not the events, which take place that causes happiness or sadness but it’s our inner reflection of our situation that determines our spirituality. So whenever an adversity afflicts instead of grumbling and despairing battle it with a smile as the world always look brighter behind a smile.
Too many expectations, too many disappointments
Most of depression happens due to high and sometimes unrealistic expectations. If we can lower our expectations, we minimize the risk of going into a depression.When we cling to people with high hopes without making room for their shortcomings, we will inevitably become disappointed & feel let down, upon their least mistake.
Do not be a Dunya keeper, be a Jannah chaser
If we emphasize on the transitory nature of this worldly life-then most of our problems of this life lose its importance in our lives and subsequently lose their power of a having negative impact on us. Remember This Dunya is a station, not a destination. Make Allah SWT the real centre of your life, draw closer to Him, to His Laws, to His Pleasure, to doing beneficial deeds only for His Sake. Change, re-steer, re-ground your mindset to work for your Akhirah, not just for this short rat-race Dunya.
Stop focusing on how stressed you are & remember how blessed you are
Speak about the BLESSINGS of Allah SWT in your life, thereby focusing on the positives. This positive reinforcement will help you get back on track, regain hope, on the Path to Allah SWT. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whenever you see someone better than you in wealth, face or figure, you should look at someone who is inferior to you in these respects” (Bukhari, Muslim).
You whisper down on Earth in Sujood & it’s heard in the Heavens
Prayer is the cure for a lost soul, confused mind and broken heart. Do not leave salah even in the worst bouts of depression (incidentally ‘meditation’ is a proven key medical treatment for depression today).
Relax, breathe & make dua
Du’a (supplication) is the essence of worship So turn to the One who has the solution to all our problems. A beautiful Quote by Ibn Qayyim says “ Had Allah lifted the veil for His Slave and shown Him How He handles HIS affairs for him, and how ALLAH is more keen for the benefit of the slave than his own self, his heart would have melted out of the love for ALLAH and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to ALLAH. Therefore if the pains of this world tire you do not grieve. For it may be that ALLAH wishes to hear your voice by way of Dua. So pour out your desires in prostration and forget about it and know that verily Allah does not forget it”
“If the world was free of problems, paradise would lose it’s value. So be patient for what was written for you was written By the Greatest Writer ”