Almost half of Australians will have a mental health condition in their lifetime, with 3 million adults having anxiety and/or depression in any year.
Almost 50 per cent of clinics are having people with a psychiatric diagnosis. When understanding depression, depression is a state of mind which is accommodated with mood symptoms. However, there are different kinds of depressions and having sound knowledge on which depression is being discussed in the media is crucial.
When discussing depression there are three components which are identified as the core symptom of changing mood (Persistent and long-lived sadness), the cognitive component and the bodily symptoms component. The brain has this capacity though where it bounces back – so feelings of sadness will not last long. However, for some people with or without reason, it can turn into depression.
Situations that cause depression come from life events that cause a certain amount of stress. Those life events, if most people suffer – will go into some kind of mood change which is called an adjustment disorder. For example: losing a job, divorce or children going away. Adjustment disorder can additionally lead to a prolonged depressive disorder.
The next type of depression is neurotic depression which is known as dysthymia. All these different depressions vary from what is called endogenous depression, which is apart of recurring depressive episodes. This is where continuous episodes of depression occur with or without reason.
In endogenous depression, the quality of sadness could go from sleeping fine then waking up in the morning feeling sad where nothing makes you happy. That sadness interferes with almost everything. These depressions can either be from a biological thing or it can get precipitated by an external leaver. However, the quality of depression would need to be determined.
It makes a difference to know which depression someone may have due to prognosis. Interestingly though, before someone sees a clinician they may find their own mood state and automatically call it depression.
However, 70-80 per cent of people are just having problems with the daily life of living. A question to ask is why medicalisation is occurring? To which the answer is because of the ease of treatment.
The main awareness is if someone is experiencing beyond sadness, then seeing a clinician to work out the causes of the situation, which may just be from the stressors of life to which the clinician will help find solutions to those problems.
The sadness that one may be experiencing is all temporarily and often when a problem occurs, for most people as time passes the pain gets less and less. This reason is due to the brain that functions to survive. As the emotional brain starts developing over time, it would have slowly fine-tuned to these emotions against the external environment and survival.
There is this part of the brain where it shows that we all have coping mechanisms inside of us. This part of the brain is known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. So no matter what, our brain will get through whatever it is that we are going through.
Interestingly looking at an Islamic perspective it makes sense and only stands as further proof to the psychological research where Allah (God) states ‘Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear’ (Qur’an 2:286). It makes one realise that whatever hardship we face in our life is always going to be something that we know we can handle because we are the creations of Allah – including the brain and Allah loves his creations.
The brain was created and designed by Allah in a way where he knew his creations would adjust and adapt to any trial and tribulation that gets thrown their way. If the brains main function is to act for survival, then, of course, it is to protect ourselves from any evil that could occur in which our brain can sense this. To add further proof that Allah had created the brain is where he states ‘A lying sinful forehead’ (Qur’an 96:16).
This was due to an occasional event in response to a man who caused evil destruction to Prophet Muhammad (s). He was known as a pathological liar. Research states that pathological liars have more white matter at the prefrontal cortex. But 1400 years before it was discovered the Quran said that disbelievers will be dragged from their lying forehead. Scientists have only discovered these functions of the prefrontal area in the last sixty years.
Hence, the fact that it is determined that Allah has created the brain and that the prefrontal cortex is the area surrounded by emotions, then it is without a doubt that when a calamity occurs, we will all get through it.
‘For indeed with hardship, will be ease.’ (Qur’an 94:5)