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Depression:The Modern Disease

As Ahmed opens the door of his house; he thinks of the hard day he had; the mountain of paperwork that he has done, the deadlines that he has to fulfill the next day. He is still not able to rid himself of the nasty smell from the exhausts that filled the highway as cars moved along in a snail race. It took him ages to come back home. My life is so hard; from work to home and back to work, he thinks. Reviewing events of the day since his breakfast, he enters his home to find his wife, Fatima, waiting for him in despair.

As soon as she laid eyes on him, she starts pounding him with events of her day. A cry of a toddler makes it difficult to express all she has held inside for so long. Two other children noticed their father’s arrival. They run and scream “Daddy! Daddy! You’re home!” Fatima’s voice is soon one of many. She feels worthless, lost, and drained.

Meanwhile, their neighbor’s daughter hesitantly approaches her mother. She feels hopeless and drowning. Life sucks, passes through her mind. She struggles to express her emotions, but her mouth can’t find the right words. “Sorry, I don’t have time; go to your father.” Her father without lifting his eyes from the TV says, “Later.” No one cares about me, echoes through her head.

These two women have something in common. Both feel depressed, both reached out only to find themselves pushed back into their small, dark, cold corners where the sun doesn’t shine and birds don’t sing.

Husbands often think that their wives can’t be tired, stressed, or depressed. “They do nothing! So how can they be?!”, they think. They are all day home, while they, men, go out to do the ‘real’ work and face the ‘real’ stress and depression.

Parents often don’t have time to observe their children and give them the attention they crave. “They are just kids! They don’t know ‘real’ problems and the ‘real’ world yet!”, so stress and depression they feel is just another stage in their young life. They will outgrow it!

A few weeks later, both families meet in the emergency. The husband sits beside the bed of his wife who collapsed at home. Depression and anxiety was the diagnosis doctor gave him. Their neighbors look at the lifeless body of their daughter. Blood soaking through her wrist bandages. She did not know what to do, so she thought of the easiest way out. It did not work out. She is still alive.

Anxiety and depression are real. You don’t need to see a helpless body on a floor to realize that. It takes courage to speak up. Don’t take your family members and friends for granted. When you truly love people, you will want them to be happy and healthy.

Look at the signs. Talk to them. Help them find professional help. Just as our bodies can wear out and need help to get better, our minds wear out too. A weak person is not the one who speaks of his weakness and sickness; it takes courage.

To find out more about depression and anxiety, and ways your can recognize their signs and help, watch the recordings of the IOU Solace 2015 online conference on mental well-being. Find the time. You might be able to relieve someone of his or her distress. You might save a life. You might be the one, who will have his has burden lessen on the Day of Judgment because of that. You might be the one who finds the courage to speak up and get better.

“And no one really loves a person, until he desired for him what he loves for himself.” —Prophet Muhammad

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3 Responses

  1. imannan@yahoo.com'
    Ishrat

    Assalamu Alaikum. Thank you for writing this article on depression and anxiety. Our Muslim communities lack professional help resources when it comes to directly help those with serious clinical depression, anxiety, and many severe mental health problems. Family members are limited to how much they can help a loved one who struggles on a daily basis. We have to do more research and develop programs to help those with these problems.

  2. reshma.rahiman@gmail.com'
    Reshma

    Assalamualaikum,
    I am a mother of three expecting my fourth. I became pregnant immediately after marriage and have had back to back pregnancies ever since. Eight years of marriage has been a roller coaster ride, combined with family problems and a husband who is extremely busy with work and him self coping…. I was bound to fall into depression. Interestingly my family has a history of depression….. But I was resisting as I felt I was above medication. But soon my anger and sadness started getting out of control. Death also crossed my mind. That is when I decided I need help or all will be lost. I met a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with depression. A mild form of it but medication would be required. Alhamduliillah I feel so much in control now. The medication has its side effects like gastritis etc. But I no longer feel angry or sad unnecessarily. I am able to be a more supportive and understanding wife, mother and daughter. And that has boosted my morale. Choose your psychiatrist properly and take action. Sometimes medication is a necessary evil. But do your research and ask Allah swt to help you. And you ll inshaAllah see the results.

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