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Living with Depression and Islam

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By Anonymous

Every morning I wake up and wish I hadn’t.

The months, weeks and days pass with me wishing it’ll be the last, and yet there’s no end.

At nighttime I cry faintly into my pillow with tears streaming down my cheeks. I whimper in pain, attempting to suppress the sounds that leave my room; I don’t want my family to hear.

I whisper, “Oh Allah, I don’t want to live anymore. Oh Allah, please, I don’t want to live anymore.”

I feel broken. I feel alone. I feel empty inside. I am in pain and numb at the same time. Perhaps my pain is so much now that I can no longer distinguish it. It is a physical pain—a weight on my chest crushing my existence, crushing my hopes and dreams.

I pray five times a day, I make du`a’ (supplications), I say astaghfirullah (I ask forgiveness from Allah) throughout the day and read as much Qur’an as I can. But it’s hard. I have no motivation to keep going. I don’t know what I’m moving towards. My goals and hopes have all slowly faded away.

I am a façade of who I once was. I constantly lie about how I feel. I must keep up appearances. I smile and laugh when I must. I have to maintain relationships, or else the loneliness will only get worse. I would rather be in this dungeon that I’m in, alone; but my mind knows that the loneliness will only make it worse. I don’t want to unload the hurt I feel onto others. So, I fake a smile and try to converse with family and friends. It is tiring, but I do it. It is a part of living and for now I must live.

I don’t want to be a burden and I don’t want others to pity me.

I don’t pity myself. I am not ungrateful. I am thankful. I am thankful for all the blessings Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) has bestowed upon me. I do not complain to others. I try to complain only to Allah (swt). Yaqub `alayhi assalam (peace be upon him) endured the pain of being separated from his beloved Yusuf (as) for many years. Maryam (as) lay beneath a palm tree while in the throes of labor, wishing Allah (swt) had taken her life and spared her from those moments of despair. Musa (as), a fugitive from the land of Pharaoh, found himself without family, wealth, or possessions—he had nothing. Poor and desperate, all he was able to cry was “My Lord, I am in need of any good that you send me.”

So I complain to Allah (swt) of the pain and sadness I cannot explain. I keep asking, most times not knowing what to say. Just hoping and praying and wishing for salvation from this suffering.

I don’t know how to explain depression. How do I explain it to family and friends? I heard someone once describe depression as an ever-lingering constant sadness, even when everything in your life is going well.

It is a total loss of pleasure.

Nothing gives me pleasure anymore.

I’m so tired, yet no amount of sleep nourishes me. Eating has become work. Brushing my teeth, answering phone calls, replying to emails; simply existing has become tiresome. I know my pain is not physical to others, but my pain is real. I feel it in every moment. When I sleep, when I eat, when I laugh, when I cry, when I speak. My pain is hidden beneath it all.

No one wishes to be around someone filled with such overwhelming sadness and gloom. No one wants to hear how my mind aches every day, that I have given up my hopes and dreams or that I wish Allah (swt) would take my life quickly and subtly. My heart hurts every day. I wish I could take a hold of the heart within me, and sever it from my being. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel like this. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel dead inside.

I think of death all the time. It plays in the background now. I have never understood suicide. But now I do. I wonder about taking my life. Maybe overdose on my medications. But there’s never enough to overdose on. Psychiatrists know suicide is always an option for the depressed, so they are careful when they medicate. When I am driving, I imagine what would happen if I made a slight abrupt turn into a tree. But maybe I wouldn’t die. Maybe I would find myself paralyzed and that would be a worse existence, for then I’d still be alive, but now a physical burden to my family. But the truth is, I am still too scared of Allah (swt) and the Hellfire to ever commit such a sin. I know suicide is not an option. Faith has limited me to only entertaining such an end, but never to commit to it.

I would never wish what I feel upon another human being. I have no energy or zest for life, and no one cares. The two or three people that know cannot empathize. They only offer support when I reach out to them, but I don’t want to be a burden. Can’t they reach out to me? Can’t they ask how I’m doing? Can’t they tell when I say, “Alhamdulillah (all praise be to Allah), I’m okay,” that I’m not okay? Can’t they put themselves in my shoes? I so desperately want someone to save me, yet I know only I can save myself. I can use the help of medication, of faith, of family, of friends, but only I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope to reach it one day.

But I could use some help.

People say: “Don’t worry, trust Allah.” “This is just a phase. You’ll get over this.” “Be thankful for your life. You’re not dying.”

But I feel like I am, why can’t they understand?

They may think depression is a first-world problem. Maybe it is; maybe not. I thought depression was something the weak-spirited suffered. I thought Allah (swt) was enough. I thought medications were simply a bandage. But I’ve realized, unfortunately too personally, that depression is not black and white. It is not something that one can wish away. It is a battle that only the strongest of will win. I know it will take me every fiber of my being to kill this silent lurking monster.

Even though no one sees the emotional pain and mental agony of depression; I am here to tell you, it is real. Whether it’s due to the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a bad test score or absolutely nothing you can put your finger on—it is real. And you cannot let it get worse. Whether you are the one suffering or someone around you is. We must notice the person who isn’t as cheery as they once were. We must notice the drastic behavior changes in the person we once knew. Notice physical changes: weight loss, weight gain, dark circles, lethargy, unexplained headaches, missed school days and work days.

Please, help someone around you who is suffering. Maybe they are suffering for unknown reasons; maybe it doesn’t make sense to you. Maybe they have been depressed for a couple of days or maybe they have been depressed for months. Whatever the case, if you can help- help.

We need to be there for our sister, our brother, our friend, our coworker, our daughter, our son, our student, our neighbor who is suffering. We need to help them. We must not let it get worse. We must not let them fall into an abyss of complete despair.

We must be forgiving for the missed phone calls and the broken promises and the little changes that make us question our relationship. Be forgiving. Be empathetic. Understand that in the fog of depression, human beings make bad decisions, say things they wish they hadn’t and do things they never would. The regret kills them from within. They are miserable, and they don’t know how to tell anyone. The smile they force hides a world of pain and despair. Notice the fake smile and the blank stares and ask, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m just tired.” “Oh, I think I’m getting sick.” “Just a little stressed.” Don’t let these answers distract you. Say: “I’m here for you. If you’re going through anything at all, you can talk to me. Don’t forget that.”

Know that depression lies to the sufferer. It tells them: “You are worthless. The world would be better without you. You are a burden to your family. You are not smart enough. You are not religious enough. You are not beautiful/ handsome enough. You will never reach your goals. You are nothing and you are all alone.” This loneliness consumes the individual, completely paralyzing them.

Tell them they are not alone. Keep texting, keep calling, keep emailing. Just be there. Don’t let their indifference, or their excuses dissuade you. So many are suffering silently because they believe no one cares. But keep trying. It will make a difference. It will make all the difference. Everyone notices a broken leg but no one notices a broken spirit. Don’t be the person that lets months go by while a friend or an acquaintance falls deeper and deeper into his/ her depression.

And once they’ve revealed their “secret”, don’t leave them. Don’t forget them. Don’t let weeks pass by without checking up on them. And when you do reach out, don’t simply say: “It’s going to be okay. Just perk up. Be thankful. Don’t just sit around all day. Get out of bed. Call me whenever you need.” Though well-intentioned, this is not enough. Being there for a person who is depressed is mentally and emotionally draining. They will not call you. They will not be the first to reach out. They do not want to be a burden to you.

I do not want to be a burden to my family and friends. So I will not call and I may not reply until the third text. I know it’s selfish, but that’s what I need now. And I do not want someone to tell me to be thankful. I am already thankful. I pray to Allah (swt) every day, and spend hours thanking Him for what He has given me, in tears. And I ask Him to forgive me for feeling how I feel. I tell Him how hurt I am and how ungrateful I feel. I ask Him why I feel like this. I ask Him to help me. I know I can’t ask Him to take my life, so I ask Him what I’m allowed to: “Grant me life as long as it is good for me, and grant me death when it is better for me.” Always hoping the latter is what is better.

If we want to be pillars of support for those who are suffering, it will require effort. Over and over and over again.

I am writing this having suffered this overwhelming illness for about more than a year. I am okay today, so I am able to write this. Yesterday I was a mess, inconsolably crying filled with anxiety and despair. I am writing this because I want to tell you how I feel. And I want anyone suffering like me to know that there are others that are observant, struggling Muslims and that they feel the way you are feeling. And that you should see a psychiatrist, that you can take medication if that’s what you need right now, and that it is okay to tell the people who you love. And finally, always remember- even when people disappoint you, Allah (swt) will never. He is always there and He will always be there for you. If He has kept you breathing, He has a purpose for you, insha`Allah (by the will of God).

“…And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from an unexpected source. And when someone puts all his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him.” [Qur’an, 65:2-3]

May Allah (swt) cure you all of your illnesses, your distresses, your pains and grant you the best of healing. Ameen.

An excellent video to better understand depression:

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179 Comments

  • Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabrakatuh,
    SubhanAllah, that article really kept me on the edge of my seat. I agree with you beyond 100% about reaching to others who are going through such times in their lives because they may not show it, but I always say if you look deep down into someone’s eyes, you’ll see a story. SubhanAllah everyone has a story. Some have it worse than others. When I was going through a tough time in my life, a friend of mine recommended me to say a Dua that one of the companions said when she went through a hardship: “Allahumma ajir fi museebati wakhlif khairan minha.” And really, to whoever you are brother or sister, Allahumma ajir fi museebatik/museebatak wakhlif khairan minha. Please know that I am here for you, and I mean whole-heartedly. If like to keep in touch with you and see how you’re doing. Not only is it my duty but because I want to. I want to be there for you and promise you that you have someone whom you can trust. May Allah ease every hardship that anyone faces, and just remember, “la yukallifullaha nafsan illa wus’aha”,”Allah will not burden a soul more than it can bear.” 🙂

    • I agree that this article so articulately outlined the emotional state of depression. It is something that only people who are dealing with anxiety and depression would ever understand.

  • Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

    Thank you so much for this article as I now know that I am not the only one suffering from such a battle. I could totally relate to most of the things that you wrote about depression and I believe that it must have taken great courage for you to write this article.

    I once did the same thing about two weeks back but I ended up feeling depressed and ashamed of myself after sharing my experience with the aim of letting others know that there is hope and that they are not alone in suffering this problem of depression. Thank you so much for putting in this effort (it must not have been easy) to write this. I truly truly appreciate it and May Allah reward you for it.

    In Shaa Allah, i do hope that you do feel supported and if at all you are willing to share your experiences with me, pls do contact me via email. I would really appreciate having someone who is going through something similar to give me advice and I need them. Likewise, I hope that I can be a part of your support system too, In Shaa Allah. I know that opening up is one of the hardest things to do in this state but I just feel like stumbling upon this article is a sign of Allah helping me through this.

    Thank you once again. Syafakillah.

  • all those explanation describe me. i’m suffering for almost 4 years now. until now, i’m still depressed. it’s not better but become worst every year.

    one thing i do is i promise myself that i’ll not killing myself. if i do it, Allah surely will really hate me.

    • Assalamualaikum, Nana.

      These are just my own two cents about overcoming this issue. I was diagnosed with ‘depressive symptoms’ by a psychologist a few months back. I did see a psychiatrist but I was asked to take medication to avoid myself from being in the depressed state. After discussion with my family, we opted not to take the meds due to it’s side effects since I was also taking other meds for having epilepsy. That’s just some background of what I have been going through.

      I don’t know what advice I should give since you have been going through this so much longer but likewise, I also had suicidal thoughts. Like the author of this article rightfully mentioned, depression is not a black and white issue and I guess that overcoming it is far than easy.

      So far, the only thing that has kept me going everyday is Islam (since only Allah has the right over our lives). The first thing I do is that I engage with my own negative thoughts (this only works when my state of depression isn’t too bad though). I tell myself that there will be something good out of all this as it can’t rain forever. I will see the rainbow one day, In shaa Allah. Doing this and trying to be optimistic is really really hard and I’m sure you have been through it. Sometimes, all I want to do is sleep and forget about everything but then again, having depression does result me in having troubles to sleep and night as well.

      I have realized this though: I now know that no one can really help me out of this as it’s my own thoughts and feelings that are killing me and making me feel depressed. The only one whom I can rely on is Allah but at the same time, I am aware that I can’t push people away. Often times, I get disappointed for not getting the support needed from my friends and family. It’s not that they don’t care but they just don’t understand. Also, the high expectations I have on them worsens the situation. I’m still struggling as well in getting help from others when I’m offered help or even to ask for their support when my thoughts are haywire.

      For now, what I’m doing is that I push myself to read the Qur’an translation and al-Ma’thurat by Imam Hassan al-Banna. The Ma’thurat has dua’s that seeks for Allah’s protection for our daily well-being and the verses are very comforting for the soul. Also, don’y’t ever let go off the 5 daily prayers as praying is the best remedy. It’s really hard to push myself to do so especially if I’m really down, having unnecessary thoughts and on the verge of crying. But I tell myself that going through this with patience will help me earn a home in Jannah, In shaa Allah.

      Also, I have started to take up hobbies and try finding pleasure in doing the things I once enjoyed such as reading. I usually use it as a medium for me to distract myself from thinking and ruminating about my problems. Finding joy in reading hasn’t been successful yet but it has helped to distract my thoughts. One more adaptive behaviour that I have found useful is instead of finding people to talk to, I write down my unfiltered thoughts on my phone or on my private blog at night when I can’t sleep. Sometimes, I feel the need of having a best friend who completely understand me to speak to so what I would do is that I would write down whatever I feel like telling the other person in the form of a letter on my private blog. Although no one is responding to it, I tell myself that since everything is possible in Jannah, Allah might actually send these letters I wrote to a good friend whom I will meet in the hereafter. This may sound silly (I don’t know) but it has helped me.

      Once again, I would like to stress that it’s not easy convincing your own thoughts and doing all the things stated above. There will definitely be times that you feel like giving up and I even had times when I was so angry with Allah for placing me in this state. I even questioned His existence but going through all this has made me believe that He is there because when every other door closes, it’s only the door to Him that’s open. I myself am going through a hard time doing my Ibadah’s regularly like I used to and to try find things that I enjoy.

      I just felt the need to share this as I don’t want anyone to feel alone as I once did. I thought that I was a ‘bad muslim’ for being depressed but at least, I now know that I’m not alone. It’s really comforting to know that and I thank the author for writing this article.

      Wallahualam. I hope this will be helpful for everyone. Please forgive me for any shortcomings in this comment of mine.

      I have also written a few short articles (one was written last night as I was not able to sleep and was inspired to write after reading this piece- but it was meant more for those who don’t understand this issue and would like to help). I never shared any of my writings earlier and they were always on my private blog as I thought that no one might be going through anything similar. Anyway, here’s the link to it: http://twinklingoceanskies.blogspot.com/ if it’s of any help.

      Jazakillah khair. May Allah help all of us through this.

      • Bismillah hir Rahman nir Rahim. Praise be to Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful. After reading this article and your thoughts i wanted to say I sympathize and empathize with you. Depression and anxiety are ailments like all other ailments. I used to think it was the shaytan (dammed is he) putting negative thoughts in my head but now I realize it could be that plus other causes like heredity and genetics. Believe me I’ve tried medication, doctors and even behavioural therapy. Nothing has seemed to help and it is a very difficult battle. May Allah SWA help us overcome these battles soon.

        By the way, your thoughts on the letters and the hereafter were very cute and not silly at all since nothing is impossible in the hereafter in Jannah. May Allah SWA grant your wishes.

        However, on a positive note, there are solutions to every problem. Prayer and rememberance of Allah SWA, the all-mighty, all-knowing, the all-powerful, and some self-help books. One that was recommended to me is called “Mind over Mood”. Another thing that helps is to think the opposite of negative thoughts. I recently failed at something and it is very hard to deal with (please pray for me) but instead of thinking “what if I’m not successful next time?” I figure why not think “what if I am successful next time?” And instead of “my life will always be horrible” I manually alter myself to think “what if my life ahead is wonderful” for Allah SWA is all-powerful and can change the impossible into possible. When we think negative thoughts, we have no basis for believing they can/will be true. It’s blind faith that nothing will be better, because we don’t know what lies ahead. So why not put blind faith into thinking things will get better. PLUS you have the glorious Quran that assures you “Verily with hardship comes ease. Verily with hardship comes ease.” [94:5-6]

        Another thing that helps me is meditative yoga. There are tons of YouTube videos on yoga. There’s meditative, bedtime, energizing, stress relief, etc. (my favourite is Gaiam Yoga for weight loss – it’s actually pretty great for relieving stress but it’s all ladies doing the video. For the brothers I recommend looking up Gaiam Rodney Yee).

        The last thing I can suggest that has helped me is binaural beats. It’s not music but frequencies that realign your brain and promote different states of mind since our minds are all about frequencies. You can read up on Binaural Beats on Wikipedia for an explanation. Keep in mind it does require you to have headphones to listen to them in order for them to be effective.

        Also when negative thoughts come into your head, sit and recite “Aaoozhu Billah hi minash shaytan nir rajim” (My Lord I seek refuge from shaytan (the damned)” and “la howla wala quwata illah billa”. Write out these and other verses like 94:5-6 “verily after hardship comes ease” on post it notes and put them in a place you will constantly see them. I have these saved on my phone as pictures in their own folder that I have found on the Internet and downloaded to my phone. You can do this on your computer as well or just have them in your mind. Whenever you start to feel down, all you have to do is scroll through positive, uplifting and comforting verses. This rewires your brain to think positive. You may have to do this often and maybe for a while but you “kill 2 birds with 1 stone”; you stop negative thoughts in their tracks and you collect good deeds for the hereafter.

        For all you who like to read (and even the ones that don’t) I HIGHLY a recommend a book called “When Life Begins” by Abu Yahya. Even though it’s only based on his thoughts supported by scripture and Hadith and he says that we don’t know what the hereafter holds for us, it’s a very awesome read. You can google it and find the PDF version free.

        Any other suggestions are highly welcome 🙂

        I was reading this article and was looking for an ending that was going to say how you managed to overcome your struggles but InshAllah we all will overcome our struggles eventually with the help of Allah SWA. I always think it’s helpful to end problems with suggested solutions if possible and end things on a positive note. And Allah SWA knows best and is the best of planners.

      • Salam Hanah,
        Amazing article and comments. i thought it was just me. i think we need to create a support group of sorts as people just want to be able to reach those who can truly understand.
        I clicked your link to the blog but i received a message that i need to be invited to be able to access it. I was hoping that you would be kind enough to send me an invitation.
        Jazakallah.
        Ali

        • Waalaikumussalam.

          I’m sorry about that. Things haven’t exactly been easy for me lately and disconnecting from the society was a way that I thought may help. It’s really weird how Allah sends help sometimes.

          I have been receiving notifications via email lately and read comments that there are people in the society who may actually need my presence and life isn’t totally worthless though I do feel it is sometimes. Convincing the mind when it isn’t in the best state is one of the most difficult things to do. Telling myself that life is worth living and that I do matter is hard.

          Anyway, I have made my blog accessible but I don’t really know if it’s gonna be of any help.

    • Nana,
      I have struggled with depression for most of my adult life. When in a depressed state I have a tendency or more a habit, of self-isolating. I know how to wear the mask of “everything is fine here” and put up a false front so that those around me won’t be concerned or ask questions. Sometimes I think it’s genetic as well. What I do know is that it’s critical to talk with someone – a friend, if you have a supportive “heart-to-heart” relationship with them. A counselor is critical for a reality check and some perspective. When one is depressed or deep in the depths of blueness, it’s near impossible to see one’s situation with any clarity. I wouldn’t suggest a psychiatrist out of hand as they are medical doctor’s and will tend to go the medication route. Sometimes that’s what’s needed for a brief time. Meds have been said by those suffering depression to have been lifesavers. But, there are options. I saw a therapist (a counselor/psychologist – varies from state to state) for quite a while. It takes awhile to establish a relationship where you feel safe opening up to another. A good therapist will know how to create and preserve that space for you. Becoming aware that you are meant to be here, in this world, at this moment in time – your “life’s worth” is what is important for you to realize and acknowledge. You may not be able to imagine it now, I couldn’t either at one time but you will get through this. Someday you will be the one to extend your hand to another in her/his darkest moments. In the meanwhile, surround yourself with a gift of something beautiful, perhaps something from nature – flowers or a large green flowering plant, or some lighted candles, something that will give you an expression of light and joy to remind you of Allah’s creation and love. Another suggestion, that now has research to support it (and my experience recommends it as well) is “mindfulness meditation.” It is not religion based. There might be a program in your area or you can check out this link and there are others, just do a google search.
      http://palousemindfulness.com/index.html Keeping you in my prayers.

    • Dear Nana

      Depression Happens because of a chemical imbalance in the brain.

      Solution :
      1) Visiting a psychiatrist and take meds. Yes, it does have side effects.. But some times the side effects are negligible compared to the daily trauma you have to go with Depression.
      2) There are Quraanic verses and Dua that are good for cure. You should some how get hold of them and read them constantly ( on a daily basis). Allah mentions in the quraan “And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” (17-82).

      I can relate to the article 100% because i was going through it for years. I didn’t realise I was suffering from depression, until it became very apparent to outsiders. My Family wanted me to see a psychiatrist, for which I was very reluctant. Eventually I did visit one, the Dr. gave me anti depressants and sleeping pills and reduced the dosage over the months.

      While I was taking the meds, I was doing alot of recitation and reading dua’s for cure.

      Allhumdulillah it worked.

      Side note – The meds that I took were very heavy. Knowing the side effects of the medication, One day i thought I had enough of meds and stopped it. Few days later I couldn’t stand on my feet and take two steps out of bed, I was feeling Lightheaded, faintness, a floating sensation. Then the Dr. explained to me it was because of the meds, I had to reduce the dosage over a period of time before I can come out of it.

    • Don’t think Allah hates you. Allah doesn’t like suicide, it’s a major sin, and we should avoid it, but Allah can forgive things like suicide. But try to develop a better view of Allah. It should help.

  • I hadn’t checked this website in a long time. But when I saw the title of this article in my email, I didn’t second think before opening it, only to start crying into the first few lines.
    And I couldn’t control my tears untill the end of it.
    I can relate to much of what is mentioned here.
    One reason I stopped frequenting this (and other such) sites is because I had lost faith in religious theorising, in individuals and institutions who I knew could never understand what I was going through. I had naturally tried my share of seeking counsel and support from Islamic websites, Muslim community leaders, family and friends. And had found them tremendously helpful too, but eventually (and quite understandably too) they all found better things to do with their time.
    Ultimately, having expected too much from frail human beings and consequently ending up disappointed, I decided to let them go. Decided to never open up. For I cannot trust them to handle my heart with due care. They are good people no doubt. Well meaning, pure souls. It is not their fault either.
    I am still skeptical of the ‘help’ people generally claim to offer. I’m just too tired of seeking and ending up disappointed over and over again. It is much more convenient to suffer silently.
    Unfortunately for me, my depression also gets in the way of my religious rituals, so I do not even feel worthy of Allah’s mercy most of the time.
    I don’t claim to know how to ‘solve’ this issue. Sometimes all you need is to have your pain acknowledged for what it is, without being offered (false) promises of ‘The Remedy’ for it.

    • Assalamualaikum.

      I don’t have the remedy to this neither do I know how to overcome depression. However, since I have felt the similar issues of not wanting to open up about my feelings and I have had depression get in the way of my Ibadah, I would like to share my thoughts on this.

      I can’t really say much about not wanting to open up because for the same reasons that you have stated above, I have stopped opening up to those whom I used to. It has not been easy to keep things to myself as I have always dealt with problems by expressing my feelings and thoughts. I guess that maybe you could convince yourself to speak to your family members if the feelings are eating you up on the inside? It is hard but what I did try to do is to tell my parents that I don’t expect them to reply, I just want them to be there to listen. Nevertheless, their remark to my problems does hurt sometimes because they don’t understand and I can’t just get rid of the unrealistic expectations I have.

      When I started suffering from ‘depressive symptoms’, I felt as if Allah wasn’t there. Like everything seemed so blurry that I couldn’t find a way out of this. Prayer didn’t seem to take away the bottled up feelings I had and I just didn’t know what to do. I also resorted to self-harm behaviour because I couldn’t even cry to Allah during prayer and express my self to Him. I was scared of losing faith as I started questioning His existence. But then again, I realized that stopping my religious rituals (especially the 5 daily prayers and reading the Qur’an) would not be of any help. I did have the urge to rebel and to do so but it made me even angrier with myself and more depressed. Like you said, I felt as if “I was not worthy of Allah’s mercy”.

      Then, I decided to talk to people and find ways out of this. One of the most impactful things that someone once told me is that “if you have lost your Iman and you don’t believe in Allah, He wouldn’t have led you to ask me questions about faith”.
      It made sense but it took time for me to really understand that. So, I believe that there must be a reason why out of all people suffering from this emotional turmoil, Allah chose you to read this article. It’s because He still loves you and He wants you to bring yourself closer to Him. I know that this is all easier said than done. It’s hard to really believe in this and to practice it. Sometimes, the anger towards Allah for placing us in such a situation becomes so overwhelming and we start questioning Him. We start questioning if we should even pray to Him anymore. But, prayer and dependence towards Him is really the only way out of this. It’s the trick of the Shaytan to tell us that we don’t deserve His mercy anymore. After all, He is the Most Merciful and probably, He wants you to go through this to come out as a better person. It’s always difficult to see the rainbow during a storm but there must be a hikmah behind all this. So, don’t give up and keep praying. No matter what happens, don’t stop praying 5 times a day as this will only depress you further. And, know that it’s never too late to start praying 5 times a day 🙂

      All the good from this comes from Allah and whatever bad in this comes from me. Please forgive me if my words may have hurt you in any way. May Allah grant us all tranquillity in the hearts and the strength to bear this emotional pain, In shaa Allah.

      On a side note, do watch this video on Surah ad-Dhuha if you have the time. It did help me a lot to feel better about my situation. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoqhNz7wD3I

      • Bismillah hir Rahman nir Rahim. All praises are for Allah SWA, the most gracious, the most merciful. I’m so glad to see I wasn’t the only one that used to question Allah SWA’s existence (May Allah SWA forgive us all as He is the most forgiving). I have the added burden of being a philosophy major and one of my class topics was on the existence of God. And recently failing at something near and dear to my heart didn’t help the cause. BUUUUT I remember having a colleague who used to question me about God’s existence as this collegue was an atheist who believed in The Big Bang Theory and was a fan of science over religion. I had pointed out to this person that they thought it was ridiculous to believe that a supreme, all-powerful Being was responsible for creating this world yet they believed that all of a sudden out of no where a “Big Bang” happened and suddenly, like magic, the universe just came into existence and human beings miraculously formed from the combining of specific atoms and were able to reproduce. Also science has yet to explain how when a baby is forming inside the mother and how at 3 months they go from no heart and a single cell to a heartbeating being (ie. Allah SWA blows a soul and life into the child). And why is it that some people are able to be recessesitated and others aren’t. Even doctors accept that it’s unexplainable.

        The other thing is, have you ever noticed how miraculous human beings are? We get the flu and the cells we have are programmed to produce antibodies to help us get better. We get a minor cut and our body, a closed system, reacts to close up the cut, stop the bleeding and heal. Could atoms just out of no where be responsible for that?

        As for blind faith, we can’t see the wind but we can feel it and we believe it exists instead of tossing the notion of the wind aside and chalking it up to imagination.

        That’s one point. The other point is about Allah’s mercy. It’s said that the only things Allah SWA won’t forgive are shirk (worshipping someone/something other than Allah SWA – including money and ourselves) and hurting someone (Allah SWA says He won’t forgive you unless the person you hurt does, this includes back biting and gossiping). I heard from a scholar during Ramadhan that Allah SWA has told the shaytan (since Allah SWA wants to save us from the hellfire) “whenever my creation asks me for forgiveness, I will forgive them. They may get tired of asking, but I will not get tired of forgiving.” There’s also an aya in the Quran Surah 2:Aya 45 I believe where Allah SWA tells us how firgiving He is abd to “Seek help through patience and prayer” since “Allah SWA is with the patient.” May Allah SWA forgives all our sins in the past, present and future. And Allah SWA knows best.

        • Forgot to add, it helps when you pray to know the meaning of what you’re saying and to truly believe Allah SWA will forgive you and that He is listening to everything you are saying. Allah SWA will answer you in His own way, in His own time. You have to believe that with all your heart. May Allah SWA help us all and strengthen our Eeman.

    • I have been in this situation for countless years and have been in an on-off situation. Even self destructive. I depended on the support of frail humans.I neglected prayers due to absolute lack of concentration. And I did not notify my family as they do not understand psychological issues. I have a religious long distance friend who is supportive but the distance is obtrusive. I travelled a long distance from home to pursue higher studies and it made matters worse. I also had the bad luck to be amidst people who prey on other’s weaknesses. Amidst all this, I pray that I may be granted a meaningful, disciplined life. Insha Allah

  • Asalam-o-alaikum
    JazakAllah khair for this article. I have been suffering with an auto immune illness for 9 years and clinical depression for 5 years. When I was first diagnosed with my auto immune illness (which involves extreme pain, fatigue, memory loss amongst other things) I thought there could be nothing worse than what I was suffering.

    And then I got clinical depression. And now as my doctor puts it I could deal with the physical illness over the mental illness. Its like you said I don’t recognise myself anymore. I used to be a fun filled active person studying the deen. Now I can barely recite the Quran or do dhikr as the concentration required is unbearable. I wish religious people would understand….I wish I could understand. Is it because I have low iman, is it because I am evil, is it due to a sin? It eats me and eats me and eats me. The loneliness and isolation is all consuming.

    I really wish Muslim brothers and sisters who are well and healthy could take some time out and form support groups for all people who are suffering depression or other illnesses because sometimes all a person needs is empathy and company. I also wish Muslim scholars would address these issues in their talks. I have often gone to Islamic talks hoping that they will save me from despair but I come back worse because the message I get is we are not good Muslims. If I was well I could relate but PLEASE Muslim scholars help those of us who are drowning…give us some words of hope….have compassion for us.

    • Bismilah hir Rahman nir Rahim. May the peace and blessings of Allah SWA be upon you. I am truly wowed by your commitment and faith. Anyone in your condition would probably give up reciting the Quran or praying or going to islamic lectures. And I do agree with you that most of the time I have felt that the lectures are guilt trips in hopes that people will give more sadqa to the mosque or establishment.

      If I may make a suggestion, I would look into listening to lectures on YouTube of scholars who inform others of Allah SWA’s wonderful qualities. Maulana Tariq Jamil comes to mind but his speeches are mostly in Urdu. As for support groups, maybe you can start up your own support group and have the mosque announce it and help out. If they don’t im sure another mosque will. Or you can create a group online or a blog on this forum.

      As for the difficulty you are having reciting the Quran, Allah SWA loves it when people who find reciting the Quran difficult or are slow, recite the Quran. You InshAllah will get double, triple, InshAllah even an infinite amount more good deeds than those who can recite it fluently and quickly. I was told this because I was and am a slow reader.

      I also HIGHLY recommend you read the book ” When Life Begins” by Abu Yahya. It really puts this life into perspective and rest assured that your suffering and still believing in the Almighty in this temporary life will InshAllah earn you a high status in the real permenant life more easily. That’s what we all are aiming for right? If you face difficulty in this life, you will face ease in the hereafter InshAllah. But do realize that every breath you take and the fact that you are still alive and can repent and still further your hereafter is a blessing in itself. And Allah SWA is the best of physicians and He had the cure for all ailments.

      I have read somewhere that surah Fatiha holds the cure for everything except death. Google it in case I’m wrong. May Allah SWA ease yours and everybody’s suffering and cure us all of our ailments.

      • Oh and another thing I forgot to add. For trouble reciting the Quran, what I usually do is go to the site quranexplorer dot com. They have reciters that I listen to and follow along with when I’m reading. Some reciters are faster than others but some go at a good pace. I hope that helps. May Allah SWA bless us all.

  • Salaam,

    This article really touched me because only those who have went through anxiety or depression understand those tormenting thoughts. It’s not easy at all. Something that I really believe helps is reaching out to the right people to help us find the light when we feel so low and dark. It took some time but like you recommended, I found a caring, honest, and patient Muslim counselor/ life coach who is phenomenal mA. So when you feel the time is right here is his website: http://www.livingeman.com.

  • “Can’t hear the murmur of a prayer, it’s not dark yet but it’s getting there, but I know that the mercy of God must be near” Dylan

  • ‘For every disease, there is a cure’ even if we haven’t found it yet. I believe it is hard but depressed folks should muster up courage and see a psychiatrist. Depression is very common & totally treatable! JazakAllah khayr for sharing your story.

  • Lovely article. It brings it home how difficult and misunderstood depression is. It’s sad that so many Muslims suffer and are treated as though they are weak in Iman, ungrateful or at its worst, described as being under jinn possession (I’m not kidding, it happens).
    You sometimes can’t pull yourself together, it takes time and patience. Surah duha is a lovely surah that helps when you read it’s meaning. I’m not sure, but I remember reading how our beloved Prophet (saw) was once so depressed that he even contemplated throwing himself off a cliff. Does anyone know if this story is true and can elaborate on it?
    This shows that depression can affect anyone, and as the Hadith goes…with patience comes victory… so my dear friends, don’t worry, inshallah you will go through the darkness into the light, inshallah things will get better… and know that Allah loves us all, He is there for us.

    • That story is indeed true per the Quran and Hadith. It was after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the first revelation and then didn’t revieve another for a while. He knew what he had experienced but started questioning whether he’d only just imagined it or if it was true. It was agonizing for him to the point where he wanted to thrown himself off the mountain but Allah SWA reassured him that he hadn’t imagined it. Verily, Allah knows best.

  • assalam aleykoum
    I have somehting extremely important to share: it may NOT be depression. I was someone who was diagnosed with chronic severe depression for the last 10 years. every job I started, I would quit, likewise it was so torturous to complete a degree and I needed so many accommodations, and dropped many projects. I would go for bouts of depression where I would not be able to get out of bed.
    I believed I WAS depressed and could see many REASONS for that…finally, a friend of mine who is a doctor trained abroad decided to write for me to get blood tests for a number of things that no other doctor had tested me for before. It turned out that i have a severe definicienty in VITAMN B12. When I started getting shots, my ENTIRE life changed. my symptoms of depression disappeared. and every time I’m late in getting my shot, all those symptoms of not being able to go on with life come back! so please, if you know someone who is depressed, make sure they get their Vit, B12 levels checked!

      • it was a test for vitamin B12 levels. ask your dr – insist if you can (politely) – for a full test of all possible vitamin deficiencies (including vitamin D) and also ask for a test of your iron levels and ferratin levels. again, irion deficiency can affect mood.

    • I agree, although it is very good to seek any kind of medical help, please *also seriously look into vitamin and mineral deficienciies and think about getting a thyroid function test, get your adrenals tested. when body is stressed we can get out of balance.

  • Salam.
    My husband has been suffering on and off for a few years now.
    Although our faith is in Allah, we shall not forget that Depression requires professional help. There are special tools and techniques on how to deal with past experiences, which need to be adopted in a structured way.
    Did you know that the majority of Depression is a chemical malfunction of the brain? Therefore, requiring a proper medical therapy to restore it’s full normal function?
    You woul go to see a doctor when you broke a bone, wouldn’t you?
    Just because Depression is not visible and “only” make a person act in certain ways, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get treated.
    I told my husband to seek professional medical treatment. Alhamduliallah, he is well now and doesn’t require tablets anymore. It took nearly a year to recover.
    May Allah give you the strength to do what is necessary to get better. And may Allah help your family and friends in understanding that illness.

  • sometimes depression needs to be assessed from the point of origin. among the causes of unexplainable depression is sihr/ black magic, and this is a common problem in muslim communities.

  • To this sister or brother, peace be with you (salaam alaikum). As someone who has suffered from mental illness for much of my adult life (and I am no longer young) and has been professionally diagnosed with multiple mental disorders, including manic-depressive illness (now usually called bipolar disorder), I literally know how you feel.

    I know what it is just to lie in bed in mental pain. I have been there. Being bipolar with psychotic tendencies, I know what it is to be “wired” and almost a danger to myself and potentially others. Four times I voluntarily admitted myself to an accredited psychiatric hospital for my own safety. Sister or brother, I have been there. I know.

    But I know from my own experiences of so many long years, there is hope. It took years and years and various psychiatrists and psychologists, but finally one old doctor (I think he is dead now) said, “There is one thing [i.e., one drug] we have never tried, and I want to try it.” Praise Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, after all those years of so much suffering, my life began to turn around.

    Yes, my life is not “perfect” (whatever that might mean), and I was already a mature man when I made Shahada as a Muslim, and my experiences — or lack of experiences! — in the Muslim community have themselves been unpleasant, to be blunt, but Allah swt forgive for my presumption, despite the deplorable reception of so many in the Muslim community, there is hope for those for those suffering from devastating mental illness, if Allah wills. I can speak form the experience of one has lived with it for ever so many years.

    There is no shame in mental illness, and it is one of the deplorable matters of so many societies that so many of us are not accepted as we are. “You just don’t try hard enough.” “You just don’t have enough iman.” Allah swt forgive me, but I no longer have the time of day for such people.

    I am not a historian, but I have read that in the Middle Ages it was Muslim physicians who responsibly established hospitals for those suffering from mental illness, back when Europeans (and I am European by heritage) were little more than living in squalor.

    Sister or brother, I have been where you have been, and I know what it feels like. You are not a bad person — let me repeat that, you are not a bad person! — because you are now suffering. I do not have special answers to your individual situation, but I know that relief can be had. It took years, which can seem almost intolerably discouraging, but Allah swt did give me relief through reputable, professional doctors. He can give it to you. Just hang in there.

    • “You didn’t try hard enough” is a phrase I know all too well. That’s what I hear whenever I didn’t pass an exam. But I know first hand how tough mental illness can be to deal with and when you get told that on top of it all, it’s devastating. I have exam anxiety and people say “everyone gets nervous during an exam, that’s normal”. But they don’t understand. And if they are Muslim I tell people who tell me I didn’t try hard enough that I did and that’s all I could do, the end result is up to Allah SWA and if He intended for me to pass I would’ve passed without even studying. And if it wasn’t meant to pass because Allah SWA knows best, I could’ve died studying and I still wouldn’t have passed. Believe me I hear ya loud and clear.

      And I also 110% agree that because one is suffering, doesn’t mean they are a bad person. It’s in fact quite the opposite. This world is meant to be a test/prison for the believers and Allah SWA only tests the people close to Him so that He can offer them great rewards if not in this world than InshAllah in the hereafter. Those who have it easy ans get all the luxuries of this life and go through life without a care in the world are the ones that need to be worried. And Allah SWA knows best.

      • Peace (salaam alaikum). Yes, unquestionably Allah (swt) knows best. “This world is meant to be a test/prison for the believers and Allah SWA only tests the people close to Him so that He can offer them great rewards if not in this world than InshAllah in the hereafter.” However, and Allah (swt) forgive me if I am wrong, but forgive me there seem to be those who are “tested” to the point that they seem just to break and fall down.

        As I mentioned in an earlier response, back when the Europeans (and I am European) were living in near squalor, Muslim doctors were treating the mentally ill with professional compassion. I am sorry if this seems harsh, but “exam anxiety” almost trivially differs from a matter if one can hardly distinguish very reality at all. Yes, many years ago I was uncertain about my examinations in the university, but that was almost unquestionably different from when I had to admit myself to a psychiatric hospital for literal safety.

        I suspect that many (I certainly do not say all) Muslims do not really understand the reality of mental illness, how devastating it can be to an individual’s life, even to iman itself.

        And Allah (swt) knows best. I do not.

        • We are still alive though and tests may break us and cause us to fall but we also have the ability to recover and get back up. Easier said than done I know but worth trying nonetheless. I know what it feels like to be down and “exam anxiety” is not my only issue. Im not going to mention my history here because its not a competition. I was trying to be comforting through empathy but I see that it was a fail. I pray Allah SWA relieves us all of our hardships and give us all strength and patience in the meantime.

        • You are absolutely right. Muslims don’t understand mental illness. That’s why we need to use, research, revelation, and experience to develop a better understanding, and to provide a solid treatment program.

    • hello i came across this article while researching for my competency paper on Muslims. How does the religion and culture respond to substance abuse

    • same here! i’m crying for the first sentence up until last as it actually tell that it is not only me suffering this! alhamdulillah.
      at the very least, i dont feel really alone in this strange world.

  • Salam

    Depression doesn’t always have an emotional root cause. In fact today a large percentage of clinical depression cases can be attributed to a stressed and toxic physiology. The food we eat today is laden with pesticides, herbicides, artificial hormones, antibiotics. In addition pollution in water and air and soil increase our heavy metals burden including Mercury and lead. We eat a lot and have plenty of food but were clinically malnutritioned as a society.

    If you suffer from chronic Depression and you don’t believe it’s caused by a specific emotional trauma please seek an integrative or functional or holistic medicine doctor to help you. Do not go to traditional doctors as they will load you up with pharmaceuticals that only mask the problem. An integrative doctor can test your body nutrition, toxicity, heavy metal burden and help get to the root cause. Some people are deficient in B vitamins so once that’s established a quality b complex supplement makes the Depression disappear as if it was never there. A body burdened with lead and mercury may develop neurological problems including psychosis. Chelation and detox therapy cleans heavy metals and brings life back.

    Bottom line please seek help from integrative doctors. Google the names of dr Richard kunin, Andrew Levinson, ken bock among many others. Also check out the website of dr mercola for many great insights. And if you believe the Deprsssion may be caused by emotional trauma I highly recommend dr kamal Shaarawy at Livingeman.com he is a very caring and experienced muslim psychologist.

    • As Salamu Alaikum,

      My Allah give shifa kamila to all of us who are hurting, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

      I agree with Ed: please don’t overlook integrative medicine specialists. I’m not saying don’t go to a medical doctor/psychiatrist: especially if you happen to be suicidal, maybe you need psych meds in the short term to get you through the tough times.

      But I would not stop with a ‘medical doctor.’ Due to today’s insurance climate and medical culture, they simply don’t have the time (and often the interest) to really dive into your situation, to really listen to you, to really find out whats going on. They will interview you for 30 minutes or so (if you are lucky) and then prescribe some psych meds. Follow up visits are even shorter: the aim is to simply tweak the med regimen.

      Meanwhile, an initial interview with an integrative medicine provider is 2 hours. They go through each of symptoms (physical, emotional, etc) and also ask detailed questions about your family, friends, job, etc. Even the best meaning traditional medical provider simply does not have the time for such a thorough investigation. Each visit afterwards is one hour.

      Of course, there are quacks to stay away from, but licensed naturopathic doctors, psychologists and others can really, really help – they have helped me in a way that a number of medical doctors could not.

      Of course, ultimately all shifa comes from Allah.

      • Salaam alaikum. On the other hand, I must respectfully differ. Medical psychiatrists and, yes, their drugs helped me when all else failed. I have been taking psychotropic drugs for many years, and before that, my life was utter chaos, despite my efforts in religions (I tried several before Islam) and extensive psychotherapy from various practitioners with different psychotherapeutic models. Nothing(!) worked until one old doctor tried one last drug, and I got relief.

        In case someone will question the effectiveness of such drugs, after many years I discreetly asked one doctor if he would agree to my lowering the dose of the antipsychotic drug I was taking. He said, OK, let’s try it. All went well for about a year, and then things began to fall apart almost uncontrollably. It was seriously medically indicated that I put the dose back up.

        Yes, Allah swt knows best, but I can only say that the only relief I ever got from my mental illness was from drugs, and, as I mentioned before, it was in the Middle Ages that Muslim doctors began serious treatment of mental illness. I have a hard time believing that they would not have accepted some drugs as a mercy from Allah.

  • JazakAllah khayr for this. I have been in so much confusion of my state of why I’ve just turned into such a negative person or why I’m constantly feeling down. I know this state is not forever & things will soon change iA. The constant socially acting happy & really feeling so tired & overwhelmed inside, having a heavy heart, times bringing with it what feels like excruciating pain, the nights, etc. I used to be a positive person & never thought I could get depressed & my imaan would always protect me, which is makes me guilty at times, is how I’m feeling because of deficiencies in my imaan. You never know what life has around the corner, the last thing in the world I thought could happen, happened. But one thing is for sure no matter how much it hurts and no matter what the days bring, the pain constantly turned me even more to the only One who can grant me peace, the world can never & will never understand but He does. I have never longed for day that I hope I will be amongst those who meet their Lord in the highest of heaven, I hope I am among them by His mercy. And He will ascend to the highest gathering in Heaven & say “Assalaamu alaykum ya ahlal jannah” and for that moment, anything & everything in this world is worth it.

  • Subhanallah, this article was an eye-opening read. The topic of mental illness is unfortunately so stigmatized in the Muslim community that it’s so difficult for people to accept and come to terms with if they are suffering a mental illness, let alone seek professional help. May Allah (swt) reward the author for opening up and sharing their experience because I believe that this will help A LOT of Muslims who are in a similar situation and is the first step towards destigmatizing mental illness in the Muslim community.

    May Allah(swt), Al Shaafi cure all our bothers and sisters who are suffering from anxiety, depression and any other illness.

  • Here are some beautiful duas from the sunnah:

    اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي عَبْدُكَ ابْنُ عَبْدِكَ ابْنُ أَمَتِكَ نَاصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ ، مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاءُكَ أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَهُ فِي كِتَابِكَ ، أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ ، أَنْ تَجْعَلَ الْقُرْآنَ رَبِيعَ قَلْبِي ، وَنُورَ صَدْرِي ، وَجَلاءَ حُزْنِي ، وذَهَابَ هَمِّي

    allaahumma innee ‛abduk-abnu-‛abdik-abnu-amatik, naaṣiyatee biyadik, maaḍin fiyya ḥukmuk, ‛adlun fiyya qaḍaa’uk, as’aluka bi kull-ismin huwa lak, sammayta bihi nafsak, aw anzaltahu fee kitaabik, aw ‛allamtahu aḥadan min khalqik, awis-ta’tharta bihi fee ‛ilmil-ghaybi ‛indak, an taj‛al-al-quraana rabee‛a qalbee, wa noora ṣadree, wa jalaa’a ḥuznee, wa dhahaaba hammee

    “O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your handmaid, my forelock is in Your hand (i.e. You have total mastery over me), Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just.” I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’an the life of my heart and the light of my bosom, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety. Note: Allah will take away the anxiety and sorrow out of the heart of him who recites this supplication, as mentioned in this hadith by our prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

    اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَ الْحَزَنِ ، والْعَجْزِ ، والْكَسَلِ ، والْبُخْلِ ، والْجُبْنِ ، وضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ ، وغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

    allaa-humma innee a‛oodhu bika mi-nal-ham-mi wal-ḥazan, wal-‛ajzi wal-kasal, wal-bukhli wal-jubn, wa ḍa-la‛id-dai-ni, wa ghalaba-tir-rijaal

    O Allah, I seek refuge with You from anxiety, and sorrow, and weakness, and laziness, and miserliness, and cowardice, and the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men.

    Also I really recommend Sr Jinan’s “Names of Allah Series” on this website, for anyone interested…Its really helped me at certain difficult points in my life.

    • As Salamu Alaikum,

      Here is some advice to try to improve our state of mind. I’ve instituted a number of these and have found them overtime to be really helpful. Some of them maybe repetitive in the sense that the author and others are already doing them, in that case, please just take them as reminders :)!

      Of course, we may not have energy to do everything at once, but perhaps we can take small steps here and there – even a little bit can go a really long way.

      1. Read Quran as much as you can – some have suggested reading sura Baqarah as often as you can…I’m currently memorizing this sura and have found it really helpful.

      2. Make Dua – cry to Allah…even if our Duas are not accepted here, in the hereafter, Insha Allah we will see a mountain of rewards stored for us :D! My favorite dua these days is the wife of Asiya (RA), the wife of the Pharaoh, who stated, “O Lord, build for me, with You, a home in paradise.” I say it everytime I feel sad, upset, or if life just seems tough.

      3. Try to get some fresh air. I force myself these days to take quick 20 minute walks. Even if its cold, I bundle up. It really helps :)…

      4. Eat well. If we are depressed, we often resort to ‘comfort’ junk foods. But this is probably making the situation much worse in the long run. Its best to cut sugar. Replace with honey, its sunnah :).
      Eat fresh, organic foods. Marrow soups can give strength. Try to avoid high carbs like white rice, white flour, etc.

      5. Please be careful with what you read, watch on TV, listen to, etc. Often, we turn to comfort books, movies, songs, etc when we are depressed. Unfortunately, these can include haram elements (romance novels, love songs, etc). I’ve found from personal experience that Allah has made these haram for a reason – if we are depressed, ultimately, it can make things worse these forms of entertainment allow us to wallow and continually pine for what we lack…

      6. Give charity as much as you can. Its meant to purify us and it really does. If you have money, its really easy – just takes a couple of minutes on the internet, but the reward is enormous. It will also help remind us that others have problems too, and help put our issues in perspective.

      Insha Allah these suggestions are helpful!

      Ultimately, Allah is the source of all cures…May Allah give complete shifa to all of us who are hurting, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

  • Assalamu alaikum.. this article explained everything i once suffered.. most of the time in silence n in tears. those days were hardest of my life. People were trying to help me .. but they fail… by the help of Allah, who mends the broken hearts i recovered eventually. one thing i realised is… the feeling heals with time n slight modifications in the way u think… diverting the negativities to positive thoughts is one of the solution… but it takes time n patience to go through ths phase. I feel those who went through the tough times n recovered r the strongest! Alhamdulillah.
    jazakAllah khair for ths well written article. Reminded me of my hard times. Allah heals .. for sure.. time n sabr is the key.. n loots of dua! I pray that people facing such situation see the sunshine soon. Surely, Allah is the one who guides you from Darkness to THE LIGHT!! 🙂

  • From experience I can tell following work during depression:
    – Meds from psychiatrist, someone sharing your values
    – Mini vacation
    – Calming music
    – Old childhood friends and family
    – Praying to Allah in middle of night and when heart constricted
    – Doing the basics of iman like prayer, fasting
    You are right just saying “Don’t worry, trust Allah” doesn’t cut it. Sometimes you are so down, you don’t even feel like doing dua/zikhr, but doing main basics of deen should be continued
    – Find your spiritual nourishment. For some it may be listening to Quran, zikhr, or volunteer, whatever works for you.

  • Hi I have been through deep depression and came out of it by Allah’s mercy. One advice : Never give up hope. Because you can’t see him but he is there with you and ready to help you. Just he is testing you. But he knows you can pull yourself through it. It’s just a test. That’s all it is. I am proof of this.

    ali twaij

  • Salams everyone first of all thanks for this article and thanks for all those who commented, it’s really nice to know that I am not alone. Life just seems so hard and pointless at the moment. I actually don’t have any friends because I decided to get on my deen and had to cut a lot of people out of my life and the very few friends I do have all have families and are busy with them. I feel very lonely and isolated and sometimes its ok and sometimes I just get soo tired of this lonely feeling. I just wish I could be sure that the pain will eventually end. What scares me is the thought that I will be sad forever. Like someone else wrote I used to be a very positive person and happy and had loads of friends but I was living in sin and now that I am trying to be a proper Muslim and stay away from sins and to pray 5 times a day and wake up for Fajr (all things I never even thought about before..its like by trying to be a proper Muslim my life got harder and worse. I don’t mean to sound messed up but I don’t get it. Anyway I’m sure there is a hikma for every suffering that everyone faces and I pray that all of you find relief and may Allah SWT grant you all peace in your minds and hearts.

    • Sister, peace be with you (salaam alaikum). Yes, there is hope, no matter how black it may seem for now. As I wrote in an earlier response, I have been there, so much that I had to voluntarily admit myself as a psychiatric inpatient, but even there I think that Allah swt was merciful.

      Please do not get me wrong. BY NO MEANS WHATEVER do all episodes indicate hospitalization. NO, not at all, but in my case they did. Also, by no means do I mean to contradict the kind and responsible remarks here concerning the effects of overall health to specifically mental health. Of course those effects are important, and they must not be denied. Yes, the better your physical health, the more responsible those effects can play to your mental health.

      However, I will repeat, you are NOT a bad person because you are undergoing a difficult time in life. You are not a bad person. Hang in there. Sometimes it can take a long time to find an effective treatment which Allah swt allows. Why can it take so long? I do not know; Allah swt knows best. But there is hope. Please do not give up. May Allah swt shower His blessings upon you.

  • asak,wrwb,, I am facing a real challenge now. I lost my job after 30 years, have no money, no car, no place to go and like Sister I really hope it will all end soon. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster for almost 2 years, of course now it is worse because of sad.
    My cats help me wake in the morning but I can’t plan to do anything because I am fear the unknown.
    Many times I feel that I am really suffering in silence. don’t know what to do. any suggestion s

    • Assalamualaykum,

      How is your situation now? How have you been holding up? If you are in Canada nzf.ca can help you. They do zakah for local country wide recipients.
      If you are a sister they have a transition home with 3month stys and free groceries and job search help in Ontario and B.C
      If you are a brother there is a recovery house in B.C

      National zakah foundation in the UK also operate shelters and distribute zakah funds.

      Please reach out to Allah through dual and believe enough in the power of the One you asked to help you by taking any steps that could be of help.

  • Assalaam alaikum to all on this website. A truly excellent article . I have also suffered from depression for many years and I think one important point others don’t seem to understand is that there is actually a physical pain. Some days I have such pain in my stomach and chest from depression, and I cannot walk or move, and just the thought of doing the most menial task like putting something in the bin overwhelms me with more pain. I know the root of my depression which is a broken home and being rejected by family and this has coloured all my life in a negative way. I understand why people dont like me and can always bring a great case against myself at all times. I have terrible self loathing which some days are like stabbing attacks on my stomach and heart. I do not have a good marriage but persevere due to a handful of children, so I cant get any comfort from anywhere, family nor husband. I have tried to reach out to good religious sisters over the years but always the reaction is that I am not grateful for Allah’s bounties in my life. I have found also that shuyukh dont understand and say depression is from being distant from Allah and that you have to have gratitude and mercy. Some suggest it is self-pity and that others have it worse than me but they are doing great! I find many people’s reactions in our religious communities superficial and lacking in any depth or care or wisdom.
    I dont know what the answer us for all us depression sufferers. Basically I feel I deserve my pain as I am not a good person; I am up for a tahujjud every night and have been for 15 years, but still i feel unworthy and useless and outside mercy due to my own inadequacies. I am at Quran class every day and am focussed on the spiritual life, yet still the negative thoughts are part of me like stone in my mind. I cant move them because I dont deserve to move them.
    Likewise I long to die but feel I should just keep living for my children who need me although they are all growing up.
    This is an excellent article; I hope many good practicing Muslims read it and see they have been superficial; superficiality is a plague upon most of these groups right now. One very important sister I know insists people have their own journies and have to work things out themselves so refuses to help anyone, and she is a key person in the religious community. Really what an attitude! I have gone to her desperate, written desperate messages, and she wont even reply, or will reply in a bizarre way ignoring my desperation.
    As others have said, lets all try not to rely upon created beings, they will always disappoint. Relying on Allah is hard when we suffer from this pain and feelings of worthlessness and uselessness and self hatred.
    In the past year i have lost hope and now know what that really means: to lose hope once in depression is really breaking of the spirit.
    The only thing I might say is may be we are tried with this affliction to give us some more insight or wisdom in some way; may be it will make us more sympathetic and give us a deeper understanding into the plight of what it really is to be insaan, a weak human being.
    I just dont know the wisdom behind the suffering of it.
    Right now and for years all I know is it hurts; if anyone could shed light I would be grateful. thanks.

  • I recently also felt depression and suicide thoughts
    However, I have to confess that I do partially blame the scholars I listen to. (I will not name them)
    I ask that no one take offense to this, but this is a concern I have to mention. Apologies in advance 🙁

    Though everyone says “Islam is moderation”, the scholars do seem to preach that. For example:
    — Every Biography of Imam Nawawi I have seen praises him for barely sleeping at night
    — I have heard all to many sheikhs talk about how some of previous generations use to recite an entire quran per day.

    I can go on and on.
    Everyone has told me “You have to do as much as you can”.
    Well I have a reply
    —-The Ulema do not preach this—
    Apparently, since I have human weaknesses I am going to hell. How can anyone NOT get depressed. The shiekhs leave absolutely no room for a person to be human.
    Do not misunderstand, I became Muslim thanks to the efforts of Muslims scholars.
    But as of now, the preaching of many of them has turned my life upside down.

    Also, I am not a “newbie” to Islam. I have studied Islam and comparative ideologies for 4 years, served my MSA and online dawah causes, as well helped a homeless Muslims.
    To some degree, I have had enough. I love Islam, but I am starting to develop a severe disliking for its followers

    • dear abdulhakeem, I think most of us converts have been where you are at least partially if not all. During times like yours it means it is time to go inward and remember the deen as it is and how you love it and it is time to close the door a little just to get some strength. I am also at a moment of disappointment with shuyukh but really it is just us catching a glimpse of their insaan, humanity and faults which we all have. If I were you i would just read Quran and remember the love you have for the religion regardless of others and just forget all those outside telling you what to do for a while. I hope this passes and you remember and love the deen as you once did.

  • Assalaamu Alaykum
    Having just read this article, I remember very well when I suffered similar thoughts and feelings, could not sleep, I was just a shell. However I would always put on a frontface to the outside world, to show all is ok. This lasted for months, and all the time I was practising the deen, fulfilling my obligations, no real change. One day as I was sat listening to Surah Baqarah, and the last two verses (285-286) just hit me!! Subhanallah, it was as if someone had flicked a switch. I have never left reciting the versus in supplications, and that was 20+ years ago.
    May Allah bless you all.
    Wa’ Alaykumsalaam

  • indeed very true. it sounds a very true feeling of my heart.please write a solution how would you overcome your depressions.techniques to take out

  • i pray Allah lifts this burden from your shoulders.

    1st advice: You need to start by speaking your mind even if people do not like the harshness of your words/tone…why? because after having gone through something similar i have found that suppressing what you really think adds to your displeasure.

    2nd advice: start to exercise REGULARLY; weights/running/walking/swimming/wrestling/archery/horse riding (the last 4 being sunnah sports) you will feel much better

    3rd advice: the longer you continue on this path the worse you will feel; your intelligence and memory will slowly diminish. combat this by working on your memmory, learn/read more, listen to bbc radio 4.

    practical advice from someone who probably averted all your symptoms by doing the above.

    sheikh babikr from london says to read surat yasin every morning to combat depressions. this has helped me a lot.

  • Really appreciate the article and no you’re not alone.

    I have been struggling for a while and one thing I try to cling on to is good opinion of Allah. Even when I’m struggling to pray, I try to think Allah is taking me through this for a reason and goodness will come out of it.

    Therapy has really helped me, but even then it’s a long lonely road. Even when you don’t feel like praying, just speak to Allah. Say something anything, to Him. At the moment I try to get up at tahajjud time and that helps, just to expose myself to the blessings of that time. My worship is minimal, but trying to pray on time. And do some dhikr when your thoughts become over bearing. So you concentrate on something else. Reclaim your heart- a lovely book, helps to to deal with the disappointment of relationships. Book is assistance is helping me to realise my purpose again. Give your self something to look forward to, but I find when I distract myself with dunya- YouTube, what’s app, TV etc, I feel worse as I feel bad for wasting time. Try to keep good company, attend dhikr gatherings.

    But do seek professional help. I can’t speak for medication but like I said therapy really helped

    Allah help everybody, it is a very difficult thing to go through.

  • brother adnan this is excellent advice; also try looking to see if there is any individual or group of individuals who are hurting you. I stayed in a religious group for many years and hated myself for not being accepted; I wanted to be accepted because I assumed they were the saliheen and that i was not being accepted because I am not good enough. It took me five years to realise that their behaviour towards me is the opposite to the saliheen what with all their blocking out and trying to shun me. Now I have turned away I can feel the depression literally floating away from me; it took me five years to realise I didnt need them to help me be religious, I dont need to be accepted by any religious circle and that I dont deserve to be treated like that and neither my kids. I finally received the biggest insult from them and I am happy I have at last woken up. Now I can get on with trying to be a better Muslim with full confidence that Allah will have mercy on me; before they made me feel beyond Allahs mercy and as if I were terrible and only they were the saliheen. Another sufferer of depression might be having this from an individual and you convince yourself you are not worthy and others are right to treat you poorly and like the dirt. I ask you all to move away from such people, even if they seem super religious. once you walk away you will feel the steem of self hatred leaving you and the waters of self confidence from our Creator pouring into you. I ask all you sufferers to check your acquaintances and groups and check they are not destroying your self confidence. We dont need any group; we just need our Creator and no group or sister or sheikh is with us in the grave, and no one has the right to treat any of us like the dirt.
    hope i am of some help. salaam to all.

    • Verse 65:2-3 doesn’t say we don’t need a psychologist. It says, if you develop the quality of taqwa and it penetrates deep inside your heart, you will have a way out. But maybe seeing a mental health professional could be part of the way out. In another verse, it says, “Ask the people who know, if you don’t know.”

  • As Salamu Alaikum,

    Please remember that Islam does not recommend extremism, even with regards tho worship. Be ware of anyone, scholars or groups or anyone, telling you other wise.

    We are not expected to spend all night in worship (except in Ramadan) and we are not expected to read the entire Quran everyday. Our bodies have a right over us, as do our families, communities, etc.

    Please be aware that Islamic cults exist, which preach extremism in worship and manipulate their followers, while claiming superiority over everyone else. These cults exist across the spectrum.

    May Allah help us all.

  • Well I suppose Churchill’s Black Dog must have looked away for a moment, so I could have subconsciously written this article myself.
    My masculine pride gets in the way and I toll my own bell to make suffering a heroic disposition, but it is not. Nothing heroic about agonizing pessimism and utter chaos in the mind. Distractions are a many but only temporary. You pray and pray to The Only One that will hear you, hoping you can overcome the most sever yet cathartic of jihad; to fight your oneself as your worst enemy. To escape boredom and nihilism, perhaps the bottle or a woman or two. Give the world a simile and act a play for them to all to see. To pretend to care for others when you have hardly a care for yourself.
    Yes you must take care of your mother, your sister your kids, etc etc, so you find work to fight off the devilish impulse that begs to be entertained, be it a sip, a cut or a bullet. But the demons are your own and you pray for your souls’ salvation, hoping in Allah’s Grace you could find comfort and bliss some which you denied yourself, some that was denied to you on this earthly presence. You hope 18 turns to 40 quickly, hope 25 becomes 65 quickly, so you can leave with pride and grace and not shame and disgrace. You seek to fight’s God’s enemies in order to restrain your own, which is only you, the dogs of hypocrites, murtadaids, sexual degenerates, progressives, liberals, whabbais, demented Muslim feminists…so yes carry the good fight and it is a good fight for perhaps this the purpose given to you.

    Maybe depression is self-actualization in itself ? 🙁

  • When this article was posted I think I was the third or fourth person to leave a comment. I came back today to see how many people had commented as I had a suspicion this is a widespread issue misunderstood and not discussed in the Muslim community. I spend most of my days grieving and crying over what I have “lost” through my two illnesses (I suffer from an auto immune illness which causes.immense pain and mobility problems and I also have clinical depression with inaomnia. The one main conclusion I have come to through this experience is compassion mercy and empathy. I pray Allah swt gives us the tawfeeq to see and feel another’s pain and wipe away their tears and give them hope. Afterall the Beloved Prophet saw was sent as a mercy to all the universe.

  • shukran for this honest piece. i feel the same way and am tired of people telling me to think of those suffering in and belittling my feelings of loneliness. i have suffered with tragedies that most people could never bear. on top of this, i wish i was married and nobody will help me the way i want, even though i help complete strangers with whatever they ask because my reward will come from allah (swt). the reality is that this dunya is filled with heartless, selfish, mean individuals – especially women…and nobody cares. i truly wish for death as that means, my “final exam” is over and i can finally rest in peace.

  • As-salamu alaikum,

    I experienced depression for several years, from the ages of 15 to 20. Every part of the article captures exactly how I felt. I didn’t tell anyone because I felt that no one would understand and I had to confront these demons all by myself. However, eventually it built up to the point that I simply could not contain it anymore and had to tell someone. I was put on medication and also worked through some of the causes of my depression, and I have almost completely recovered alhamdulillah.

    For anyone who is experiencing moderate to severe depression and have not opened up to a loved one, counselor, doctor, or psychiatrist and have not had your depression medically treated, you MUST do so! Keeping it to yourself and not acquiring medical help would only prolong and increase your emotional suffering. Nothing in the world is worse and more painful than depression, and I sincerely pray that Allah embraces anyone who has it with His mercy and His healing.

    A brother

  • Assalamualaikum all my brothers and sisters,
    I do not know where to start but after reading this article I realised that I’m not alone. I’m a convert and I’ve been practising islam for almost 3 years now (Alhamdulillah) and Insyaallah I will continue to do so for the sake of Allah SWT. But in recent months I feel so dark and I even feel numb. I keep having negative thoughts in my head and I never used to be like that. As a convert I don’t have much friends because I live in a very very stereotyped country whereby race = religion, and majority of my race are not muslims therefore I get condemned as a freak for my decision to convert to Islam. I’ve tried making good friends with even non muslims but in the end they are all hypocrites that talk behind my back just because I chose a different path from them (please forgive me for saying this) and its hard now for me to trust anyone.

    However, I have this particular circle of born muslims that I meet almost twice or thrice every week and yes they are very lovely people. I like being around them and they were also very happy for me when I chose to convert to Islam. Unfortunately, whenever I’m out with them, they have this tendency to qada their prayers. From what I learnt in islamic school is that we can only pay back our prayers if we were asleep or unconscious during that particular prayer time or when we are travelling more than a certain distance away from home (which totally doesn’t apply as we are still in the country) They totally neglect the importance of prayer whenever they are out, they don’t bother looking for a praying place and whenever I asked them nicely they will come up with excuses and telling me that Islam is easy, don’t make it hard. Is this acceptable? Not praying during the specific time we were told?

    Also, I have this best friend and in fact we used to be very close. He’s also a muslim (practicing sometimes) and I’ve always confided in him. But recently I feel that he’s also judging me and he doesn’t quite want me around anymore. As mentioned previously that I’m quite negative now so sometimes I would unintentionally blabber some mean things and whenever we fight now he’ll always say that I have an ugly heart and I’m born like that. Not being egoistic but I know I’m not like that and I used to be a very very very happy girl.

    So anyway, I am really withdrawn now and I might have unknowingly developed depression over the year. My body weight has decreased significantly and no matter how much I sleep, I still feel really lethargic. My hair has also significantly disappeared, I lose interest in things that I used to like. I have yet to consult a doctor/physiatrist because its expensive and I don’t want to be prescribed pills. I can’t talk to my family because they won’t understand and they have their own things to worry about. But I still continue do my daily 5 even when I feel really really low because I don’t want to be hopeless. I miss the old me and I don’t want to end up alone. I love Islam, I love Allah SWT and I love all my brothers and sisters. I believe in all the teachings and signs and I want to be better.

    • dear sister! such frustration is common in new muslims, here are few tips, hope they’ll be helpful for you

      > First of all remember this fact that “Islam is perfect, muslims aren’t”
      so please don’t judge others behaviors & beliefs

      > before asking for forgiveness from Allah make sure that you have forgiven everyone and cleared your heart for all kinds of hatred & envy.

      > continue your soft reminders in extreme polite manner as it is an order for every muslim (Amar bil Maroof wa Nahi anil Munkar امر بلمروف و نہی عن المنکر).

      > for inner peace try Dhikr of durood (durood-e-Ibraheemi or any small durood) or “An-Nur” from the 99 names of Allah.

      > whatever the problem you face always be thankful to Allah & never complain. share your all problems with Allah as HE loves us 70 times more than a mother, ask for support/solution from Allah just like a kid asks from its mother.

  • It can be a lonely road to follow after one converts to Islam. Perhaps it is more so for women. It’s not just a matter of the conversion and learning about a new way of life but also learning how to “converse” with others from cultures with different customs and languages. Women can be critical and judgmental in common everyday situations regardless of their religion. It can be awkward and sometimes painful to be on the receiving end of it. Oftentimes those opinions and thoughts that others have about us have more to do with false perceptions and assumptions and have little to do with the truth and reality of us as people. Sometimes it is our own mind that has the false perception that others are judging us when what might be going on is that they don’t know how to connect and interact with us. We’re the new kid on the block, the foreigner, the interloper. But, once given a chance to communicate and dialogue, we’ve made a new friend and really learned something about someone. It takes energy though and perseverance and a sense of humor.
    It sounds like you do have some Muslim friends that have supported you in your conversion, but you are troubled by the lack of conscientiousness in their own practice. Do you need others to validate your understanding of what is required? If you were to step away to pray on your own, would they abandon you? Might one even join you on occasion if you stopped to pray by yourself? I wouldn’t worry so much what others think of you. Be yourself. You know in your heart what is true for you. Maybe you will be a source of inspiration by your actions to someone else. Regarding your symptoms, I would strongly suggest seeing a physician. You could depressed but there could be underlying reasons why you are experiencing fatigue, weight loss and hair loss. Trust in Allah’s guidance and smile to your own sweet heart. Happiness is within you.

  • As many commentators mentioned, this article captured my thoughts and feelings I have been having for most of my life, but especially the past 10 years. I am also blessed to be able to write this article after actually having attempted suicide unsuccessfully. It really showed me that I am but a slave in a dunya created by Allah and can do nothing except with what He wills. So if anyone is tempted to kill themselves, it won’t work. If you are meant to die at that time, you will die without killing yourself and you won’t have the sin on top of it. However, if you are not meant to die, then you will suffer greatly for attempting suicide. You can become paralyzed or permanently disabled. While I am actually okay after overdosing, my reputation with my family has completely disappeared. They used to look to me for answers, now they think I am the crazy one. Rather than trying to get closer and helping me, they look at me with pity and try to avoid the hard questions like, are you doing okay? Even my own mother is scared of the answer. Everyone pretends it never happened. I guess everyone has thought about suicide, and I was one who actually did it.

    As a survivor, it is even harder and the depression hasn’t gone. My only solution is to go numb. To turn off all thoughts, all feelings, all cares, all worries. I may not be dead as a person, but I am a dead soul entrapped in this dungeon until Allah forgives me and saves me.

    I can only count on Allah and seek His mercy. There is no other cure except acceptance, patience and gratitude. I thank the author for sharing his/her thoughts. Depression is real and a huge test of eemaan. I also feel many don’t give enough importance to post-partum depression which is the cause of severe depression in women. Eating healthy and exercise do help, if only one had the initial motivation to do it.

    • Thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts and inspiring words with us. This is a very rare piece of information on Depression that actually feels quite relatable. There are many who hide it well, as you have done. We might as well be good actors! 😉 Sometimes I think we feel obligated to always respond, Alhamdulilah, I am well/okay. But, there is also Alhamdulilah alaa kulli haal- All praise is due to Allah in all circumstances.!

      The truth is we all get depressed at times, sometimes we can pull ourselves up on our own and sometimes we need others. It’s being human 🙂 So, it’s okay to burden others at times, they might be going through something similar thinking….hey, I shouldn’t burden anyone too…!

      I recalled having to go through two difficult incidents back to back in 2014 and trying to rely on the support “I thought” was “supposed” to be there for me but was actually shunned for being ‘weak’. The funny thing is I had ‘never’ relied on these supposedly “religious” individuals before and that was worse damage to me for a while, feeling punished for needing their help, but there is a greater lesson. I’ll have to be honest in saying, at first they took a valid interest and then seemingly had other motives. It, made me realize that sometimes loved ones will be for us and then against us, which can both be a blessing :-). Because Allah swt can send even the impossible person to help us! And, if He doesn’t send anyone, we find ourselves turning to Him as our source. I know many would disagree, “depression a blessing?”.

      Well, for me, I find myself in a situation now that I am feel trapped !(which is why I landed on this article) and the only thing I can do is turn to the book of Allah (Quran) for healing, guidance and blessing. And, if I was not ‘trapped’ then perhaps I would have been turning to others things, absorbing myself in life’s pleasures, the worldly realities. So, maybe raining down tears is a way to make our hearts softer, cleaner/purer for us to become in a better state. Maybe, depression isn’t a sickness but an answer? I hope that I haven’t said anything offensive but if anyone is depressed and hurting, look to the Quran because the cure is definitely there. And, I love you as your friend in Islam, so think of someone caring and kind-hearted sending you big hugs in waves to ease those pains away (whenever they are felt, either big or small) and think about someone much better and the noble of the nobles making huge efforts to establish Islam at the sacrifice of his own self…Yes, our prophet Muhammad pbuh, praying that our ummah is blessed and successful in every way.

    • Hey I’m from Germany sry for my bad English ^^

      Wow I’m not the only one struggling this things. 😀
      I Luv u all keep struggling and remember that Allah Swt tests only the people he loves. And remember that when the sickest person thrown into jannah for less then one second he thought he would never struggled In his life I hope u understand…. that are 2 amazing hadiths.
      I know it’s hard to keep ibadat when u have pain in ur heart or whatever. But try ur best brothers and sisters and don’t lose hope. Islam is the biggest gift that we get in this Dunya. I LOVE U AND I WISH THAT ALL OF US GET INTO JANNAH INSHALLAH YA ALLAH PLEASE HELP US AND GIVE US GOOD IN DUNYA AND AKHIRA AMEEN !!!

    • A question to the author: are u feeling better now? Can u share it with us? I think it will give us a lot of hope thank you!!

    • I have to say that the way you described hit very close to home for me and from all the other comments them too. I agree with the part about it being hard to share this with loved ones and family because everyone’s either gonna call us weak and many other things that make things worse. You should live for me and the rest of us because we all can relate. I find that it’s causestill can be high expectations we set for ourselves and life. Lose or lack of something. Even the way we are percieved by others can affect it. I don’t know the answers because if I did I wouldn’t have read this beautiful post by muslim precribed for muslims with every detail I question. Thank you

    • Salam,
      I read this with tears as it really feels as if someone has written my hidden feelings out. I have been depressed for the last 2 years and I have tried everything to ease the depression with no result. I went to a psychiatrist but he didn’t prescribe medication neither I want to take it.

      Same like you, the only thing that is stopping me to commit suicide is the fear of Allah, that it is a grave sin that most likely is unforgiveable.
      Every moment I pray to Allah to take my life as I don’t find any pleasure, any purpose, any happiness in living. I pray for strength and happiness but I never feel it anymore. I even forget how happy feels like.

      I put a mask, fake smiles in front of family, friends and colleagues because even if they knew I was depressed, they couldn’t do anything, in fact I just dragged them down with me. My family knows it but they could only say to survive, to be grateful. In the end people say I don’t listen if I said that I can’t feel happy no matter what. So I have to shut up.

      It is really difficult to wake up and live every single day, I regret how I need to act for another day every morning. I cry in silent scream to myself and Allah every night.

      I often doubt my faith, as Muslim, I supposed to have full faith, tawakal, ikhlas and believe that Allah will help in the right time, that everything will be eventually okay if I entrusted everything to Allah. I have faith in Allah as the one and only God, but I don’t see how things will be better for me. I feel my life is a bad joke of how someone is born with difficult situations, tried her best to change it, yet she kept falling over and over again. People around me got things that I always dreamed of easily, no matter how much effort I made, I could never have it. It as if I am destined to always be failed. I am thankful to Allah for what I have, that I have foods on my table and comfortable bed every night, but I rather be poor and have something that my heart really desires, real happiness rather than this hollow life.
      My mind automatically thinks and wishes for death scenarios in everything I do, it’s terrifying how often death wish come into my mind, how I wish for a car to hit me when I cross the road, heart attack, fall into railway in the train station, fall from height, fall from stairs, elevator malfunction, poisoning, plane crash etc. I wish for something that would only kill me, I wish I could give my life to someone who is dying but would make more good in life and world than me.

      I try to read a lot of Qur’an, Islamic stories, survival stories of people fighting for life, so that I remember to be grateful and to know that life is precious. But I am at an edge.
      I am trying my best to trust Allah no matter what.
      I hope that you are much better now, and if you do, could you please share what you did to reach a better state of mind and feelings?
      May Allah bless and guide all of us

      • I am feeling the same too. It has just been a month for me.. Its a struggle fighting with myself everyday. Even I have those thoughts. I know Allah wants me to be happy.. I feel like its just me caging my own heart..

  • This is an amazingly well written piece. Its so insightful-what it’s like to have depression so excellently described. Credit to the writer.
    I have cared for someone who is sick and developed stress, depression and anxiety myself. It’s really difficult. It’s a real issue and the community would be made aware of this.
    May Allah help us to help each other.

  • This was beautiful, I felt like you were talking right to me. I have and currently am living with this, so I understand how you feel. I know that no matter how much assurances you hear, it’s your own mind that’s fighting against you. Despite that, know that I appreciate you sharing this and I pray to Allah that He eases this burden on you.

  • Nice informative article, it summarizes the last 7 years of my life, no one knows. Let us all just make dua for one another.

    • Masha’Allah 🙂

      May Allah swt heal you from every aspect of sadness, pain and worries, whether big or small, whether constant or inconsistent and may He provide you with best of dunya and akhirah. May His love and beauty shine upon your heart and your loved ones. Ameen!

  • Half way through reading your article I just burst into tears because I didn’t believe there was someone out there who knew exactly how I felt.I just couldn’t find the words to express what it’s like but this article has given me hope. To people I seem ‘religious’ but they have no idea of how empty I feel because of this illness. Often as muslims we are told to just pray more namaz and do more dhikr but it’s not as simple as that. Like you I pray 5 times day and continue to say istighfaar all day but I still have this anxious feeling inside of me . I pray that Allah cures us all from this horrible disease and that oone else is inflicted by it either. May Allah reward you with Jannah for this beuatiful and reassuring piece of writing

    • I hope to really get down to the bottom of this issue. It’s not easy, but there is a solution. The zhikr of Allah and salah can be a source of positive emotion insha’Allah.

  • Hi everyone, don’t lose hope.. Everything happens for a reason and there’s also a reason why we “happen” to read this story. Maybe the almightly creator want us to know that we’re not facing this alone and we will always have each other.

    Don’t let satan put thoughts in our head and tell ourselves we are not good enough, we don’t have anyone or anything like that. I know how it feels; once it starts, it eats you up bit by bit until you become so miserable inside and yet you can’t let any of it out because people will think you are insane.

    And yes I know, even if we were to confide in others, almost everyone tells us to listen to the Quran, read the Quran, do dhikr, but they don’t understand what we are really going through and what we really feel inside. We are so occupied with our negative thoughts and problems to the extent that we have no urge to do anything. But we’re not gonna get better if we stay like this. Satan is really happy because he’s causing us to stop our prayers, hate our families, distance ourselves from everyone, and even distance ourselves from the creator Allah swt.

    I don’t know any of you here, but I know that I love each and every one of you so much because we are a family created by Allah swt. We need to overcome this together. Life’s too short to be depressed and drowned in self pity. I’m also on the path of healing but what’s really helping me is:

    1) Praying in the masjid with the imam and all the other muslims (it makes you have a sense of belonging and also acts as a reminder that life on earth is really temporary)
    2) Thinking of death in a constructive way (Of course there are also times when I ask Allah swt to take me away because I can’t take it anymore. But then again, if he were to take me away, when I’m in my grave, there’s really NOTHING more I can do to make it right again. I would be denied of Jannah instantly and the punishment for committing suicide is SO severe my brothers and sisters. The hereafter is FOR EVER. It would be a thousand more times painful than what we are going through right now in this temporary world. Our good deeds will all go to waste and how would the people who really love and care for us feel?)
    3) Watching videos about islam (I personally like to watch videos about reverts saying the shahada and becoming muslims. It’s such a beautiful thing…and maybe videos about our mothers, al qiyamah and what happens in our graves. )
    4) Do more zakat, voluntary work (see how less fortunate others are than us, it somehow cleanses our hearts)
    5) FAST!!!! (When you are fasting you are deprived of food and water, necessities that we always take granted for because we have it everyday easily. At maghrib when we quench our thirsts and ease our hunger then we realise that Allah swt has made it so easy for us, unlike others who might have died cause of hunger or thirst)
    6) BE THANKFUL (Always remember Him like how he remembers you, he loves you NO MATTER WHAT and He knows whats inside our little hearts)

    Happiness is the state of mind, we only live once and we only have ONE chance to make it right. If you don’t fight for yourself, nobody will fight for you. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Step by step we can eliminate the negativity in our lives. EVERYTHING is TEMPORARY. All the sadness, the anger, the anxiety, and even the happiness.. As muslims we have a main goal in this life and we need to be strong and know that we can do it. So let’s fight the satan’s whispers, keep him locked out of our hearts and may Allah swt heal our hearts, ease our burdens and grant us mercy. Insyaallah.

    HAVE A LITTLE FAITH AND YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

    • Don’t have a little faith. Have a lot of faith! Very nice post. You’re right about the generic “read quran” advice without understanding how you feel. Insha’Allah May Allah make the quran the springs of our hearts and the banishers of our negative feelings.

  • Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu, May Allah swt grant you ease from hardship … ameen

    I know what you feel, I have struggled with Bipolar for 27 years and as a new revert of almost 3 years I am grateful for Islam because it has truly helped and I am better then I once was, because now I at least have iman to keep hold of in my most darkest of days but I know the struggle you still feel.

    Some obvious recommendations, always repeat again and again when you feel you just can’t get up or get going, A’uzu bil Allah min al shaitan al rajeem, this always helps me. I will keep repeating it and suddenly I feel a burst of energy enough to get me moving. Second, listen to Surah YaSeen, it is known to help during illness and depression is an illness and I have experienced many wonderful things happening from this surah

    Third, fast and eat a proper diet and exercise even if it’s a little bit of walking around the block, this is very difficult because its the last thing you feel like doing when you have no energy and no motivation but again A’uzu bil Allah min al shaitan al rajeem.

    Here is something I recently read which shocked me and now I am preparing myself to try this. I found out 1 in 3 Americans have some sort of parasite worm in their body and don’t even know it. Doctors don’t even bother to test for this when a patient comes in with signs of parasitic invasion including anxiety, depression, lack of energy, stomach bloating, gas, etc. It is recommended a person does a natural colon cleanse every six months because these parasites which attach inside of us drains us of many nutrients which should be giving us energy instead they zap it away.

    Take a look into this and try it out, it can’t hurt if anything it may In shaa Allah be the body cleansing cure we are all in desperate need so we can find the energy to continue our purifying cleansing that Islam brings to us.

    May Allah swt grant you and all people with illness shifa … ameen

    • Interesting ideas you have. I’d like to hear more about the colon cleansing idea. And I want to hear more about your experiences with Surah Yaseen.

  • Aslaamu aleykum to everyone.
    I’m really glad that I came across this website because Wallahi it felt like I was the only one. I’m just going to warn you guys that I’m going to write a lot so please bare with me.
    My life was going normal till this month. I come from a family where they Care about statues more then they care about their own kids. Alhamdulilah my family is religious. I have four older brothers and two of them are teachers at the islamic school. But see the problem with me family is there’s nobody to talk to. They all except you to be this and that. That has always been a problem in my life but I chose not to think about it over the years. I think differently then my family and that’s one of the reasons why there’s so many fights. Anyways, I’m 16 year old in high school and I guess it was this month that the problems started to happen. There would be some nights when I would just lay down on my bed and ask my self over and over again” why the hell are you here?” I’m going to admit, I don’t always pray all the time that’s a thing I’m working on. But I always have theQuran in my hand, reading. I know thathe people have worst situation but really, it’s getting worse and worse. So basically when I go home after school, I lock my self in the room and barely come out. Of course I get yelled at and they assume that I’m addicted to my phone 24/7. And don’t tell me to try to talk to them cause my family isn’t like that. Also I have a lot of friends but I don’t they’re the type to really sit with me and listen. My best friend moved to another country and its kind of hard to stay in touch with her. I have another best friend , shes religious mashallah but I don’t think she’ll get it. basically my everyday routine is, go to school, come home, lock my self in a room. I don’t where this depression came from but everyday , the situation is getting worst and worst.. I apologize if I sound like a brat or something but I just wanted to share this with you guys. I’m not looking for attention or anything so please don’t critize me. Also sorry if there’s any spelling errors, I was in a rush and my phone sometimes gets very slow.
    sincerely,
    A Muslimah that lives in Minnesota.

    • Wa alaikum salam. Sister. Interesting comment. What do you mean about your parents being more interested in statues? Anyways. I hope you get help with your issues. and I strongly recommend you to stay on top of your prayers. Don’t miss any one for of them for the world, even if you are sick, pray it while you are lying down, no problem. And check out Educated Anxiety, An online community for muslims suffering with anxiety and depression.

  • Salaam
    Your article made me very emotional, thankyou for sharing. I too have struggled with mental and emotional health all my life i am 36 now…
    I have seen psychologists and psychiatrists. I too dont enjoy anything and dont connect with anyone properly. I spend most of my time alone. I have been praying since last year. I am not currently taking meds but have taken antidepressants. My psychiatrist wants to put me on antipsychotics but am afraid of the side effects. So every day is a struggle, i daydream all day long about the life i would have liked and cant focus on the life i do have. The only thing wrong in my life is my marriage, he is good person but we have nothing in common. I never wanted to marry him. You didnt say why you feel the way you do by the way, is it spontaneous? I think there is something wrong with my brain but doc is reluctant to send me for an MRI as he said it wont show anything. My grandmother had dementia i am scared i am going to.end up like her. There is something wrong with my dad. He daydreams and talks to himself all day and so do i. I feel like i havent reached my full potential as a result.

  • Thank you for writing this, it made me realize that am not a bad person. I’ve been suffering for 2 years and it consumed me and the only thing stopping me from ending it is islam. It’s so hard cuz sometimes I feel everything at once and sometimes I feel nothing at all and the sinking feeling scares me. I can never tell my family because I want to be the strong person they think I’m cuz to me what people think effects me majorly and I keep telling myself that maybe if my family thinks am strong I can be strong for them. I have not recovered yet and I don’t know if I will ever find an answer but meanwhile am learning to accept that this is a part of me and that I should learn to cope with it. So thank you so much this article made me realize that I’m not that much of a bad person and I really admire your strength and courage in opening up and helping me understand that I’m not a freak.

  • Hello hanah,

    this is the first time I have ever been able to truly relate to someone’s emotions. I haven’t been diagnosed with depression but I constantly feel sad and empty even when I’m laughing and this feeling increases a lot more when I’m in a gathering or at events. It gets worse when I’m alone and when I’m with a big group. I don’t have anyone I could open up to because I move around a lot and I don’t have a close relationship with any of my “friends”. And because I act so normal I don’t think they would take me seriously if I told them about my depression. I have only ever cut myself when I was 16. I often find myself crying at night wishing I never existed, wishing that Allah has never granted me a life. I don’t want to be in this world or the next. I just want to simply not exist. Seeing that im the only child and always have been lonely and moving around a lot, I have been suffering from this constant sadness since 13 and now I’m 21. This depression comes and goes. But it gets stronger each time it comes back. Please create a discussion forum or something where I can talk to people who feel the same because I feel like I’m losing my mind. I also daydream intensely where I find myself talking to myself whilst daydreaming of ideal situations. I know that loneliness is the cause but I really have no one to talk to or to hang out with. Sometimes I’m tempted to cut myself again because it brings me a loooot of relief and relaxation but because it’s haram I avoid it.

    • Salamm brother
      I can partially understand the feeling. I too have been going through bouts of depression. Is there a particular thing which makes you depressed or is it just a feeling you get? Personally I get the feeling that I doing less than those around me and so I do not work hard enough.

    • Dear sister, I had been feeling the same since I was 14 years old.
      It will get better in sha Allah, May Allah grant you shiffa and happiness and to all muslims struggling with this.
      Amin

  • In this day and age we are all a train wreck waiting to happen. Confidence is a mask that can easily peel when your confidence is grounded in designer clothes, makeup, you looks, your friends i.e. all things that are temporal in nature.

    An injury recently took me out of the gym and i have been feeling down until i realized i put my confidence in my physique my strength in the gym and in physical sports. This masked the depressive tendencies. My prayers, zikr, wirds etc which i thought were the cause of my ‘i’ve never felt this good’ feeling as i described to my wife recently turned out to be false. My nafs and the devil had me ‘on one’. I had put my faith in these thing rather than God. Now i need to put my faith back in him and tread the ‘yellow brick road’ back to Him which isn’t easy as it doesn’t appeal to the egotistical springs we bath in. The answer is and always will be Allah. We need to mould around that.

    • well said. those things are nothing but false ways to feel valuable. But it never gives us value. There is only one thing that makes us who we are. And that is our Rabb. May Allah help us to realize this truly.

  • Your article had me in tears.No one I’ve known has ever been able to put into words so correctly the raging emotions.
    Masha Allah you are blessed that you can go to a psychiatrist.My family doesn’t agree with me because I’m so young and tell me there are people who have it worst than me.So I need to live with the struggle everyday.
    Hopefully Allah swt will send help to me soon.

  • Mashaa Allah, I am so grateful that i just found this article. Your words that you wrote down here is all i kept inside my heart all these days. Nobody knew this feelings except those who have already suffered it. I’ve always wanted to tell someone about how I feel but when I did, they judge me. But I feel a lot better when I read this article. I almost cried when I read this because it’s everything about me and how i feel. May Allah blessed you and all of us. Ameen.

  • Assalamu alaikum
    Dear bros n sisters here I’m suffering with the same situation from last some years.. I felt like this article is written on me.. Even now when i was reading this article i start crying n i can’t tell anyone in family as they are already having bad times.. I feel the same.. I’m getting married this November the date is fixed but now i started feeling like i don’t even want get married.. I jus want to be all alone whole my life.. Every moment suicide thoughts come in mind but i can’t take my life as i don’t have any rights over it its given by Allah swt..

    • I feel you sister. Marriage was the start of my major social anxiety problems and suffering, although it really truly is an important part of our development and din. May Allah help us to improve and get out of our emotional issues.

      Your Brother
      -Amir

    • Dearest Shabs,
      You are so very young. There is a life stretched out before you. You just can’t see through the forest for the trees at this moment. Good that you have found this forum and are reaching out for counsel from your sisters and brothers. I would suggest that if you have the means, that you also seek out a professional therapist/counselor – perhaps someone at school/university, an imam, or a friend could refer you to one. A psychologist or clinical social worker ideally would be someone who can help you see with more clarity and suggest solutions or alternative approaches that may not occur to you on your own. I am speaking from experience. That you are suffering to the extent that you are having frequent thoughts of suicide – even though you would not act on them – is a clear call for help from Allah. He has blessed many with the ability and the calling to help those of us who struggle in this way. Sessions are confidential. I hope you will continue to reach out to others here and will search out the objective and non-judgemental ear of a therapist. There is absolutely no shame in doing so or in needing/wanting help. “It takes a village…” May Allah guide you.

      • Dearest Marilyn,
        Thanks for your suggestions.. I appreciate them. I really need a counsellor but can’t get one for now and i can’t explain why..

        • Hello again.
          No explanation necessary.
          I found this article which might be of interest to you.
          http://www.amhp.us/bottled-up-mental-health-and-american-muslims/

          The organization AMHP is still a work in progress. I couldn’t find a list of practitioners on their website but you might reach out to them anyway for someone or resources in your area. Some therapists also offer “sliding scale” fees, if finances are a consideration. Always ask if that’s a possibility.

  • I’m jus 20 yrs old n started thinking like i lived my life enough.. I feel like I’m nothing to anyone around me my family my friends.. No one cared about me.. When i see girls of my age they enjoy their lives to the fullest but why I can’t.. I try to be happy but I can’t.. :'(

    • Thats how i feel, my life is a mess subhanallah. My familly does not understand me in any way. I cry my self to sleep sometimes. I am trying to get back to allah. I thought that i forgot allah and allah forget me, maybe thats why my life is full of saddness. I cant Even tell anyone, they all know me to be quit happy. They would think i am joking. I have lived for 20 yrs and all i fell is ending my life. I feel tired all the time, i cant get out of bed. I failed at school. I feel like I have truely failed at this dunya and the heareafter. I fell like ending my life 24/7. I want hope, i think of all the prophets and the way they where tested. Allah testes those he loves. I try to think positiv. May allah make us people of jannah. May allah forgive us

  • Sister shabs,

    Iv been there. When you are down it feels the whole world is conspiring against you. From experience every time I felt like that it felt as though shaitaan was adding fuel to the fire to plummet me further down a dark hole. I deal with it like so:

    1. You have an issue with someone/something for example.

    2. Shaitaan will pile on ALL the problems you have on top of this to bog you down and push you over the edge.

    3. Identify what shaitaan is doing and say to yourself ‘I will deal with the problem at hand first and until that is sorted I will not worry about anything else.’

    E.g. your friend is bullying you. You then start to remember all the people who pick on you and ‘hate’ you. Shaitaan then reminds you of all the people that hate you. You then convince yourself that it is because of your personality, looks etc. I.e. shaitaan is trying to push you to insanity. He is an enemy that does not want you to ever ‘ve happy. At that moment say to yourself I will deal with the friend issue first because this is the immediate issue that requires an immediate response.

    4. Shaitaan will leave you be.

    5. Now deal with the issue. Develop a habbit of dealing with your issues. It will become a habit and a norm inshaAllah.

    6. Final tip is this. No one will love you, respect you, care for you if YOU don’t love Care and respect yourself .

    7. Eat halal and wholesome foods, exercise , read, sunnag sports such as horse riding , archery and swimming will broaden your mind.

    Regarding the marriage find out about the individual . Pluck up the courage to talk to the man. Be grown up sis life is short it’s hard to sort your life out but set achievable goals and take a stepwise approach to personal development. I pray you are ok.

  • Salaam,
    I am really grateful for this article…I, like many others havent been able to actually put into words the feelings I have been struggling with for so long. I have been reading the comments as well…thank you to everyone that has taken the time to write his/her story and offer solutions.

  • Salaam…
    I am writing while I have tears on my faces….
    I am writing while I reading your comments…
    I am writing while I am tired if everything single things in my life…
    I am tired of my self…
    I am tired of my life…
    I am tired of who I am…
    I am tired of my family….
    I am tired of people around me…
    I am tired of this world…
    I am afried of my self…
    I am afried of giving up…
    I am afried of losing my faith…
    Oh Allah Please do not test me on something when I do not have the strength…
    Oh Allah please make me to fight this battle before reaching my end point…

    This Article is the same as my situation… I feel everyday My Faith gets weaker and weaker…

    • Salam Zee,

      you have the strength …whatever the problem is i just dont care …next moment it is gone by the grace of Allah. you will pass it …May Allah bless you.

    • Thanks a lot! Exactly described how it is…but i still didnt admit it to myself 🙁
      If there is any other way except medication?

    • Dear Sister,
      I feel the same way, you are not alone and it will get better
      in sha Allah.
      May Allah make it easy for all of us.
      Amin

  • Salaam alaikum,

    Thank you for this post. I am a 21 turning 22 female who has been battling depression for a long time – I have never been able to tell my family (more specifically my parents) because even when I talk to them about depression or anxiety in general they brush it off and say it doesn’t exist if you’re a Muslim.

    For a while I’ve been wondering to myself why wouldn’t it exist? does that mean I’m not really a Muslim? Am I doing something wrong? But I’ve always refused to believe that Allah (swt) if he knew me and my heart that he would just chuck me aside and deem me and my emotions irrelevant.

    I’m still battling depression and this article made me realise that it’s normal.. I’m not the only one and I won’t be. I’m going to make sure that it comes to the attention of society that it’s real and people need help. So please if you are battling anxiety or depression please keep going, keep your head up and trust in God.

    Thank you

  • Assalamualaikum,
    Thank you.. for putting into words what we have been and are facing. I was under medication a couple of years back, but I stopped because I hated the side effect.. then my life just.. went downhill in terms of religion.. but I wasn’t depressed. Then I found my religion again.. and I started to focus on fixing myself in religion. Unfortunately, it came back and again I found myself seeing the psychiatrist and taking medicine. This time I am going to stick to my medication and my religion. So many times I wished I am dead.. even wishing my whole family dead together with me cos I couldn’t let them suffer if I am dead.. death is in my mind all the time… life has no pleasure anymore.. it’s a struggle, but I am holding on to the rope of Allah.. He is alone can cure me.. and this is His test.. I have so many sins..countless… and I fervently pray that i will pass this test and my sins be cleanse…..
    I love you for this article..thank you…

  • This is article is basically me talking – it’s so surprising how so identical to my thoughts it is. Forever I’ve found it so hard to just explain how I feel. I find myself not telling crucial things to my own psychiatrist because I’m ashamed of how I feel. And when it comes to mental health issues, it really takes one to know one – I don’t think anyone will understand unless they’ve been through it. Allahu alMusta’aan.

  • I am so grateful that I came across this website and therefore, this piece of writing. I’ve been dealing with depression and social anxiety for four years, and now the thought of death lurks in mind almost all the time. I’ve confided in my mother about this and she gave me the impression that Muslims can’t be depressed. I love her, but I knew that wasn’t right, and your work here just gave me proof of that. Thank you for letting me know that what I’m feeling is valid, and that there are other Muslims who feel the same way. May Allah cure us of our sadness.

  • I’m speechless. I feel as if I wrote this. It is exactly how I’ve been feeling for a while now. Difference is I have no one to talk too. And the as you have wrote about that friends need to keep checking on you, I don’t have them Friends or family. So there needs to be more people like them. But now I have realised there is more to life. I struggle everyday but I feel a little better Alhamdullilah.

  • Salaam,

    Thank you for whoever posted this. I dont know what struck me to read something on depression and muslims and here I am. I used to be an agnostic and recently came back to Islam alhamdulillah with the help of a friend. I have sufferred many years frm depression its like a battle that I dnt know how to explain. The loneliness, feeling empty, worthless, mad at yourself, and just thinking when will I ever get better? Seeing happy ppl around u (well at least u see that side) and then thinking wen will I ever be happy like that, or is there anyone for me?
    Things u used to once enjoy are just something u avoid doing. I think the biggest problem is facing loneliness. How do you address it? Even wen u want someone to talk to u as a friend u find urself hearing there problems first and then ur left just how u were before.
    Sometimes someone wants to be understood or maybe just listened too.
    I dnt want to feel lonely anymore and this is the one thing I am struggling with. If anyone has any advice please comment. Thank you

  • Assalamualaikum. ….
    even m suffering from the same symptoms which the brother / sis has written…..
    m a student just 19yrs….
    I have kept my all hopes on Allah (swt)…..
    but from past 2 yrs of continues failures tragedies I dont knw what step of my lyf will take…
    smetyms I will go 100% thinkng I m gonnA do suicide then again just a motivation stops me frm doin suicide …
    I request all bros n sisters to help this little sis of u r’s fo taking a right decision in lyf…..do read my commnt n help me n guide m…..
    Jazakallah u khair…:)

  • Assalamu alaykum,

    I am so glad to have come across your article. I haven’t been diagnosed, but my symptoms show that I may have bipolar. I guess I am too ashamed to get help. Thanks for letting me know that they are Muslims who have mental illness because I rarely see them. I am a 22 year old female and in my last year of university. I always wonder how I made it this far…but Alhamdulillah.

  • im totally depressed im 13 my parents have been away for 3 years ive done all i could to bring my family together its not a fight or anything but every one works in different regions honestly thres only one moment in my life that i can remember where my whole family was together ive crossed the atlantic 2 times alone to visit my parents every time they make a plan to come something drws them away

  • been in a similar situation a few years ago but i was a lot older than you at that time. It must be very hard for you at your age. Your being very mature for you age so you should also know this; just because they are your mum and dad doesn’t mean you can make them smile when they are sad or bring them back together when they re apart. I was dealing with a similar situation with my parents for years and would go to sleep every night with a headache trying to talk it through with them.

    Eventually i realised i have no control over them, just because they are our parents we think we have a right over them; we do but only to a certain degree. Your parents destiny isn’t controlled by you. They are grow up and can make decisions for themselves. Don’t lay waste to a life full of promise. They have lived their life and made their choices. Don;t become embroiled in the chaos that surrounds their lives.

    On the day of judgement, the same parents will run away from you and you from them; point being it is about self preservation inevitably.

  • Salam to you and everyone.
    Its true,unexplained and how I finally manage to overcome years of battle, only now i was able to express myself what was inside me. Reading this makes me teared. Knowing im not alone, I have been labeled and judge by many. I learn how expectations will lead to disappointment. I have always thought someone will understand what i have gone through.
    I could relate all of the things from car crashing and making dua to Allah to take my life away.
    Every night before going to bed, i will listen to surah , hoping i will rest in peace tomorrow. Everyday was a struggle. I have lost someone dearly because of my depression, but without her, i will never be able to overcome this battle myself. Only Allah can repay her patience and kindness.
    Its sad , and hard how your loves one doesn’t understand became of you. I wish i could have explained myself but i just cant explained what.
    People will give up on you, but don’t give up on yourself. You are here, for a reason.
    Trust me, trust the words of Quran ,

    “…And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from an unexpected source. And when someone puts all his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him.” [Qur’an, 65:2-3]

    God works in mysterious ways. I finally came to my senses and emotions again.
    The guilt and blame , almost every night i crying and asking myself what have i done.
    At times, i was confuse if having back my emotions again was a good thing. I cant stop blaming myself and the guilt was killing. I was judged for all the things i have done.

    Im glad to have people around me who have never given up on me and infact supported and reminded me to never give up on your dreams. Trust Allah, Trust Quran, without this majestic works, i wouldn’t have got through depression. Seeking counselling really helps me alot, i stop blaming myself for things i did. Acceptance , accepting what has happen plays a big role in my daily life , forgiving others and bear no grudges.
    Allah loves you, you have been tested, only the best are being tested.
    Remember, its Satan’s work to destroy you, not Allah. Insyallah ,
    one day you will come across the “unexpected source” just like me.
    Alhamdulillah i have passed this test, may Allah forgive me for my sins.

    Remember, you cant pass an exam just by making doa , you need to help yourself by making small efforts each day.
    Each time try to overcome the negative thoughts with positivity.
    Make small efforts, slowly, Insyallah there will be progress.
    Don’t give up, I Know you can do it.
    Everytime your thoughts goes astray, remind yourself.
    Read the Quran translation if you have to.
    Don’t give up!

  • I feel like you but I am the worse of the bunch. I pray salah (Qaza for Fajr), but apart from that my depression has led me down so deep that now I constantly accuse Allah for never giving me anything in life. I have never accomplished anything, have no friends, have not completed studies, have no job, have no success, cannot drive, cannot leave the house, am unattractive, anything I attempt results in a failure, I was heavily bullied in school, have no people skills, people think of me as a joke and a useless person and everyone around me has accomplished something. I have never experienced close to it, and I am one of the few who prays at all, I have never indulged in wrong practices, do not even smoke, never looked at another woman in a wrong way (while every man I know has). I used to think Allah would turn things round but no matter what I hope will happen something bad always comes in the way. Every singe time. Without Fail. Anything I try, and I do right on my part, something will happen that cannot be foreseen. I have read countless duas to help and turn things around but not one has helped. I still make those duas to no avail. I have come to the conclusion Allah hates or does not care about me. I know I should not think so but I have been depressed for so many years now, and have no friends to confide into, my sister whom I was to has married and left, hence I have turned bitter.

    I hate that I now constantly accuse Allah of hating me and never providing me with any kind of blessing. I shout in my duas all my anger, I look up and scream at him, hoping to gain his attntion somehow. I just want my faith back, I hate that I have sunk so low, and lost my belief that he will make thing right. It just does not seem true. I have never gotten anything, not a single thing. I am tired of being sad, it physically hurts me, I feel like killing myself but know it is haraam so cannot. I hope to die somehow without pain but am also scared that I will go to Jahannum if I die. I am in constant agony, and just want peace, and for once – literally – have something. I feel it is time. There is just too much disappointment I have received and people who I see are bad still get rewards, while people who are good also do, I get nothing at all. I am so fearful of my insolence, however, of being angry at Allah, and hope to regain my faith. But without any kind of happiness, even the slightest, in my life I don’t see how I can get any belief.

  • this article was very well written and it made me realize so many things… the video posted along with it was incredible as it spoke of reality, what was true, etc.. reading the comments i realized maybe depression links us to death to make us realize that this life is temporary but we deny it making it harder in ourselves so we reach out for help which is necessary for making us stronger throughout this test aka life the battle basically or to make us happy again in this life? maybe Allah swt doesnt want us to forget the afterlife so depression links to death so you do better with your life, get back on track and not put faith in temporary realistic items such as makeup, brand named clothes, etc… it’s all a fallacy and one day this temporary feeling wont even matter… maybe we need to remember the prophets (peace be upon them all) also went through this.. there was no difference and so should we… so maybe this is a testament that we need to be stronger or do better for ourselves and a strong reminder that the prophets (pbut) went through this, why are we any different? get the help you need to get back on track in this life but dont make it your priority for this to be forever, this life is a test and always will be… we are created to worship Allah swt whether we like it or not.. and its not depressing to constantly remind yourself of the hereafter and death, its delusional to believe this life is all that matters lol. i have depression and anxiety, it’s hard but we can all get through it inshaallah. Just have to be patient and grateful and remember the bigger picture. Ameen.

  • Salaam. I’ve been depressed for about 10 years and I’ve been feeling suicidal for the past 5 or 6 years. I’m 29 and so fed up of living. i wish Allah hadn’t created me. I hate being alive. I think i will go to hell in the end anyway so why not kill myself now. If Islam didnt say anything about suicide I would have taken my life years ago but unfortunately it is haraam so i must carry on living my pointless, empty life.

    i dont want to marry, i hate myself. i wish i could live alone in alaska and never see another soul for as long as i live. im trapped here in the UK. I just hate who i am and i wish Allah had never created me. i’m so tired of living. how on earth am i going to survive another 5 decades of life when i already feel so fed up of it?!

    perhaps Allah will forgive suicide? its not as bad as shirk so maybe Allah will forgive it?

    i could easily end all this by ingesting toxic plants or allowing myself to become hypothermic. i’ve thought too long about all this.

    what a waste of a life my 29 years have been.

    i am cursed.

    there is no hope.

    there never was

    • Salaam Isa.
      I’m 27 and I’ve been depressed for the last 12 or 13 years. Just yesterday, i wished it could all end. But somehow deep in my heart I know it is just a test. A really hard one.
      I too sometimes (often) feel like I am cursed.
      But we are not. As dark as it can get, we have to keep faith in our hearts.
      We should try having a better opinion of our Lord. His Kindness, His Mercy, His Perfection, His wisdom.
      Materials on this website helped me alot. The Names of God series by Sister Jinan Yousef, in particular. By getting to know God through His names, I could talk better and more often to Him. I slowly realize how lucky I am that He created me and that knowing Him is the most beautiful thing. I found out I love myself more.

      I’m not healed yet. But I want to keep fighting. Hold on, too. Read this by sister Yasmin Mogahed:

      ” To all those suffering from sadness or depression, know that it isn’t your fault. It isn’t because you’re weak. It isn’t because you’re just not grateful enough. It isn’t because you’re just not religious enough. It isn’t because you don’t have enough faith. It isn’t because God is angry with you. To all the well-meaning people who tell you this, just smile. And know deep in your heart that the tests of God come in different forms to different people. And know that, by the help of God, every test can become a tool to get closer to Him. And that, verily, with hardship come ease–and like all things of this world–this too shall pass.”

      May The Merciful and Loving One heal and protect you. May your despair be changed in love and unshakable faith in Him.

      Salaam.

    • Dearest Isa,
      There is always hope. The only crushing despair is to have no hope, and even then it can be restored and renewed faith will move in just as fast to heal and mend. Allah knows your intentions and He knows how difficult this can be for you. But suicide is not a solution. What distinguishes you as a Muslim from someone who does not have this faith? That you have a Maker and Creater to please. Live for yourself but most importantly live for Allah. You are on this Earth by Him and for Him. Insha’allah soon you will find peace in yourself with it. Whatever you are going through, please keep going. You are a light in someone’s life whether you believe so or not. If you can’t bring yourself to, then just smile at a stranger on the tube or perhaps help someone with their shopping bags. Make yourself a light. Show yourself the best parts of yourself. Life is too short to dwell and simultaneously too long to make it about dwelling. What keeps us moving is what will save us.

      Much love. So much love. x

    • committing suicide you think everything will be finish.. no my friend the other world is worst then here…
      Anyways what makes you feel this way… there should be a reason…without any reason it s impossible…
      I think I am the only one with the mountains of pain in my heart… being heart broken by family and society…

  • Thank you for this. Sometimes you read things and there is more light to what you saw before, this is one of those times. Bless your heart, bless your soul, and thank you for the person you are. Your existence definitely changed the course of my life already. Please let that charge you to keep moving forward with everything. Whatever you do, slow down if you must, but keep going. Much love.

  • What a read you just described it all just summed it up for me. Thanx alot may Allah bless you 😀 and i have hope.

  • I feel like I was reading my own story.. I am currently still struggling with this feelings, I cry constantly and sometimes I get so close to end my life.. But I always remember that is not the solution.
    I am trying so hard, please keep dua for me.
    May Allah have mercy on us and open a door of shiffa and patience to all muslims struggling.
    Amin

  • This is such an amazing article. I’ve been having an unexplained illness, in which I have been referred to 6 different doctors and none of them can tell me what is wrong. Because of all these upheavals, I was diagnosed with secondary depression and popping pills just to survive the days. Alhamdulillah, He has been there and whenever I pray and talk to Him, I feel so calm after that. He has a plan for all of us, in due time we will see the hikmah. Insha Allah.

  • Assalamualaikum
    i m also suffering from 6 month and its my fourth episode of depression and anxiety attack
    since age of 19 i faced four time depression period Its really nice article it gave me strength it gave me hope tnx u all alot for sharing ur openion but i did not took medication properly bcause i afraid of medicine but insha allah i will see psychiatrist Pleas pray for me too

  • Asak everyone,

    It is nice to see this blog for those who are alone and suffering from depression. Depression has really taken toll of me and my well being. It is very hard to find someone that can be a true friend to understand another.

    I am lost, and confused. Everytime I try to make a new friend it ends up not going well or something will come up. I dont know how to deal with my depression anymore.

    I was doing fine but I will need to seek therapy and see my dr still. What worries me is this has been going on for the last 13 years. I start to feel low of myself. I am looking for someone just to talk to and possibly be good friends.

    Please pray for me.

  • The funny things is that…..I can not even distingush between having depression and not having depression it is just become part of my life style and part of my personalities.. all these years I thought this is how I am, I did not know that I am having depression and still do. Or may be I was too selfish to accept my loneliness or was to scared to open up my self to people…I created a little friend for my self from my own soul… talking to me self, thinking a lot, and seeing my self a such different kind of human being and convincing my self that others are very simple minded to understand my complex brain…I do not understand if I am normal or others…. I thought I knew my self very well.. But recently it seems that I don’t no my self yet….
    I don’t no who I am…I do not know what to say….

    • Don’t loose hope, it’s about how you talk to yourself. Sometimes we are more harsh to ourselves, our thoughts to ourselves are so harsh, we would never say it to anyone like, your wierd, no one wants to be around you, your a burden etc they’re so harsh and not true forever. You have to trust Allah, take the big step to day to Allah I’m want to change, help me. Psychiatrists and therapists know how to rewire your thinking so they can be very helpful, don’t shut away. and take pride in feeling lucky Allah swt is still with you if you try so that opportunity is still there to overcome this and forgive yourself if you fall into it again because if Allah can forgive you, why can’t you forgive yourself? May allah grant you the best in this life and the hereafter

      • thank you brother…. Alhaldullah i feel much better now… eventhough there is no change in my life style then before.. but i feel calm and more stronger..

    • Asak Brother,
      I can relate to what ur going through. Depression is a very serious illness that needs a lot of care and attention.

      It seems like you have a lot of discovering to do, or need medical attention. I am not a Dr. or medical professional but you should seek some kind of help medically and spiritually.

      Make Allah and the Quran your support. No one can save you from this accept Allah and yourself. I will pray for you .

  • Bro’s and Sisters. I feel for the writers of this post, because I’m suffering with the most dehabilitating, soul paining depression, that completely blocks me from feeling any iman, and makes prayer so difficult and agonizing it’s hard to pray. I would appreciate your comments on my post about depression. The latest post on “The Depression Cloud.”

  • Asak brothers and sisters,

    After reading majority of the issues here I feel like I dont know if I should write mine since many of us have more to face than others.

    I will try to make this brief. Im at a point in my life where I am ok career wise but my family life is ruined. My fathers family is against us. I feel like they have ruined my poor mothers life and it has significantly impacted us all. My mom is severely depressed and it worries me to see her like this in crying and feeling so hopeless. My fathers family is against us becuz he married my mom although this was arranged. I am not sure how to face this anymore as I think they have done some kind of jadoo on my father for him to be under their control, some sort of bandish in us children not being able to marry, and it has gotten to the point where his family has given my fathers number to women looking to marry (when all his kids are grown up and in marriage age.)

    Brothers and sisters Im so tired. I am the eldest in family and I have no choice but to remain strong for my other siblings. It has made youngest sibling very depressed where she says that I want them to get a taste of their own medicine for putting us through all this.

    I have never seen any kind of muslim person to do this to another muslim and his family… Supposedly they have made our life a living hell. We have contacted numerous sufi, shaikh, and muftis and they all say that there is some bandish but to me and my other sibling it seems like this is never ending. It has even gotten to the point where one of our siblings has moved so far away. They just want our family to be broken, they have verbally and physically abused my mother, have always treated us poorly.

    I am also a victim of depression for the last 13 years, and a divorcee. I dont know what my family or I have ever done wrong but I feel like Im cursed or wish I was never born. To see my mother in this kind of pain is so hard to see. The fact that one of my siblings lives so far away hurts her so much. Sometimes I think that we are the most unfortunate ppl we have no family not many understnding relatives as others have, or have things to do with family on Eid. It hurts so much and I wander if this will ever end. In the society we live in everything is judged based on social status and money it seems to be which is why many ppl I have known younger than me or around the same age havent had such issues in marrying. Being middle class or poor in this society, and sadly being a muslim ppl will judge you.

    I dont have much support. Friends are only there when they need someone to talk to, or will brag abt their flourishing lifestyles. I am at a point where I feel lke my head will burst.
    Does anyone know of any penpal site for muslims or would be willing to be a friend to such a lonely soul?

    Thank you.

    • Hello K
      I would like to help you , I have gone through dépression myself and it destroyed many years of my life . I feel sad for your mum too.
      I am a mother too and have had to leave my unrespectful husband
      If you want to write to me , do so , I will get back to you.

    • i lost my believe in allah,i dont believe in him now,so i am not a muslim anymore but i am also very lonely like u,no friends at all,so if u want we can talk with each other.

  • i dont feel writing too much stuff right now,i am so so tired,i am so sad,i want to die,i have such a bad life,lonely life,i have no one,so i was thinking if anyone would want to be in touch with me,if anyone wants to be friends pls do so.

    • Killing your self isn’t the solution, you’re going back to Allah in the wrong way, read my post below, and if you want to speak I’m here ✌🏽️

    • the best thing is to discuss your problem with someone… even though the person can not do anything but it helps you to relieve a little pain…to someone can just listen to you and understand you…. i did same thing… i am still lonely and i have the same life style as before… but ALHAMDULLAH I FEEL MUCH STRONGER NOW…
      if you want to talk to me by all mean i can listen to you

  • I am 20 years old and have been facing depression for over 3/4 years now. Everyone used to say it’s because you’re far away from you’re Lord. To be honest, I am the closest to my Lord at the moment and it is the worst. I love this post, it really does explain everything and the one thing that always frustrates me is when something happens physically to an individual everyone is ready to run, even if it’s a little wound from falling over, someone hands over a plaster, everyone asks if you’re okay. However, with this, no one asks, no one understands because they don’t know how it feels. Although depression kills me at times, it has helped me if i look at it from a positive note, I understand other people and I see things from all sorts of perspective. But boy, is it a killer, it ruins your life. People don’t realise that it is a severe mental illness. This is where you have to remember, you have Allah, who has written all you plans for your future and no matter how hard it gets don’t give up. Only we can make ourselves stronger. Remember with every pain we feel, our sins are washed away. Sometimes it gets to much for me I wish I had cancer instead, now people would say how can you say that?! But because with cancer .. you know what stage your at, you have people supporting you, and you have doctors to help you. With this.. you fight it alone alongside with your lord. And if you have no faith… you’re screwing yourself over. One thing I think to myself is .. maybe this pain in this life that I feel everyday, that I want to crush my heart, that makes me feel insane, will maybe be because I will have my true everlasting happiness in paradise. I know everyone has there own story.. and I may sound positive in this post, but we have to motivate each other, and I pray God gives every single person who suffers from any condition mentally or physically shifa/ cure. We can be strong, and whether in this life or the next, we will see light. If you’ve kept it this long, if I can keep going and it’s getting worse so can you. I hope you’re better now… seeing this is 2 years later

  • im having the same feeling but i cant describe it to anyone.
    feels like i should end my life but one keeps me going is my daughter. if i end my life my daughter will suffer rest of my life.
    wish i could speak to someone who can help me pass this. who will really feel what i feel. wish there is someone i can speak everyday , who will support me and who will never give up on me.

    if there is anyone who would like to help me please let me know.

  • Assalam alai kum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. Yaa Allah help us, relieve us the hardships of sadness..Ameen

    I might be judged or not but i leave it to Allah. Right now i am going through everything the author has mentioned, i swear upon Allah everything. Please remember me in your duas, i am literally about to cry writing this.

    • Ws,

      Brother/sister you are not Alone. It is not easy, I’m in similar situation. May Allah make it easy on you and all of us that are facing hardship ameen. What is wrong if I may ask?

  • Salam aleykum my lovely Brothers and Sisters i know how ur feel i have a lot of pain on my soul too. And you know what? It becomes stronger every time. Because we are believers. Dont forget that a dip into jannah make u think that u were never suffered in ur while live before. Wenn someome need help or wanst to Talk im There!

  • If it is a struggle for people with depression to get out of bed, think about how much of a struggle it must be for Muslims with depression to also hold their religious faith and 5 Salah daily!

    So, I can’t seriously blame anyone struggling with depression for letting go of their Salah. It’s not like depression is something you chose to do, and it’s not like there’s any easy way out. Without modern medicine you might not even have a chance combatting it.

    As we know, in Islam making your 5 Salah daily is an extremely important requirement;
    The first thing that will be asked on the Day of Judgement is:
    Did you make all of your 5 prayers, and if not do you have any other prayers to make up for them?
    Additionally, the Prophet (PBUH) said that he who abandons Salah had become a disbeliever.

    So look at the options Allah has left those who have depression with:
    1) Go to Hell for not making your prayers
    2) Go to Hell for committing suicide
    3) Suffer for the rest of your life trying to hold onto your faith, in this blank, emotionless, and stimulus-less world. And fail at holding onto Islam eventually anyway, because why would Islam matter to you at that point, if nothing matters to you anymore?

    What is God seriously expecting? There’s no good path for those with depression to take. How can this be a test from Allah when there is seemingly no correct answer?

    Someone help me understand, I am thankful that I do not have depression, but after seeing other family members with it, I just wonder what I would have done if it had happened to me.
    They tell me that whenever there is a calamity, Allah’s wisdom is in it, and that in the end it was for the better. But I fail to even imagine how afflicting depression onto someone and making them pick between two Harams and suffering with existing for the rest of the their life can have any wisdom in it.

  • Assalamualaikum to all my brother and sister , I m also suffering from depression since last 9 year but depression period is periodically i. e 4 to 5 month in a year now I m feeling better because of one reason I did bait on Hand of my shaikh (peer ) so my advice to all suffered brother n sister find a true shaikh (scholar) and sale yourself to his hand ( Bait) & keep taking your medicine too in sha Allah …Allah will heal your monster decease ..Aameeen

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