In today’s challenging times marked by economic difficulties, people are experiencing job losses, layoffs, and the struggle to meet rent and mortgage payments resulting in depression.
These circumstances gradually influence our character, shaping the kind of person we are becoming amidst financial strain.
These instances highlight the severity of the situation. So, the pressing question remains: How are we evolving as individuals during these perplexing and demanding times? It is during such moments that our true inner selves are revealed.
This is precisely why the Quran encourages us to examine how people responded when confronted with adversity.
Consequences of Depression
Allah SWT says in the Quran:
“As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honor and gifts, then he says (puffed up): “My Lord has honored me.” But when He tries him, by straightening his means of life, he says: “My Lord has humiliated me!” (Surah Al-Fajr: 15-16)
So the normal misinterpretation of the above-mentioned verses is “If we have much sustenance and wealth, it means we are blessed by Allah SWT and our Lord is happy from us, and if he straitens the sustenance and wealth from somebody it means Allah SWT is not pleased with him or her” which is not the case.
So the real question is once we do not have the means and wealth what kind of people do we become? Some of the wrong choices people have made as a result of these tough times.
Consumption of Alcohol
Does drinking really help you make more money? Not at all. In fact, it can make you even poorer. While it might seem like a way to relax, it’s actually a false form of relaxation. So, choosing to drink is not a wise choice.
Yes, times can be hard, but that doesn’t mean we should go down that path. Many people are feeling more down these days. They believe money can fix all their problems, and when they don’t have it, they feel like they can’t cope anymore.
Unfortunately, this sometimes leads people to get angry with their family and relatives.
The escalating instances of domestic violence present a significant and troubling concern within our society.
Men often resort to violence against their wives, when facing unemployment or job instability.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that resorting to physical or emotional harm does not contribute to resolving employment issues. Instead, it exacerbates the situation and creates more problems.
Sometimes, we think our plans won’t succeed, and we might consider gambling for quick money. But that usually doesn’t work out well.
The important question is: Who do we become when we don’t have money or resources?
In our world, people often judge our values based on what we wear or where we eat. They think branded clothes or fancy restaurants make someone important. These ideas are not right, and trying to fit in with these values can lead us down the wrong path.
Solution for Depression
Right after the bright morning, Allah discusses the darkness in Surah Ad-Duha. It’s like a cover that brings comfort and rest. When we’re feeling down, our sleep schedule can get messed up, and we might stay up all night and sleep during the day.
This verse reminds us to find comfort and ease our worries, especially at night. Here are some ways you can approach to overcome depression.
Seeking Professional Help
Trained mental health professionals, such as therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists, are readily available to provide professional help during periods of depression. They possess valuable insights, offer guidance tailored to your specific needs and issues, and employ various therapeutic techniques.
Through comprehensive therapy sessions, one can delve into the root causes of depression. This process enables the establishment of effective coping strategies and a secure environment for open discussions about emotions and challenges.
Building a Support System
Isolation can exacerbate the effects of depression. Establishing a solid support system is crucial in the journey towards healing. It is important to reach out to friends, family members, and loved ones who provide empathy and understanding.
Joining support groups or online communities that focus on mental health can create an opportunity to connect with people who have had similar experiences.
Sharing feelings and listening to others can help feel a sense of belonging, reduce loneliness, and be reminded that you are not alone in facing your challenges.
To effectively manage depression, it’s important to prioritize self-care. This involves establishing a routine that includes consistent sleep patterns, a well-balanced diet, and regular physical activity. These practices can greatly help in stabilizing mood.
Practicing mindfulness techniques, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and relaxation practices can effectively lower stress levels and reduce feelings of anxiety.
Engaging in hobbies or activities can distract from negative thoughts, fostering a sense of accomplishment while enhancing overall well-being.
Cognitive Behavioral Techniques
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a well-established and effective method for managing depression. It focuses on identifying negative thought patterns and replacing them with more rational and constructive ones.
By engaging in this process, you can develop a stronger sense of control over your thoughts, emotions, and actions. You can reduce feelings of hopelessness by confronting negative thoughts.
CBT provides you with invaluable tools and strategies that foster resilience and facilitate emotional regulation.
Developing Coping Strategies
Coping strategies play a crucial role in navigating the highs and lows of depression. These strategies encompass various helpful tools to manage the condition effectively. Setting attainable goals, both short-term and long-term, can provide a sense of purpose and guide you towards progress.
Journaling serves as a valuable outlet for self-expression and self-reflection, enabling you to track your growth and recognize patterns. Stress management skills, relaxation techniques, and seeking expert guidance in crises are some great coping strategies.
Embracing Mindfulness and Meditation
The real reason why we adopt the wrong means to let go of our depression is that we have stopped being grateful to Allah SWT. We are so busy in striving for what we don’t have that we forget to thank for what we have. That is why Allah SWT reminds us to be grateful in any condition.
Prophet PBUH says before sleeping,
“All praises due to Allah who has given us something to eat, and something to drink, given us shelter to be under, provided us family to give us love and care. For how many people are going to spend the night with no shelter or nobody to look and care after them” (Hadith).
Frequently Asked Questions
The fastest way to treat depression typically involves a combination of therapies, such as talk therapy and, if necessary, medication.
However, treatment duration varies for each individual, and it’s important to work with a mental health professional to determine the most effective approach for you.
While not directly addressing mental illness, Islamic principles highlight patience, prayer, knowledge-seeking, and mutual support during tough times, applicable to mental health struggles.
اللّهُـمَّ رَحْمَتَـكَ أَرْجـو فَلا تَكِلـني إِلى نَفْـسي طَـرْفَةَ عَـيْن، وَأَصْلِـحْ لي شَأْنـي كُلَّـه لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أنْـت
Allāhumma raḥmataka arjū falā takilnī ilā nafsī ṭarfata `ayn, wa aṣliḥ lī sha’nī kullah, lā ilāha illā ant.
O Allah, I hope for Your mercy. Do not leave me to myself even for the blinking of an eye (i.e. a moment). Correct all of my affairs for me. There is none worthy of worship but You.
Reference: Abu Dawud 4/324, Ahmad 5/42. Al-Albani graded it as good in Sahih Abu Dawud
Islamic teachings prioritize patience (sabr), supplication (dua), and seeking assistance from Allah and experts. Acts of worship, strong social ties, and a positive outlook are in line with Islamic values, aiding in depression management.
Gratitude is a powerful way of being positive. Sometimes, we talk a lot about our problems, which is okay when sharing with our loved ones. But we forget to focus on the good things in life.
Whether things are going well or we’re facing difficulties, we should remember the many good things Allah has given us and say thank you.
This can help us feel better, replacing our worries with happiness and contentment.