Islam and depression

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By Sorhaila Latip-Yusoph

Only a Meranaw

Monday, August 18, 2014


LEARNING Robin Williams’ death on the news brought many questions to people of faiths. How can a wealthy and popular man end his life in such a tragic reason? Depression.

In different studies in the US, up to 80 percent of suicide deaths are sufferers of major depression. Suicide is considered the 8th largest cause of death.

However, is depression really a situation that can make suicide worth doing? Are problems really the reason why we feel depressed?

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As a Muslim by faith, I cannot help but be grateful that Islam does not allow suicide.

Educating oneself of what the Holy Scripture says about suicide and depression is relevant these days because problems and difficulties may creep on our doorsteps each day.

I once had my share. I was also a victim of extreme sadness when my dad passed away and was then forced to marry under a parentally arranged marriage, all at the age of 16 and had been to different tragic shifts and turns in life including a divorce before I finished college.

These situations brought me tears, extreme sadness and even depression, but I did not resort to suicide.

This is because I have my faith. I have the belief, like all other Muslims, that no one is burdened with troubles and difficulties they cannot bear (Al Qur’an).

This means that a human being can bear many unthinkable burdens that one initially feels that he/she cannot bear.

In the beginning of the situation, we always feel alone and that we cannot think of a way to forgive others or even ourselves for the worst situation we presently have, but in the end, we always find a solution. We have lived through it no matter how difficult and complex the situation was.

Generally, we Filipinos are resilient because of our faiths in God. We believe in the “gulong ng palad.” We do have some ups and downs in life.
Even so, we are all born in this world to experience the beauty of life including the difficulties and sadness we have to endure in order to enhance our beliefs and our humanness.

In the article of Shaykh Omar Baloch on Islamic Solution to Depression, he defined Depression as hopelessness, loss of meaning in life, self-worthlessness and feeling of sadness without being able to identify the cause of the gloominess in life.

He then gave solutions in overcoming depression in the same article which I have identified to be effective in overcoming my own depressions.

When faced with difficulty, always find someone who can become your support system. I usually speak to a good friend or to my closest kin who can give me pieces of advice.

Then, equip yourself with the truth that “in every difficulty comes ease,” and that God never burdens a soul more than it can bear.

The latter helps me realize that God has chosen me to go through this course of life because He wants me to be stronger and be more appreciative of the things I already have.

This brings me back to what my real goal in life is. Then it develops my gratitude for all the blessings that God has given me.

Ultimately, I always seek for his guidance through surrendering myself in prayer and believing that He loves me so much that after this difficulty, He would grant me the best of what I deserve.

On a lighter note, if someone out there is really depressed, wake up from that nightmare and shake away your fears and face the world—start by appreciating all the living creatures you see around you and express your gratitude for granting you this day.

Thank you, God!

[Email: sorlatipyusoph@gmail.com]

***

(Professor Sorhaila Latip-Yusoph is currently the chairperson of the Communication and Media Department, Mindanao State University, Marawi City.)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 18, 2014.

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