It can’t be Depression… It’s Ramadan. But it can, and you need to know how to recognize it and what to do about it. Eating disorders often go hand in hand with one or more other mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety, due to the associated negative feelings and low self esteem which are present with both conditions.
I’ve received many messages on Depression this Ramadan. It’s affecting both fasting people and non fasting people. Depression and anxiety can be some of those touchy subjects that are tough to tackle in Ramadan. Please bear in mind depression is a serious illness and causes are manifold. It’s easy to understand how the stigma related to depression, will prevent people from seeking Islamic guidance and support. We need to do more to erase this stigma.
“I’m fasting and my depression is really bad. I feel panicky and very tense. Nothing makes sense. I fully understand the significance of Ramadan, but I don’t know what to do about my depression. I can’t tell anyone. They either won’t believe me or will think I’m just seeking attention. I wait for the fast to open and then I just wish for everything to Stop.” 19 year old Female
“I’m few days away from a deadline. I work as a software developer and my work is my passion. This is my 7th day and I’ve done no work. Fasting has never been a problem for me, but this year I’m suffering from anxiety. I think about evening and then I think about morning. I struggle getting out of bed and getting to work.” 25 year old Male, UAE
Depression may lead to eating disorders, but there’s also evidence that eating disorders can result in depression. “Being severely underweight and malnourished, which is common in anorexia, can cause physiological changes that are known to negatively affect mood states,” says Lisa Lilenfeld, PhD, an associate professor of clinical psychology at Argosy University in Arlington, Va., who specializes in eating disorders.
What should you do?
Depression spans a spectrum. At one end you can struggle on leading a more or less normal life, but feeling awful; at the other end depression maybe severe and you may need professional help.
“I’ve been told not to fast this year. It’s worst. I feel horrible in myself. I am simply binging all day long on foods and then purging. I don’t think I’ve managed to keep one meal down since Ramadan began. My doctor told me to keep myself busy and try to stay happy. easier said then done”. 21 year old Sufferer
For Severe Depression where you can’t get out of bed and are missing days of work, studies, seek professional help.
Finding a counselor may feel like an overwhelming task, but it’s extremely important. Admitting that you can’t carry this load on your own is a huge step toward feeling better.
When you finally see the counselor, be honest. They are there to help, not condemn. The more you tell them, the more they can help. Sometimes, when you talk with someone who has an objective perspective, it can make the gloom begin to lift.
For Moderate Depression
No Expectations. Do not expect too much from yourself too soon, as this will only accentuate feelings of failure. Avoid setting difficult goals or taking on ambitious new responsibilities until you’ve solidly begun a structured treatment process.
Don’t get upset if your mood is not greatly improved right away. Feeling better takes time. Do not feel crushed if after you start getting better, you find yourself backsliding. Sometimes the road to recovery is like a roller coaster ride.
Please find below prayers for Ramadan by Iqrasense on managing depression, anxiety, grief. Inshallah they should help.
Three Ramadan Du’as asking Allah for Health and Healing
Dua for Grief and Sorrow
It is recorded in Musnad Ahmad and Sahih Abu Hatim on the authority of ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
“Whoever was afflicted with grief and distress and says (see the following Dua), Allah, the Exalted and Ever-Majestic, will remove his grief and will change his sorrow into happiness.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah! (Do) we have to learn these words?” He said, “Yes, whoever hears them should learn them.”
/Allaahumma innee ?abduk (a) wa-bnu ?bdik (a), naaSiyaatee bi-yadik (a), maaDi? fiyya ?ukmuk (a), ?adlu? fiyya qaDaa-uk, as’aluka bikullismin huwalak (a), sammayta bihi nafsak (a), aw ?allamtahu a?adam-minkhalaqik (a), aw-anzaltahu fee kitaabik (a), aw-ista’thart (a), bihi fee ?ilmil-ghaybi ?i?dak (a), a?taj?al-alquraana rabee?a qalbee, wa nuura SaDree, wa-jilaa’a ?uznee, wa ?ahaaba hammee/
“O Allah, I am your slave, the son of your slave. My forelock is in Your Hand. Your judgment of me is inescapable. Your trial of me is just. I am invoking You by all the names that You call Yourself, that You have taught to anyone in Your creation, that You have mentioned in Your Book, or that You have kept unknown. Let the Qur’an be delight of my heart, the light of my chest, the remover of my sadness and the pacifier of my worries.” (Source: Musnad Ahmad # 1/391)
Four Duas During Times of Hardship and Need
Below is a compilation of four Du’as from Quran and Hadith that the prophet (s) taught us to recite during times of hardship and need. There is no better time to recite these Du’as than this blessed month of Ramadan. For one of these Du’as from the Quran, the prophet (s) mentioned that whoever offers supplication in these words will be answered.
About this last Dua (that Prophet Younus made and is mentioned in the Quran), Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Saad reported that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.S.) said:
“Whoever offers supplication in the words of the supplication of Yunus, will be answered.”