Treating Depression In Ramadan




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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.


Dear Readers,

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


 About Depression

The cause of depression is rooted in brain chemistry. The chemicals necessary to maintain this particular area of the brain are not sufficient. As a result, one’s mood is affected, and depression eventually can set in.  We all accept the fact that our bodies wear out and run down and are susceptible to disease. We can even accept the fact that our brains can be ravaged by diseases such as Alzheimer’s. But some Muslims will not accept the fact that depression is a real illness and can become clinical and life threatening if not treated properly. They’d rather categorize depression as being ungrateful  or lack of faith.

“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 is not a character defect, a lack of spirituality, or an emotional dysfunction. And, it’s not a choice. Asking someone to “try” not being depressed is tantamount to asking someone who’s had a broken leg to start running. Such an attitude can dangerously appear in our cultures, “if only you had enough faith.”
Having faith in Allah’s ability to heal is hugely important, but to deny medical or psychiatric treatment to someone suffering from mental illness is really no different than denying them to someone with a physical illness. The difference between the two is that the former is invisible.
Depression is not a Sin and it doesn’t make you a bad Muslim- Get rid of the overwhelming guilt. Don’t put yourself down simply for experiencing the crushing effects of depression. Some sufferers who are experiencing depression this Ramadan feel they are not doing things right, they are convinced perhaps they’re not obeying God. Please do keep in mind, depression doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone. It’s an illness and you need to treat it with right remedy.
Eating Disorders and Depression

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

77B_Pink_Butterfly_for_web_homepageKeep as occupied as you can. Start your day on a positive note, on a positive thinking.

77B_Pink_Butterfly_for_web_homepageGet physical- go for a short walk. Do laughing Yoga. It’s brilliant and uplifting.

77B_Pink_Butterfly_for_web_homepage 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.

77B_Pink_Butterfly_for_web_homepageDon’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.

77B_Pink_Butterfly_for_web_homepageTry to help out with daily chores.

77B_Pink_Butterfly_for_web_homepageEat Healthy. Eat foods that lift depression. Incorporate Good source of protein in your diet. Download these guides.

Food and Mood

Diet Depression

77B_Pink_Butterfly_for_web_homepagePay attention to your self to your needs. You matter, your needs matter.


77B_Pink_Butterfly_for_web_homepagePray and Do Dhikr. Perhaps ask a friend to join you for an evening of prayers. Make an event out of it. Light candles, incense, set the mood for the night of blessings.

77B_Pink_Butterfly_for_web_homepageIf you can, then go to mosque for a prayer. You may feel apprehensive, but it will get you away from solemn environment and into a better environment.



From Depression to Happiness in 7 Simple Steps

Mood Juice- Depression Self Help Guide


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-health2 dua-health3

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.”

islam on Dua for Grief and Sorrow – Commentary by Ibn Al Qayyim


/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)

Iqra Sense

Four Duas During Times of Hardship and Need

Iqra Sense

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:

islam on Ramadan Duas for Tough Times, Times of Need, and Hardship

“Whoever offers supplication in the words of the supplication of Yunus, will be answered.”

Iqra Sense


About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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  1. Pingback: Surviving Ramadan With Anorexia Or Depression - Islam and Eating Disorders

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