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Question

I’m a woman in my early twenties and have been experiencing extreme mood changes over the past few years. I am easily irritated and am almost always upset. I have an idea of what is bothering me but I’m so embarrassed by my thoughts that I can’t share them with anyone. My parents have tried to get me to open up multiple times but I’m never able to truly share my thoughts so they misunderstand me. I feel my thoughts are slowly overcoming me and I find myself praying for death and see myself as a burden on everyone. My depression is causing everyone else grief and I know that talking about it might help, but I just can’t get myself to do that. I don’t want to be vulnerable and have my family or friends know who I truly am. That scares me so I can’t talk about my feelings. Even thinking about talking to a therapist doesn’t really help me. I’m scared of myself at this point and what I’ve become. Is this normal? What can I do? I’m tired of feeling this way and causing everyone grief because of me.

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Response

As-Salaamun ‘Alaikum – peace be with you,

Thank you for reaching out to us, we know that it isn’t easy and we appreciate the confidence you have placed in us. May you be rewarded, Ameen.

Firstly, we can only imagine how difficult it was to talk about your experiences. You have taken a bold step by doing this masha’Allah (Allah has willed it) and we appreciate you reaching out to us!

Feeling upset, scared and irritable are all normal emotional reactions to situations that your body perceives as a threat. At other times these feelings may stem from past events or feelings of pain which have not been dealt with. Alhamdulillah (All praise is to Allah), you mentioned that you have somewhat identified what is bothering you – which is a huge achievement in itself.

It is also understandable that you do not feel comfortable sharing this with anyone and that is completely fine. A possible outlet for your feelings that you may find helpful is journaling. This involves documenting your feelings and is a great way to express your thoughts and release the emotions you mentioned you are experiencing in a healthy manner without having to burden yourself or another person in the process. After expressing and releasing your emotions, you could shred up the paper or delete the document as this may help you to directly overcome or move past these feelings.

A faith-based step to take would be engaging in dua (supplication) to Allah (SWT). There are many associated benefits of regular and sincere supplication, such as fulfilment of our needs and closeness to Allah (SWT):

“When my servants ask you about me, (tell them), I am really close to them, I listen to the prayer of each supplicant when he invokes me.” [Qur’an, 2:186]

Experiencing depression in itself is very overwhelming. You may find yourself feeling hopeless, lost, and you may feel like a burden on everyone but please rest assured these are all common feelings of those in the midst of depression. Know that you are not abnormal for having these thoughts, nor does it make you a bad Muslim. In fact, remember Lady Maryam (AS) – one of the best Muslims – who had wished to have died from the pain of childbirth that overwhelmed her, as mentioned in the Qur’an [19:23].

It is important to acknowledge that your thoughts are powerful. Try to identify and realign your thought patterns to be able to help work through difficult situations and deal with negative emotions to heal from your pain. To do this, you could address each emotion at a time by speaking it out loud, and asking yourself ‘why do I feel like this?’ or ‘where is this thought coming from?’ You could also write positive things to counteract these thoughts and reaffirm any aspect of your life that you are grateful for.

Challenging these thoughts is very vital to maintain a rational outlook and not give in to these strong emotions. Remember that feeling emotions is part of being human, but its important to distinguish when they begin to cloud your judgement and overwhelm your rationality.

Furthermore, we understand that you do not want to talk to a therapist because you feel that it will make you vulnerable. However, qualified therapists or your GP should not make you feel this way, and approaching them is a great first step in the journey of helping you learn more about where your feelings are coming from and manage your depression. You could perhaps try online therapy i.e. web-based chat services. That way, you will remain completely anonymous, and your information will remain confidential too.

These are just some humble suggestions. We sincerely hope and pray that one or more of them will be suitable to your circumstances and help create ease for you, In Shaa Allah (if Allah wills). If you would like to discuss anything else on your mind, we also offer more personalized counselling here at Inspirited Minds.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further support.

Allah knows best and we hope this helps In Shaa Allah (if Allah wills).

Du’aa (supplication) always,
IM Support Team

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Ask Inspirited Minds is a safe, anonymous and confidential space for you to ask specific questions or seek advice around your mental health and wellbeing. We will publish your question and our response on our website but will make sure to make it anonymous and change any identifiable details. If you are going through these problems, then it’s highly likely someone else is going through something similar and we hope our advice can also be of help to others in a similar situation.

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