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We all experience unhappiness and bereavement at some time in life. Our faith and belief in Gods will are usually enough to console and strengthen our sense of loss, grief or sadness. However as human beings we are prone to feelings of depression under serious and difficult circumstances. It has been said that depression affects up to 40% of people at some stage in their lives, and has been found to be more common in women than in men. It can become an illness with specific symptoms and signs, which affect both body and mind, causing great personal distress. Depression is a clinical condition that can be successfully treated by a range of therapies and support.

Causes of Depression
Depression is caused by a multitude of biological, psychological and social reasons, like, financial problems, stressful events, the loss of a loved one, unemployment, family problems, medications, long-term illness, unnecessary negative thinking and post-natal depression. People react to their problems in different ways, some being more vulnerable than others.

Common Symptoms
People suffering from depression tend to feel isolated and detached from the rest of the world. They can feel irritable, sad, fearful and often judge themselves very harshly or critically, lowering their self-esteem and confidence. Other symptoms may include:

• Low mood, less interest in life, sleeping problems, lack of concentration
• Lack of energy, lethargy, high anxiety, panic attacks, and restlessness
• Poor motivation, feelings of guilt, worthlessness and hopelessness
• A poor diet and loss of weight or binge and excessive eating.

People experience depression in different ways, the symptoms can vary in severity and duration. Types of depression include, mild, moderate and severe. A number of treatments are available, depending on the degree of depression an individual is suffering. For mild forms, the psychological approach of medical counselling is usually sufficient, were as for severe cases a mixture of counselling and medication is required. Depression can seriously affect a person’s daily life, and many people do not seek assistance out of embarrassment or shame. This needn’t be the case, someone depressed shouldn’t bottle-up their feelings and should reach out for help quickly. Those around them should offer empathy, support, reassurance, guidance and time.

Our faith plays an important function in keeping us in good mental and physical health. Belief and practice in our Islamic teachings plays an integral role in helping us cope with the stresses of daily life. Praying to Allah (swt) and truly believing that He is capable of changing any situation for the better will have a positive effect on our mental condition. Instead of worrying and obsessing about a problem, one should depend on Allah (swt). We have been created by the Almighty to be tested and tried, and our success lies in perseverance and patience during these difficult episodes in life. In such circumstances, a person must remember that Allah is our only Saviour and Protector. The One whom we will never lose like our other relations; Who is always be with us and Who always thinks and plans best for us.



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