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Ethics

What Is Depression?

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First of all, I have had struggles in life and continue to do so which ended me in very sad states that come and go especially with the state of the world in terms of oppression today.  So please dont tell me, "I have no room to talk cause I never experienced such things in my life". Everyone's struggles weight differently to them selves.

 

How I see pain and struggling: Pain is incomparable when it comes to existence. From in Islamic perspective, and from an innate desire, there is always (tawwakulillah) hope. Life is too precious to throw it away. Personally, if there was no such thing as pain or suffering, I would not want to live. It is pain and suffering that truly challenges what I am made of and how far I can go. It is pain, when conquered, that destroys your limitations and exceeds your boundaries. With true God consciousness, it is in it that our potential as human beings becomes apparent. It is highly possible, our Prophets A.S and Imams A.S are proof of it. They achieved it to tell us, we can do the same. No struggle can be compared to, then what our prophets and imams went through. I have a never give up mentality. If I am not willing to live for myself, at the very least I should live for the sake of others. Meaning, this life is to help mankind, and in it ultimately helping myself. It is because of the struggles and pains I have had that brought me to such a view point.

 

"Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, after all it is the darkest nights, that stars shine the brightest." - Imam Ali

 

I honestly dont get "depression" defined in the west. I am not saying no one ever gets sad or doesnt have times where they think everything just sucks in life, but I definitely dont make it to be how many are defining it in the west. Nor am I saying we all must be in a state of high all the time, happy. In fact its good to be in pain and sad at times, because from it, one learns more than one who has never experienced it, if one gets through their state that they are in. Pain and sadness comes from our struggles in life. It is pain and suffering that leads to a man's higher state. We all agree, as in Islam it is seen that way. Allah tests us for that reason to strive towards him ultimately increasing our status, striving towards perfection. In fact at times seeing others in pain pushes us to do the impossible, to stand for truth and goodness, to help others. So without it we would be sitting ducks.

 

[shakir 2:286] Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability; for it is (the benefit of) what it has earned and upon it (the evil of) what it has wrought: Our Lord! do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake; Our Lord! do not lay on us a burden as Thou didst lay on those before us, Our Lord do not impose upon us that which we have not the strength to bear; and pardon us and grant us protection and have mercy on us, Thou art our Patron, so help us against the unbelieving people.

 

Is being sad being depressed? I dont think so. Is being an a lonely state, sad for months, because the death of your loved one, defy you as a depressed individual? In terms of what the west defies depression, yes. Then we shouldnt be sad for the death of our loved ones? We shouldnt be in a mournful state? I clearly dont think so, and it is in this that confuses me. Is struggling in life automatically linked to depression? So is depression now a test from God? Or is depression what we call failing the test of life? Is struggling in life depression? Some make it as if depression is a mental disability or a curable disease[medicine?], an excuse to taking ones life away. Is depression a mental disorder or is a mental disorder caused by depression? Does being depressed give an excuse to do evil? Does having a mental disorder[not mentally retardation] give you excuse to do evil? You are still conscious of your life and your choices and know what state you are in, your not mentally disabled. Since so many people and their evil acts are always aligned with having depression or it being the cause we have to understand where the line stands. I believe Islam, specifically Shia Islam with everything in it, is evidence against such mentality, especially over coming sadness and pain, in terms of what can not be considered as "depression".

 

With our ulema, we have never heard such cases. Looking at the lives of our great mystics, for example Ayatollah Behjat, may Allah bless his soul, just in my mind profoundly destroys such mentality. In fact looking at the lives of people living in oppression to the max (ie Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria) of which they are clearly giving off hope and reassurance even in such a state, just gives me no excuse to allow myself to hold their viewpoints on depression or even be in a depressed state of my own. Let alone the lives of imams a.s and prophets a.s. We Muslims agree, what they went through can NEVER be comparable to any situation what so ever. So why did they not become "depressed"? This is why I cannot see depression as an excuse to justify sin. Maybe the reason why people are in the state they believe they are is, especially in the west, is because of lack of God consciousness? There are clearly many many factors at play, from society to family, friends, and culture. Its easy to say you "believe in Allah", but believing in giving lip service, or innately resonating towards Allah? The western life is all about materialism and hollywood metaphors. There is no spirituality, and even if it is, it is the wrong kind or they are going about it wrongly.

 

I just wanna discuss this so I can see everyone opinions and maybe see if I have misunderstandings. This is just an outline of my thoughts ill add more once the discussion opens up. There is not a single definition of depression, and this is why it bothers me sooo much. There is no boundary.

Edited by PureEthics

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First, it was a great post you made (that speech thou) and very deep thoughts/questions. I will answer this post based on personal experiences. For me, struggles in life dont equals deppresion but it depends on the person how he/she deals with struggles. We all have struggles and difficulties in life so if it would equal deppresion than every single person on earth would be in deppresion. I see it this way, depression is a state of mind and to be happy is a choice. I've learned it the hard way through experience. To be depressed it to constantly fight with your innerself, with your mind that constantly tells you that "whatever you go through is too much for you and you cannot handle it " which causes your body to shut down and you suddenly find yourself in a dark circle of selfdestructive routines. But, here in the western world often people tend to reffer to their low mood on depression and its easy to make a chicken of a feather. Here, everybody seem to have depression and stress. And I believe it is because of the reason that you already stated "Maybe the reason why people are in the state they believe they are is, especially in the west, is because of lack of God consciousness? ". Why do I agree on this? because for a time back I was struggling with BIG issues in private life and social life and it caused me "depression". I was in a very bad shape mentally and I had no motivation or direction in my life whatsoever. Now, Alhamdullilah I didnt commit any sins but I would be mean to people around me, my temper was way out of line and I had no patience, and I am normally a very patient person and you can count with ten fingers the times I have been angry in my entire life, so that shocked people around me but they always excused me and my behaviour on my depression which led me to excuse my self. I searched all kind of help, I went to therapist and psychologist, they gave me EXPENSIVE medicines (which made everything worse) but nothing worked. Until one day I came across a site talking about dealing with depression through islam, something they called quranic healing. At that time I was a pracitising muslim but really my Imaan wasnt the best (which indicates why I was in depression in the first place) and I realized that I have tried every single thing there is against depression except turning to God. I learnt that you can not be depressed if you are a mu'min and from that second I snapped out of it. I refused to say I am depressed and I refused to THINK I am depressed. I stopped victimize myself and excuse myself. Because of course I didnt want to fall under "not mu'min". That sentence along with that God never gives you difficulties which you cannot bear were crucial to my healing. They gave me life back and motivation. Ultimatly I started to read quran, make duuaas, listen to sheyks talking about depression and how to deal with it islamically and I became in a better shape mentally than I was even before my depression. Because I learnt to be appriciative, because no matter how much struggles you have in life there is two things you have to know. 1) God placed these burdens on you and they are NOT more than you can take (often the reason that makes you depressed) and 2) there is always somebody else having it worse. Alhamdullilah that I could take me out of depression if you want to call it so.  

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1. I do not see why you have posted this here, it will practically bring the debate to nothingness.

 

2: You wont get the answer here, because NO one will disclose their illness, be it temporary or lasting.

 

3: Search engine to find real depressed and suicidal folk - WARNING - it can even effect your own mental well being.

 

4 - Ever spoken to a raped - sexually - physically abused - person?

 

5. Search engine metal health in war torn areas -.

 

6. Every mind is different. Therefore, you wont hear of ayatollahs with it, because those who had it never made it to the celebrity lime light.

 

7. You actually believe those women and children who were captive and taken into yazids courts never suffered from it? - Of course they did, you wont be told it or need to pick it up your self.

 

8. If you study books on mental health you will see the behaviors of people, and can even pick it up from the posters here.

 

9. As read, You wont know depression until it hits you, meaning, anything could trigger it.

 

10. Does depression justify evil, of course not, but everything in the world has a cause and effect. Meaning the depressed, depending on the mind and body, will either kill themselves, self harm, or project it to others through their ego. violence, abuse, manipulation etc.

 

Its a super huge subject and require reading at least 10 books to grasp it.

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Salams,

 

There are clinical diagnoses of depression. My personal definition would be that depression is an absence of joy or good/positive/motivational feelings. It can have both biological and mental influences that often reinforce one another. When the absence of positive feelings lasts long enough you can lose the will to live. This can happen to animals also. When they are in environments that arent stimulating or enabling them to live as they are naturally inclined to, or are experiencing physical pain and illness, they can lose the will to live and stop eating, exercising or taking an interest in anything till they deteriorate and die. As humans we can have another layer to our suffering which is often more pernicious than our life circumstances - we have the ability to shape our reality with our thoughts/perceptions. This means we can create a mental hell for ourselves with stories about the meaning of past experiences and scary future predictions, but it also means that  we can attain a level of self awareness which can enable us to consciously attempt to change our perceptions by questioning them and making attempts to focus thoughts in different directions. The problem is that we live in very immersive worlds, and until we know better, we dont really have the chance of doing better. If you dont perceive the 'reality' you are experiencing can or should be questioned, youre unlikely to question it. If an alternative way hasnt occurred to you, it doesnt exist. We tend to interpret experiences in a way that confirms what we already believe. If you keep stacking up 'evidence' that something is true, when something happens to spark a contrary thought, the pile of 'evidence' seems to outweigh the other possibility so much that we dont give it credence. This tendency keeps people in depressive ways of thinking.

 

How often do any of us question our every thought? imagine the amount of time and concentration that would take, to begin to become aware of and question all your perceptions. For some people, thats what it would take to bring them out of their depressive state (in the absence of drugs). Add to that the sluggish brain function that can result from severe depressive episodes and youre talking about a 'super human' feat by a person who can bearly find the motivation to go to the toilet.

 

Dont under estimate how biology can influence perception either. A good example of this is post natal depression. It can plunge previously positive, mentally healthy women into the deepest depths of depression and does not discriminate on race, religion or life circumstances. When your hormones are wrecking your brain chemistry like that, it can be a huge feat to consciously pull yourself out of it. I think until youve experienced something like that, you cannot appreciate the extremes of it. Its not like tasting cake: 'if ive tasted one cheesecake, ive tasted them all' sort of scenario. You have to respect the individuals experience. They dont live in your world, they live in their world.

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6. Every mind is different. Therefore, you wont hear of ayatollahs with it, because those who had it never made it to the celebrity lime light.

 

What world do you live in? Just recently a celebrity supposedly committed suicide due to "depression".

 

 

7. You actually believe those women and children who were captive and taken into yazids courts never suffered from it? - Of course they did, you wont be told it or need to pick it up your self.

 

You cannot prove something by saying because there is lack of proof for it. Clearly, if depression is how the west make sit out to be, then our prophets and imams A.S, their families and companions, MUST have fallen into "western depression". There would be no way they would not have spoke about such issues, because if it is linked to making you commit evil acts, it is an imams a.s or prophets a.s.duty to have spoken something about this matter. It is a ethical and moral issue, as well as it is "mental" as the west puts it, therefore if it dangers God consciousness, there would be a say in it from God's representatives. For a believer, our mental state is highly important. Again, you have never heard of "western depression" in Islam. As I.A.M puts it, people make a chicken out of a feather. When people do speak about depression they coin it with terms such as an mental illness that can never be cured or what not. But at the same time it is perceived as everyone having this so called "depression". Some can get away with their evil acts because they had "depression", while you cannot go to court and say, "honor its not my fault I have a mental disorder called depression". It makes no sense to me. Every little sadness is coined as depression. Every mental issue is said to be caused due to depression. There is no lining what so ever.

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You cannot prove something by saying because there is lack of proof for it. Clearly, if depression is how the west make sit out to be, then our prophets and imams A.S, their families and companions, MUST have fallen into "western depression". There would be no way they would not have spoke about such issues, because if it is linked to making you commit evil acts, it is an imams a.s or prophets a.s.duty to have spoken something about this matter. It is a ethical and moral issue, as well as it is "mental" as the west puts it, therefore if it dangers God consciousness, there would be a say in it from God's representatives. For a believer, our mental state is highly important. Again, you have never heard of "western depression" in Islam. As I.A.M puts it, people make a chicken out of a feather. When people do speak about depression they coin it with terms such as an mental illness that can never be cured or what not. But at the same time it is perceived as everyone having this so called "depression". Some can get away with their evil acts because they had "depression", while you cannot go to court and say, "honor its not my fault I have a mental disorder called depression". It makes no sense to me. Every little sadness is coined as depression. Every mental issue is said to be caused due to depression. There is no lining what so ever.

 

For some reason I am not able to like post or it is me who havent figured out this thing yet but however you made very valid points. If the prophets (a.s) and/or imams (a.s) was in some point in a depression they would have been speaking of this matter. 

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For the sake of knowledge I share my experience through a du'a I once wrote. It should be pretty self-explanatory.

Bismillah hir Rahman nir Rahim:

Allah! Why do you grant that life is precious

when you have granted for me to ponder at ending mine?

Your Highness! You are the bringer of my thoughts

but I am the doer of grievances against you;

I afflict you with heavy sorrows,

wound you by pulling at your deep affection for me,

and make you grieve out of your boundless compassion—

it is you who longs to alleviate every atom of my sufferance.

Your Grace! Your justice is never unfair nor dishonest

and you play tough with those who take pleasure in sin.

Your Mercy! Your book warns us of a dreadful fire,

that within its flames will cook the flesh of the evil doers;

those people who cut themselves off from you,

who mock your blessings during prosperity

and who lust after wealth and find sport in brutality—

they cannot receive what they do not know.

Father! I have nothing to do with them who shall know misery amid the heat,

but at times, I admit: you were loving when I acted selfish.

Mother! Am I not your creation? I have everything to do with your word

and I read your book daily so that I may know your love;

it is the tenderness of my provider and it will not abandon me,

like the first infant who offered his praise thru a cry and was nourished,

or that memento which keeps you near even tho you are far—

I always return to you. Can the same be said of evil men?

Lord, I suffer! In the name of my God, the Sustainer, the Bountiful. Ease my pain!

Allah! My soul twists and breaks from torment

and when I plead for an end, it continues by your will.

Your Worship! I find solace in you because of your perfect judgment,

therefore, to retire myself will neither cause you anger nor invoke your wrath;

you weep at knowing my difficulties,

you crave resolve for my injuries, that they may cease,

and you are aware of my illness evermore than I—

should I end my life you would surely not sentence torture for torture.

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Prophet Jacob cried when he lost Joseph until pupils turned white

 

Sayyida Fatimah cried when she lost her father until she was asked by people of Madinah to leave to the cemetery to cry because she annoyed them

 

Imam Zain Al Abideen cried after Karbala until he was called the Shiekh of Bakka'ein

 

Prophet called the year in which he lost his beloved wife and uncle the year of sadness (a whole year)

 

When Hamza was killed, prophet was sad and said "i see every martyr has a number of his family that mourn him but i see noon mourning Hamza" Poeple then went to mourn Hamza.

 

Prophet Zakaryia called Allah " I feel left alone" He was sad

Prophet Job after he lost his family and money and health called Allah "I need your mercy" he was sad

 

If you think that Islam is not in favor of people feeling sad or that they shouldn't ask Allah to alleviate their hardships, wordily hardships, nor they should cry when some hardships are beyond their ability to cope with, then you are wrong.

 

Islam is very beautiful religion, religion of mercy and easiness on human soul. Quran says "Human was created with weakness"

خلق الانسان ضعيفا

 

What Allah dose not like is al-Bo's البؤس

to act miserable, look miserable 

 

During sadness, people are aware of the cause of the sadness, of their own feelings and their reactions, and they have insight that allows then to seek help and answers to solve their problems.

 

During depression, humans lack that insight, they become unaware of their reactions, unaware of the world around them. They start living in their own bubble. They see no solutions nor a need to seek a solution. The life start to become of less importance to them, nothing in it worth the struggle to live it.

 

It is known that high IQ and religion are protective factors against depression. It dose not mean that people won't go through depression, it just means that they come out of it quicker than those with lower IQ or those without faith.

 

Mental illnesses are result of environmental stressors and neuronal transmitters changes. Those with high IQ and with religion are more successful to find a way to cope with environmental stressors which will adjust the neuronal transmitters changes in their brain which will result in changes of their perspectives and their attitude.

Those who cannot overcome the environmental stressors will need help which will be the pills that should change their brain chemicals in hope that it will help them ease the biological stress which should help them think clearer and hopefully get the necessary insight about this whole problem and how to solve it.

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Prophet Jacob cried when he lost Joseph until pupils turned white

 

Sayyida Fatimah cried when she lost her father until she was asked by people of Madinah to leave to the cemetery to cry because she annoyed them

 

Imam Zain Al Abideen cried after Karbala until he was called the Shiekh of Bakka'ein

 

Prophet called the year in which he lost his beloved wife and uncle the year of sadness (a whole year)

 

When Hamza was killed, prophet was sad and said "i see every martyr has a number of his family that mourn him but i see noon mourning Hamza" Poeple then went to mourn Hamza.

 

Prophet Zakaryia called Allah " I feel left alone" He was sad

Prophet Job after he lost his family and money and health called Allah "I need your mercy" he was sad

 

If you think that Islam is not in favor of people feeling sad or that they shouldn't ask Allah to alleviate their hardships, wordily hardships, nor they should cry when some hardships are beyond their ability to cope with, then you are wrong.

 

Islam is very beautiful religion, religion of mercy and easiness on human soul. Quran says "Human was created with weakness"

خلق الانسان ضعيفا

 

What Allah dose not like is al-Bo's البؤس

to act miserable, look miserable 

 

During sadness, people are aware of the cause of the sadness, of their own feelings and their reactions, and they have insight that allows then to seek help and answers to solve their problems.

 

During depression, humans lack that insight, they become unaware of their reactions, unaware of the world around them. They start living in their own bubble. They see no solutions nor a need to seek a solution. The life start to become of less importance to them, nothing in it worth the struggle to live it.

 

It is known that high IQ and religion are protective factors against depression. It dose not mean that people won't go through depression, it just means that they come out of it quicker than those with lower IQ or those without faith.

 

Mental illnesses are result of environmental stressors and neuronal transmitters changes. Those with high IQ and with religion are more successful to find a way to cope with environmental stressors which will adjust the neuronal transmitters changes in their brain which will result in changes of their perspectives and their attitude.

Those who cannot overcome the environmental stressors will need help which will be the pills that should change their brain chemicals in hope that it will help them ease the biological stress which should help them think clearer and hopefully get the necessary insight about this whole problem and how to solve it.

 

I dont think you understood my mentality. I am saying being sad is in fact a mercy of good and it is normal. It is "depression" that is nothing like what sadness is and suppose to be. None of our prophets and imams were depressed. There is no such thing as "depression" whether it be mental illness or the western definition found in the ahlulbayt. Their sadness was for the sake of Allah, and their loved ones, yet their mentality and mindset due to God consciousness never ever let go of the mercy of Allah. They are and always will be utmost grateful.

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(bismillah)

(salam) brothers and sisters

 

I personally think that one part of depression is an indication of person low belief level because person is doing many sins even without knowing doing some sins, for example speaking about some person in bad way even though it might sound to that person who talks about other person like normal. Ahlul-Bayt (AS) have said that every sin a human being do is afflicting to person's heart. Eventually by continuing doing sins person might get used to it to such level that he/she doesn't see or feel it as a sin anymore.

 

Another part of depression is not being conscious of Allah (S.W.T). For example not remembering Him or not talking to Him in private or forgetting doing obligatory deeds, especially prayers. When a person is in such state it is very easy to immense own self to this dangerous worldly life.

 

I remember when I observed my sinning outcomes which was very difficult, they always lead me to the effect of depression and regret. 

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(bismillah)

 

Through sadness, we seek a greater being, a greater cause that is able to alleviate our pain. Through mourning and difficulties we are able to observe how no matter how much wealth we have, or success in this life, it all means nothing because we are always at the mercy of our creator and going against Allah's will only causes us more pain, desperation, anxiety, and illness in our souls that will also reflect with illnesses in our physical body as well as it causes us to be more distant from HIM. 

For every test in our life. we always two choices: to go thru it with Allah or without Allah. We all know that, and for all of us who believe in God we would obviously think right away that we want to go thru everything in our lives with Allah, but then, why is it that we still feel desperation, worry, anxiety, pain, lack of motivation and all those negative feelings that may surround us at a given test in life? well that is totally normal, and we should always see those opportunities as a means to draw ourselves closer to Allah, it all turns out to our benefit when we go thru our tests in the remembrance of Allah, with patience knowing the HE (swt) is always with the patient. Anyway I'm not eloquent in my speech so no point in typing anymore. I would invite you all to watch the series of brother Khalil Jaffer entittled: "The End of Negative Suffering" and if you have watched it already, it does not hurt to be reminded and implement what he says.

 

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Salams, I saw this vid today and thought of this thread. Its mainly focusing on Schizophrenia, but its also relevant to depression. It gives a rough idea of where science is at the moment when it comes to understanding mental health issues as a combination of biology/genetics/environment:

 

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(Salam)

When I think "depression," I think about the different ways in which people react to things. There was a Bengali woman in my family's neighborhood who, along with her daughter, had witnessed the slaughtering of her father, husband, and son. The daughter was severely depressed, and eventually became completely insane. I think it's similar to soldiers seeing their fellows being tortured and shot down. These images keep replaying in a person's head, and they become consumed by their mind. Not everyone can handle such traumatic experiences without cracking.

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I dont think you understood my mentality. I am saying being sad is in fact a mercy of good and it is normal. It is "depression" that is nothing like what sadness is and suppose to be. None of our prophets and imams were depressed. There is no such thing as "depression" whether it be mental illness or the western definition found in the ahlulbayt. Their sadness was for the sake of Allah, and their loved ones, yet their mentality and mindset due to God consciousness never ever let go of the mercy of Allah. They are and always will be utmost grateful.

 

How can you compare us to them?  The Imam's and the Prophets knew for certain that if they did x and y they would be living the awesome life in Paradise for eternity, we don't, you may claim you do, but for most sane humans doubt these things time to time.  They knew about the depths of hell fire, the beauty of paradise and the transitional property of this life better than we ever could.  If you could show me even a glimpse of heaven/hell tomorrow, I would probably not sin again, let alone be depressed.

 

As far as people of faith being less depressed, well Karl Marx famously said that religion is the opiate of the masses: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people"

 

​So yes, faith has anti-depressant properties, and it's quite understandable why, even if there isn't a god or an after life, faith helps in dealing with difficult times, it provides some solace, comfort and answers when life with its injustices makes no sense.

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How can you compare us to them?  The Imam's and the Prophets knew for certain that if they did x and y they would be living the awesome life in Paradise for eternity, we don't, you may claim you do, but for most sane humans doubt these things time to time.  They knew about the depths of hell fire, the beauty of paradise and the transitional property of this life better than we ever could.  If you could show me even a glimpse of heaven/hell tomorrow, I would probably not sin again, let alone be depressed.

 

Flawed thinking. IF that is the case, why bother following such people if we can never be like them? What is the point of all this? Clearly, Allah chose them because of their stature, and like us they were human. We are suppose to learn from them and be like them. Allah would never command us to follow people we can never become, it is irrational. We also know of the way to reach paradise or hell. It is called faith for a reason dear brother. Just by looking at the lives of our imams and prophets I am certain of heaven and hell.

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Clearly, if depression is how the west make sit out to be, then our prophets and imams A.S, their families and companions, MUST have fallen into "western depression". There would be no way they would not have spoke about such issues, because if it is linked to making you commit evil acts, it is an imams a.s or prophets a.s.duty to have spoken something about this matter. 

 

(salam)

 

Well you do find in dua's where they mention Allah as 'kaashiful ghamm' or 'munaffisul ghamm' (or other permutations of the phrase).. or in dua mashlool "وَٱصْرِفْ عَنِّي كُلَّ هَمٍّ وَغَمٍّ وَضِيقٍ" ("turn away from me every worry, grief, and tightness").. in terms of the metaphysical aspect, depression is a real thing where the entire energy flow of a person is very slow / lower vibe, and it creates blocks in the flow of energy, and the person usually has less energy because of it.

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Flawed thinking. IF that is the case, why bother following such people if we can never be like them? What is the point of all this? Clearly, Allah chose them because of their stature, and like us they were human. We are suppose to learn from them and be like them. Allah would never command us to follow people we can never become, it is irrational. We also know of the way to reach paradise or hell. It is called faith for a reason dear brother. Just by looking at the lives of our imams and prophets I am certain of heaven and hell.

 

It is not flawed thinking.  You can't be like them, apparently they were appointed infallibles from birth or even before then, how can you be like them?  They were more certain of such deep theological concepts than we can possibly be,their knowledge beyond our reach even if we lived multiple lifetimes,  they were directly from the prophets family, a prophet that had angels talk to him, how can you compare us to them?  Do we have anyone even remotely close to the prophet/imams calibre to take our problems/questions/doubts to?  I am sorry but I can't relate, I am more able to relate to ordinary people with similar doubts, capacities and insecurities, and if someone demonstrates great character within these circumstances, then yes, one can relate to that.  You say you know the way to reach paradise or hell, so say the denominations of almost all other organized religions in the world, most rational people will always have doubts and cannot be compared to people with very special status within islam.

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It is not flawed thinking. 

 

With due respect why do you have such pessimistic mentality? I dont know whether you are a Muslim let alone a Shia due to your dubious post. However, I will like to say, telling me it is not flawed thinking doesnt disprove my point. Your post is fallacious.

 

 

You can't be like them, apparently they were appointed infallibles from birth or even before then, how can you be like them?

 

Who said I cannot be like them? God? Show me. They were chosen by God because they chose to not commit evil. They werent born infallible, nor was it that they couldnt sin, they chose not to. Again, Allah tells us through out the quran and hadith to follow the prophets and imams. If we cannot be like them, then why would Allah command us to follow them? This is contradictory. It saddens me when muslims have such an erroneous and low mentality like this. What becomes the point of this religion when the basis falls upon the point of the representatives of Allah?

 

 

 They were more certain of such deep theological concepts than we can possibly be,their knowledge beyond our reach even if we lived multiple lifetimes,  they were directly from the prophets family, a prophet that had angels talk to him, how can you compare us to them?

 

We have numerous example of beings who were not prophets or imams, or even authorities of Allah yet had such a grand stature. Ex. Maryam People of the Cave It is not that I am comparing them to us, but that I am saying it is our potential. They are to guide us. Why isnt the matter of depression (western definition) ever spoken of by them or their companions? Knowing it is vital to our state of faith.

 

 

Do we have anyone even remotely close to the prophet/imams calibre to take our problems/questions/doubts to?

 

Dear brother, you have Allah ALWAYS. If you have doubts on Allah Himself, of course you will have doubts on his system, so I do not see the point of your question here. Again, faith is essential to the belief of God, therefore certainty mostly comes through it. Although I am someone who believes in the rational argument towards the existence of God. Life is all about striving and struggling. Heck that is the whole point of religion, especially Islam. We are to seek to find the truth, clear doubts if you have. Ask scholars, read books, just try your best. Have you tried and continue to try? Or did you just give up and lose hope? I always believe doubts are due to having your basis on a false assumption.

 

 

I am sorry but I can't relate, I am more able to relate to ordinary people with similar doubts, capacities and insecurities, and if someone demonstrates great character within these circumstances, then yes, one can relate to that.

 

It is okay if you cannot relate in some areas, but to just give up and call your state of mind/self a "given" failure that everyone has and it is normal to be with insecurities and so forth, is absolutely unacceptable. At least to me. I am certain, due to my own life experience, and the faith and certainty I have on the lives of my prophets and imams and such that I cannot lose to my own self. Allah swears to us, that He has created mankind in a perfect manner. I will take that and strive towards it. Some may have doubts and get past them, but to be filled with doubts, especially at continuous time, I find it a serious issue.

 

Dear brother, I suggest addressing your doubts and questions online, even if you are certain you will not be convinced. At least try and convince us you are right then.

 

(wasalam)

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With due respect why do you have such pessimistic mentality? I dont know whether you are a Muslim let alone a Shia due to your dubious post. However, I will like to say, telling me it is not flawed thinking doesnt disprove my point. Your post is fallacious.

 

 

Who said I cannot be like them? God? Show me. They were chosen by God because they chose to not commit evil. They werent born infallible, nor was it that they couldnt sin, they chose not to. Again, Allah tells us through out the quran and hadith to follow the prophets and imams. If we cannot be like them, then why would Allah command us to follow them? This is contradictory. It saddens me when muslims have such an erroneous and low mentality like this. What becomes the point of this religion when the basis falls upon the point of the representatives of Allah?

 

 

We have numerous example of beings who were not prophets or imams, or even authorities of Allah yet had such a grand stature. Ex. Maryam People of the Cave It is not that I am comparing them to us, but that I am saying it is our potential. They are to guide us. Why isnt the matter of depression (western definition) ever spoken of by them or their companions? Knowing it is vital to our state of faith.

 

 

We can strive to be like them, but are we? are you? am i? these were people with unusual levels of clarity when it came to perception. I think when you have a certain level of clarity like that you dont have the every day confusions of normal human beings; thats why prophets and Imams never waiver, it would make no sense for them too because they dont have the confusion that the vast majority of us experience to one level or another.

 

 

You brought up a very interesting point about then and now, that reminded me of a video i watched yesterday that i meant to post (but i forgot):

 

 

He talks about how sudden changes in lifestyle (in evolutionary terms) from a hunter-gatherer context to a post industrial environment have affected our mental health.

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We can strive to be like them, but are we? are you? am i? these were people with unusual levels of clarity when it came to perception. I think when you have a certain level of clarity like that you dont have the every day confusions of normal human beings; thats why prophets and Imams never waiver, it would make no sense for them too because they dont have the confusion that the vast majority of us experience to one level or another.

 

 

Again, they are like us. They were not some robotic creatures who knew to become prophets and imams and believe in God. They had desires and free will. It was by their own choice that they chose to become who they are, just as we chose not to, by our current state[of mind as well]. By that Allah chose them and protected them. When you think like this of course you will never even come close to being someone like them.

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Some of you keep saying how we are not imams, but you have yet to prove that we cannot be like them or are not allowed to be by Allah. Another example, name one ulema/ayatollah who is depressed. None if them are. Why is that? They are neither prophets nor imams.

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Again, they are like us. They were not some robotic creatures who knew to become prophets and imams and believe in God. They had desires and free will. It was by their own choice that they chose to become who they are, just as we chose not to, by our current state[of mind as well]. By that Allah chose them and protected them. When you think like this of course you will never even come close to being someone like them.

 

Peoples capacity to perceive is determined by their environment and the messages their environment gives them. So even if genetically we are born equal in terms of our capacity to become God conscious and attain levels of clarity and wisdom, the shaping effect of our environment creates inequalities in that regard. Do you think that the Prophet(saw) only became a Prophet at the point at which he attained the level of clarity that meant he could receive revelation and perform the duties of prophethood correctly and that essencially, the last Prophet could have been anyone living at that time in that area who attained that? or do you think he was born to be the prophet? if its the latter then it seems to me you have to accept that his qualifications (his ability to percieve and process and understand accurately) were innate within him and/or that Allah directly intervened to make sure he was shaped a certain way and that these qualifications were not something that he attained entirely from free will and a series of fortunate events (determined by others free will) that happened to trigger correct perception and qualify him to be the last prophet.

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Peoples capacity to perceive is determined by their environment and the messages their environment gives them.

 

Incorrect, it is not determined by their environment, but influenced by. The environment doesnt change you, you decide to change by the environment. If you put amongst sinners, it does not mean you are determined to sin, or that you will sin, for example.

 

 

Do you think that the Prophet(saw) only became a Prophet at the point at which he attained the level of clarity that meant he could receive revelation and perform the duties of prophethood correctly and that essencially, the last Prophet could have been anyone living at that time in that area who attained that?

 

 

or do you think he was born to be the prophet?

 

This is a logical fallacy: Either or. So this question is invalid.

 

Allah is the best of planners and He is all knowing. He has given us free will. Allah knew Muhammad A.S would be prophet, and Muhammad A.S was chosen to be a prophet before he was born in this sense. Now, could anyone have become the final prophet? Yes. From his birth it is evident HE had clarity, piousness and perfect God consciousness. HE chose not to commit any sins and follow Allah. Thus, it is because of this Allah chose him as a prophet. It is because of this Allah protected and guided him further. As Allah tells us all, when we obey Allah, Allah guides us too. Our potential and his is the same, it is evident from the holy quran. Allah commanded angels to bow to man, not Adam A.S because he was a prophet or to become one. Thus it is evident, our potentials are the same. As Allah says:

 

[shakir 95:4] Certainly We created man in the best make.

 

The only distinction is we chose to throw it away at some point and become sinful creatures. The level of free will between us and prophets is free will, no difference. We are not born with an original sin. We are born as pure as prophets and imams and angels.

 

(wasalam)

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(salam)

 

From what little I've learned from research articles and classes, depression has a heritability of 45-50%, which means that ~50% of cases have a primarily genetic underlying and the rest of the cases are mostly psychological or environmental.

 

When people talk about a “depression gene”, they usually mean 5-HTT which encodes for serotonin receptor proteins. A mutation in 5-HTT leads to the susceptibility to (not the cause of) depression. If I remember correctly, the mutated allele is shorter than the wild-type one so it encodes for less receptor proteins than normal.

 

From my personal experience with depression last year (at least that’s what I had according to a doctor), I think depression is the sin of the despondency or hopeless in the mercy of Allah عز وجل. I remember a hadith in al-Khisal in which Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq (عليه السلام) summarizes Islamic decrees and stated that this hopelessness is one of the great sins.

 

Declaring Allah to be the cause of this despondency or the cause of depression is obviously ridiculous and is tantamount to believing in jabr. When Allah عز وجل endows in one of His creation a mutation in 5-HTT, mutations in other genes relating to neurochemical imbalances, or severe and difficult hardships in life, Allah does not dictate the actions you take as a result of them. You may be susceptible to depression because genetic or environmental factors created by Allah, but He did not cause you to become depressed and lose hope in His mercy.

 

As Allah states in 2:286 of the Holy Qur`an:

 

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا

 

If you or someone you know is depressed, please remind them of the mercy of Allah عز وجل. Enjoin them upon reading Qur`an, the ahadith, or other Islamic texts. It was extremely helpful for me to remove myself from this grave sin and from other sins I committed in this state of depression. الحمد الله, I am out of that sordid state of mind.

 

في امان الله

Edited by Recoup

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From what little I've learned from research articles and classes, depression has a heritability of 45-50%, which means that ~50% of cases have a primarily genetic underlying and the rest of the cases are mostly psychological or environmental.

 

 

It's important for people to realise that this is completely wrong.  You misunderstand what heritability means.  Heritability of a condition does not mean how much of that condition is caused by genes.  In fact, you can have something that is 100% heritable but that is primarily caused by the environment!

 

 

Wiki:

Heritability measures the fraction of phenotype variability that can be attributed to genetic variation. This is not the same as saying that this fraction of an individual phenotype is caused by genetics. In addition, heritability can change without any genetic change occurring (e.g. when the environment starts contributing to more variation). A case in point, consider that both genes and environment have the potential to influence intelligence. Heritability could increase if genetic variation increases, causing individuals to show more phenotypic variation (e.g. to show different levels of intelligence). On the other hand, heritability might also increase if the environmental variation decreases, causing individuals to show less phenotypic variation (e.g. to show more similar levels of intelligence). Heritability is increasing because genetics are contributing more variation or because non-genetic factors are contributing less variation; what matters is the relative contribution. Here we see why heritability is specific to a particular population in a particular environment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritability

 

 

Read part (ii) here:  http://www.power2u.org/downloads/Richard-Bentall-Broken-Brain-Critique.pdf

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(salam) akhi,

 

Thank you for the correction.  :)

 

I forgot about that misconception. It's a possibility it could be the way I described but it could also be completely environmental or completely genetic. At least I'll remember that on an upcoming exam in my genetics clas, thinking back to your post on Shiachat. 

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Depression changes positively often with help of medications. Medications don't always solve the issue, but, they are a worth a try.

 

Depression has nothing to do with people having hopelessness in God or his mercy.  It's not a psychological decision of despair.

 

Depression happens to people living the best of lives and get's the best people too, not only people in a bad state of life.

 

I don't see why schizophrenia shouldn't be seen as the fault of the individual but depression is. It makes no sense.

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