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After Divorce, I’m Still Depressed

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

May 09, 2018

Question

Asalamu alaikum.

I am going through severe depression and sadness. I never felt like this before.

I got married a few years ago to my cousin. The marriage was arranged by the elders. However, it did not survive because of physical and emotional abuse I went through. One night, he punished me physically and then he brought me to my parents. My condition was not good, so my parents stopped me from going back. On staying back with my parents, they got really angry. They finally issued a written divorce. The process of divorce took almost one and a half year. My marriage legally ended a year ago.

I was hoping I will get out of this emotional setback. But it is getting intense. I have been visiting psychiatrists. But when depression hits me, I am on the lowest. I recite astaghfar and darud sharif a lot. I am very grateful to Allah for His blessings, but when I am sad I can’t help it.

What makes me sad the most is that my in-laws had no impact on their lives. They are living a normal life as if nothing happened bad. They are not even sorry for what they did. I try my level best to practice Islam and never complain. I am exploring opportunities for myself. But it isn’t helping.

I want to get rid of it. I am also haunted by the thought that I won’t get married again and my ex will find some other girl. Please help me!

Counselor

Answer


After My Divorce, I’m Still Depressed

In this counseling answer:

• Speak with your psychiatrist or counselor and inform them that you are still depressed and you would like to try other treatments.

• Draw closer to Allah through prayer, reading Quran, attending the Masjid, joining sisters for social events.

• Check out support groups for depression.


As Salam Alaykum sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am very sad to hear what you have been going through with depression as well as with an abusive marriage which alhamdulillah you got out of.

Depression can be a devastating illness and is very prevalent. Sadly, millions of people worldwide suffer from depression in one form or another. Depression is also more common in women and it is one of the most diagnosed mental health disorders.

But you are not alone. 

Sister, as you’re going through a very hard time right now and the depression is not decreasing, I am wondering what kind of treatment you are getting from the psychiatrist. I will kindly suggest that you speak with your psychiatrist or counselor and inform them that you are still depressed and you would like to try other treatments.

There are many different kinds of medications as well as many different types of therapy that can help.

I also noted that you talk about the trauma you went through with your marriage and the sadness you feel as well in regards to your in-laws betraying you and the possibility of your x getting remarried.

Sister, as long as you hang onto the past, you won’t be able to move forward. I know it was very painful and I’m so sorry you went through this horrid abuse. What your x-husband and in-laws did to you is vile, haram and sinful. I feel sorry for any girl that would marry him and you should too.

People who are cruel and abusive are generally miserable people who just take their anger and pain out on others. Allah sees all and Allah’s justice can be swift.

Sister, please do not let these thoughts consume you. You may wish to look into cognitive behavioral therapy which will help you do just that. You may want to suggest this to your therapist or psychiatrist if you are not already engaged in cognitive behavioral therapy. It will help you get rid of negative, maladaptive thoughts and help you to learn to utilize and create more realistic and positive thought process for your future. Cognitive behavioral therapy is very successful in treating depression.

Additionally, if you’re not on an antidepressant, you may wish to try a medication that you are compatible with. If you are on medication, you may need an adjustment in the dose or you may need a different medication.

Either way, please know that there is hope and you will not always feel this way. You will insha’ Allah find relief very soon.

Please, do speak with your psychiatrist and or therapist request different treatment make sure that they know that you were still suffering at great lengths from depression.

Additionally, dear sister, please ask them to screen you for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Based on the abuse you went through you may also be suffering from PTSD.

Insha’Allah, sister, focus on the positive things and blessings in your life and make a list of them every day and read them. Draw closer to Allah through prayer, reading Quran, attending the Masjid, joining sisters for social events. Do other things that are uplifting and spiritually nourishing.

You may want to check out support groups in your area for depression. You can ask your doctor for referrals or you can look online. They are very helpful.

Support groups can be very empowering. They offer us new coping skills, we can hear stories from others who have suffered as we did/are and learn from them. It is also a safe place where you can talk about how you feel and be understood.

Please, do consider the above tips and know that your pain will not last. There is help available, you just have to take a few more steps and be assertive in requesting different treatment modes.

As I stated, you’re not alone. There are many people, especially women, who are or were going through what you are. Many have gone through their journeys of healing which led to successful and happy lives.

Allah loves you and He wants you to be happy as well. Reach out to Allah, trust in the process and insha’Allah you will be on the road to recovery.

Please, let us know how you are,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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