Depression & 'Eid | About Islam

Depression & ‘Eid

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jun 17, 2018

Question

Depression is now the zeitgeist of our time in all parts of the world. Everyone has his own reasons and problems that make him depressed and having low self esteem. How can one feel the joy of ‘Eid despite his depression and problems?Also, can ‘Eid be a starting point for overcoming depression altogether?

Counselor

Answer


Depression & 'Eid

In this counseling answer:

• You can look for the meaning of ‘Eid and apply it to your personal life story.

• Contentment is more priceless and eternal than the joy of this world. ‘Eid celebrates this surrender and can bring you closer to experiencing celestial joy.


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum,

It is true that human beings at some time feel depressed and/ or experience some low self-esteem. The ups and downs of life are not something specific to this current time.

The answer to that question is that, regardless of the event, you still need to explore the cause of your depression and seek ways to resolve it. You would want to investigate whether your depression is circumstantial, or if you have a depressive disorder.

If it is circumstantial, you will want to ask yourself if celebrations trigger feelings of low self-esteem for you, or if you personally experience the remembrance of grief, either consciously or unconsciously during times like these. Some people do become depressed during times when they associate with family and connection, especially if they are not getting their own needs for family and relationship met.

It is wise not to generalize your own feelings of depression and low self-esteem to the world. You will escape dealing with your own state of being when you generalize your feelings onto the world, but that won’t help you recover. You will actually become more depressed. So, we need to shift our thinking. Notice that the act of generalization is a sign that it is you who is feeling depressed and may have feelings of low self-esteem.

The reason I am pointing this out is so you can reset and move forward in your own personal goals to wellness and recovery rather than suppress your depression, by projecting it onto the world. This shift of focus will help you in feeling good. What you want to be concerned with here is how you feel, not the world, and if you are feeling depressed or have feelings of low self-esteem, then focus on finding out what might be causing that as well as what you can do to alleviate your uncomfortable feelings.


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With that first step, you can look for the meaning of ‘Eid and apply it to your personal life story. This can have a very healing effect. Don’t be afraid of depression and feelings of low self-esteem, rather work through them. Especially the coming ‘Eid is a perfect starting point for working through your issues, as it is a spiritual story that is also your story, and mine.

It is a solemn holiday, one of remembrance of how obedience to our Lord is the answer to everything. This means surrendering your life, your whole being, all that you are, all that you have and all that you identify with to the Lord. When you sacrifice everything that you identify with to Allah (swt), He gives to you your authentic and eternal self. That is the spiritual “secret” that so many humans seek. The process of Hajj and the experience of ‘Eid can definitely get you in touch with this “secret” if you surrender to the experience, and to Allah (swt).

If you have felt the loss, then you have sacrificed; the promise is that our Lord will provide for us and heal us. Your idea of ‘Eid may be about laughter, joy, family, and food, and you may not have that in your life; know that the true joy is in giving everything to Allah (swt). He will then give everything to you. Shift your focus from the consciousness of the masses, seek not the temporary joy of this world, and meditate on the meaning of ‘Eid. This is surrender, this is sacrifice and this brings peace.

Contentment is more priceless and eternal than the joy of this world. ‘Eid celebrates this surrender and can bring you closer to experiencing celestial joy.

Indeed, if you follow the Islamic calendar, you will never be without a spiritual tool that when joined with prayer will be powerful medicine in your own personal journey toward wellness. Wellness, happiness, wholeness –  these are the state of being that we are indeed striving to experience. By detaching from limiting beliefs, and ways of behaving that no longer serve our well-being, we are sacrificing all that is false in us, all of the images of ourselves that we hold on to, for something better, authenticity. When you come to this place, you will naturally be in a state of obedience to Allah (swt).

This shift of consciousness is achieved through spiritual practice. Yes, you can definitely use the experience of ‘Eid to jump-start your journey toward happiness, wholeness, wellness, and obedience to Allah (swt) which will make you closer to Him (swt). The cycle changes from drifting away from Him (swt) and feeling depressed, and attached to worldly matters and spiraling down, to being pulled toward Allah (swt) and feeling closer to Him (swt). This makes letting go of worldly matters easier, and results spiraling up.

Thank you for writing and please continue. May Allah (swt) be with you every step of the way.

Salam,

***

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.

Read more:

Depression, Anxiety, and Guilt

On Depression: Can a Real Muslim Be Depressed?

A Dua to Say When Depressed and Worried




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