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A University Dropout: I’m Depressed & Suicidal

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 10, 2017

Question

Assalamu Alaikum. I come from a broken home, my parents are divorced and I live with my dad and step mom, it’s not that bad we get along well enough but for as long as I can remember I've struggled with an inferiority complex, self-hate, depression, and panic attacks. I’m a very awkward person. I come from a middle-class family but my father is never contented and likes rubbing shoulders with the rich so because if that he sent me to a private university where my inferiority complex got worse. Everyone could see that I didn't belong in that class of students, to make it worse sometimes my dad couldn't raise enough money to pay my fees on time, which makes me resume school sometimes two weeks to the exam. This made me a bad student and a joke in the faculty. I couldn't keep up with the syllabus, maybe I could have done better but I didn't and so the cause of that I failed out of school. I'm a dropout and my family doesn't even know, they think I've finished university. Now every day I have panic attacks thinking about when they find out, I am constantly thinking about suicide. The worst part is I think I've lost faith in Allah, I regret being born every day. I'm thinking of committing suicide or running away. What shall I do?

Counselor

Answer



In this counseling answer:

“Start a journal. Your goal is to pinpoint when these feelings of depression and inferiority complex first started, what events, if any, triggered them. Also, try to sort out how you came to feel this way. Please, also make a list of your positive attributes, your blessings, and your aspirations for the future.”


As ’Salamu ’Alaykum sister,

Thank you for writing us. I can certainly understand your frustrations and sense of low confidence. You were put into a university wherein your dad could not keep up with the payments which caused you to miss many classes. That would make it hard for anyone to catch up. This put pressure and stress on you that is undue.

As you indicated, your family is middle class, yet your dad never appears to be satisfied. Thus, he ‘rubs shoulders” with those who are wealthier and going to lengths to provide opportunities which are not within his means such as sending you to this university.

Sister, often our parents may not seem satisfied by the way we view their actions when, in fact, perhaps they are trying to make connections for a better life. While we are to be content with what Allah (swt) has given us in this life, we are to strive to do better. However, jealousy, envy, and other undesirable traits should not be part of our personality. We should strive to overcome these feelings as they are not beneficial and haram.

While I cannot speak on your father’s motives or wishes, perhaps viewing it from a different angle, that he is striving to give you and your family better opportunities, will help. It is not fair to you, however, to have to miss out on classes because he cannot afford the payments or is late with them due to lack of funds.

Perhaps, you may wish to research universities that are more affordable. I would kindly suggest not talking about it from a financial perspective but from one of a personal choice. Mention its educational benefits and opportunities that surpass the current school. In this way, he may not get offended due to the sensitivities of what he can or cannot actually provide.

As far as your anxiety, panic attacks, depression, self-hatred, and inferiority complex, I would kindly suggest dear sister that you start a journal. Please start a list. Your goal is to pinpoint when these feelings first started, what events, if any, triggered them. Also, try to sort out how you came to feel this way.

Please, also make a list of your positive attributes, your blessings, and your aspirations for the future.  Write down steps of how you can accomplish these goals as well as steps you may take to overcome these negative self-thoughts and feelings.

I feel that you are a beautiful, intelligent young woman who has been under tremendous stress and pressure. This in itself can lead to depression, self-hate as well as other psychological symptoms if we are constantly trying to live up to something that has been imposed upon us from another’s vision. I would kindly suggest dear sister that you begin the journey of healing via journaling as well as seeking out counseling from a therapist in your area. A good counselor can help you overcome these issues and in your personal self-growth.

As far as suicide sister, you know it is haram, and in sha’ Allah you know you do have a wonderful life ahead despite the tests you are going through now. I kindly ask you to make a contact that you will not harm/kill yourself. Write it on paper, sign it and give it to someone you are close to. This is your contract with yourself. If you feel that you will harm yourself, remember your contract and call the Suicide Prevention Hotline. This is a 1-800 number, in sha’ Allah it will work in your country. If not, go to the hospital, sister.

As you know, when one is depressed, everything seems to be more difficult. Even our relationship with Allah (swt) might suffer. It is the nature of depression. Please in sha’ Allah continue to seek out Allah’s guidance no matter how bad you feel. In sha’ Allah, you will see and feel the blessings.

As far as dropping out of school and your family who thinks you have finished, well, I would not bring that up until you have started counseling. Once you have begun to address your mental health issues and grow stronger, a counselor will be able to help you navigate telling your parents. She will also propose other educational ideas as discussed above.

Sister, this is a temporary test. I am confident you will get through it in sha’ Allah and come out a much wiser and stronger person, perhaps even helping others with your success story.  Remember, Allah (swt) loves you sister. He will never leave you.

Please seek out counseling as soon as possible. Know you are loved, worthy and valuable. Please let us know how you are doing.

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.

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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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