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Reading News Makes Me Depressed

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Feb 08, 2017

Question

Salam Aleikom. I've tried to avoid news in the last few years because every time I read the news, it's always filled with depressing content; I couldn't read it at all. It made me so depressed and make me feel like I wish to die. It's just that in light of recent events, I realize how out of tune I am with society. I feel embarrassed that I have to look up what ISIS is doing, what’s going on in the US recently, all the accidents and natural disasters…But on the other hand it is good to be up to date and know what’s going on in the world. I don’t want to be this much affected by news. Do you have any advice?

Counselor

Answer


Reading News Makes Me Depressed

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Aleikom,

Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to suggest a solution to your current situation.

The news is, indeed, very depressing. You are one of the millions of people who feel depressed after watching the daily dose of news. However, rather than feeling bogged down by the negativity of the world, consider the brighter side. Pay attention to the positivity and the benefits which are brought about through some of the negative events that have taken place. Remember that the world is running because goodness outnumbers evil.

To relieve yourself of the depression as a result of the ongoing world news, there are a few antidotes.

Start off by praying to Allah (swt)

The world is huge, vast, highly populated and polluted by crime, injustice, violence, corruption and pollution. Evidently, being able to help all 7 billion people is certainly not humanly possibility. Even superheroes are not able to help all simultaneously. Therefore, start off by praying to Allah (swt). Ask Allah (swt) to help those around you who suffer.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,

“The supplication of a Muslim for his brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Everytime he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this task says: `Ameen! May it be for you, too.” (Muslim)

Ask Allah (swt) to grant them relief from all ailments, stress, suffering, and torture. Most importantly, ask Allah (swt) to make you of help to those in need.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“But seek, through that which Allah (swt) has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah (swt) has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah (swt) does not like corrupters.” (28:77)

In the Quran, Allah (swt) tells us that we all have a share of the world. We are a part of this world, and we must strive to do good. In the verse above, Allah (swt) also warns those who plan corruption (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupts).

Therefore, think about doing good to others as Allah (swt) has done good to you.

Take control of your mind

Aldous Huxley, a prominent English writer, once said, “I wanted to change the world, but the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.”

Although feeling depressed is human nature, we must not let it take control of ourselves. The first thing you can perhaps do is to study. Study as much as you can, and use the education for the benefit of others. There are many in the world who are deprived of proper education, living conditions, food, proper health, etc. Therefore, if you are given the opportunity to study, use it to its full potential to bring out the best of you, so that you may help the world to the best of your ability.

You also need to disconnect to reconnect. Too much exposure to the media in any form is detrimental to an individual’s mental and physical health. It leads to depression, hopelessness, lack of energy and loss of productivity. Do not let the depressing news distract you. But consider it your responsibility to be of some help to those who are suffering.

Get involved

Dwelling on the many urgent global issues that need fixing isn’t going to help anyone else, so instead choose just one cause about which you feel passionate and get involved in it. Volunteering and helping those in need are beneficial and productive forms of sadaqa. Not only are you benefitting others, but you are also earning a reward for donating your time and efforts.

I hope my answer will benefit you and make you feel more hopeful of the future and will encourage you to strive for the best so that you may one day help others to the best of your ability. I wish you all the best, and may Allah (swt) ease all your affairs.

Salam,

***

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About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

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