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When I Get Depressed, I Do Not Feel Like Praying

19 June, 2017
Q When I get depressed, I do not feel like praying. I do not feel connection to Allah. Why? What shall I do?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

Depression is the 4th leading cause of disability worldwide. Therefore, the counselor advises people struggling with depression to always seek Allah’s help, to seek counseling, and to begin journaling as it’s an effective way of getting out the feelings and examining issues in your life which may be causing depression.


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us. I am so sorry to hear of your depression. While I am not sure if you have seen a therapist yet, or how often or how long you have experienced depression, I do encourage you to seek to counsel. Your feelings of a disconnection and detachment from Allah (swt) during times of depression are part of some of the symptoms of depression and are common. Often times, when people are depressed, they feel detached from everything.

With that said, depression is very common. In fact, according to NCBI, “The World Health Organization (WHO) has ranked depression the 4th leading cause of disability worldwide.” Symptoms can range from mild to severe including feelings of sadness, loss of interest, decrease in social activities, withdrawal, overeating/not eating; sleeping too much, not being able to sleep; feelings of failure, hopelessness, crying, feeling numb, feeling detached from others, loss of motivation and sometimes suicidal thoughts.

While this list is not inclusive, I do urge you to seek counseling to determine what type of depression you have and to receive treatment. If you are experiencing feelings of suicidal ideation, please DO speak with a parent, trusted friend or imam, or go to the hospital. Please also call the suicide hotline in Iceland: 1717

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Please, in sha’ Allah, take the Depression Questionnaire to gauge your level of depression. Often it can be very helpful to get an idea of where we are with our depressive state. Additionally, journaling can be a very effective way of getting out your feelings and examining issues in your life which may be causing depression. The act of just writing your feelings every day is very powerful as it releases pent-up anxieties, sadness, and can help in sha’ Allah in rebalancing your thought processes as well as act as a de-stressor.

Also, I suggest that you begin to practice stress reduction techniques which have shown to be effective in some cases of depression as you are re-focusing your mind, releasing tension, learning new coping skills as well as retraining your brain to focus better. This will help you, in sha’ Allah, to regain feelings of attachment to Allah as strengthen your connection.

Additionally, even if in the beginning you do not feel attached or connected, continue to seek out Allah’s help and mercy through prayer, du’aa’, Qur’an recitation and dhikr. All these efforts will be recognized in sha’ Allah. It is when we give up, leave prayer, and stop reaching out to Allah that we become hopeless. So I urge you to keep seeking Allah even though you do not feel connected. Things will get better, in sha’ Allah, you just need to take that first step in getting help. You don’t have to suffer through depression, there are effective therapies.

You are in our prayers; please let us know how you are doing. Also, know that Allah loves you, and Allah knows what you are going through, and He is most merciful.

Salams,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.