Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh brother,
Thankyou for your kind comments. I’m glad that you get much benefit from our site that many people work hard together to maintain. It is a pleasure for us to help others for the sake of pleasing Allah too.
Whilst you don’t have a question directly for yourself, you have brought up an issue that is faced by many teens in the Ummah for many numbers of reasons. Even though this is not a problem that you say you face yourself, given the prevalence of the condition it is important that we are all educated about it in order that we can help those in need due to depression. With a better knowledge of depression, it’s causes and consequences we can be better equipped to provide such support. Knowledge about the condition can further help to reduce the stigma that commonly surrounds have psychological disorders such as depression. This stigma stops people with dep2seeking help when they really need it. If it is something that people know about and talk about openly the stigma will be leased and people with depression and other psychological problems can seek help and support more freely without fear.
It is particularly common in the teenage years for a couple of reasons. During teenage years, the body faces many physical changes both visually as well as those that go on inside the body that we don’t see. These chemical changes in the body can be responsible for the development of depression on a physiological level. In such cases, medical treatment can be effective in rebalancing the chemicals that are causing depression.
One of the other most common reasons for depression in the teenage years are circumstancial. Not only do people go through the physical changes associated with the teenage years, but the social changes can have a huge impact on a person’s psychological wellbeing. The teenage years are those that are experienced on the transition between childhood and adulthood. This brings many challenges; taking on new responsibilities independently without such rigid support from parents, in preparation to manage things for themselves such as a home, finances, careers, families.. Etc.. As they prepare to soon be the one that has to take responsibility for others such as a spouse and children rather than having everything done for them. In this case, since the depression is a result of circumstances a more social solution would be advised such as seeking support from friends to share their struggles with, approaching advice services to get information on things such as money management.
Dealing with change more generally can have a psychological impact on the teenager as they encounter so much change and leave behind a life that was more carefree than it can perhaps be from here on in. They experience a sense of mourning as they let go of their childhood and watch their friends move on and face their own responsibilities too. This can have a profound affect on the teens wellbeing and is where psychological support through counselling would be beneficial as a means to address these psychological issues and challenge any erroneous beliefs in favour of a more positive and realistic outlook.
As new thing take priority in the teens life they need support in moving on from the past and making the most out of managing their present and preparing for the future. As the changes in their life takes the front stage it is not usually to focus on the negative things, what they’ve lost, which fronds have moved on, who did well in their exams and is in a top college now, things that didn’t go to plan so much so that they had to consider new options that they had never planned for.
Unfortunately in these times of depression and despair teens will turn away from their Deen out of frustration, or even complying to their peers who deem other things to be more important. Unfortunately, what they don’t realise is that this will only make the situation worse, where in fact getting close to Allah during such times is the most effective way to overcome depression, especially when the cause is a situational one rather than a physiological one. A strong belief in Allah helps to overcome the feelings of helplessness commonly associated with depression in replacement for a trust in Allah’s decree. Therefore, another way to indirectly support a depressed teen is to encourage them in their Deen, remembering Allah together, inviting them to a halaqah.. Etc.. This way it is not necessary to talk about an issue they are difficulties with as such, but helping them to get stronger in their Deen will help them to nurture their own skills in dealing with their difficulties themselves, but in the comfort that they have the support of a brother or sister in Deen.
May Allah make things easier for our brothers and sisters who are suffering with depression and may He guide us to help them most effectively.
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