“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton
I used to wonder what goes on in the mind of a depressed person. Why do they do the things that they do and why do they lack reasons or rationale? Are they really genuine or merely seeking for attention?
There's a saying, 'never judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes'. Well.....that exactly what God made me do....walked miles in their shoes.
When I suffered post-natal depression, all the irrational things that I used to question, were the exact things that I did. Looking back now, I understand the anxiety, fear and misery, that a depressed person feels.
Among the irrational feelings that I had was anxiety about having people i.e. guests over at my house, even if it was my own parents. I felt claustrophobic and suffocated amongst people. To me then, my house was my sanctuary and when people came, they intruded into my personal space. When my helper took out the cups and saucers, to serve tea, I would start to hyperventilate and panic about who was going to do the dishes later. It was too much for me think about. But yet, I remained quiet. I was afraid of being judged, even by own parents.
Simple tasks like folding the mountainous laundry in the basket would overwhelmed and freaked me out and made me pace inside my own room. I always felt a tremendous sorrow that I broke down into tears for no apparent reason. Loud noises especially coming from the tv would unsettled me and made me jumped up to to switch it off, regardless of who was watching. The speed of the fan must always be at no. 2 otherwise, I'd get agitated and start pacing the living room.
Don't even talk about appearance. Whilst I was obsessed about keeping things squeaky clean, I couldn't look at myself in the mirror because all I saw was an ugly image of me, hence I looked like a very clean version of Medusa, hair un-combed.
My world, in those few months that I suffered, was very dark and gloomy. It felt like Grim Reaper was my constant companion and the Dementors (from the Harry Potter movie) had literally sucked out all traces of happiness and light, I had in my life. The funny thing is, despite feeling utterly useless, my imagination and creativeness was striving.
It took all of my will power to not scream out my frustration and anger. I really did feel helpless and hopeless. I didn't know how long my condition would last and that really scared me. I was definitely NOT myself. I was a different person, a stranger. It was like having an out of body experience where you can see what's going on but somehow, unable to stop it.
I recovered from my depression with help and support from my husband and good friends and also lots of dua. I kept my depression from my parents because I didn't want them to worry. Having support, even a listening ear, made me feel less alone. Talking it out lessen my anxiety and made me slowly see reasons. Being assured by my husband that I was not crazy (or crazier than before), changed my agitated pacing into an exercise routine. Having the Wise Owl tell me that I was not possessed, kept my imaginary Grim Reaper and Dementors at bay. Being correctly diagnosed by my doctor made it easier for me to deal with the symptoms.
Most important thing of all, it was His Mercy, when I begged for help, what kept me sane.
‘O Allah, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You name Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.’
God had briefly gave me a glimpse of the world of a troubled mind so I can be more compassionate. I was lucky that it was only temporary but there are many others out there that needs help. Some of their condition may be permanent.
"No doubt, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured."
Don't judge. If you can't personally help them, then help them find someone who can.
“if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.” Quran 5:32