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IslamQA: Losing hope in life due to depression

Assalam Alaikum, recently the experiences I’ve been going through made me realise this life is worth nothing, and so I yearn for the end of it. My question is, is this a good or bad thing? The saying “everything passes” has become my life’s standard but subconsciously this has stopped me from looking forward to potential good things & it’s making me depressed while on the other hand it’s making me more aware of the afterlife. Is my way of thinking incorrect/ungrateful?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

It’s probably your depression that is giving you your thoughts, not the other way round. When your brain is in a depressed state, it will latch onto anything that seems to justify why you are feeling that way. A person with bipolar can be feeling like the world’s happiest and most successful person today yet overnight their brain can switch into depression and they will wake up feeling like their whole village has been slaughtered. They will feel utterly worthless and like everything they have ever worked on has been a failure. They will not be able to identify with any of the goals and dreams they had yesterday, and they will be completely apathetic toward the rest of humanity, including their loved ones.

A person who hasn’t been diagnosed will likely believe their depression and think that they really are failures and misanthropes. And yet the next time their brain switches out of depression they will again feel successful, happy and optimistic. Until the next switch.

So I recommend that you learn that you are not your depression. You are not your mental states. The right drugs can always easily bring back your joy, optimism and love for life and humanity. If you email me at, I can recommend many treatment options, non-prescription drugs and supplements that can help you.

As for whether it is a good thing if depression makes us lose hope in this life, I consider it actually a good thing as long as we keep steady and continue to carry out our duties. It’s similar to a person being tested with a crushing loss. It makes no difference what makes us lose hope in this world, whether it is the loss of a loved one or a change of our brain chemicals that makes us feel the same way as someone who has lost a loved one. If you look into the lives of the great scholars, all of them seem to have suffered some kind of great loss or depression that made them lose their attachment to this world. Some of them had healthy brain chemicals, like Rumi or Nursi, so that they continued to enjoy immense joy in life, but directed their energies toward loving God. Others seem to have been extremely depressed and to have continued to be extremely pious and dutiful through it.

And God knows best.
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