We’ve long had the debate around mental illnesses – how they should be treated like other illnesses and people facing them should be given space instead of being snubbed that they are a little too sensitive.
It never comes as a shock when people belittle those battling mental illnesses
The most common argument that people give in order to push the person to get better is by asking them to pray, without realizing that praying on its own cannot help someone out of a mental illness because these things like other illnesses need a doctor and at times medicines to help get better.
A recent example of this is a Frenchman who committed suicide by jumping off the grand mosque in Makkah. Now, this is one of the holiest places in the world – the epitome of faith and belief, but that was not able to stop the man from taking his own life.
If faith alone was the answer then the person would have been alive because this is the closest one can physically ever be to the faith that he or she adheres to. The situation, in reality, is quite the opposite. Those who push for religiosity during the time do it out of concern and for the betterment but if a person suffering from cancer needs medical attention, praying will never on its own make the situation better. Same is the case with mental illnesses.
People are shocked beyond belief because this is a sight that shatters the idea that praying will not lead to suicide
A video being spread of a man who has jumped off the tawaaf ring area in Makkah & died
Before we pass silly judgements like how hes committed suicide & he’s sinful, make excuses
1. Maybe he had mental illness
2. Could be sihr
3. Could have thought its virtuous to die in Makkah
— SP (@The_Saheel) June 9, 2018
Suicide in Makkah you know I just can’t get over it
— sadia biscuit (@Sadia_e) June 9, 2018
I just heard news that a man committed suicide by jumping off room of the Grand Masjid in Makkah. A shocking reality that even in the holiest and most beloved of places, mental illness can overwhelm ones soul.
— سندس ☀️ (@albifalasteen) June 9, 2018
This incident again has opened up the debate around mental health issues
That suicidal attempt at Makkah is totally pathetic and that too in days when Makkah is all full. Moron could’ve attempted to suicide somewhere else. haram kaam halal jagah par krnay say halal nhe ho jata
— Noor Inam (@noorinam1) June 9, 2018
To everyone who says that a person suffers through depression because they aren’t religious, the fact that someone ended…
Some people think that depression is due to lack of faith. No it's not. It's an illness like all other visible illness….
Shaykh Azhar Nasser, a Muslim scholar, in the recent past also urged people to deal with mental illnesses in the manner most appropriate – which is the medical route
Don't ever tell a depressed person to treat their depression by solely reciting Quran. When someone breaks their leg, you don't tell them to just read Quran without seeing a doctor. Why do we do this to those who are depressed in our communities?
— Shaykh Azhar Nasser (@ShaykhAzhar) November 15, 2017
Suicide numbers will keep on increasing if people do not understand this basic notion. Two very well know individuals also recently lost their lives because of mental illnesses
Kate Spade was an American fashion designer and businesswoman and Anthony Bourdain was an American celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality. The people who knew them said that they had very happy lives and from the outside, you would not be able to tell that something was bothering them – strong as ever and not seeking help.
It definitely comes as shock when people this close to you and who are exceptionally strong commit suicide. This means that these illnesses affect everyone alike. Don’t close off chances for people to come to you. If you think someone is too strong, still make the effort to check up on them. Strength comes with its own horrors and every once in a while, we all need each other.
Over time our cultural setting has also become such that you always have to pretend that nothing’s wrong and that you have to portray a very beautiful picture of your life
You are not granted the space to be weak, you can only be alright. That, in itself, is a huge barrier which prevents people from actually sharing what they feel. The constant pressure to be positive and happy boils down to people
On the other hand, we have those who constantly ask for help. They tell us that there is something wrong. The dilemma here is that we are not ok either way. We complain when they don’t tell us and commit suicide and we complain when they do tell us and commit suicide.
When they express that there is something wrong, here is what we say to people suffering from mental health issues:
- Try and be positive. Life is not that bad.
- You should pray, it will solve everything.
- You are not productive, that’s why you are feeling this way. Find something to do.
- There are people in worse situations than you. Man up.
- I have faced worse situations. You are being a baby.
- You’re stupid.
- You know that you can control this.
- You just want attention.
- This is the new trend.
- God will never put you through something you can’t handle.
Where do they go and what do they do? We mock them and we belittle them because there is no space for the weak and there is no time for the weak. Life is just way too fast to be caught up in emotions, right?
This is exactly why people are losing their lives. The one thing which we all should have the time and space for should be our mental health but we don’t talk about it. The trap does not just end there – we refuse to allow professional help too. What other end do you see to this, if not death?
cover image via Youtube