How depression is different from ungratefulness?
The difference between depression and ungratefulness
A few days ago I attended a reunion of old friends. We all sat down and talked about our personal and professional lives, and whether we found our spouses or not, or whether we became parents. We also talked about our achievements and personal struggles.
A close friend of mine told me that she had been suffering from depression for some time and that this was affecting her ability to carry out her daily activities.
Another friend of mine immediately said:
“Friend, you should be thankful that God has given you a good job, a loving husband, and a prosperous family! There are a lot of people who are not as lucky as you! ”
My friend saw him and muttered that he was grateful for it and suddenly the topic of conversation changed.
I have often seen well-meaning people advising people with depression to be thankful for their blessings.
The ‘goodness’ of being thankful for everything positive in our lives is deeply ingrained in our society, and many people justify it by molding it into a religious framework. But that’s what puts us at a difficult juncture:
Either you are grateful or not at all
People take gratefulness and depression the same thing. As never been satisfied with what you have. But as a matter of fact, they are two different things.
It seems impossible to challenge this view, especially when it comes to religion. When people repeatedly intervene in religion to express gratitude, how can anyone disagree with them, it is a far cry to talk about their struggle with depression. It is often said that the path of thanksgiving is the path of faith.
Some people may not mind, and being religious spiritually or formally has a positive effect on mental health. I do not deny that this may be true for some, or perhaps many, people.
However, because of this, we tend to underestimate the problems of others and move on to the solution of every problem by simply expressing gratitude.
I get nervous and angry when people call mental health issues like depression ungrateful. It does not benefit the sufferer.
I am saying this based on my personal experience of depression. I often receive unfriendly and ruthless advice.
1: Count your blessings
2: Pray regularly every day.
3: Recite specific verses to soothe your soul.
I am a practicing Muslim and I know I can pray for healing. But just because I’m depressed doesn’t mean my faith is weak, nor does it mean I need more worship.
There are many different types of treatments and therapies available now, but it can be dangerous to dismiss the symptoms of such a debilitating condition as a cure, depending on one’s personal religiosity.
In the worst-case scenario, severe depression can lead to suicide. Clinical or medical depression is not cured by eating a chocolate a day, watching a movie, getting married or becoming religious.
Depression can be a lifelong experience for many people who have to deal with it every day.
On good days, the world may seem tolerable and livable, but sometimes you feel as if you have been swallowed up by a black hole and become detached from the world. This is an everyday challenge and it can be difficult even for those with whom you live.
Depression ruined many of my family’s celebrations, among other things. At that time, even my family members could not understand why I was behaving like this. They thought that maybe they made me angry.
There were days when I would sit in my room all day staring at old things or turning up the volume of one of our old TVs in such a way that all the voices would be drowned out.
There was a time when the people around me became very anxious and confused, I was doing something with full attention, and then all of a sudden I felt as if my surroundings had swallowed me.
Then there were some outward symptoms, each of which I tried to understand but failed to understand the relationship between them: these symptoms included frequent crying, insomnia at night, high blood pressure, and self. But there was constant criticism.
Throughout this situation, I was attached to my Islamic identity, but that did not end my serious feelings.
Let’s talk about gratitude, whether I am grateful or not, this is a matter between me and God. I can’t allow anyone else to instruct me about the relationship between me and God.
To be honest, I consider myself very weak and fortunate because I have supportive family and friends, and that I still have mental health issues, which I suffer from, and my personal relationship with religion. I must have the brain to differentiate between.
I don’t like the advice of these well-meaning people to be grateful.