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22 I SPECIAL FEATURE


Passion Islam I August 2010


Suicide & Islam


Part 2


Unipolar affective disorder (Depression) The mental disorder usually called ‘depression’ is now described as ‘unipolar affective disorder’. The term depression is of course problematic, in that a low mood, or sometimes a feeling of emotional glumness, of living ‘out of sorts’ or ‘fed up’, is a frequent experience for many people. In this sense it is ‘normal’ and many people can feel ‘depressed’ without having depression. There is another side to this coin, where a person can feel particularly well, ‘on a high’ or with a feeling of well being. This can be the experience of a large number of people without it being felt, thought or obseverd as a problem or a disorder. A person simply feels in a ‘good mood’.


The causes of depression are many:


1. Mood: There is a profound disturbance of mood, which is one of the prevailing sadness and misery. 2. Cognition (To think deeply): There is an important disturbance of cognition, so that everything around them is interpreted dismally. Sufferers can believe they are hateful, worthless and, at the extreme, that they are already dead and responsible for the evils in the world.


3. Energy: There are very often tell- tale changes in mood and energy, in which the mood is especially low in the early morning hours, with relative lighting of misery in the afternoon. 4. Sleep: There is a disturbance of


sleep, where it is quite usual for a person to be able to sleep almost as soon as going to bed, but with early waking, sometimes accompanied by quite enclosed changes of mood. 5. Appetite: There is a loss in appetite, and an apparently liked food turns to such, that you cannot bear the sight of it.


6. Stress: Stress at work, home, school etc can cause severe depression which can lead to suicide. Isolation and detachment One of the most common sentiments expressed by many of those who resort to suicidal behaviour is a sense of detachment from others. This is not so much physical isolation but refers more to a sense of moral insulation, where the individual has come to define his, or her, situation as so hopeless that others cannot help to put it right. Substance misuse (Drugs and alcohol)


Addiction to drugs and alcohol, in this day and age, has become a major factor, which leads a person to suicide. In the past few months the media around the world have shown many cases of suicide due to drug use. Some have also predicted if drugs like cannabis was to be made legal, the death toll will increase due to this. The media have shown the devastating effects suicide has on the society around the world through drug use.


Loss of family or friends


One may feel isolated after the death or separation from family members


or friends. Loss of a relative/friend causes immense grief, which may cause one to think about suicide. Some commit suicide thinking they will join the dead in the grave. Relationship break-ups This many times has the same effect as the death of a loved one. Sometimes it may, make some feel life is not worth living.


Financial problems


One who is large debts, thinking he will never be able to pay-up and may resort to suicide, thinking he will no more have this burdensome responsibility on his head, leaving his next of kin this problem.


Sickness and disability Severe sicknesses, which one cannot bear, can lead one to take his life. In many cases taking help from others in doing this act (Euthanasia). (Above are only a few reasons why one may resort into taking his own life. Many others can be found through thorough research.) Few events in life have the same impact on us as the suicide of a friend or a loved one. The loss of a loved one, from any cause, brings out intense grief and mourning. The response and emotions felt by the bereaved following suicide are very different to those felt after other types of deaths. The fact that a loved one’s death appears to involve an element of choice, raise painful questions which deaths from natural or accidental causes do not.


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