I Have Chronic Depression, and Treatment Is Not Helping. What Can I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have chronic depression, and psychiatric treatment is not helping. My parents constantly fight. What can I do?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Please forgive me for the delay.


Dear questioner, I am sorry that you are in so much pain. Psychiatric care is just one element to the healing you require – this may be why it is not enough. Your whole self needs nourishment.

Please ask yourself – do you want this pain to stop? If so, then you need to make a decision to do everything in your power to heal, and draw strength from Allah.


Please perform The Prayer of Need as often as you can, in the last third of the night.

Please nourish your connection to Allah. You mentioned that the door of prayer has been a difficult one for you. Don’t despair, because there are many doors to Allah. What soothes you? Fasting? Reading Qur’an? Dhikr? Making istighfar? Giving in charity?


There is a healing secret in making copious dhikr, especially salawat upon the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace). Please strive to do this every day.

In addition to salawat, please strive to read more supplications from this wonderful list: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.

When the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would be afflicted with a stressful trial, he would say, “O Living and Eternal Maintainer! By Your mercy I seek help!” [Tirmidhi]

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّوْمُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيْث

Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum! Bi rahmatika astagheeth!

Holistic care

Is there a holistic healer you can consult? A culturally-sensitive counsellor? Please look into the work of Hakim Archuletta, who teaches at the Zawiyah retreat in Spain. He has videos on YouTube which you can watch here.

Hakim Archuletta speaks about the importance of breathing, in healing ourselves. Please pay attention to your breathing. When you feel overwhelmed, inhale for 7 counts, and exhale for 11 counts.


It is stressful living in a home where parents are in constant turmoil. A nourishing family home is conducive for healing. However, the dunya is imperfect. Try your best to communicate to your parents, and explain that witnessing them fight is affecting your health. I hope that this will make them more mindful, and encourage them to keep their disagreements behind closed doors. If that does not help, then work on improving your state so you can work and rent your own private quarters. Perhaps moving away from your tumultuous home will help you heal.

I pray that Allah grants you a complete shifa.

Please see:

Reader on Depression

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersGuidance Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.