Comparison Can Lead to Depressive Symptoms

There is a huge stigma in Islam about having or dealing with depression. We tend to look at depression as a sign of lack of imam and offer advice such as, “go and pray” or “go and read the Quran '', without truly understanding what depression is. There is no curer but Allah (swt) but we must take precaution of what we do. We can’t do wrong and sin daily and still expect that Allah (swt) will stand with us. Comparing ourselves to others is a huge push towards depression. “A new study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that comparing our lives to the "fabulous" ones we see on social media may be what causes the depressive symptoms associated with Facebook browsing. So it's not necessarily the website that's causing those negative emotions, but the comparisons we make in our heads as a result of the content we see” (University of Houston). The issue is that we look at what's on the outside and not what’s within. As Mufti Menk said, “We tend to think that beautiful people are nice when that’s not the truth at all. It's not about what’s on the outside”.

What does comparing ourselves and our lives to others to do us exactly? Imagine constantly comparing your life to a life that doesn’t exist. Everything on social media is supposed to be perfect. Influencers will most certainly post about the good things and not show the bad or hardships of real life. We enter a mindset of jealousy towards the gifts of the dunya and show resentment towards ourselves, our spouse and even our creator. Why me, we say. 

How do you stop comparing yourself to others?

  • Spend less time on social media and clean your feed. Follow people who will help push you towards Allah (swt) by offering constant reminders of our creator and the race to Jannah.
  • Be mindful of your blessings. Say Alhamdulillah and be grateful for what you have. There will always be someone praying to be in your current place. 
  • Compare yourself to others only in the race to Jannah. Focus on being a better Muslim. Strive in the race that matters. The race in this dunya is for millions and only temporary while the reward of Jannah is everlasting. 

Written By Anan Helwih


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