Medical Questions > Mental Health > Depression Forum

Religion depressing me.

To start off, I am a born muslim and I absolutely hate it. I don't like being muslim, there are too many rules and restrictions to follow. Many of them are so stupid. But I won't get into that. I hate how my parents force this religion on me, and make me do things like pray or read the Quran. What is the point of doing these religious acts when I don't even want to? What will I be rewarded for unwillingly doing these acts? These acts mean nothing if am doing them unwillingly. I don't know why my parents cannot understand that. I've also noticed that many (not all) muslims are incredibly stubborn. They will listen to nothing that contradicts with Islamic rules. My parents do this all the time when I try to explain something. They are slaves to this religion, and have no free will. They do what they are told. If the holy book says you cannot do something, they will never. They will never express their own free will, and dislike it when I express mine. They try to raise me as they were raised. They were raised in Pakistan and I was born in the United States, and am being raised in New York. They are applying the rules that are used in Pakistan, out here in New York. They do not understand that things are different here. And me, being accustomed to how things work around here, am so frustrated and fed up with how they treat me. They make me wish I was born into a different family. All of this depresses me so much, affects me sleep, affects my school work, everything I do. It is not healthy for me and I want to get away. I don't want to be muslim. Now for any muslims reading this, don't try to tell me that I am wrong, I am just expressing, and if you say that I am wrong, you will only be proving me right, that you are stubborn. Sure suggestions are welcome, but don't drill me with your teachings. Another thing I dislike is that my parents say that all my friends are set for certain doom, as in, they are all going to hell because they are not muslim. Even muslims reading this should know that this is completely wrong and very stupid. This makes me hate my parents so much, no matter how long my mother kept me inside her, no matter how hard she worked to raise me. She raised me only to make my life miserable? What a great mother. I hate them, and I hate my religion. It is making my life a living hell. I've thought about changing to another religion, but my parents would probably put me out on the street. They wouldn't want a non-muslim living in their home. I am not an athiest, I believe in a God, but not how Islam makes us. We should not be slaves to a religion. Not just Islam, and religion. If anyone who has read this far can understand my issues here, please reply with a comment, I need some help with this, and don't know what to do. I don't like the depression it gives me, the sleepless nights, the bad grades at school, all of that. Thank you to anyone who read all this. I appreciate it. Needed to get all this out.
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replied March 27th, 2011
Well, I wont be much help Im afraid. I am beginning to see a connection between organized religions and feelings of shame and guilt. I am trying to deal with this issue myself. I grew up in an extremely dogmatic religion. Being gay didnt help-I am never good enough. Thats a horrible reality to put on anyone.
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replied April 3rd, 2011
i understand
I totally understand how you are feeling. I am born into a catholic religion where my mother believes in being straight & being gay is an "abomination" & I am american. I am not gay nor bisexual but I do want a piercing that she feels symbolizes homosexuality. She is so wrapped up in this religion that it has mentally messed her up & now it is messing me up. I do not agree with her in many ways because I feel some of her beliefs are stupid & were always arguing over stupid little things that should not be an issue. She makes me want to be apart of another family because everyone feels exactly the same as her & I have no say in anything. It effects my grades, and it is effecting my mental health. I just want a mother that I can speak to about anything and wont judge me because of the different culture or time we were brought up. She wants me to understand her, I try to but when it comes to understand me, it becomes something different.
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replied April 5th, 2011
I went through a very similar thing
I went through a very similar thing. My parents are Christians and I began to believe in Judaism and wanted to convert. My life was pure hell. I mean hell. My mom cried all the time, got mad at me, threw away my Jewish things, and just made me feel horrible overall. I suffered from intense depression in those years.

I kept thinking that the biggest problem was my parents' intolerance towards other religions besides Christianity. And that was definitely a huge factor. But I later came to realize that I too was being intolerant towards them. I didn't really realize it at the time. I wanted to change them. I didn't want them thinking that Christianity was the only way. But I have no business changing them or telling them what to believe, any more than they should tell me what to believe. I had to realize that I needed to respect their beliefs - even if I was sure they were totally wrong. And when I began to be more open-minded myself, I saw a huge change.

For one thing, God and the truth about reality are far beyond our ability to currently understand. So I don't think we should be so set in our beliefs as to say, "I'm 100% right and you're all wrong." No one but God can be 100% right about the truth about reality. So we need to give others space, and even ourselves space, to be wrong. We need to say, "Even though this seems certain to me, I could be wrong about this." The reason I stress that is because there were things that I was once SO sure of that I no longer think were accurate. As we live and experience, our perspective becomes broader. We live and learn from our mistakes and misperceptions get cleared up, hopefully. So we can never say we've arrived. And we can't force someone to open their minds. We can try to set an example of kindness and tolerance, but we cannot count on changing someone else. People have the right to be wrong.

There were things that I now believe my parents were right about, that back then, I thought they were so wrong about. I think we were both partially right, and neither one of us was totally right. That's probably the norm when 2 people disagree on something religiously. Things are usually not black and white - or at least that's what I think. (I could be wrong of course!)
The thing is, if someone insists, "It is black and there is no gray whatsoever!" and you disagree, then they tend to push you towards thinking it is totally white with no gray whatsoever. That's a natural human tendency, because they put you on the defensive. Then you are completely estranged from one another, and feelings are hurt and there is resentment.

You can't make your parents understand this if they are not willing to - but it would be nice if they could be gently told that the way they are presenting their faith is pushing you away from it. If they don't want to push you away from the faith, and the family, they need to give you space. That saying applies, "If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it is yours. If it doesn't, it was never meant to be." They need to set you free! By doing so, you won't have to feel so much resentment towards them, and they don't have to worry about losing their child.

Having said that, I also realize that I wasn't able to really convey that message entirely to my own parents, although I did try.

All I can say is, it will probably get way better once you get old enough to be on your own. Try not to hate them. I understand why you would have resentment - believe me. But they just don't know anything else. They were taught a particular way that worked for them, and they are afraid to not pass that way on to you. They may have been taught that Islam is the only way to heaven (although Islam does not actually teach that at all). And if that is what they think, then of course they want you to be a Muslim. That is because they love you. If you loved someone, and you truly believed that if they didn't believe a certain way they would go to hell, then you would do everything in your power to stop that from happening! Even if you thought there was only a slight chance of them going to hell, you would try to prevent it. Their belief may well be wrong, but their actions stem from their belief. And while it may not feel loving, it is probably from love that they act the way they do.

And as I said, they do have a right to believe that Islam is the only way, even if they are wrong (and I think they are wrong - and I even think that Islam teaches that they are wrong about that particular thing). Everyone has the right to be wrong, because none of us are perfect. If you will treat them with this kind of tolerance, you will most likely get at least some of it back.

Never speak angrily or with hatred. Don't yell. Don't roll your eyes. Be loving and patient. That is very important. When I followed that advice, my parents not only treated me better, but I felt good inside because I felt at peace with myself. I knew that I was doing the best I could do given the situation. When I didn't follow that advice, everything was in turmoil.

If you act kindly and live a good life, they will be able to see firsthand that you don't have to be a Muslim to be a good person. And you will have a reason to feel peace with yourself. And you should allow yourself to feel at peace that you are doing the best you can to be a good person. You have a right to that kind of inner peace. I know we all want our parents' approval, but we can't always have it. Sometimes they are wrong, and sometimes we are wrong. Either way, we can't always have their approval. We need to learn to accept that there's only one person's approval that matters - and that is God's. And I don't believe His is all that hard to obtain, because He afterall knows our innermost being and understands where we are coming from and why we do what we do. We don't have to be perfect to get God's approval - and his is the only one that matters.

I really hope things get better for you. I am sure they will - because they got better for me, and as I said, I was living in pure hell over the same kind of thing.

All the best to you!
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replied December 28th, 2011
You will find your answer in Jesus, not rules. Read the New testament, and the Old testament if you have time, but first the new testament. You think I'm pointing towards religion, but I am not, you will see what I'm talking about if you read it. There is a free computer program called e-sword so you can read the Bible there if you want.
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replied July 30th, 2012
The very same religion you mentioned helped me out of depression
The very same religion you mentioned helped me out of depression but if you truly don't believe it then following it would be very hard.

But if you do believe, then its all about balance dude. Religious people in particular Muslim tend do fall into extreme you just have to find your balance....your balance!
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replied January 25th, 2014
Religion is not your answer, nor it provides any answer.
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