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Depression & Muslims: 7 Stats That Will Shock You


There will generally be two reactions to this post:

A) If you’re not depressed, you will feel that this has no relevance to you and therefore you’re probably only here due to the click bait nature of the title.


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B) If you are depressed, the natural course of the disease usually renders you feeling unable to seek help or look for solutions and therefore you wouldn’t click on this title anyway

In other words, technically, almost no one should be reading this.

anyone there

But I hope I’m wrong so here a few stats to jolt you out of whichever category you fall into.

depression stats

[1] Up to 95% of Imams in America said they spend significant time each week providing informal mental health counselling to their congregation… despite having little formal training to do so

[2] Muslim women in UAE are 4 times more likely to get depression than Muslim men… and less likely to get help

[3] Up to 50% of Arab-Americans shows signs of clinical depression

[4] Every 40 seconds, around 20 people attempt suicide. At least one of them will succeed

[5] Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world

[6] More than 50% of depression worldwide is untreated

[7] In one study of the UK Pakistani community, less than half said that they would be willing to socialise with someone who suffered with a mental health disease

depression stats2

There is a significant chance that you are someone you know may suffer from depression or will do so in the future. If you want to find out how you can help yourself or others in a simple and easy to follow step-wise solution that doesn’t make you choose between medical science and your faith- then join this short MuslimMatters Mental Health webinar:

Saturday November 14th | 1pm EST | 6pm GMT


More information on the Facebook event page.


  1. University of Michigan Library 
  2. National Institute of Health
  3. USA Today
  4. World Health Org
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. World Health Org

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Dr. Muhammad Wajid Akhter - National Council Member, Muslim Council of Britain | - Lead, National Muslim Covid Response Group | - Council Member, British Islamic Medical Association | - Founder, Charity Week for Orphans and children in need | - Co-Founder, Islamic History Channel | - International Director, FIMA Lifesavers



  1. monique

    November 12, 2015 at 3:08 PM

    Thank you for this. There needs to be more depression awareness in the Muslim community. I suffer from depression and refuse to seek help within the community because all anyone ever tells me is that a true muslim can never be depressed…which, quite frankly, is very ignorant. It’s frustrating

    • WAJiD

      November 13, 2015 at 11:41 AM

      @Monique – while the attitude of some towards mental health can be frustrating, I would counsel against closing the door to all help from within the community. Firstly, frustrating attitudes towards mental health cut across all communities across the world. Secondly, there are many aware Muslim medics, therapists, Imams and community workers and they will be more likely to tailor advice to you as a Muslim.

      Don’t let the lack of awareness from some close the door to benefit from others. May Allah give us all helpers from where we do not know.

      • JinnKuzunoha

        November 30, 2017 at 7:18 AM

        I only wonder, as an outsider looking in on all of this, if the help from where you know not, will ever dare approach you, or whether it can be seen as help, by the ‘true muslims’. Or whether, indeed, there will be enough ‘true muslims’, to receive any manner of providence, or whether it will only be ‘false muslims’ who find help. Truly disconcerting elitism.

    • Ayub C Mohamad

      November 15, 2015 at 12:16 PM

      Sister Monique
      I am among those ” very ignorants ” who say ” a true muslim can never be depressed ” !!
      But allow me to clarify my position : depression and stress are preponderant in our communities . almost nobody can say for sure that he is immune from it or them . Furthermore seeking appropriate medical treatment is advisable in this situation .
      Now this being said , i believe that a true believer practicing his faith ( for instance Islam ) , and having a deep understanding of Al Quran and Assunah ( hadiths and manners of our beloved prophet pbuh ) is well equipped to not allow himself to fall into depression . Let me mention just a few examples :
      1- In Al Quran Allah says ” by remembering me and mentioning my name serenity fills the hearts ”
      2- The duaas taught by our prophet when you’re touched by calamity or losses or any trials . there are things you ought to say continuously in order to prevent stress and depression …
      Just to mention few

      May Allah swt bring peace and tranquility into your heart and peace in your life
      Ps; pls if i can be helpful in any way dont hesitate to contact me :

      • monique

        November 15, 2015 at 6:16 PM

        no….I won’t be contacting you. There is such a thing as a chemical imbalance in the brain that can cause depression. I am a true believer, I understand the Qu’ran and I do all my prayers every day so according to you, I shouldn’t be depressed which in turn would mean that you think I’m not a truly faithful Muslim because I have depression….get some education brother.

      • WAJiD

        November 16, 2015 at 4:17 PM


        Walaikum asalaam-

        Thank you for the reply. I am grateful that you engaged in discussing why you feel a true Muslim cannot be depressed. However, I think your evidence points to some spiritual ways HOW a Muslim can help themselves out of depression. It doesn’t mean they cannot be depressed in the first place.

        Remember, depression is a biological illness as well. Saying a true Muslim cannot be depressed is nearly the same as saying a true Muslim cannot break their leg. We need to be careful because if we say this, then we are basically saying that anyone who is depressed is not a good or true Muslim – which is inaccurate and also makes them more stressed and depressed.

  2. Muslimah

    November 12, 2015 at 11:34 PM

    I have had SUCH a disturbing night and I see this early morning! I was wondering if I could talk to anyone about what I’ve been thinking. I feel disinterested in living because theres SO much evil in the world. I mean it. That’s my problem! I see the news, its evil in there that clogs my brain and hampers my thinking. I am checking ramdon stuff on TV/youtube, theres evil. I passby some people, I hear evil. I mean, come on, things were OK yesterday!! I’m now afraid..of how my family/kids/neighbours/friends might become soon. What will they pick up from this society? What are they gonna become soon like? I’m so afraid of facing the reality. I promised myself that I’m gonna stop watching news or searching random stuff on youtube from today. I hope someone can advise me.

    • WAJiD

      November 13, 2015 at 11:35 AM

      Walaikum asalaam,

      @Muslimah – the prevalence of “evil” in the world is definitely distressing. There is a difference between this natural distress and worry and clinical depression. If you find that how you are feeling is hampering your ability to get on with your life, then I would recommend seeking advice and help from a doctor or therapist as well as an Imam that you trust.

      May Allah protect you and all of us from the evil of the world and allow us to see the good.

    • salman

      November 14, 2015 at 5:48 PM

      Salaam, Muslimah I would suggest a news fast or news break. It is not healthy for you or anyone to constantly review these negative stories or images over and over again. Although it is cliche, we do live in a 24 hour news cycle. TV, internet and cable bombard our senses 24 senses with all of the ‘evil’ from around the world. If you like music I would suggest some uplifting Zikr that reminds you of Allah (swt). Youtube has some wonderful things such as nasheed on 99 names of Allah and “Zikrtherapy.” You can also do some zikr yourself and read positive things like Quran and hadith.

  3. Annisa Essack

    November 14, 2015 at 3:25 AM

    As salaam alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatahu

    Dear Brother Wajid

    I am a South African who is interested in the webinar for my own personal reasons.

    However, I would like to invite you to be my guest on a show I host every Sunday evening on a local Islamic radio station in Durban, South Africa. The radio station is called Radio Al Ansaar.

    This is a topic, many women in the Muslim community shy away from because they are treated with disdain if they mention it. It would be great to have you on tomorrow, 15/11/2015 but as it is short notice, so if you are unable to, please feel free to suggest another Sunday more convenient to you.

    I look forward to hearing from you in sha Allah.


    Annisa Essack

    • WAJiD

      November 16, 2015 at 4:18 PM

      Ws, I have emailed. JazakAllah khairun

  4. Haleema

    December 3, 2015 at 3:39 AM

    Asalaamu Alaikum Dr Akhtar,

    It’s fantastic to see this issue being discussed. Ignorance of the reality of depression is especially prominent in my community.

    On a side note, I was actually searching to find your contact information on the internet and stumbled across this piece. It would be great if you could contact me inshaAllah, as I wanted to discuss something I think you might be interested in.

    I look forward to hearing back from you.

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