Channel: Haleh Banani
Mental Health – Suicide Prevention – Therapy
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There's a Muslim family in Dallas that experience homicide, six family members dying and two suicides. And this is tragic, tragic. And I think it has shaken up the entire community knowing that this was someone within our community who experienced so much pain, so much grief, and ended up taking the lives of six of the six family members died because of this incident. And it stems from depression, there were two,
two brothers, they were there were twins at 19, you know, well educated from from a good family, and they were experienced so much depression, and they didn't know how to cope with it, they were not getting it may possibly treat it. And this is in no way trying to put any blame on on anyone I don't know the family, I just read about them in the news. And it really, it saddened me because a lot of times we overlook the mental health of our children and family members, we think that you know, stop complaining, stop being ungrateful, why don't just snap out of it and, and deal with life, we had to go through so much. And you underestimate sometimes what depression can do. And when someone is
severely depressed, they, they may not think clearly anymore, they may have so much pain, so much grief, they can't even see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think this pandemic has really put people under a lot of tremendous amount of stress. And, and people deal with it differently. There are some people who can cope and adjust because they had the you know, maybe they have the support group, maybe they knew they had,
they had effective means of dealing with the ups and downs of life. But those individuals who were already struggling, those people who are already sad, who already had low self esteem, who already felt maybe rejected, or maybe they felt like they were no longer, you know, valued, these people really ended up doing things that are quite tragic. So these two brothers, they actually wrote a suicide note and said that we love our family, but we were in so much pain. And we had to we had to end our life and they made a pact, they made a pact that they would, you know, they would kill themselves. However, what they explained is that they didn't want the family to suffer from their
loss. So in their, you know, in the state of mind that they were in the pain they were feeling, they ended up killing the entire family, and then shooting themselves. And when we reflect on this, we reflect on the fact that it's an act of desperation, obviously, they were not, you know, mentally stable at the time to take on to take their family. And the sad part was that they did say that they love their family, it wasn't, it wasn't like I want to get rid of them. I can't stand them. It was like they love them. And they didn't want them to feel the grief. So you know, mental health of our children or of our family members is so critical. Please don't underestimate what your family
members are going through. Please don't be literal, when someone tells you that they're feeling depressed, and they can't get out of bed. Don't call them lazy, don't tell them that, you know, you need to just pull yourself together, please give it the time and attention it deserves please seek out professional help anyone that you can you know, anyone that you can trust and have them be in the care of professional help, because it doesn't have to end this way. You know, when someone is treated for the pain that they're going through. I mean, I see this on a daily basis, individuals who come in and and they're totally devastated, they're full of anxiety, they're full of depression.
And it's just a matter of changing a perspective, you know, fixing and a few things. I mean, within a few short sessions, their their whole mindset can change. So don't think that, you know, all this is going to be you know, too expensive. What if you have to have a heart surgery for your one of your kids, if they had to have a kidney transplant, if they were, you know, if they needed medical attention, you would do whatever it takes, you would do whatever it takes to get them the medical attention. And if someone said Well, I don't I don't have the money to you know, to give chemotherapy. What would you tell them you would say? How what kind of a parent are you how are you
not treating your your child who is dying of an illness, we would be very critical, we would be very judgmental, we would think that they're very apathetic and very, you know, just neglectful as a parent, if someone is not treating their kids for medical emergency. If someone has a broken leg, and if you don't take them to get a cast, and you just say well, just
Deal with it when I stop complaining, get up and run? What's wrong with you? How can we do that with our children, when they are facing some major challenges, this pandemic has really taken a toll on our youth. And if we're not sensitive, if we just call them names and, and and just disregard them, then horrible things can occur. Right? I know that this is a very extreme example, but it's in our community is a Muslim family. And because of their depression, they ended up killing their family members, and they shot themselves. Let's avoid that. Let's avoid anyone from being you know, overlooked. Let's make sure that as soon as we see it, I'm not telling you to come to me go to
anyone you want to seek professional help. I am just calling out to the importance of mental health, I'm calling out to the importance of valuing how your children are feeling it is maybe it was disregarded when you were kids, maybe we you know, a lot of us I know in my generation kids were like on the sidelines. But now, you know, it is it is the focal point of our attention. But many times because we come with those, you know, with that background and the mentality of just, you know, just get over it, we had much harder, we went through this, we went no just deal with the situation, seek out professional help make sure if they need to be medicated, get them medicated, we
really need to change the stigma that we have about treating mental health. You know, this is this is something that is going on. And we're going to have more and more stories like this, if we don't wake up to the reality of the importance of mental health. So the same importance that you give to a broken bone, the same importance that you give to your child, God forbid having cancer, if we really as a community, as a Muslim community, we need to wake up and recognize the importance of mental health and we need to treat it, we need to get professional help. We need to get the medication and stop thinking that is some kind of taboo that we don't talk about it that no, that's just going to
go away. No one needs to know right now everyone that one is doing, you know, online sessions, get anyone I am not saying Come to me, I'm fully booked already. I am telling you go seek help from anyone that you can trust that can help you because what ends up happening is that when it's neglected, is just gets exasperated, people who don't treat their mental health issues, it becomes a worse issue. It's like having a cavity you don't treat that cavity, it's going to become a root canal. If you don't treat the root canal, you're going to have to pull that tooth out. And I've had a client who had that happened to them. They ignored the cavity, it became a root canal and then
finally they had to like just pull out the tooth. This is what happens when you don't treat immediately. If you sense that your child is depressed, get them to talk to someone they're not going to talk to you most likely if you have been very maybe dismissive if you have been like you know, just get over yourself you lazy bomb, get up and and deal with it. I work so hard, you can work hard. That's not gonna work. All right, it's not working. It didn't work in the past and it's not gonna work now. Okay, and even if it worked in the past, it's not working now. So please, value the mental health of your children I will I value my, the mental health of my children more than
Great, okay, your your child can be a straight A student could be valedictorian, but if they want to kill themselves, because they don't feel loved and accepted by their parents, how are you going to answer to Allah that you put so much pressure on your kids to be the straight A student to get this to become a doctor to get that just to fulfill your whatever ego or whatever it is, and then they ended up killing themselves? Because of all that, how are you going to feel? And this is not in any way to blame any parents? I am just telling you, this is a wake up call. This is something that we need to take seriously. It takes decades sometimes. I mean, I know two decades ago, when I you know
first enter the field, there was hardly any talk about mental health 1998 so when I graduated, we would you know, it was a taboo subject, there was a lot of stigma, we have made progress on hamdulillah. Now we included in our lectures Alhamdulillah. Now the shoe horsing the importance of it when before 20 years ago, they told me, this is common sense. Where are you getting a degree in psychology and I said, psychology is everything. It's how we deal with people. It's how we deal with our relationships. It's how we raise our kids and have a marriage and have any form any if you if you associate with any person you need to know psychology. So we have made progress, but we still
have a long way to go. We really have a long way to go to catch up and to recognize the importance of it.
feeding our children, making sure that our own mental health, if you are suffering from depression, where you can't get out of the house, I have a client that she just can't even get herself to leave the house. What kind of example? Are you for your kids? If you're always dragging yourself if you're always anxious, if you're always paranoid, what kind of example Are you leaving for your kids? How are they going to have an outlook and optimistic outlook and have tawakkol Allah and to know that everything's happening for him? How are we going to do that? So address your mental health, make sure you're in a good place. And then be aware of the mental health of your children and value it
the way you value grades? Well, I II, if we do that, as a community value, mental health, the way you value, the grades, the way you value, their education, the way you value their career, becoming a doctor or an engineer, have the same value plays on mental health. Because if you don't, we're going to lose more and more of our youth to this. And I am not saying this it lightly. This is something I see every single day. And the reason I'm so passionate about it is it breaks my heart to see families suffer for people to just not see it not see the signs, if you don't know and again, I said that they may not talk to you because you have not built that relationship, you have not built
the rapport. So take them to someone that you trust that they can talk to that they can get things off their chest that you can address. If you say everything is no No, no, and you restrict them, and you don't give them an outlet, then they're going to get into depression. So please value the mental health of yourself. value the mental health of your children and be there listen to them, validate what they're going through, please stop comparing them to yourself, stop comparing them to their cousin, stop comparing them to their brothers and sisters and give them validation and in sha Allah that we can get over this stigma and really start to look at mental health and give it the
importance it deserves to sakala heydon salaam alaikum