Depression–In our culture this is viewed as a psychological state or illness caused by a biochemical imbalance. Certain hormones and/or neurotransmitters are not functioning properly. This may be the case. For the purpose of healing, the Sufis also tend to look deeper at the condition of the heart. They search to uncover the veils covering the heart that lead to depression. Who knows which came first, the chemical imbalance or the veils?
Underlying depression, the heart is often carrying experiences of loss and grief. These can take many forms: death, of course, but also loss of a job, a home, friendships and a school due to moving away, loss of safety, dignity and self-respect due to abuse and mistreatment, just to name a few. Any of these can result in depression.
Depression is often accompanied by anger or frustration at life events, at people, even at God. Both depression and anger stem from veils (misconceptions from childhood). Anger is a result of loss, so it is an aspect of the grief cycle (denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance). Anger is also a sign that there is a need that hasn’t been met.
For example, in the case of the colicky baby described earlier, this child may have sensed a loss of support, attention, perhaps love. As an adult, she may think she is unsupported by others or by God. She might feel angry and isolated about this, and she may become depressed. Lack of support may not necessarily be the truth of her situation, but it is her perception which is caused by her misconceptions.
Thus, to heal the depression, it may help to uncover these blocks/veils, to let them wash away through the light of Allah, and thereby to restore this person to her real essence (fitra).