Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Brother is suicidal


Salam alaykum,


I need help. I have a 15 year old brother. He's had a depression since he was 13 years old. Since one year he also has social anxiety and very low self-image. He cuts himself and has tried to kill himself at least two times. He's been in a clinic since three months to help him. He says he has given up and doesn't want to try or to get better. And he says he's planning on ending his life. It gets worse. Today I found out that he's gay and that he has been talking to other men. I always suspected something, but I never thought this nightmare would come true. I have no idea how to help him. He doesn't want to pray or read quran. He said he tried praying for a month and it didn't help his depression. I'm thinking his sexual preference has lead him to this. I make dua for him day and night. I have no idea how to approach him. I don't think he thinks that homosexuality is bad. How can I help him?


Jazakallahu khairan

Broken hearted

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3 Responses »

  1. He needs to turn wholeheartedly to Allah in repentance which is easily said than done in his case. He needs to be educated properly as to why homosexuality is haram and how to overcome it and have full faith in Allah. Finally he needs ruqyah done to him, for him to suffer from depression at such a young age and also become gay. There must be some shayateen messing with his head and trying to ruin him. May Allah make it easy for him and guide him to the straight path

    • No offence, but from the advice you have given it's clear to me that you have absolutely no knowledge about depression and how it seriously cripples people. Something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning, or eating, can be an extremely difficult task for a person with depression, so talking about what a depressed, anxious and suicidal person "should do" is pointless and unhelpful. They're not going to be able to do any of the things they are "supposed to do".

      Anyway, it sounds to me like your brother is seriously struggling with his sexuality, and, as a result, he's depressed, anxious and suicidal. It's very common for people that repress their sexuality to feel the way your brother does, and to lead a double life. The reason why he sees no way out but to kill himself is probably because he knows he'll have to repress his homosexuality for the rest of his life, because his family won't ever accept him as a gay man. Whatever you may feel about homosexuality, in the end of the day, you're his brother and you should help him. Maybe if you showed him that his homosexuality doesn't make you care less about him, he will feel a sense of relief and see some light in the end of the tunnel. Maybe you could set him up with a support group for young Gay Muslims so your brother won't feel like he's the only person in the world who's struggling...

  2. Assalaamualaikum

    What your brother needs now is your love, support and acceptance of him as a person. He is going through a lot, and may well feel very alone.

    Mental illness is often difficult for us to talk about, but we need to - about 1 in every 4 people will encounter a mental health difficulty at some point in their lives. Depression is an extremely difficult illness, which threatens to suck all the happiness and hope from a person's life, leaving them exhausted and in despair. But, treatments are available. Encourage him to work with the doctors and nurses involved in his care, to take any medication he is prescribed and take part in any talking therapies available to him. Reassure him that many people with depression, even severe depression, recover and go on to live happy and successful lives. He can beat this, inshaAllah. If you think he is seriously considering or planning to end his life, it's important that you tell the doctors and nurses caring for him - they can help, inshaAllah, but only if they know what's going on. Your brother might be angry if they stop him from harming himself, but inshaAllah he'll still be alive.

    His sexuality may well be causing him even more distress. Sadly, it's not uncommon for teenagers to question their sexuality, especially in a world where over-sexualisation, promiscuity and haram activities are glamourised the way they are today. Your brother may in time find that he is heterosexual after all, or that he is attracted to both males and females, or that he's homosexual. But whatever his sexuality, he is still your brother and can still be a good Muslim. We can't always control who we are attracted to, but we can choose what we do - whether he is homosexual or heterosexual, he can still choose to follow Islamic principles with regards sexual activities and interactions with people he's attracted to. I'm not suggesting that you try to "fix" him - but give him space and reassurance that he has time to figure this out, and support to cope with whatever comes from it.

    There are support groups available for young Muslims who are struggling with their sexuality, so he might find it helpful to contact one, so that he can find some comfort in knowing that he is not the only person in the world struggling with this. The most valuable support group for him, though, will be his family. Be there for him.

    Midnightmoon editor

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