Arabic Poetry of Depression and Anxiety 
in Pre-Islamic and Early Islamic Days

Poetry usually tells much of the life and the different feelings of the poet in different situations. It reflects his state of joy and happiness as well as his fears, nervousness, worries and sadness. The phenomenon of anxiety, worry, depression and gloominess is often a characteristic of some of the early, particularly pre-Islamic Arabic poetry. There were many causes for such feelings: continuous tribal wars, loss of a brother, a son, a husband etc., hard life and poverty, love and disappoint- ment or failure in love, old age and frailty, being disowned by the tribe and left as an outcast with no tribal protection, as well as many other things. Generally speaking, pre-Islamic poetry is characterized by being a natural reflection of the genuine feelings of the individual poet. He lives his life, suffers from misfortunate incidents, falls in love, meets disappointment. suffers from the hardships of life. from fatigue, hunger, fear and other misfortunes. Naturally, he reflects on his responsibilities towards himself. his family, his tribe, joins raids against other tribes, admires bravery and generosity of his fellow tribesmen as well as others. He also reflects on nature around him, and admires beauty when he is endowed with some sensitive feelings. His poetry is then a reflection to all this. He utters verses spontaneously as some talk to others or to themselves, that is naturally. describing his feelings and experiences. Apart from some professional poets, his poetry comes natural, springing from true, and not artificial feelings. If he praises his fellow tribesman for his generosity or bravery shown in battle, or laments his death, he is often describing his own genuine emotions and feelings. Pre-Islamic and early Islamic poetry, it can be said, is often the reflection of some experiences and effects on the poet, sincerely expressed in his poetic utterance. It is characterized by realism, sensitivity marred often by pessimism towards life, and often showing his admiration of beauty in nature.
Saffarini Hussein, Arabic Poetry of Depression and Anxiety
in Pre-Islamic and Early Islamic Days, Studia Arabistyczne i Islamistyczne 13, 2007, pp. 30-43