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Hearing Voices That Are Not Real: How to Cope?



Reply Date

Jun 22, 2017


I have been diagnosed with anxiety bipolar and schizophrenia affective. I hear voices that drive me crazy. What should I do according to the Qur'an? Also the meds they have put me on: what do I do during Ramadan? I'm supposed to take them in the morning and before bed. Thank you.



Hearing Voices That Are Not Real: How to Cope?

In this counseling answer:

There are a few things people who hear voices can try to manage these voices. They can listen to the Quran, keep themselves busy, look for what triggers these voices and try overcoming them, join a support network, and make du’aa’.

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh,

I’m not in a position to offer you any advice from a scholarly perspective here as such, but I can support you in suggesting ways in which you can manage your situation.

Hearing voices can be incredibly distressing. They can distract you from doing all the things that you would usually do or that you want to do. This then only increases the amount of distress that you endure as a result of the voices.

There a few things you can try to help you with the voices.

– Listen to the Qur’an. Some people who hear voices prefer to do so through earphones. This can serve several purposes at once. It can help to block out the sound of the voices as well as the physiological effects of inducing the relaxation response which will be useful for your anxiety too and just general well-being.

– Keep busy. This will also help to distract you from the voices. Take up a new hobby, or learn something new. This will keep you active doing something positive. This will also help to generally boost your well-being. These things will give you an element of control over your voices and can feel very empowering you to find ways to not give the voices so much power over you.

Notice if there is anything in particular that seems to trigger your voices and focus on overcoming this. For example, if they seem to be worse as a result of a lack of sleep, then try to develop a healthy sleep pattern so that you get sufficient sleep. If they seem to have been triggered by a more major psychological disturbance such as abuse or bereavement, then you can seek counseling to tackle these issues.

– Join a social support network. Being with others who are or have experienced the same can feel very comforting. This way you will not feel alone. Be with others who are going through the same and you might be able to pick up some tips from others about how they manage their own voices.

– Make du’aa’. Many people, regardless of their religion, find the comfort from spiritual engagement. We know Allah (swt) loves to answer prayers, so make sure to ask Him to bring you ease at this time. Be confident that He(swt) will hear you and respond when the time is right.

Regarding fasting during Ramadan, if your doctor has prescribed you medication to manage your disorders and it requires that you take them during the day and night, then if it’s possible that you can manage it around fasting, you could give it a go. For example, you could take one medicine after iftar and the other one with sohoor. But if it causes you any kind of hardship, then, as far as I know, you can end your fast.

Allah (swt) does not place a burden on us greater than we can bare. Allah (swt) is the most Merciful and does not want to make things difficult for us. Given the long fasting days, it may be that this year you are unable to take your medication at equal intervals, in which case you would be unable to fast whilst taking them. Allah (swt) exempts people who are ill or not in a sound mind from fasting.

May Allah (swt) grant you ease during these difficult times and give you the strength to manage your difficulties effectively.



Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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