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Daydreams & Anxiety because of Bullying

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Nov 10, 2016

Question

When I was a kid, I was daydreaming because of bullying. I did not get any peace in the real world. I’ve been doing it ever since, but now I’m worried. I even talk to myself out loud sometimes, repeating what’s happening in my daydream. For example, if I have an anxious thought, I act like I’m talking to a therapist to vent, I guess. I’m scared that I’m an actual psycho. I know what’s reality and what isn’t, and I’m not violent. I get annoyed with people very easily, but that’s it. I’m afraid if I tell a real life therapist this stuff, he’ll throw me into an asylum with real crazy people.

Counselor

Answer


Daydreams & Anxiety because of Bullying

Answer:

As Salamu ’Alaikum,

I’m so sorry to hear that you were bullied as a child. Bullying is a prevalent problem which many youth sadly experience. People who bully tend to have a need for power and control, were often abused or bullied themselves, are getting reactions from negative behaviors, suffer from jealousy or envy, may have unstable home lives and possibly low self-esteem among other things. While I do not know to what degree you were bullied, or if you told anyone about it to assist in stopping it, it appears you are suffering from mental anguish of being a victim of  bullying. People who were bullied as children often suffer from sadness, loneliness, depression, anxiety attacks, sleeping and eating problems, as well as traumatic stress disorders.

From what you stated, it seems that you may have some PTSD going on. Dreaming about the trauma and re-living it are partial symptoms. By talking to yourself and describing your „dreams” play by play, you are releasing some of the anxiety, pain, and stress that has built up inside of you as a result of possibly not being able to talk to anyone about it when it was actually happening. You need to talk to a qualified therapist in your area who can help you deal with the past bullying and the current symptoms.

You are not „psycho”, and no, they will not put you in an „asylum”. In fact, what you are doing – self talk – is actually healthy. It may be part of your coping mechanism which is keeping other symptoms at bay. However, the dreams and other symptoms such as getting easily annoyed should, in sha’ Allah, be dealt with.

I am not sure what other symptoms you may have, or how you are functioning at home, at work, or socially, but I suggest that you seek the services of a qualified therapist to put this part of your life behind you once and for all.

Many therapists use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to address the current trauma and symptoms experienced by the individual. This type of therapy helps people change the way they think, feel, and react to create a more constructive and positive life experience by addressing symptoms in the here and now. This type of therapy is very empowering, especially for those who have been bullied as bullying seeks to make one feel inadequate and powerless.

I would also kindly suggest that you join a support group for adult victims of bullying. As there are so many people worldwide who have sadly experienced what you have, there are groups which aid in healing as well as developing stronger coping skills. Please do seek one out in your area. You can ask your therapist or look online.

From an Islamic viewpoint, bullying is a detestable thing. The Qur’an states,

„O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers’. (49:11)

„O you who have believed, avoid much of [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother dead? You would detest it. And watch for God; verily, God is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” (49:12)

So, as we can see, bullying and other forms of abusing others is a grave sin. While you may be suffering now (and back then) from being bullied, rest assured that those who bully others will have to face Allah’s (swt) wrath should they not repent. 

I kindly suggest that you draw closer to Allah (swt) and ask Him (swt) to grant ease concerning your pain and other mental health issues due to being bullied. Allah (swt) sees and knows all, and Allah (swt) is most merciful. In sha’ Allah, when you begin talking out loud the dream, go into prayer instead and pour your heart out to Allah (swt). Tell Him (swt) about what happened and how you felt. By calling upon the Most High to intervene in our affairs, we can be sure that we have the love, mercy, and attention of our Lord for surely Allah (swt) does love us and hears our cries.

I see you as a strong individual who has great insight into your issues. I admire your ability to come forth and discuss your fears as I know it is not easy. However, I have full confidence in you that you can and will take the needed steps towards resolving this sad portion of your life. There is no need to go on suffering when there’s therapeutic help out there as well as help from Allah (swt). We wish you the best. Please, let us know how you are doing.  You are in our prayers.

Salam,

***

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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