Son Suffers Anxiety During Quarantine

05 April, 2020
Q How to help my teenage son who suffers from anxiety and isolation during the Coronavirus quarantine?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•It is important to understand the reasons behind his anxiety and this will help you to deal with him more appropriately.

•Try to avoid putting news channels on too much and instead favor more positive material.

•Encourage your son to keep in touch with his friends and family via means of communication.

• Let him to join online classes in his area of interest.


As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatulhi wa barakatuh,

Current times are very testing for all to some extent or another. And some people are expressing more anxiety than others.

This is a natural feeling that occurs when one is faced with some kind of threat like the possibility of catching a deadly virus that is spreading uncontrollably quickly.

Suffering Anxiety in quarantine

In order to gain some kind of control over the situation, most countries have imposed a level of quarantine, stricter in some countries than others so we have essentially all been placed in a state of isolation as means to try and overcome and control the spread of this virus.

Consequently, it is commonly reported of late that people are experiencing heightened levels of anxiety which, along with isolation that is expected is only exacerbating the feelings of anxiety further.

If your son is a person who suffered from anxiety prior to the outbreak then he will be more susceptible to increased levels of anxiety given the situation. He will require even closer support, perhaps more so than someone who is anxious now, but doesn’t usually experience anxiety.

It is also important to understand the specific reasons behind his anxiety and this will help you to deal with him more appropriately.

For example, if it is due to the fear associated with catching the virus then try to limit his exposure to the frightening news that is consistently presented.

Avoid putting news channels on too much and instead favour more positive material such as the wealth of Islamic channels available.

It may be that they are also discussing the virus, but they will be doing so in a way that is in line with Islamic values and provides a more comforting perspective on the current situation.

Son Suffers Anxiety During Quarantine - About Islam

If it the isolation that is causing him anxiety, perhaps due to the natural fear response it might elicit to be forced into this situation, or even simply the fact that he must remain confined within the house for an extended period of time then his anxiety could be addressed by helping him with the feelings of isolation.

In most normal circumstances being with others is a recommended way of boosting psychological well being and improving levels of anxiety and depression, but this current situation has placed us all in an unusual situation where it is not possible to do so.


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Communication via social media

Thanks to technology however there are ways to overcome this somewhat. Despite the fact that we must remain indoors and have no direct contact with other we can still have regular contact with others only through other means, whether it be through email, social media or telephone.

Such contact can even be made more personal by engaging in such using video calls.

You might encourage your son to keep in touch with his friends and family via these means so as to help him feel less isolated. This could help with the feelings of anxiety too, in sha Allah.

You might also encourage him to join online classes in his area of interest. Again, this is a means to connect with others of similar interests and lessen the feelings of isolation.

It could also help to reduce anxiety as his mind is kept occupied in useful activities.

Doing things like this can also provide a means to boost self-esteem as he learns new skills despite all the other restrictions in place at present. This, in turn, can also help with the feelings of anxiety.

Most importantly, encouraging him in his Deen, to get closer to Allah, make sure to pray together, make du’a together, read qur’an together, watch Islamic lectures together..etc..

This closeness to Allah and the family will help to ease his anxieties as he finds comfort in the remembrance of Allah. In doing so, make sure to recite the du’as for anxiety and protection, especially those have been recommended to read during times like this.

May Allah make it easy for you and your family and may He ease the feelings of anxiety for your son.

May Allah let this current situation pass quickly with no more loss of life.

***

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.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.