In this counseling answer:
• Once you resolve your mental health/sleeping issues, you can move in the direction of deciding if she is one who you will marry.
• If you have depression and anxiety, there are biochemical and neurological changes that may have taken place which need to be corrected.
• Whatever it is that you find stability and peace with, please do stick with that routine.
• Go back to your therapist; you must continue the healing path all the way, In sha’Allah.
• I want you to write out a contract stating that you will not harm yourself. Please, also call a Suicide Prevention Hotline in your country.
As Salamu ‘Alaykum dear brother,
Thank you for writing to us and trusting us with your issues. As I can see, you really suffer. May Allah grant you ease, dear brother. You will get through this, please believe it. You will get better. During the past year-and-a-half, you’ve had a lot going on not only mentally, but in your personal life as well.
What really stands out brother is your sleeping issues and your anxiety. When a person goes without sleep, it wreaks havoc on their whole system. Mentally, physically, and spiritually. Sleeping is so important for stability.
As you are diagnosed, I believe, with depression and anxiety, I’m wondering if you were also screened for bipolar disorder. The fact that you can’t sleep at night and you have high energy during these times makes me ask this question.
Mental Health Issues? Allah Loves You
Brother, I am sorry for your loss of your dad and the earlier loss of your uncle. I could imagine this affected you greatly. A loss is never easy. These life events combined with your anxiety and depression, no doubt, have increased your symptoms. Reading your question, I noticed you kept going back to this girl you were seeing.
She seems to be the highlight throughout your question. She also seems to be the highlight as to why you feel that you cannot move past this paralyzing anxiety and sleep disorder. It seems she really does care for you, brother, and that is a blessing. In sha’Allah, once you resolve your mental health/sleeping issues, you can move in the direction of deciding if she is one who you will marry.
However, now is not the time to think about her or anything else except healing yourself. After that, everything else will fall into place, In sha’Allah. Lastly, on this subject, remember that Allah is most merciful and loves to forgive.
I know you want to stop haram behaviors. However, when we have severe anxiety, depression, or obsessive thoughts, we cannot think clearly, and everything becomes magnified. Allah knows you are struggling, and He loves you.
Brother, the problem does not lie within this girl that you’re seeing, nor does it lie within you, per se. If you have depression and anxiety, there are biochemical and neurological changes that may have taken place which need to be corrected.
I am not one to promote medication. However, there are certain circumstances where medication is needed to help heal the brain. Yours may be one of those cases, and there are many. Some people are on medication for a lifetime. There’s nothing wrong with that.
I advise clients to look at it like this; if you had high blood pressure or diabetes you would be on medication. There would be no stigma, it’s just something that you would live with and know that it was best for your health.
I know you spoke against medication, but perhaps you needed a different dose or a different medication. Often, it takes many tries to find the one that works, but it is so worth it. You are worth it. You have many great things to do in this life and many blessings coming your way. Please reconsider.
Finding Stability & Peace
Brother, I know you said that you had worries and anxieties as a child, but I encourage you to look at a time when you felt good and stable and you could sleep well. What was going on in your life at that time? Did you sleep well? Did you have friends? Social life? A solid Islamic life? Did you eat healthy food and exercise?
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By answering these questions and others, you may find what it is that does stabilize you. Whatever it is that you find stability and peace with, please do stick with that routine. Our mind, body, and spirit are connected. When one part hurts, it affects the other two.
That is why it is so important to have a balance. When a person cannot turn off their mind, and the thoughts keep running, it is difficult to sleep. Lack of sleep with exacerbating everything else. It will also be difficult to make rational decisions in life. Not sleeping for long periods of time can lead to psychotic-like symptoms.
However, you can turn everything around, brother, and start the healing process and live a full and wonderful life.
Reclaiming your Peace of Mind
I kindly advise you to go back to your therapist, In sha’Allah. If that therapist did not produce significant reductions in your symptoms, please see a different therapist. With your high anxiety, sleep disorder, depression, and other thoughts, medication and psychotherapy should be effective.
If you are not getting relief, seek treatment elsewhere. Often people do very well on medication and therapy. Then they stop because they think they are healed, only to have a relapse. It doesn’t work that way. You must continue the healing path all the way, In sha’Allah.
You may need an anti-anxiety medication for many years. And that is okay. I had a friend who had symptoms and issues very similar to yours. She started medication and therapy and after a few months, she felt wonderful.
After 6 months she stopped going to therapy and stopped the medication. She felt so good, she figured she did not need them. However, it was the meds and therapy that was helping her to heal. She relapsed and ended up in the psychiatric hospital. This cycle kept happening for years until she realized it was a repair process that may take her dedication, commitment, and compliance.
She accepted that and went back on her medication and weekly counseling. Today, she is a lawyer and happily married with two children. She is also an advocate for mental health.
I kindly urge you, dear brother, to advocate for yourself regarding your rights to heal and move on with your life.
In the meantime, dear brother, I want you to write out a contract stating that you will not harm yourself. I want you to state in addition, that prior to any harmful thoughts you will contact someone.
Write in a name of a person that you are close to and trust that you can reach out to should you feel like hurting yourself.
Also, state in the document that you will call the Suicide Prevention Hotline number (list it) and or the emergency number in your country and sign it.[Editor’s note: Here are 5 suicide prevention hotlines in India you need to know about.]
This is your promise to yourself, your family, friends, your future wife and children, and to Allah.
I can understand your frustration, feelings of helplessness, as well as just wanting it all to end. However, this is not the way. Not only is it a sin, but it would also destroy your family and especially your mom. Your life will get better. You must believe this.
So many people have gone through similar situations that you’re going through and have come through, healed and are leading wonderful lives. You will do the same, In sha’Allah. Allah has many great things for you and your future.
I have confidence that you will come through this, and you will soon feel much better. You have your whole life ahead of you, and to think you want to end it, is heartbreaking. Allah took such great care in creating you.
Please, do call emergency services if you feel like harming yourself. Please, do write the contract, contact your therapist to arrange treatment as soon as possible, and pray. Know that Allah loves you.
Please let us know how you are doing,
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.