Mental Illness Drives Me Away from My Faith

08 July, 2018
Q Salam. I was a practicing muslimah. I was just a teenage girl who turned to Allah and left everything behind - friends, gossiping, and lying. I started wearing the hijab for pleasing Allah.

I spent my days and nights praising Allah. Then, one day, out of nowhere, I started having doubts about Islam and Allah. My faith was shaken. This resulted in anxiety and other symptoms of anxiety like depersonalization and de-realization. It feels like your faith is stripped off and atheism is forced into you even you don't want it. There was no one to help me to guide me, and I had no enough knowledge about my deen. I decided to take a break from religion and to only focus on my mental health. I stopped praying.

I still have iman, but now I am having very sinful thoughts about Allah and Islam which I dare not to say. Sometimes I have suicidal thoughts. I am having schizophrenic types of feelings. I don't know what to do. Is this my bad end?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

• There are therapies and medications that can stabilize you, but you must reach out and want to heal.

• Please do not stop praying or reading Qur’an. Islam is the healing balm in our lives.

• I highly suggest that you get involved with your local mosque and the sisters in your area.


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum my dear sister,  

I am so sorry that you have been going through some mental health issues which affect your spirituality.  No, this is not your “bad end”, rather this is your new, good beginning as you have great insight into your mental health and have identified that there is something wrong.

While I cannot diagnose you, it is obvious that you suffer from some form of mental illness. Many people suffer from all sorts of mental illness such as anxiety, major depression, panic disorder, schizophrenia, OCD, bipolar ilness, and the list goes on. So, you are not alone.

I understand your concern and fear about your horrid, scary, and  “bad” thoughts about Allah (swt)  and Islam. However, I hope you realize that it is part of the mental illness and it is not truly representative of what is in your heart. Only Allah (swt) knows your heart, dear sister, and He (swt) knows your suffering. As you were starting to get close to Allah (swt), it may be that Satan started playing with your mind. Satan never wants us to live right and love Allah (swt) and will try all sorts of tricks to keep us away from our beloved Lord (swt).


Check out this counseling audio:


While I am not saying this is the case, I advice you to not let anything keep you from Allah (swt) as He (swt) loves you very much.  Even when we sin, Allah (swt) forgives us, if we ask and repent. Allah (swt) in His greatest mercy says He (swt) forgives all sins from those who sincerely repent and seek forgiveness, except shirk. We can see Allah’s (swt) infinite mercy in the Qur’an:

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (39:53)

While you did not say what you did for your mental health when you „took time off from religion“, I highly suggest, sister, that you get counseling as soon as possible. Please, contact your therapist or doctor at once. There are therapies and medications that can stabilize you, but you must reach out and want to heal. I know what your going through is difficult, but I have confidence that you can and will get help.

Also, go to a close family member or friend and write out a contract that you will not harm yourself or try to commit suicide. Sign it in front of that person and promise yourself you will love yourself enough to want to get treatment, and that you do believe it will work because it will, in sha’ Allah.

Also, here is the number for the suicide hotline 042-35761999 in Lahore (not sure where you are located). Please call them if you feel suicidal and call a close relative or friend. You do not want to lose your life to a mental illness which, in sha’ Allah, can be treated. Please also see: www.stopsuicide.com

Sister, once you start to engage in counseling and become more grounded and stable, I highly suggest that you get involved with your local mosque and the sisters in your area. In the meantime, please do not stop praying or reading Qur’an. Islam is the healing balm in our lives.  Find a good Islamic class to study in. Increase your knowledge and your Islamic social contacts. Our sisters are our strength; they can be supportive when we need it most. If you start developing friendships now, they will, in sha’ Allah, last a lifetime.

Also, by being close to other sisters, you may learn that some of them may have suffered through similar issues and have recovered. This will also show you that you are not alone. In fact, I have counseled many who are or have experienced what you have been going through, and they committed to treatment and overcame their illness.

The mind, body, and spirit are intertwined, sister. Often times, when one is out of balance, the rest suffers, as you can see.

Please do consult with your doctor or therapist as soon as possible. You do not have to continue on this way. You can be healed; you can be healthy and happy, in sha’ Allah, just take that step and reach out.

You are in our prayers, sister. Please, let us know how you are doing.

Salam,

***

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.

Read more:

Suffering from Weak Faith

4 Stories of New Muslims Boosting Faith and Spirituality

I’m Depressed & Losing My Faith

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.