Ramadan Has Become a Source of Dread and Guilt for Me

12 May, 2019
Q For me, Ramadan has become associated with severe guilt. I am a type 1 diabetic, but my physician told me I can fast as long as my blood sugar level stays within a specific range. Alhamdullilah, my blood sugar is stable, but I dislike fasting because it gives me bad headaches and increases my depression (I'm clinically depressed). Because of this, I often check my blood sugar not because I'm worried but because I hope I'll find my ticket to break my fast.

I also often feel guilty that I haven't made enough adjustments to avoid breaking the fast (for example, with my sohour meal). I'm sad that Ramadan has become such a source of dread and guilt for me. I used to love it as a child. How can I change the way I feel about it?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

• Making a list of the reasons why you do not want to fast can uncover some fears, hesitations, and other thoughts that may be holding you back from enjoying this most blessed and holy month.

• Begin journaling your thoughts concerning fasting and analyze these in the context of hoping to uncover just what it is about fasting that you do not like or fear.

• Make du’aa’ to Allah to help you adjust to fasting and help you with any fears, apprehensions, or other intrusive thoughts.


As-Salamu Alaykum sister,

I am sorry to hear of your medical diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. However, it is a common and manageable condition. As long as your doctor said you could safely fast, you should attempt so. While the migraines may be bothersome, you may find them diminishing as your body gets used to fasting. Concerning the depression, while I am not sure if you are on medication for that, possibly more sessions with your counselor for therapy will help you through Ramadan.

Ramadan Has Become a Source of Dread and Guilt for Me - About Islam

The guilt you feel is understandable. As a Muslim, we are obligated to fast if we can (and you have been cleared to fast). Perhaps, making a list of the reasons why you do not want to fast can uncover some fears, hesitations, and other thoughts that may be holding you back from enjoying this most blessed and holy month. In sha’ Allah, try writing/journaling about your thoughts on fasting. Just write whatever comes to your mind and try not to censor your thoughts. Finding out why you do not want to fast is the beginning to gain insight on how to complete your fasting in Ramadan.

In addition, download a schedule to follow each day, much like a calendar, and write the times and steps you will take to ensure you are well prepared each day. Look at it as a gift for yourself, for, indeed, it is.


Check out this audio counseling:


Fasting brings us closer to Allah (swt); it makes us more humble and caring for those who are less fortunate than us. It gives us deeper insight into the temporary state of this life and hope for the hereafter.

Fasting also cleanses our body of toxins, chemicals, and other harmful additives in the foods we consume. It gives our bodies a rest from the constant consumption of food.  In fact, fasting is healthy for humans to do for these reasons.

I would suggest dear sister that you make your list of associated emotions around fasting. Begin journaling your thoughts concerning fasting and analyze these in the context of hoping to uncover just what it is about fasting that you do not like or fear. Try to schedule more frequent appointments with your therapist during this time and eat clean healthy foods at Suhoor & Iftar.

Make du’aa’ to Allah to help you adjust to fasting and help you with any fears, apprehensions, or other intrusive thoughts. Read Qur’an, do dhzikr, and trust in Allah that your efforts will be rewarded, in sha’ Allah.

You may surprisingly find, dear sister, that when you have begun fasting, you actually feel better spiritually and physically once you have overcome the initial negative thoughts and possible fears.

May Allah reward you for your efforts as Allah is The Most Merciful.

You are in our prayers. Please let us know how your Ramadan went.

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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:

Ramadan Anxiety; I’m Not Good Enough

3 Easy Steps to Overcome the Anxiety of Ramadan

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.