When OCD Thoughts Come, Anxiety Takes Over Me

05 August, 2020
Q The issue with OCD started when I was in my first year of the university, with very small things. Then it took over my life. I couldn’t really function well. Everything was controlled by it.

My OCD is not about cleanliness or having things in order. Although I had issues with symmetry, it is mostly about bad thoughts. In order to calm them down, I have to do certain things.

For example, let’s say a hallway leads to one room. A normal person would probably pick a random door and go to the room.

For me, it’s like I have to weigh the options of the room. I check what kind of thoughts I have in regards to that door and then choose where I enter accordingly. Many times I end up not entering any door because I am scared.

This is just an example of what I go through. This scenario is applied to many things. Now it isn’t as bad as before, but sometimes it happens when I study or drive or do other activities.

I am scared that I am committing shirk, which is the worst sin. I should only be afraid of Allah (SWT).

When I think about it, I am truly scared of Allah (swt) who is control of everything, but at those moments where my OCD comes into my head, I give in to it.

Please help!

Answer

In this counseling answer:

• You can control your thoughts. You just need to train them. A therapist can help you how to overcome your OCD.

• Before everything you do, every single task you do, I want you to forget the present and the future. Just do what you are doing. Do not evaluate every single circumstance.

• Read this Dua.

• I strongly suggest that you find an activity that brings you happiness. When you are doing that, you should not be questioning anything. Please, make your mind escape to activities it finds peace

• Praying will help you a lot with your thought – if you pray with complete focus.


Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,

I am truly sorry to hear of the troubles that you are currently going through in life right now. I can truly understand how hard it must be emotionally and mentally.

Dear sister, I really, really want you to internalize that you are going to be OK. Your life is going to be perfect. You are not going to sin, and you are not going to be a sinner.

Train your mind

I want you to train your mind starting now. Before everything you do, every single task you do, I want you to forget the present and the future. Just do what you are doing. Do not evaluate every single circumstance.

You mentioned a very important point in your question. “I should only be afraid of Allah (swt). When I think about it, I am truly scared of Allah (swt) who is control of everything, but at those moments where my OCD comes into my head, I give in to it.”

Read this phrase again. In peace. You know what you are doing is stressful. You also know that you are not in control. However, you need to train your mind.

For example, I really want to run a marathon. I know that I need to train and alter my diet and increase my stamina.

When OCD Thoughts Come, Anxiety Takes Over Me - About Islam

The marathon is not until 5 months. Do you think that knowing this is enough? Do you think that simply knowing I need to train and eat healthily will increase my stamina?

Or do you think that I need to wake up every single day till the day of the marathon and run at least 1-2 km and increase the distance every single day? Do you not think that I need to replace my unhealthy food choices with healthy ones?

You Can Control Your OCD Thoughts

If I do not train myself physically, every single day, I will think about the marathon and feel anxious and not relaxed. However, if I wake up in the morning, run, eat healthy, which is not easy, trust me, I will be more confident and less anxious. Do you agree or disagree?

The same is the situation with your thoughts that you “think” you cannot control. You can control them. You just need to train them.

Wake up in the morning, early morning, pray. Tell yourself that you are a smart woman, you are doing what you know is best. You will never, ever, know what the best for you all the time is. Only Allah knows.

Read this Dua

Once you read this Dua, the same way I will run for a few kilometers for my marathon practice, be certain that it is good enough. If need be, make a schedule for what you must do.

I highly suggest you download this book and read it, understand it, and internalize it. Reading this will be life-changing.

In addition, do not acknowledge every single thought you have. A human mind has 60 000 thousand thoughts every single day. Are all those important? No! Certainly not!

Some of them are simply are fears, desires, problems, and worst of all, anxiety about the future! You will simply need to tell your mind that you are a human, and you can only do what you know at present to be the best for you.

If you fail because of your choice, it is ok. It is fine. It is not the end of the world. Realize that we are humans are we are meant to be wrong.

You are not a sinner. You are not sinning

Dear sister, you are not a sinner. Simply being overanxious is not a sin. You are not hated by Allah. Simply recognize that Allah knows your worries.

Please talk to Allah, do not simply seek forgiveness. It is not going to bring you peace. Why are you seeking forgiveness? What sin have you done?

You need to converse with Allah the same way you will converse with a psychologist or a family member if you have a problem. The only difference is that Allah already knows our problems, and will help us, whereas people are themselves in need of Allah’s help.


In this counseling video:


I want you to get ready to pray. Wear good clothes and keep your mind empty. Then I want you to get away to a quiet place in your home.

Lay out the prayer mat, and tell Allah about all your worries. He is in control. No one can help us. Pray to Him with your heart, not your mouth.

Your OCD thoughts are a result of your anxiety about the future and the harm

Dear sister, I urge you to read the story about Ibrahim AS. Do you know that the entire community planned against him and wanted to place him in fire?

Do you also know what he did? He was certain that Allah would save him. Without asking anyone for help, except Allah, Allah saved him when the entire community wanted to burn him in fire.

To relieve your anxiety, do what you enjoy

You need to take your mind to a place where you feel peace. Often, the world is overwhelming. The amount of negativity we see and hear, the problems we see, the issues people have around us, and the situations we imagine we can find ourselves in is not healthy for our brains. As a result, we need to find harmony is what will make us happy.

Personally, during exam time, I love to read. Although I have 5 courses to study for, I make the time to read on campus, in a nice setting, while drinking coffee. This recharges me, and after that, I go back to studying. Some people like to run. Others like to paint.

What do you like to do? Please, make your mind escape to activities it finds peace. No, I do not think television or movies bring peace. If anything, they distract the peace for me.

I strongly suggest that you find an activity that brings you happiness. When you are doing that, you should not be questioning anything.

May Allah help you,

***

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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Madiha Sadaf
Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.