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Mental Health Challenges (Audio Counseling Live Session)

Dear Brother/Sisters,

Due to the counselor’s limited capacity of answering questions, here are the 8 questions that our counselor has provided an answer for. We apologize for not responding all the other questions.

If you have not received an answer below at this time, please submit your question to one of our upcoming Live Sessions. Thank you for your understanding.

Disclaimer:
The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general. They are 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.

Assalamualaykum, I’ve been noticing that I’m becoming arrogant or I already am, when it comes to practicing my religion. I don’t show off my deeds, I always try to not think I’m better than anyone that doesn’t practice as much as me but I reject any religious advice from my family, even when it sounds slightly logical sometimes. It’s only because I think they’re unreliable, like my sister doesn’t pray properly, doesn’t observe hijab, my mother isn’t as serious about hijab and there have been times when I had to correct them in their knowledge so I don’t listen to them unless I agree with them or if I’ve looked it up online beforehand. I fear that I could be arrogant in other areas as well, I’m proud of my physique, intelligence, sometimes looks, my strength because I have been told that I’m smart or healthy or beautiful etc by my family, but only with reason, like when I did good in an exam or played well in sports. This “satisfaction with myself” drives me, motivates me, I don’t know how I’d do anything without it. It gives me more strength, like “I got this, I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again”. It makes me feel better than others in whatever I’m doing and if I don’t believe I’m better, I lose my confidence and doubt myself. But I have this desire to be in the spotlight, especially when I’m with my friends or when I’m doing an activity I’m good at. When I see competition, I feel a need to overpower that person. If I don’t get that attention, I feel left out or overlooked. I have this desire to be boss when I’m with my friends and I know it’s wrong. If I really am arrogant, how can I fix this? It feels like it’s rooted in me, it keeps me alive. Please help me out and thanks so much for your answer.


ANSWER

Good evening,

I am a university student who has a very big problem. I find it hard to feel sometimes, I think I am emotionally numb. For example, I can’t relate much to other peoples emotions. I know when a situation is meant to generate a negative emotion in me, like pity or sadness, but I don’t feel anything. I have tried so hard to feel, I even pretend cause I know all the right responses but sometimes I find it even hard to pretend I care, I have been called cold. I realized there was something wrong with me for a while now, I even started researching on what could be wrong. Pls help me. What should I do? I don’t think I want to be as emotionally numb as I am. Cause I can feel just not for other people, and I don’t know what to do to fix that.


ANSWER

I have been suffering from whispers, that anything i do is a sign of death and this makes me scarced and sometimes i can not even sleep.and when i came across the 100 days sign of death sharred on goggle i started having doubt that may be what u felt after asr last week is a sign of death.when ignored it another thought will am disobey what Allahs say .am seriously confused on what to do or what to believe anymore.please are this shaytanic whisper


ANSWER

Assalam alikum. Today, insha allah I’m going to speak in length about something I’ve been avoiding for a very long time. The reason I’ve avoided talking about it was because counselling was not easily accessible for me; I’ve only been to a professional and trustworthy psychiatrist once (4 years ago). This topic is a very important part of my life, and I will be more than grateful if you would respond to it.

Its a bit long since I’m trying to cram many years of confusion & trauma as accurately as possible.

Also, thank you & Jazak Allahu Khairan for providing this service free of charge as many people like me can’t afford paid counseling.

My real struggle began in 2012, when I was 12 years old in 5th grade. Even before that, I always knew that there was some sadness and emptiness that shrouded my heart- something beyond words. Growing up, Allah had always blessed me with the eagerness to learn and follow islam. Alhamdullilah I always tried my best to achieve nearness to Allah.

However, in my family the only person who was religious was my mother, but when I was small I felt a sense of detachment from her. This wasn’t her fault & I loved her dearly all my life. But now, I believe she must have been depressed too, so she couldn’t see how I felt inside nor did I want to burden her with my problems on top of hers.

I grew up watching my dad & my brother very neglectful of religion. My dad has been abusive and he still is and in some ways I think my brother followed suit & eventually I felt detached from my entire family altogether.

I have only 1 sibling- my older brother and at one point I felt like an only child- when I told my mother about my brother not talking to me and avoiding me, she brushed it off and normalised it and even though I was initially averse to it I came to accept it as my reality. I felt like a stranger in my own home.

The same year (5th grade) I was not behaving like myself. I became more & more reclusive, I was bullied in school, my academic life was fluctuating so I changed schools after completion of that academic year. I was so reluctant to share my problems, ashamed of myself & the domestic violence at home was slowly taking its toll on me. When people would ask me what’s wrong I would simply avoid it and kept quiet.

I was afraid & losing trust in people, esp my own family who could hardly see I was suffering.

I know I  shouldn’t mention my sins, but this is something that bothers me till today.
I can’t help but wonder how sinful I must be to be punished for every mistake I make. Moreover, whenever people tried to offer advice or solutions I felt like it came from place of distrust and hate towards me instead of a place of genuine care & mercy.

Exactly that year, I became incredibly harsh and  behaved  badly towards my mother. I was displacing my emotions on her which I know now, is wrong. She used to cry at night & tell me how much I  upset her but my strange behaviour continued. I was still praying salah but I was less consistent & sometimes all I could think about was prayer and I got obsessed with it thinking to myself that I’d rather stay on the prayer mat all day than anything else. Life was filled with mood swings.

I would have this repetitive behaviour of harshness towards my mother & later regret and apologize to her & this cycle would repeat itself. This is how the year went by. & I can’t remember exactly when I stopped behaving like that.

When I changed schools, Wallahi,  I was happier & I felt lighter from the change in environment. That was the peak of my academic life. My teachers loved me and my classmates were amazed by me. Allah had blessed that year with continual achievements in my school life.

However this didn’t last long. As soon as that academic year ended I was back to my depression cycle again. My family and the people around me said many things- it was due to evil eyes, black magic, sins of my past,etc. I knew that it was my destiny & that Allah tests us whenever & however he likes.

The thing that distressed me the most and pricked my conscience was my past sins regarding my harshness towards my mother. I knew deep down I was sinful but & had committed a major sin but at the same time was overwhelmed as I didn’t know if there was any way to repent to Allah- I felt trapped, I tried to find out; since I didn’t have access to any islamic books, I searched for answers online but sadly all the information at the time said that disobedience to parents is a major sin that is not easily forgiven and that I would have to shed tons of blood, swear and tears to earn this forgiveness. Also that it wasn’t enough to ask allah to forgive me but to find a way to seek forgiveness from the ones I wronged.

Alhamdullilah now my relationship with my mother has improved. I found this very challenging but I did try.  I communicate with her more freely. I’ve also repented for my past sins. I was still a young teenager when all this was happening . & now that I’m in my 20s I still feel traumatised by my past & I believe I may have be suffering from complex PTSD in the present day.

7th grade, was the start of a long nightmare that I felt was never ending. Not only did my wakeful life feel like a nightmare but I was having scary nightmares in my sleep as well and insomnia. The insomnia started after I returned from summer vacation and couldn’t sleep due to time zone differences and jet lag.

When I went to school I had missed a few weeks of classes and was seated right at the very end corner of the class. This affected my academic performance as I was shorter than the other girls who sat in front, I couldn’t see the board was finding it hard to socialise with friends, etc. I really thought my parents would help alleviate this problem but when they complained to my school, it made matters worse, things escalated & before i knew it, all the teachers and students in my class began to hate me. I was overwhelmed, lonely, depressed & felt rejected, embarrassed & empty inside. I dragged through the school year and every step I took in that school felt like I was walking on fire. This was a time when I was forced to visit a psychiatrist who determined that I had bipolar disorder/depression, so I was prescribed antidepressants which made me feel sick, fatigued and my mind felt blurry. I didn’t know what medicine I was taking or what was actually going on with me. All I knew was my parents wanted me to take those pills and I obeyed blindly. I didn’t let them know it wasn’t helping & was making me feel sicker.

By this time, everyone who knew me in school became and acted like my worst enemies and I spent yet another year walking on fire.

Not much happened in 8th grade but when I was in 9th grade (15 years old) I returned from a summer vacation from my homecountry & something felt very very different and wrong. My mother suddenly became a mournful woman staring outside the windows like someone died ( which I think was a result of the ongoing abuse with my father and missing relatives back home). I could hardly speak to her she was so distant and unresponsive that it hurt.

I felt greatly neglected by my whole family. Once again, I felt like the world was against me and everything was stacked against my favour.


On my first day of 9th grade, I had unexplained hallucinations and & feelings of near death experience (NDE). I won’t explain that in too much detail except that it felt like I woke up from death, saw things that others didn’t see, felt it was real and no one could give me any explanation.

That year, Not only did I fail all my exams one after the other but I was behaving out of character again and had two instances that shattered me internally filling me with immense guikt emabrasment and self- hate.

I ran away from home & school. I know I wasn’t in my right mind, that I needed a break and that it’s not my true personality. I’m usually a thoughtful, quiet and caring girl but as you can see all these experiences of trauma and abuse were adding up and taking its toll on me. The days went by and the hatred  I experienced from everyone around me was rapidly increasing.  I felt abused by my classmates and my teachers. I felt like I was at fault all the time & every step that I took was a mistake. I felt like my purpose in life was deteriorating and life was being sucked out of me with every breath I took.

I attempted to cut myself once and constantly thought of and attempted to commit suicide. My attempts weren’t very dramatic and no one knew about it. It felt like wherever I went, hell was waiting ready to ambush me.

I even began to love someone at school who was being abusive toward me & I believed that he had the right to mistreat me & it took a very long time for me to realise that I wasn’t the one who was wrong.

Many years went by, my battle with depression was still weighing on me but there’s so much that happened that it’s hard to explain in detail. Ever since I started taking those antidepressants I have frequent sleep issues especially sleep paralysis that affects my quality of sleep. One of times of day I love most is after paying isha,right before bed I try to pray extra nafl prayers and sometimes pray tahajjud. I’ve struggled with Fajr but alhamdulillah I’m making progress.

Now I’m in a better state of mind even though I might have PTSD, I feel more in control and strong enough to overcome this. Your support and advice is greatly appreciated. JAZAK ALLAHU KHAIRAN. Thank you for taking the time and effort of reading through this long page.


ANSWER

Please, check these sites for additional information:

Antidepressants in bipolar depression: an enduring controversy

Can Antidepressants Cause Problems for Bipolar Patients?

My father is abusing me from a very long time please Advise me or help me to get outta this Situation.


ANSWER

Please, check this site for additional information:

Helpline numbers in India

Do you have any suggestions about recovery for drug addiction that is using Islamic methods? All the programs around here are based on Christianity and I know my husband will have a problem with that, it may not work because of this Thanks in advance.


ANSWER

Please, check this site for additional information:

Muslim Attitudes On Drug And Alcohol Abuse And Rehab

I wrote seven years ago about my first child and his genetic defect. Unfortunately, my son was born with a genetic defect. I am greatful to Allah that his condition is related to his lungs mainly and digestive system. He takes a lot of medication and physiotherapy. On a positive note, he goes to school, loves making friends, and absolutely dearest to me. Allah also gifted me with two more kids and no defect there. It has been more than a Miracle.
I do struggle emotionally and make sure that he doesn’t catch any viruses as it can have devastating impact. The medication for his condition has evolved and kids born today expected to live almost normal life. Hence quality of life has improved. My spirtual life has evolved too where my understanding of Allah has improved and I have started to see him behind every little progress I make.

My main concern is the fear of unknown for him. What he touched, ate, any bugs, too many people around him? Etc. I don’t know how to cope with this. Thankfully he is hardly sick but my fear of his utmost protection remains. Allah has off course helped my mental health by keeping him healthy but I fear. Fear about things that may not happen to him or exist. He’s been hospitalised and I was there for him. We have extremely close bond and So with other kids.i have put my issues behind of me and have other priorities in life now. I understand what happened to me. That was from Allah and how he helped me overcome those issues was indeed his blessing.

I greatly appreciate your counselling service and my prayers are with you. My journey to self discovery through God remains and is not easy. But at the same time, it’s interesting and it’s challenging. Many thanks


ANSWER

I am 27 years old muslim man , Alhamdulillah Allah has saved me from zina , now i want to get married as i have strong desires , but i want a girl who has also abstained from haram acts as i can’t wrap my head around being with someone who hasn’t been chaste like me , it creates pictures in my mind whenever i think of it , but i also can’t ask someone about their past as it is prohibited , what should i do ?I know being pious and religion oriented should be the criteria for finding a potential spouse buti am really worried about this .Sorry for sounding insecure , i don’t judge anyone about their past , but this really bothers me. Especially when i try to seek a more educated women in bigger cities i fear it more , with zina being so widespread now a days , i don’t know how i get over this insecurity.It’s not about being a virgin really , it’s just that it creates some pictures that how the other person has lived her life ? If she did zina , did she repented? How many relationships she had ?As a man i have seen men talking about how they had sex with any women they liked and broke their heart , i understand some women falls into this sin out of ignorance and naivety , but is it really my fault if i don’t want someone like that.When i think of these things , i fear marriage.I am really anxious please help me.


ANSWER

Monday, May. 23, 2022 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

Session is over.
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