Take care of Your Mental Health! (Counseling Session)

Salaam `Alaikum dears brothers and sisters,

We would like to thank you for joining us in this Counseling Session.

We would like also to thank our counselor, sister Aisha for answering the questions.

Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 | 13:00 - 14:30 Makkah | 10:00 - 11:30 GMT

Session is over.



13 - About Islam

Salam Aleikom.

I feel like I am trapped in this life/world. Daily life feels a burden and punishment. It feels like it is so difficult to live as this life does not give us any benefit and sometimes feel that death is a good news/ news of freedom out of this world. But we can’t choose to die. Not only that, I have no interest in daily activities like engaging with people. But as I am a mother, wife, daughter and sister and much more. I have to live and carry on even I am not happy to do so. Sometimes people get annoyed and upset because of this attitude of mine.

Nothing pleases me. I want to be alone and do not want to talk much. I do not even want to go to work but I have to for my kids and to survive. Even I am happy for my husband to have another wife and carry on with his life. I am ok to look after my kids and educate them but do not like fun, going to people and especially parties. But I am kind of forced. Last summer I planned my holiday in a way that I avoided a wedding party, to do so I left my kids alone with their dad for 5 days and came back home making an excuse that I did not have holidays anymore but I can’t do that too often and coming summer two weddings of my first cousins coming.

To understand this, can u advise me what to do, please?

 

As salamu alaikum sister,

Shokran for writing to our live session. Sister,  I am so sorry to hear about the things you are going through and how is it has affected your life, as well as your view concerning yourself. As you discussed, you feel like you are trapped in this situation in life. You describe your daily living as feeling like a burden and a punishment. You stated that you have no interest in daily activities, engaging with other people, or being social.

Feeling Life is a Burden

Sister, from what you described, it sounds like you may be depressed. I cannot diagnose you only a therapist in your area who assesses you can diagnose you, however, what you have described, it sounds like it might be depression. Loss of interest in social activities, friends/family, and fun times are often seen in those who are depressed. I am wondering how long you have felt this way and if you have other symptoms such as fears, feeling anxious, or physical symptoms.

Possible Depression/Postpartum

You stated that you have children, so I am wondering how long ago you give birth to your last child. I am wondering if you could possibly have postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is quite common and the symptoms are much as you described.  Sister, I am not sure what could have brought on these feelings, however, I do kindly suggest insha’Allah that you do go see a counselor and get assessed. If it is depression, it can be treated. The sooner you go, the sooner you will feel better sister.

Self Reflection

Sister, I encourage you to reflect on the way you are feeling. Keeping a daily journal is often a good start. You may want to begin by identifying what are the emotions you are feeling. Is it emptiness, fear, numbness, sadness, and so forth. Once you begin to understand what emotions you are feeling you can then ask yourself why you are feeling a particular emotion. Do you have a strong supportive loving family? Do you feel valued? Do you feel good about yourself and have healthy self-esteem? How long have you felt this way? Can you pinpoint an event or time when you started feeling this way? When was the last time you felt ’alive” and felt joy? These questions can be an important sister as they can give you some insight as to why you may feel the way you do. While it may take some time and work to sift through your emotions and where they are coming from, it is best done with a counselor who can help guide you.

First Steps

Sister, if you would like to change your condition, you need to take the first step insha’Allah and actually go for an assessment. I encourage you insha’Allah to contact your family doctor or if you know of a therapist or a mental health community center near you, call them. Please do make an appointment as soon as possible. The sooner you address this feeling sister, the sooner you will be able to resolve them and feel good again Insha’Allah you have already started this process by reaching out to us. That is a very positive and good sign as it illustrates that you have the desire to change your circumstances. Often times when one is depressed it is hard to make the first move towards diagnosis and healing. However, every small step counts. There’s nothing worse than feeling that daily life is a burden. It sounds like you have a lot of things in your life that can bring you joy. Oftentimes if one is depressed, these feelings of joy, hope, and happiness are gone. Often people don’t even know if they are depressed or not as they can feel ’numb” to external situations.

Allah wants you to be Happy

Sister, Allah wants you to be happy. Allah did not create you to live a life of burden, punishment, and sadness. Please do seek out counseling sister to address possible depression. It is very treatable. Please do be proud of yourself for taking the first step and reaching out to AboutIslam. This is a good supportive start towards making the decision to begin your healing journey. May Allah bless you and make it easy for you. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

We wish you the best.




12 - About Islam

Salam Alaikum,

I’ve been affected by the whispers of Shaitan I have these horrible thoughts that Allah isn’t real and the day of judgment won’t happen. These thoughts occur every single time and I’ve tried reading Quran I do pray 5 times a day my heart tells me to pray and read Quran, but my mind keeps being filled with these bad thoughts. I seek refuge from Allah  from these bad thoughts but they don’t go away they always come back

I haven’t abandoned my salah nor the Quran and I don’t know what to do anymore. I make dua every single day for Allah to increase me in the knowledge of Islam and to make these thoughts go away. But every time I think of Allah these thoughts occur please help my heart haven’t been affected by these whispers but I’m scared it will and I’ll be among those who enter the hellfire.

 

As salamu Alaikum brother,

Shokran for writing to our live session with your most important concerns. As I understand your situation, you feel that you have been affected by The Whispers of the shaitan. You state that you have horrible thoughts about Allah not being real and that the day of judgment won’t happen. You stated these thoughts happen when you try to read the Qur’an.

A Righteous Muslim

Brother, you stayed that you do pray your five daily prayers, you read Qur’an, and you pray to Allah for relief from these thoughts. However, despite your high iman as well as your praying for relief, these thoughts still occur. Brother, it is obvious that you love Allah very much and that you are a pious Muslim with good intentions. I can imagine what you are going through is very scary.

Intrusive Thoughts-Anxiety Spectrum or Whisperings

What you may be experiencing could be related to anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or some other mental health issue that deals with intrusive thoughts. I cannot diagnose you only a therapist in your area who assesses you can do that, however it does sound like you may be suffering from some form of anxiety as your thoughts are intrusive. Yes, it is possible it may be the whisperings of shaitan, but most of the time reoccurring, unstoppable thoughts are related to a mental health issue. The only way to determine this is to get an assessment by a counselor. Many people experience intrusive thoughts due to OCD which is a disorder often relating to anxiety.  It is treatable.

Counseling

Brother, I kindly suggest that you do seek counseling in your area for this. There is no need to suffer when there are treatments available. The counselor will be able to assess you and determine if you do indeed have a mental health disorder that would cause this. If you do suffer from OCD, this is a very common situation with many people worldwide. Intrusive thoughts can be part of OCD and OCD is part of the anxiety spectrum. Yes, it can be scary, and oftentimes people feel they cannot stop the thoughts. However, it is a rather common condition that can be treated with counseling and sometimes medication.

Conclusion

I understand your fear of these Whispers or thought intrusions. Brother, please do be comforted by the fact that Allah loves you very much and He understands your situation, and He knows your heart. Allah is most merciful. Allah created you, He knows your struggles and your test and trials. Allah also provides help for us in times of need. Along with prayers and other spiritual acts of worship which aid us in times of distress, Allah created human beings with compassion and desire to become doctors, counselors, nurses, teachers and other helpers in life. When we are experiencing issues such as yours, we are to seek out the help that is available. Brother, please do inform your family and doctor about what you are experiencing and request a referral to a counselor. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you will begin to feel better. We wish you the best.


N



11 - About Islam

Assalamu Alaikum,

I have many problems if you suggest me anything it will be well for me.

I have not had success in my whole life. I do not pray properly and do not even call Allah in the right way. It is also seen that I used to pray for 5/7 days and I can not hold it.

I don’t keep my Emaan and believe and faith in myself. I don’t change myself day by day I join and keep busy with haram things.

I can bear anything and don’t keep patience for anything. Suddenly my mood changes and don’t take over anything.

I am not married. I want to change my life. Please, it will be beneficial for me if you give me a suggestion to change my life. I will be happy for your kindness.

 

 

As salamu alaikum sister,

Shokran for writing to our live session. I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing many problems. In different points in our lives sister, we all feel this way. I understand that you do not feel successful in life and that you are having a hard time keeping awy from haram things. You also desire to keep your prayers but it is difficult. You state that you lose patience for things and experience mood changes. You desire to change.

 

Problems Piling Up

Oftentimes things can feel really complicated and get overwhelming. We may feel the problems are piling up and we can no longer handle them.

 

Identification of what is Wrong

An important aspect of your question is that you have identified the things that are wrong in your life. This is the first step! Some people do not even know what the problems or issues are, they just have a general feeling that things in life are not good. You however, have insight and have identified the issues that need to be addressed.  You also desrire change. This is a good start.

 

Having Faith and Confidence in Oneself

You stated that you do not pray properly, nor in the right way. You stated that you can pray five times a day but you cannot sustain it for over a week.  You find it difficult to be consistent. You are concerned because you don’t have a strong Iman, nor a belief in yourself. That is a very important point. Sister, if you don’t have faith in yourself or believe in your abilities, how can you accomplish what you desire to? Change often involves believing that you are worthy and capable of change.

 

Increasing Self Confidence

Insha’Allah, the first steps would be to try to identify the positive traits and qualities that you do have and expand upon them. This may include starting a journal or writing a list of your strengths so you can read them everyday and increase your self-confidence, and to see your abilities. For instance, if you have a list and it includes such attributes as getting to school on time, you could transfer that quality of being timely with your prayers. You may wish to make a little chart and check off each prayer that you keep on time. At the end of two week you may wish to reward yourself for doing so. While the reward of prayer is our blessing to be able to pray to Allah in the first place, in situations such as this when we are trying to build up habits and self confidence, little rewards can often increase a goal we are trying to reach. Once you have completed four full weeks of prayer, you may havce developed the habit and desire to pray. It is said that when one does something consistently, it becomes a habit. This usually takes about 30 days.

 

Ending Haram Behaviors

While building up your prayer time sister, please do cut off your haram behaviors too. It may be that the reason you have difficulty sustaining prayers is because you feel guilty. It is difficult to engage in haram behaviors on a regular basis and remain close to Allah. When one knows they are sinning, guilt may keep them from seeking Allah’s pleasure and blessings. Please do make up your mind to change your life for what it is that you seek-Allah’s favor. Repent to Allah and make duaa that Allah helps you through your journey of restructing your life in a way that is pleasing to Him and benefical to you. Allah knows best.

 

Mental Health Issues versus Choices

Sister, you also discussed that because you don’t have patience, you engage in haram things. Again, this is something that you need to be aware of and make a conscious decision about whether or not you will engage in these things. If these are conscious choices you are making, you can change them. It will depend on how badly you seek change. If these are behaviors you cannot stop because of mood changes, then I kindly advise that you seek counseling in your area. There are certain disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar illness, and so on that can impede one’s ability to make good choices. If you feel you mayt be struggling with a mental health issue, please do seek out counseling.

 

Marriage

You also talked about wanting to change your life and in the same reflection, you stated that your not being married. I am not sure if you were indicating that you wanted to be married, or were just stating you were not married.  Sister, if you meant that you do wish to marry,  I would kindly suggest insha’Allah that you engage a family member in your search for a spouse.

 

Healing and Setting things Right before Seeking a Spouse

Insha’Allah sister, it would be best to address the issues that you would like to change before you seek marriage. As you would like a husband that follows Islam, is kind, keeps his prayers and will be a good husband, a future husband will seek the same in you. Therefore it will be important that you do get back on track as far as keeping your prayers, getting closer to Allah, and building up self-esteem and faith in yourself.

 

 

Islamic Supports

Insha’Allah, do attend the Masjid as much as possible for prayers. This helps build good habits, draws us closer to Allah, and increases our iman. I would also kindly suggest insha’Allah, that  you take Islamic classes in your area to increase your knowledge base, strengthen your resolve and increase and sustain inspiration. Additionally, as you want to possibly change your life in regards to getting married, you may want to look into pre-marital classes as well.  Many times the local Masjid or Islamic centers offer premarital classes. This helps you to prepare for married life. They’re very fun and engaging classes and most individuals learn a lot.

 

Conclusion

Sister, insha’Allah if you want to change your life you can. The choice is yours. I understand that you feel that your mood changes however if it is something within your control, by implementing conscious habits and efforts towards change, then you should be able to obtain what you would like. If you feel that there are other things going on such as depression or anxiety that is getting in the way, please do seek out counseling to resolve the issue. We wish you the best.