How Can I Convince My Mentally Ill Mother to Get Psychological Help?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I’m a 17-year-old boy who lives in Germany. My mother is mentally ill. She screams every day and cries and talks for hours. Even though she is still there for us to cook and clean, and I love her very much, she has great pain, and her acts are stressing out the whole family and making us slowly become like her. I have become aggressive recently and lost my patience. With every problem, I get mad and can’t control myself. My father is old and sick and cannot take this much longer. I try to convince her to get help before it leads our whole family to doom, but I don’t know if she will accept. How can I convince her?


Thank you for your question. I am very sorry that you are suffering at home and I pray that you find peace and healing for yourself and your family.

Mental Illness

Nothing takes a greater toll on a family than having a mentally unwell mother. You are very sharp in that you have already seen the effects on your own behavior and I commend you for that. I urge you to continually watch yourself and fight any imitation of her because that will be your natural tendency. It is a great test and I urge you to do what you can to get the support you need from outside. Do ask her to get therapy and don’t wait. If necessary, get others involved to ask her to get help. There will be a great reward for all of you for the pain and suffering that you endure, by Allah’s grace.

Try these tips: How to Encourage Your Parents to Go to Therapy.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” [Bukhari]


I ask you to say this supplication for your mother and the whole family:

”أَذْهِبِ الْبَاسَ رَبَّ النَّاسِ، اشْفِ وَأَنْتَ الشَّافِي لاَ شِفَاءَ إِلاَّ شِفَاؤُكَ، شِفَاءً لاَ يُغَادِرُ سَقَمًا.“

“Take away the disease, O the Lord of the people! Cure him as You are the One Who cures. There is no cure but Yours, a cure that leaves no disease.” [Bukhari]


  1. Communicate openly about the illness: Learn about your parent’s illness and know that you are not at fault;
  2. Get outside support: A strong family support system is crucial to growing up healthily, but sometimes your parents can’t be supportive. Seek out neighbors, friends, elders, relatives, or your local imam, for support or even from your local non-Muslim community center. Try to have a strong relationship with any healthy adult, like a teacher;
  3. Therapy– Individual therapy for you is important, even if your mother disagrees to participate herself;
  4. Self-Reinforcement can be a simple action like giving yourself small rewards; like treating yourself to a nice dinner or dessert or any reward that is important to you for being patient and kind at home;
  5. Build healthy coping skills- When you are at the end of your ropes, pray, read Quran, make dhikr, read about the difficult lives of the prophets and companions, and reflect. Supplicate to Allah to channel your pain and need;
  6. Hang out with your friends for relaxation and release. Choose wise, positive people of good character;
  7. Keep healthy interests outside of the home, like sports, exercise, socializing, volunteering, or working and studying.

Please see these links as well:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.