I Suffer Under Severe Anxiety. What Can I Do to Stay Mentally Well?
Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
I wanted to ask for some serious guidance, as I can’t find advice that helps anywhere. I have been experiencing extreme anxiety and fear for the future and of the past. My thoughts are extremely clouded by depressive thoughts and I can’t focus on anything. My iman is being affected and unfortunately. I have been feeling suicidal. I would NEVER end my life, but I am running out of ways to keep mentally well. I try to read duās, therapy didn’t help. What else could I do to stay mentally well?
Dear sister, I pray Allah removes these burdens from you and grants you a life of ease and wellbeing.
Allah is With You
Before anything, realize that you are a believer: someone who Allah has created and loved enough to grant them with the key to unending happiness and joy in the Akhira. Allah Himself told us in the Quran, “Allah is the Allah of the believers.“ [Quran, 2:256]
He sees you, your pain, and your struggles. It may be hard, but – for the Believer – pain always brings positives. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Trials can stick to believing men and women in themselves, their children, and their property until they meet Allah Most High without a single sin against them.“ [Tirmidhi]
Perhaps you are such a person…
Realize that your symptoms are not faith-based. However, understanding the wisdom of the difficulties that we are tested with can help a great deal in overcoming the challenges we face.
Speak To a Mental Health Professional
Contact your doctor and ask to be referred to a mental health professional. They are trained to help people in your situation. Results are usually found in their expected places.
Do what they advise to take the edge of the symptoms. You may have a long road to healing ahead of you. Ask Allah for help, and try to remain steadfast on it. May Allah make it easy for you.
One of the means of healing from difficulties such as this is to have connections with people. It might seem very difficult at present, but you should do your best to reach out to people in your life.
Speak to your friends, family, or any other caring person with who you feel safe. Tell them what you are going through and ask for their help and support. If they want to inform others allow this to happen, as this makes it easier for you to get the support you need.
Issues like yours don’t appear in a vacuum, so it is important to find people with who you are safe and not those who make your issues worse. Resist the urge to not reach out, and try to get through the day-to-day yourself. Sometimes, even a conversation with someone can help a great deal.
I don’t know why the therapy you tried did not help. Sometimes, people benefit from one type of therapy more than others. It could take a while to heal from these issues. Be prepared for that. What takes years to develop won’t disappear overnight. This is where your steadfastness will be rewarded.
I’d advise looking into other forms of it after discussing it with a recognized mental health professional. Perhaps something better suited to you will come your way. A few common approaches are discussed in this seminar.
May Allah grant you ease and wellbeing.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.