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What Is the Ruling Regarding Visiting a Psychiatrist?

Answered by Al Habib Omar bin Hafidh

Question: What is the ruling regarding visiting a psychiatrist, because many consider those who visit a psychiatrist to be deranged or crazy? How does the Religion perceive the idea of a patient revealing his life secrets to the doctor?

Answer: [Assalam alaykum]

Seeking treatment from a psychiatrist is the same as seeking treatment from any other doctor. Islam does not interdict it unless it is associated with another matter that is interdicted, such as a female seeking direct treatment from a male doctor when a female doctor is available and vice versa, or any other interdicted actions. Visiting a psychiatrist or any other doctor is not inherently interdicted.

As for revealing secrets to a psychiatrist or a physician, it is allowed in so much as there is a need, and in the matters that the religion has permitted in this case. However, one should not reveal anything of his sins that are related to [the breaching of] honor, in particular, as those are among the matters that Allah likes to be concealed. He must not reveal this to the doctor or any other person. He should only mention matters related to his situation that help in treating him as necessary, to avoid harming others or violating the protective concealment between him and his Lord.

Translated by Lama AlKhathlan

Al Habib Omar bin Hafidh is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

Link to the original answer

ما حكم زيارة الطبيب النفسي لأن كثيرا من الناس يعتبر من يزور الطبيب النفسي معقدا أو مجنونا ؟ وما رأي الدين في أن المريض يبوح بأسرار حياته للدكتور؟

طلب العلاج عند طبيب نفسي كطلب العلاج عند غيره من الأطباء، كل ذلك لا يحرِّم منه الشرع شيئاً إلا ما اتصل به أمر آخر خارج عن مجرد العلاج؛ كأن يفضي الطبيب الرجل من المرأة الأجنبية مع وجود القائم بالطب من النساء أو العكس، أو غير ذلك من الأشياء التي هي في حد ذاتها محرمة.
أما التردد إلى أي طبيب نفسي أو غيره فلا شيء فيه في أصله،

وأما البوح بالأسرار للدكتور أو الطبيب فإنه جائز بمقدار الحاجة في الأمور التي أباحها الشرع في مثل هذه الحالة،

ولا يدخل في ذلك ذكره لشيء من معاصيه المتعلقة بالأعراض خاصةً فإن ذلك مما أحب الله تعالى ستره، لا يُفشى لدكتور ولا غيره، وإنما يذكر له ما يتعلق بالحال الذي هو فيه مما يساعده على معالجته بحسب الضرورة، مبتعداً عما يضر بالغير أو عما يكون هتكاً للستر بينه وبين الله تعالى.

Photo: David

Seeking Out A Culturally-Sensitive Counsellor, by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Working for the SeekersHub Question and Answer service constantly reminds Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil about the importance of looking after our emotional and mental health.

So many Muslims around the world are struggling with different forms of psychological imbalance. To name a few: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and so on. These inward fractures mirror the outward fractures we see in our troubled world today.
We live in stressful times, and many of our trials begin in our family homes. Many families lack the knowledge and training necessary to deal with these issues, hence, difficulties often escalate.
I feel like in almost every question I respond to, I encourage the distressed questioner and his/her loved ones to see a culturally-sensitive counsellor.
What does that actually look like? Does he/she have to be Muslim? Not necessarily. That would be ideal, but it’s not always possible.
Some aspects of a culturally-sensitive counsellor are:

Understanding

A counsellor who understands Muslims and what is important to us would be much more in tune with your needs. It’s exhausting to need to justify and explain your stance to an ignorant counsellor. Most people who are at counselling are already tired and stretched thin.

Open-minded

An open-minded counsellor is able to support you even if his/her values are different to yours. This applies to both Muslim and non-Muslim counsellors.

Empowering

Many people enter therapy believing that his/her counsellor will magically solve their problems. This does not solve the long-term issue of whatever caused the issue to begin with e.g. victim mentality, difficulty handling strong emotions etc.
The best kind of counsellor doesn’t tell you what to do. Rather, he/she will help you tap into your own values, and help you come to your own decision.

Good rapport

Trust your gut. If speaking to your counsellor makes you feel worse, then reflect on that. Is it because he/she is encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone? Or is it because she is being condescending? Not liking what a counsellor has to say can be a signal for growth, or it could be a sign of a mismatch. Be honest with yourself.

Empathy

The right counsellor feels for your pain, but does not do so from a place of sympathy and condescension. The right counsellor helps to hold you accountable for what you do, and believes in your ability to overcome hardship.

Finding the right counsellor

So now that we’ve covered some important qualities in a culturally-sensitive counsellor, how do we go about finding one? I wish I had an easy answer for that. The reality is that it’s a hit and miss process. Some counsellors will click with you, and others will not. Some people are able to find the right counsellor straight away, while others need to look for months, or even longer.
As with anything, start with asking Allah. Perform the Prayer of Need. When you do come across a potential counsellor, then perform the Prayer of Guidance. InshaAllah, Allah will make it clear to you.
To help you find the right counsellor for you, speak to Muslims who are working or volunteering in the mental health field. Ask your doctor. Do your research. Above all, place your trust in Allah, and in His promise that after every hardship, comes ease.
[cwa id=’cta’]

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