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Living with Mental Health as a Muslimah

In the name of Allah the lot merciful the most giving.

In 2017, my mental health declined shortly after suffering a miscarriage, leading to a suicide attempt. During this difficult time, I was also faced with divorce due to a serious of events which took place around my miscarriage. Shortly after this event I started to do much better again, I had returned home to my flat within East London and was awaiting some therapy on the NHS. Sadly, during this time, I started to feel very poorly again with my mental health. So, I took myself to A&E. Whilst waiting to be seen by a psychiatrist I had a full-blown episode of psychosis which then lead to myself being placed under a section. I spent 8 weeks in hospital, and I have to say my close companions were very helpful in brining me clothing and food etc…

Whilst I was hold under a section, I was seeking some type of Muslim support for individuals with mental health difficulties and whilst I browsed through Instagram, I sadly didn’t find anything. I found that quite disheartening because when I was speaking to the psychiatrists and the care coordinators within the hospital I felt as if I couldn’t express myself to them fully regarding how I felt based on how I lived my life as a practising Muslim woman.

Due to not finding any resources at that time of year in regard to my illness as I am living with an illness known as schizoaffective disorder I decided to blog and share my story of being a practising Muslim woman who has a mental health difficulty and was being held under a section.

In regard to my illness, I feel that there are mixed opinions based on the type of person that I am. It’s sad to admit it but for a very long time I had felt embarrassed by my illness based on the opinions of how those within the Muslim community viewed me. It had made me feel worthless, disposed of and that no good could of ever came from me. I really did find myself having a massive depressive period of just sitting in an armchair staring at a television yet mentally being so distant from the show being played at the time!

Having said the above I have seen that since 2017 - 2022 the Muslim community and the general public are speaking up more in regard to mental health and how it affects a person, how you can continue to live a normal and happy life despite this illness which is a test from Allah. I believe that more does need to be done especially getting away from this ignorance of, ‘You’re depressed because your Emaan is low’. Words which any individual with a mental health illness dislikes to hear. But I do feel whilst there still may be an ignorance in our community when it comes to mental health, the stigma is slowly slowly fading away.

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