As a Muslim with mental health problems I am positive about my illness because the Quran tells us “Allah does not burden an individual with more than he can bear” (Quran). Although I have gone through dark and desperate times my faith has helped me to be positive and patient.
In Islam, the two sources of law are the Quran and the Hadith. Muslims believe the Quran to be the verbatim word of God and the Hadith are the words and actions of Prophet Muhammad (s).
I am also optimistic because Prophet Muhammad (S) told us that “There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its remedy.” (Hadith )
Taking anti-psychotic medication
The teachings of Islam guide Muslims in every walk of life, from conducting business or looking after parents to educating children. It also teaches us to seek medical help when we fall ill, whether it is a physical illness or in my case a mental one.
I have been on many different medications for my mental health problems such as Olanzapine, Risperidone and Haloperidol. Then I was placed on the most effective and powerful anti-psychotic, Clozapine, which I have taken for a decade. Clozapine is used to treat schizophrenia after other treatments have failed.
I believe that Clozapine, regardless of its many side effects, such as weight gain and salivation, has helped me to control my mental illness. I view Clozapine as the cure to my disease as mentioned in the earlier quote. When I first started taking tablets after I was sectioned, I was ambivalent to taking pills but now accept the need for medication. If I had a physical illness I would take medication for it so the same applies for a mental illness.
“I blame the mental health system for becoming Diabetic..”
I do wish that when I started taking anti psychotic medication that I would have been notified of side effects such as weight gain and the need for exercise, so I would have been more active and wouldn’t have become overweight.
I have grown used to Clozapine, but after taking it at night I fall asleep within half an hour even if I want to stay awake. I also have monthly blood tests.
Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) informed us that “No fatigue, disease, sorrow, sadness, hurt, or 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.” (Hadith)
My faith has anchored me and continues to be a source of comfort for me, I believe that God is Kind and Merciful and knows about the hardships I am going through and one day, soon, he will have mercy on me and remove my affliction.
If my recommendations are heard I would urge nursing staff and doctors to encourage patients to exercise even if it is doing 10 press-ups a day or walk for 15 minutes regularly. Patients should also be urged to eat healthily. Due to medication, inactivity and takeaway food I became overweight and finally developed diabetes.
I blame the mental health system for becoming Diabetic because I was not warned of the potential weight gain when I was started on anti-psychotic medication. I believe that patients should be strongly encouraged to exercise.
Islam teaches that after every hardship, there is ease.
Has faith helped you? How? Please share.