Experiencing Ramadan with mental illness

For many, Ramadan can be a chance to grow spiritually and spend time with loved ones but for those who struggle with their mental health, it can be isolating.

The Centre for Muslim Wellbeing (CMW) has been raising awareness about mental health struggles through its social media platforms.

In order to help Muslims, including many Muslim mums who suffer in silence, they shared a story posted by a UK Muslim organisation called Young Minds, where a Muslim woman opened up about her mental health struggles during Ramadan anonymously.

CMW executive officer Ayman Islam said Ramadan could exacerbate symptoms of mental health issues for some people.

“Muslims get less sleep during the holy month due to late-night prayers and pre-dawn meals, and because ingesting anything is prohibited during the fast, those who take medications often forgo their prescriptions, which can have serious side effects,” Mr Islam said.

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These issues can also be experienced by struggling working mothers.

For these women, Mr Islam said it was important to remember that their mental health is not a reflection of their faith.

As sickness can be an exemption from fasting religiously, mental illness can also be seen as just as valid a reason not to fast, he said.

“Prioritise sleep and healthy foods and reach out to family, friends or someone that you trust if you are facing a difficult time,” Mr Islam said.

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