Success Stories: Overcoming mental health struggles

By Iman

Our mental health is something that is precious to all of us. But what happens when depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions occur? How can we continue to live, to thrive and survive, when at times you struggle to even get out of bed?

Believe that Allah, Al Raheem, the Most Merciful, knows your struggle and will reward you for the difficulties that you are enduring. Allah expiates sins, even that of a thorn pricking you, so imagine the recompense of the mental struggle you are undergoing.

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Nothing afflicts a Muslim of hardship, nor illness, nor anxiety, nor sorrow, nor harm, nor distress, nor even the pricking of a thorn, but that Allah will expiate his sins by it.”

Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim

Remember to have mercy and compassion for yourself, in the same way that we would have for friends and loved ones. Be easy upon yourself. The depression will pass, it will surely go. Allah tests those that he loves the most.

Here are 10 suggestions that may help when in the midst of depression and anxiety.

1. Salah. Let’s try our utmost to pray our five daily prayers, so that we meet our obligation to Allah. Salah is a spiritual oxygen, not only does it make one feel better, but in sujood you are the nearest you can be, to Allah. Ask Allah, Al Wadood, the Most Loving to ease the affliction; ask for all that you wish. Even if you feel tired, even if you feel that you can’t do it, know that Allah hears even the most silent of whispers.

2.  Duaa: Make plenty of dua to Allah, raise your hands and pour out your heart to the Creator, beg Him to ease this affliction.

3. Turn to the Qur’an. The Quran is a miracle and healing for all of mankind. Reciting and listening to the Quran, as well as reading its translation is soothing and a cure for ailments of the heart and body. Even if you feel low and lack energy, try listening to the Quran and let the words of Allah comfort you.

We send down the Quran as a healing and mercy for the believers, but it only increases the wrongdoers in loss (Quran, 17:82).

4. Leave the past in the past. Oftentimes we may focus on the past, regretting things that we have done and wishing something had been done differently. The past can’t be changed, but we can focus on the present and what we can do now. Conversely, worrying about the future is also not wise and can increase feelings of anxiety and depression.

5. Focus on the good. Congratulating ourselves on the small achievements that we have made, such as our daily prayers, making duaa ( yes, asking Allah is an act of worship in itself!), getting out of bed, making a meal and having a shower are things that we can celebrate and feel good about.

6. Give yourself a treat: how about making a nice hot chocolate, chai or coffee or having a bubble bath? Do it, just because -it’s so important to treat ourselves during these times – it doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, but showing ourselves love and compassion and treating ourselves nicely can help us to process where we are at, so we can move forward.

7. Journal your heart out. Journaling can help with anxiety and depression and is also useful in tracking your moods and feelings. Adult colouring is also soothing and can aid relaxation.

8. Get out and about. It can be so tempting to stay indoors when feeling depressed and anxious. However, staying indoors all the time is not ideal. I know it can be hard to leave the house, but getting out of the house even for a few minutes will help. Being outside in nature and in the fresh air helps with mental health conditions. Walking outside and pondering the creation of Allah works wonders – the green grass, the blue skies and the diversity in creation, helps us to feel and reconnect with the wonder of Allah’s creation and our place as a chosen individual within it.

9. Reach out. You have support available to you. Look at all the connections you already have that may be able to support you, and know that at Solace we are always here to help. Do not hesitate to reach out to us.

If you find that your symptoms are lasting for weeks, do seek medical intervention from your GP or other mental health professional.

*Lisa was struggling with her mental health due to past trauma. She felt lonely and was low in eeman. She turned to Solace for help:

“When I initially contacted Solace, I didn’t have much expectation to the level of support I would receive from them as I haven’t had much luck in the past with other charities/ Agencies. And I was pretty hurt and lost at the start of my support and my self-esteem was particularly very low.

The women there were very understanding and non-judgemental towards my circumstances which made me feel comfortable to open up in a safe environment where I felt respected and understood.

Because the support was so great I have walked away with confidence and peace within the journey I am currently on, and they helped me to really understand my trauma from a compassionate and empathetic place and for that I am so grateful to the amazing women at Solace and would definitely use them again in the future. Looking at my life now compared to the start of my support with Solace, I am in a much better place and have the confidence within myself to make positive changes in my life. I can’t thank Solace enough for all the support that they have given me.”

10. Be kind to yourself. Remember not to be hard on yourself or blame yourself for how you feel. It is not true that sadness and depression mean a lack of eeman. It is not true that you brought things upon yourself, it is not true that you have no help.

May Allah, Ar- Raheem, the Most Merciful alleviate all those going through mental health struggles.

*Not her real name

About the author:

Iman was born and raised in London. She is a former teacher who taught English as a Foreign Language in Saudi Arabia for almost a decade. Iman loves reading, writing, travelling and learning about other cultures.

Many revert women struggle on their own after embracing Islam.

Your contributions keep them supported, and that support keeps them going.

Stay connected

Join our mailing list for tailored updates and receive what matters most to you.

Prefer mobile alerts? Opt for our WhatsApp or Telegram broadcasts for updates on the go.

For more frequent updates, connect with Solace across various social media platforms. You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.

Subscribe to the mailing list

I want to receive updates about:
* indicates required