I came across a tragic story of a young man who committed suicide as he convinced himself that he was not a true servant of God. He was well known for his piety and devotion in religious obligations. But such dark whispers led him to believe that Allah was still displeased with him. Whether or not he knew that suicide is a grave sin, perhaps he thought that he would never reach God's satisfaction either way.
I was baffled and lost with words. Someone who had such high faith and yet found it hard to battle the demons that propelled him to his downfall. But only He knew precisely what he was going through; it may have been his family, or the community's imagery of Islam. He most likely was suffering from depression or anxiety. Part of me wishes to have helped him drive away his misery as we both share similar grievances. May Allah forgive and have mercy upon him.
It is quite scary to even imagine the consequences of any mental illness and where it could lead to. For something as perplexing as this man's story I have never read that OCD could be this severe. Perhaps he had a secret, where he did not choose to end his life on the basis of these thoughts that are linked to the disorder. It may have been something else that was giving him torment.
Guilt is an intolerable feeling second to heartbreak. Islamically it is meant to restrain us from sinning and if it were to cease from mankind, we would all turn into vicious and evil beings. However, in some cases guilt can become so vulnerable that it can no longer be tolerated. When this happens individuals may develop a strong fear towards guilt which is termed as "guilt sensitivity" and is shown to be one of the main symptoms of OCD. They feel violated and hence to avoid this unbearable emotion, ritualistic patterns and behaviours are performed to eliminate it. If we relate this to scrupulosity, the individual highly fears God. They will try their hardest to end the guilt by excessively praying or performing other religious obligations, believing that this will please Him. In fact, it only worsens the symptoms and results in pathological guilt that can become distressing.
Prior to finding treatment within myself, I was the kind to easily feel overwhelmed with heavy guilt, especially towards my family. It tormented me from the inside, where I would choose to withdraw in my confined space and release my emotions. I loathed feeling this way as it was getting out of hand. When I finally found the means to break free from my compulsions, that feeling went away. And even when I still felt guilty for hurting my parents, I intended to drive it away as I did not want to experience the same kind of hurt again.
Parents have a talented skill in guilt tripping their children as a means of attempting to keep them in line. If there is one aspect within our parents upbringing that has negatively impacted our lives of youth would be in terms of religion by using guilt ineffectively. An example would be forcing a child to pray, or forcing them to wear the headscarf. All that force only does more harm than good, but sadly some parents do not realise that. God does not intend to make our religion difficult to pursue, therefore Islam is a religion of encouragement and not force. Each Muslim is on their own journey, their own pathway into seeking the truth and strengthening their will regardless of what stage they are in. If our parents weren't so compromised towards their communities' vile perceptions and clinging onto idiotic cultural taboos then I doubt majority of us would be in such a position. Now that we have identified the truth, we will be the generation to alter the ways we have been taught by them.