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In the Name of God بسم الله

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Salam,

 

I'm a bit of a mess. I started wearing the hijab 5 years ago. It was natural for me to do it. I just did it because I felt it was the right thing to do. A year later, a started suffering from bad anxiety and panic attacks... even leaving my house would be a problem. I skipped a lot of classes and wouldn't go out with friends. I became more shy and quiet. I lost myself. I lost my bubbly personality. I always have my family and friends driving me everywhere because i get horrible anxiety when I take the bus/subway. Anyway, so last year I met this guy. He wanted to get to know me (the halal why) he met why family and all that. We had a great relationship. He actually helped me without knowing it, he would make my anxiety disapear. We would go out to places and I wouln't have panic attacks at all. He didn't even know I had anxiety issues. And as the date of the khotbe approched... he called me and said it was over... It was the biggest slap... we never fought, never had problems, everything was going fine. Now that he left I feel like I have to reconstruct myself and get better but the hijab has been an obstacle in many ways. I can't find a job and I just don't feel like myself anymore. I feel like I need to find myself. What should I do?

 

Thank you

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w salam

 

The hijab is never an obstacle, it is the mind and the mind only that causes us obstacles. I'm not sure if you want to hear that it is fine for you in your situation now to take the hijab off, I don't know who would ever advise you that on this forum but reality is, we get hurt in this life but it is always for the better. People come and go, people hurt us or help us, a lot of people just come into our lives for a while to teach us something, and I believe what happened to yourself is a big proof that your panic attacks and anxieties were only caused by you and your mind and you were able to see how by distracting your mind with someone else, they stopped, it was him then, but it can also be through anything else. Why don't you channel your distress in prayer or by seeing good friends, reading Qur'an, learning more about Islam........... there are thousands of ways for you to get rid of those monsters that attack your mind and want to keep you away from Allah.......shaytan always finds ways to justify sins...... so no, the hijab is not the problem, it is your attitude towards life, so get yourself together and be strong, you can definitely get out of this and be victorious by not disobeying Allah. Only HE can remove your distress, and provide anything you need. 

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When you wore the hijab, you must've starting to get a hint or a sign that now you are attracting way more attention especially if you live in a western society. The friends and people around you started to see you differently. And maybe you felt like I should be proper and plain, now that I am wearing an islamic muslimah symbol. So all that led to you being socially withdrawn. And as for the paniac attacks, Ritalin is good. Or prozac.

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I'm not a sister but I can relate. My experience with friends was that before I discovered who I was I had bad friends but they were normal to each other. When I realized who I am and what kind of people I hang out with, I realized I didn't fit in. So now I have separated from them, I don't contact any friends of the past, I still have my good friends and relatives who are also Muslim. But seclusion did come, or I chose it when I became religious.

Had my friends been good and moral people I would have carried on my friendship but I did what was best.

So now I never go out with friends, I am always with family. And I love it.

I can't say anything about anxiety though, haven't experienced it. 

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salam confusedgirl. i think katyushka gave u some sound advice. u essentially have had a knock back but remember that this may be a blessing in disguise. from dua al iftitah:

 

Quote

 

whenever I turn to Thee a temporary setback, and I, out of ignorance, begin to despair, although perhaps slowing down may be a blessing in disguise. because Thou alone knows [all] the consequences. I know no generous master who is more accommodating to dissatisfied servants than Thou art to me.

 Allah swt may have bigger and better plans for u and ur qisma was not with that guy. Allah swt is testing ur resolve here. this is a means of a test so do not allow the accursed shay tan to whisper in ur ear that hijab is the cause of ur difficulty in not progressing in life. any hardship u face in the way of Allah swt (e.g. barriers associated with getting a job as a hijabi) will earn u thawab/reward. 

as far as the anxiety is concerned, u should see your doctor about this because it may be appropriate to refer you for mindfulness therapy or perhaps start medication. the symptoms u describe are very common and the fact that they resolved for a period with lifestyle modification indicates u may benefit from talking therapies. 

 

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Salaam confusedgirl,

 

Thank you for sharing your response.  I know it's difficult to open up about mental-health related issues in our communities, and so I applaud you for having the wisdom and strength to seek out the help you need.  Insha'Allah something someone says here can be of benefit to you and start you on your road to recovery.

Regarding anxiety, I can very much relate to your experiences as I too came from a non-religious background and quickly transitioned into a practicing religious person.  I sported a beard, didn't shake hands, etc.  With that said, after the passage of some time, I too started having minor panic attacks in public for various reasons.  In retrospect, I believe the attacks were because of what I thought others thought of me -- that is, because the changes were drastic and maybe not very well understood by me, I began to worry excessively about how others would perceive me and my new-found religiosity (and how that would affect my ability to make friends, to find love, to be respected, to earn a livelihood, etc.).  It sounds like you experienced something very similar in terms of hijaab - you mentioned you previously had a bubbly personality, but you are now shy and quiet.  It sounds like you are worried about how other people will perceive you with hijaab, and that causes you to go into these panic attacks and not want to be anywhere you can be negatively "judged" (i.e. in public).  Hence, you feel safe in environments where you feel comfortable, such as car rides with close friends who understand you.

Further, it's very believable to me that the guy you were considering for marriage could make your anxiety better.  Perhaps he provided a kind of psychological support to you in public -- with him by your side, you weren't worried about being judged anymore, because somehow, subconsciously, he took that burden away from you.  Perhaps you felt it shifted onto him, as a man, to worry about that and deal with it, and you felt safe and protected with him.  I am sorry that it didn't work out with him, but please do realize this may have happened for a reason (if nothing else, then perhaps to allow you to realize your internal anxiety issues and get help for them).  

You must not think that your anxiety can ONLY be cured with him or that your life is hopeless without him.  There are many treatments for anxiety, including medication, as well as more natural therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness.  I have personally tried both CBT and Mindfulness and both are pretty effective -- I'd recommend you buy a book or two and try them if you can! There are also therapists who are trained in these techniques who may be able to help, if you're not much of a self-reader.  Other things that may help -- keep working on building yourself spiritually, surround yourself with good Muslim sisters who will be a good influence on you and who you feel comfortable with, eat healthy foods (because food has an effect on mood) etc.  Don't be afraid to talk about your mental health issues with one or two close friends who you trust -- it really helps to have someone on your side who understands what you're going through!

Insha'Allah, you will find a suitable spouse in due time.  If I were you, I'd focus back on getting healthy first.  Once you're health and no longer "confusedgirl" :) perhaps navigating the process of finding someone will be easier for you.

Hope this helped.  I will pray for you, and please also keep me in your prayers.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Thank you all for your replies. After taking a step back, I realized that my hijab took a lot of my confidence away. I'm now trying to find it back while still the wearing the hijab. 

As for the man I almost married. I realized he was a narcissistic sociopath lol and I'm better off without him and his insane family. 

My anxiety is still there, especially at night. I'll get trough it incha'Allah.

thank you all again 

Salam

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