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In the Name of God بسم الله
Sinan

Mental health issues.... Looking for Islamic cure....

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I am 16, and a brother, and ever since I was in the 8th grade I've been suffering from panic attacks......my eyes start to hurt intensely, and they feel like they are rolling into my head......I also feel a sense of impending doom, the greatest fear anyone can feel, and my speech gets slurred, and i lose balance....I have tried taking psychiatric pills, but they dont work all the time...i even had to start taking heavy supplements......in the 9th grade, it was so bad i kept trying to escape school, and once even made terroristic threats out of frustration, and had to go to alternative school.....they have ruined and debilitated my life, and made me afraid of going places, as they can happen at any time.....i was wondering if Allah swt is punishing me or testing me, and what I can do to stop it....

Also, ever since I was 13, I have lusted after pre pubescent children.....I know it is wrong, and i feel guilty, but sometimes i dont feel guilty, though I have never acted on it, and don't plan to, since it would ruin a child's life, and I would be behind bars (and probably get killed behind bars), I thought this was just an adolescent phase but it wasn't, it still persists, and I am, about to turn 17.....i have prayed for a cure, but nothing....i take heavy doses of antidepressants (which is used to lower  libido) but no luck.....

I have tried therapy, but no luck..... I have even tried relieving my frustrations by masturbating, but it only made it worse.... and I realized it was haram and felt even more guilty....

The pedophilia seems to be wearing off though, and my feelings seem to have faded to admiration for children (which is still sick, in this context)

But the panic attacks are what really worry me....

i have tried ruqyah but it has not helped...i have tried black magic cures, reciting sakinah dua, but no luck...i have tried black seed oil, but no luck....what should I do?

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I hope this is not a troll joke... not a good topic to joke about. Anyway. Forget black magic and forget all those "alternative" weak false cures. People get scandalized too easily, and mostly it happens due to lack of education (or maybe way too much of the wrong kind).

Pedophilia sometimes takes place in people. It doesn't mean those people act upon it, nor that they are happy with it. Usually they feel shame and repress it to the point they don't even realize it. Actually, what amazes me is the fact that you can realize it at your age.

Sexualized admiration is sexual attraction in many cases. When you manage to repress your thoughts temporary, it is merely admiration, but your preferences are far from being supressed or removed from you. Good therapists are hard to find, but don't lose hope as you may eventually find the right one.

As far as I know, there is this theoretical concept of sexual sublimation on Freud's writings on asexuality. Theoretically, you can sublimate a desire for another one, or it may happen naturally. At your age, sexuality is also pretty much confusing and flexible, and can change a lot if you don't pressure yourself too much. The main problem I see is not so much your desires but the possible source for it, which seems to be the barrier between you and the rest due to your health condition. Social relations play a big role in sexual attraction and maturity. Social problems may actually stop that development (but you are still in an age of growth anyway).

As for libido. There is a huge gap between action and desire. A very huge one, even more in your case. Most people facing such desires don't end up doing anything out of place due to the reasons you already gave (human and legal reasons).

Edited by Bakir

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Have you tried going to a paid therapist?Go to a paid therapist. It's all right. Listen my sister told me to breathe slowly inhale exhale.i also hold my breath 10 seconds and let go..but try at own risk.try to divert your mind.sar salwat whisper salawat.try to go to neuro surgeon if possible. If possible also go to imam reza a.s. shrine to ask for relief.id also advise to ask ayatollah Sistani what to do or any other ulema. And ask them to pray for you I'm glad your pedophilia is winding down but I'm sorry to hear what you go thru.by the way r u a boy or a girl?

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6 hours ago, Chaotic Muslem said:

 

btw, do you have any ocd symptoms?

I had OCD symptoms, but that went away due to medication and simply outgrowing it possibly, and I now have panic attacks as a form of worry

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^ If people are doing that, its because if acted upon youre talking about an extremely serious situation unfolding.

The worst thing you can do is to identify with these thoughts (the catastrophizing as well as pedophilic ones). They're thoughts arising in your awareness and nothing more. Do not give them any power/validity unless it is to challenge them. Your thoughts are not who/what you are, the way that you treat your thoughts will determine your sense of identity which will then affect your behaviour. Theres no need to be scared of a thought, a thought cannot exist without your awareness for it to exist in, it is totally reliant upon you for its survival and thoughts will remain powerless as long as you do not give them validity.

When a catastrophizing concept arises in the mind, you can either ignore it (letting it be there until it isnt like a cloud in the sky and not identifying with it) or you can challenge the concept. Availing yourself of cognitive behavioural therapy willl help you with this. Theres nothing 'unIslamic' about cognitive behavioural therapy, infact you could argue that reflection/challenging concepts are Islamic behaviours because the Quran encourages to do this. If you do choose to see a counsellor i advise you to be as honest as possible with them; if they dont now the extent of the problem they wont be able to help as well.

Drop the superstitious 'black magic' nonsense, this will not help you.

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2 hours ago, Sinan said:

I had OCD symptoms, but that went away due to medication and simply outgrowing it possibly, and I now have panic attacks as a form of worry

Is your panic attack specific or general?

Also, dd it start before your meds or after taking the meds? What meds are you on?

Regarding your sexual fantasies, they could be as well related to the OCD. There are some papers claiming that there is a link between some mental diseases and infectious diseases . For example : schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis. Some are claiming a link between autism and some viral illnesses. Some are claiming a link between parkinson (albeit not solely a mental illness) and some pesticides. Generally speaking though, there are studies claiming a link between our mental health and the composition of the gut microbiota. Microbiota are the collection of bugs (vials, bacterials and etc) that peacefully live in our gut. This collection varies from person to person depending on their food. The less junk food though the better overall effect. 

In our Hadiths, salt and vinegar are recommended generally. They are good disinfectants along with some lemon. The proteins in the meat we consume play a role as well. They are not only calories nor only a building blocks to our muscles but they can modulate our hormones, immune system and maybe other effects that we know not about now. Oils dont come alone as well. They often come mixed with other materials like preservatives etc. Oils can accumulate in the wrong places and store toxins then release them slowly t body. Olive oil works on redistribution of oils in our body and reduce inflammation.Our brains benefit from good oils and hurt by harmful inflammation.

 

Check everything you eat and make sure you are eating halal all time. When you start hearing the waswasa ( satanic whispers) start saying astaghfirullah wa atoubo Illayhe. Also start reciting "allahumma salmi ala muhammad wa ala ale muhammad" very often . Recite al-hamd when you feel the illness is getting the best of you.

الذين آمنوا و تطمئن قلوبهم بذكر الله، الا بذكر الله تطمئن القلوب

Those who believe , their hearts get comfort through remembrance of Allh. Verily remeberence of Allah comforts the hearts.

How is your prayers and ablutions? Do you get to repeat them often to make sure you did them right?

Try to invest in some cognitive therapy and lower the doses of the drugs. You are still fairly young.

Edited by Chaotic Muslem

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The panic attacks started before I started taking anti anxiety meds....But I have been on meds before the panic attacks started....i was on risperdal and concerta before, for aggression and ADHD, before panic attacks, I used to be on xanax, risperdal, and prozac, then was on neurontin risperdal, and buspar, (which were enormously ineffective) but am now on klonopin, risperdal, and prozac.....much earlier....i used to take depakote and lithium, but they made me gain weight due to increased appetite, and the lithium caused increased thirst....I also took adderall for a while, but it made me delusional, and/or paranoid.....I also took melatonin to help me sleep, and still sometime sdo

Edited by Sinan

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12 minutes ago, Sinan said:

The panic attacks started before I started taking anti anxiety meds....But I have been on meds before the panic attacks started....i was on risperdal and concerta before, for aggression and ADHD, before panic attacks, I used to be on xanax, risperdal, and prozac, then was on neurontin risperdal, and buspar, (which were enormously ineffective) but am now on klonopin, risperdal, and prozac.....much earlier....i used to take depakote and lithium, but they made me gain weight due to increased appetite, and the lithium caused increased thirst....I also took adderall for a while, but it made me delusional, and/or paranoid.....I also took melatonin to help me sleep, and still sometime sdo

That's quiet a salad there.. may Allah help you!

Did you receive any cognitive therapy? And i presume you live in the crazy land of USA?

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3 minutes ago, Sinan said:

I have received cognitive therapy, but my old therapist was obsessed with shaming me for my pedophilia rather than curing it, but my new one is better.....and yes, I live in the crazy land of USA 

move out XD 

i hope you are not also affected by the water crisis. meh just move out XD 

or move south and plant your own crops, take care of your own animals.

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8 hours ago, Sinan said:

I have received cognitive therapy, but my old therapist was obsessed with shaming me for my pedophilia rather than curing it, but my new one is better.....and yes, I live in the crazy land of USA 

try other therapists, ask people around for good doctors, not just one.i know now that only to rely on one if he or she is not working for oyu is NOT okay, in sha Allah bro i hope you can get through this.AND CAN OTHER PEOPLE PLEASE TALK TO HIM and counsel him ABOUT THE PANIC ATTACKS, THOSE ARE SERIOUS!!!!!

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@Sinan

Quote

One of the most effective CBT developments for the treatment of Panic Disorder is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. The primary goal of Mindfulness-Based CBT is to learn to non-judgmentally accept uncomfortable psychological experiences. From a mindfulness perspective, much of our psychological distress is the result of trying to control and eliminate the discomfort of unwanted thoughts, feelings, sensations, and urges. In other words, our discomfort is not the problem – our attempt to control and eliminate our discomfort is the problem. For an individual with Panic Disorder, the ultimate goal of mindfulness is to develop the ability to more willingly experience their uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, sensations, and urges, without responding with compulsions, avoidance behaviors, reassurance seeking, and/or mental rituals.  To learn more about Mindfulness Based CBT for the treatment of Panic Disorder, click here.

http://ocdla.com/panicdisorder

@.InshAllah.

@Muhammed Ali

@Noor al Batul

@Zarla

@Ruq

there is one more noor with number next to her name..

Can we help in showing how Islamic mindfulness can be integrated in this sort of therapy?

 

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Normally a person needs to be at least 16 years of age to be classified as a pedophile, and you said that you have had it since the age of 13! If a pedophile hasn't  engaged in the behaviour, then they must be intensely distressed as a result of it, or it must have interfered with their interpersonal functioning. If they don't feel the urge to act upon it, then it might just be their thoughts messing with them. Also, pedophiles are usually diagnosed when they are exclusively attracted to children; in other words, that is their preferred method of sexual gratification. Not sure if that's the case with you.

Other than cognitive techniques, have you received behavioral techniques like in vivo exposure and interoceptive exposure for your phobic avoidances (internal/external). These have been proven to be powerful techniques for treatment of panic disorder. One study even found that cognitive restructuring, when paired with interoceptive exposure, did not help in reducing vulnerability to panic attacks. In interoceptive exposure, the aim is to frequently and deliberately experience the distressing physical sensations, until the person realises and disconfirms the misinterpretation of their physical sensations.

 

Edited by Zarla
clarification

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15 hours ago, Chaotic Muslem said:

Can we help in showing how Islamic mindfulness can be integrated in this sort of therapy?

:salam:

CM, I am not too sure that I understand what, precisely, you mean with "Islamic mindfulness". Although, with a little research, I found this article: http://www.virtualmosque.com/personaldvlpt/reflections/mindfulness-in-islam/. It doesn't state anything which would be new to most of us, I believe, but might be an interesting read, nonetheless. To quote something from the above:

"The process of spiritual jihad (struggle/striving in the way of God) consists of becoming aware of our nafs (soul), and acting in the way which is most aligned with our values despite temptations and inner desires."

This, in a way, echoes the ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) concept, an example of the 'third wave' Mindfulness Based CBT, (and, probably, other methods) which, in the link you posted, is defined as: "(...) ACT focuses on choosing to willingly accept uncomfortable personal experiences, without avoidance or other efforts at control, while making a commitment to living fully according to one’s personal values."

One could argue that being aware of something is not the same as accepting it though, if you are aware of the presence of a thought or desire in you you accept their existence. But accepting does not mean that you should act upon it - from an Islamic point of view, that wouldn't work and as the above shows, neither does the Mindfulness-Based CBT encourage this. This is not a fairly new concept, either. A problem can only be solved once you realize that there is a problem to solve. An illness can only be treated once the illness has been identified. Similarly, you can handle your reaction to/perception of uncomfortable thoughts/feelings only once you accept that they exist - which, then, can be defined as jihad of the nafs (being aware of temptations but acting according to values).

Another aspect which might be helpful for Muslims to learn to accept these psychological experiences is, first of all, to be aware of Allah. We can lie to ourselves, try to reject that we even had any kind of uncomfortable feelings/thoughts (though, eventually, they would/might re-surface because, in a way, our mind is overly focused on them) - yet, Allah, the All-Knowing, is aware of everything, nonetheless. If we realize this, it becomes easier to accept that there are negative thoughts - people, usually, reject them and/or try to control them because of the fear of what others might think (or, the fear of acting upon them). The knowledge that there is someone who is aware of those, already, and that you cannot hide from Him (and there is no need to hide from the most Compassionate, the most Merciful) - and in addition to this, the possibility of asking Him for help in dealing with these, 'sharing these troubles' (without the fear of judgment/rejection) and thus, "getting it off your chest" could be helpful, as well (e.g. prayer).

Islam does not (really) condemn mere thoughts and feelings, but if you act upon negative ones the action is what is condemned. This, too, should be realized.

Though, I'd like to raise one point: from what I have understood, this treatment aims to cause (personal) acceptance of the presence of negative thoughts/feelings and furthermore, an aim is not to pay too much attention to these urges/thoughts/feelings and thus, react in an exaggerated way to them. They'd be, in a way, normalized ("But with mindfulness, the goal is to better recognize and accept that these transitory internal events, though uncomfortable, are merely a normal, predictable part of the human experience."). The question is, though, if we normalize these things e.g they become plausible to the mind (as the thoughts might appear "automatically" due to a person delving into them on multiple occasions), would this not cause a risk of acting upon them, at some point, and deeming the action as alright? Although, this could be avoided, I guess, by learning to be mindful of your thoughts (mindfulness-based techniques) - which can help one in preventing to interprete their negative thoughts as plausible explanations and completely normalising them (thanks to sis Zarla for elaborating this point for me).

Huh, I hope this is somewhat readable, lol. But, again, I am not too sure what, exactly, you (CM) meant with "Islamic mindfulness".

Ma`asalama.

Edited by Noor al Batul

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