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In the Name of God بسم الله
Sinan

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

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@Sinan

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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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