Wednesday April 17, 2024

Ramadan 2024: How to cope with mental health, substance abuse challenges while fasting

Mental health is often stigmatised during Ramadan making it difficult for neurodivergent people to cope

By Web Desk
March 19, 2024
An image of a lighting lantern. — Unsplash/File
An image of a lighting lantern. — Unsplash/File

Muslims focus on their spiritual connection with Allah through prayer, fasting and increasing good deeds during the holy month of Ramadan.

Our sleep schedules are usually irregular due to nightly prayers and pre-dawn meals and our bodies, minds, and spirits are pushed to their limits with fasting from sunup to sundown, according to Teen Vogue.

Ramadan fasting has been proven to decrease stress and depression in some but can cause mental health deterioration in people with neurodivergent tendencies.

Children, the elderly, those who are traveling, pregnant, or ill are exempted from fasting. Additionally, if a person is facing severe mental health challenges then they have a valid reason not to fast but for those who are still fasting, there are few tips to cope with their mental health.

There may be options for extended release tablets or changing the times you take your medication in order to accommodate fasting, if you take mental health medications during the day. However, it is important to check with your medical expert first.

Getting treatment can already be difficult for many Muslims who experience substance use disorder struggle in silence during Ramadan. Muslims going through this should work with a multidisciplinary team including a trusted religious figure, a doctor, and a therapist to help them recover.

Islam is very much pro-mental health although mental health challenges are often stigmatised in the Muslim community. Considering this, it is always better to seek therapy.