Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Constant stress and anxiety

Anxiety, anxious, worried.

Anxiety's vicious circle.

I'm writing, because I'm seeking advice to my problem with stress and anxiety. I really hope you can help me, because I'm becoming someone I don't like at all.

I should probably let you know that I'm a very positive, happy, smiling and outgoing person. I don't suffer from depression, or anything like that, and I'm usually told by my friends that I'm someone who spreads positivity, smiles and joy. When my friends come to me with their problems, I always try to encourage them to not loose hope and to strive for the things and people in life who will make their lives better. And I usually succeed in helping my friends. In encouraging them. So why is it I can't do the same for myself?

I have always set a very high standard for myself, especially when it comes to my character. I know I'm excessively hard on myself, but there's still a voice inside of me that says, "well, God has an even higher standard for you. And you are not good enough, so keep trying, Missy!". And I just continue to put the heavy burden upon myself to be perfect. Literally perfect. And when I'm not perfect, which is every single day, obviously, I get this weird feeling of stress in my belly - it's like I can't breathe. Breathing becomes a real struggle. And worse yet, I get a terrible feeling of long lasting anxiety. I get scared and convinced that I'm a bad person, a bad Muslim.

The other thing is: I've always been really phobic of death. Even as a child, there was this long brick wall by the main street in the city, and I would REFUSE to walk past it, because I was scared. I would cry and throw a fit right on the stress just to avoid that wall that had a graveyard behind it. I'm absolutely terrified of death and dying, because I'm convinced I'm going to Hell in the Afterlife. Which is an extremely scary and depressing thought to have, especially on top of all the other stresses and anxieties of trying to be perfect, but not feeling like I am. I'm not even just worried about myself, but about my family, as well. I love them so, so, so much...and it would tear me apart if they don't go to Jannah. I get even more stressed out and scared when I think about them. It's not because we aren't good people - but we aren't perfect. And that scares me. And convinces me Allah is disappointed with me. It doesn't even stop here. I even get scared for other people, too. Other Muslims. Non-Muslims. I really can't bear the thought of Hell, for anyone, and I take it upon myself to worry for everyone. But, as mentioned, mostly for myself and my family.

I have tried to listen to Islamic lectures to calm my nerves, and generally gaining more Islamic knowledge to feel a bit better. Getting closer to Allah has never been known to be a bad thing, so why is it that I so often feel more stress and anxiety? Every time I learn something new, my anxiety just gets worse. Because now there's one more thing in Islam that I know about and that I'm not doing, or not doing correctly. It's almost as if I feel like the more knowledge I gain, the more flaws and imperfections I find in myself, and the more pressure I put on to fix and perfect myself...and the more stressed and scared I get, for that reason. I have come to a point where I'm just convinced that I will die in 5 minutes - be out of chances to perfect myself - and I will die as a sinner that Allah is definitely not happy with. It's very despairing, both mentally and physically to think like this. But I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say to myself.

I don't know if this makes a difference, but...I have suffered from really bad anxiety in relation to performing in school and in exams since about 2007-2008. At some point, my anxiety was so bad that I would just not turn up to my exams and, as a result, I would start my studies from scratch over and over again. In 2012 I finally got tired of starting over all the time, and not getting anywhere, so I talked to a psychologist connected to my Faculty. He was a very big help to me. Thanks to him, I'm now entering my last semester of school with only two exams (so far) that I need to re-take from the 3rd semester - due to the fact my uncle (I didn't know him), some distant family members (whom I also didn't know), and my friend's family members (whom I ALSO didn't know) died. In connection to these deaths I had no motivation at all to study. I suppose you can say I relapsed in to my anxious ways, because my anxiety for performing and taking exams re-appeared due to these deaths.

Also, when I was about 16 years of age, I was subjected to a Muslim crowd that really changed my life. Not for the better. They were very happy to quite aggressively and negative mindedly point out my flaws and wrongs, and threatened my young and fragile person with Hell. Provided me with vivid descriptions of how awful Hell is. Instead of being motivated to change my ignorant ways, I was struck by absolute fear and made it my mission to improve EVERY single flaw that I had, all at once. It didn't take long for my mission to be too much, and for me to feel so exhausted, so hopeless, so scared and so depressed that I just accepted that I was doomed to Hell, no matter what. I stopped even trying to improve. I started resenting Islam, and Muslims especially, and I was quite rebellious towards everyone: school, teachers...even my poor parents. I hated to be associated with Islam, so when Muslims asked about my faith I told them to not ask me about my religion, nor label me as a Muslim. My relationship with other Muslims was horrible at this point; they were offended by me and shunned me for that reason, and I resented them even more for not understanding my point of view, for ignoring my questions that, in my heart, I was desperate to have answered, and for judging me. I was angry that instead of helping me find answers to my doubts and questions, they regarded my questions as attacks (looking back, I'm sure my provocative tone and way of speaking didn't help the situation) and attacked me back. And banned me from their communities. I'm alright now, though. I'm a lot more calm and I know exactly what my view on religion is. Alhamdulellah.
The bottom line is...I can't continue to live with so much anxiety and stress, so constantly. I'm tired. I'm getting sad. I'm scared of my sadness turning in to depression and complete despair. What can I do? Where can I turn to? I don't want to be this anxious and scared all the time! Please help me...


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7 Responses »

  1. assalamu alaikum... truthfully your not depressed because of Islam your depressed because your are too weak for it.... the prophet s.a.w said holding onto Islam is like holding onto a hot coal so obviously Islam is not a easy task and why would it be if it is Indeed our test in this world.... which test is ever easy for the students who are not steadfast in studying? .....take Islam as a challenge because I see double standards in you.... first your scared of hell then your scared of dying.... then you want to be a perfect Muslim.... a Muslim is one who believes is destiny ...death is indeed the last part of all our destinies.... we will all face it none can excape it.... we will only die once.... if you were told u would be put into a belly for 9 months in water would you want it? no. you would say in fear but how will I breath how will I eat that's a long time I will be alone.... but hey you were already born.... already 9 months in mom's stomach..... all went well why? because Allah looked after you. just as he looked after you in birth he will look after you in life and death ....he is our Creator ....but what he wants from us is to trust him and believe in his promise of no fear for those who are steadfast and believe in are very weak and no not as weak as 5%/100% more like 50%/100% you still have a long way to go....if you want to be perfect man up be perfect no excuses... I was at your level once... was there for 10 years assuring myself that I'm already perfect if I was why was I allowing excuses to make me lazy and give up on my task? I'm now 22 this journey of mine has started at 12 yes I wanted to be the one infront of Allah whom he chose as one of the best servants this was and is a goal of mine I want to show him that I fought for him..... I want to be what he expects of me..... I will let nothing but him stop me.... I've got so stuborn it chokes shaytaan his whispers for evil has increased rapidly Allah mentions in the quraan shaytaan has the power to make us feel in certain ways we choose not to feel or if weak we have no ideas it's him and think that's how we feel.... so he makes me feel it all lazy weak depressed constantly flashed my pas infront of me tells me I'm going to get nowhere and nothing every single day I have to give myself therapy.... and remind,myself about my task and goal... I am in hijaab since 9 I don't have a religious family I chose this path at 12 ....I am very beautiful never committed adultery guys running after me proposals from hypocrites shaytaan knows I'm just,to smart for any heart break so what I did to avoid the social! world I literally,moved to a secluded home where nobody knows where I am I switch off my phone all day and put it on 30 min a day I distanced myself from it all now no so called story can get to me.... .I'm here in this place to strengthen myself all salaahs no music no men no fb shaytaan getting more annoyed has now decided to haunt me in my sleep literally threatening Me well I told him your smart I don't deny that but Allah is many more times smarter then you so there's hope for me..shaytaan will continue abusing me though through it all I will complete what I want most that is being amongst those who proved their love to Allah.... nobody will stop me insha Allah

  2. most important ask Allah to guide you everyday protect u thank him for his favours and tell him how u feel ya Allah if I had not wanted Islam if I had not loved you why have I given up all wrong for u? I have a tongue Im keeping it clean only for u I have beauty you have given it it me and the ability to do many wrongs stealing lieng killing.suicide adultery I stay away from it all just because you told me to had I not then chosen u over it all will you then not have mercy on me and accept me and guide me whenever I'm wrong even it be tiny? guide me... guide me so much so that when I look at myself after death you will be pleased with me and I with myself.... remember the main point that is passing the test of this life we will be questioned.... life seems long really after death it would feel as if it was a test of 5 minutes work hard now so that you won't have to regret it's so hard but after hardship comes ease as promised by Allah ease doesn't mean on earth If you ponder deeply there is no ease on earth because it's all temporary.... true meaning of ease is you get that alone.... no more hardship.. that's only going to be in jannah so prepare for a journey of loss sadness trials as promised by Allah in the quraan... do you think I will leave you to say you believe without being tested" it's only the beginning we got a long way to go.... shaytaan tells us it's all a myth we working hard for nothing if it was a myth I tell him why you choking? why you so interested in misguiding me? why all the evil whispers?? thinking and pondering is very important you will realize many important facts secrets of life many wonderful things.....

    • Astaghfirulla a sister reaches out for help and you pull the blanket right from under her. Did it occur to you that we aren't all at the same level as you? Didn't realise you were sinless my dear sister. It's Muslims like you that push people out of their faith so try and be kinder next time. You never know if you will be in the same situation one day and there may not be someone there to help you through, assuming you keep up this attitude.


  3. OP: And I usually succeed in helping my friends

    What would you tell your friend who suffers from exactly the same problem(s) you seem to suffer from? How can they get better? Your problems are "imaginary" and not real.

  4. telling somebody their problems are imaginary as if they are mentally Ill yes though people call religious people mentally Ill or extreme or strange .... you won't understand because your not on the same level of faith..... we are not normal yes because we don't do what normal people do we don't have TV in our homes to distract us from our path as .normal people do....we don't dream about Katrina kaif walking into our life sinful as she is infact we dont find her impressive at all as normal people me Celebs are like demons roaming around see you not how they sing and dance like mad people....we don't walk around all packed up in fashion as normal people do....we don't use what ifs " if I did this Icould ecscape this problem if Idrove like this Iwouldnt of had an accident " as normal people do....we believe in taqdeer be it good or bad ...we know who we are not our body heart or mind but we are souls placed into bodies for the test of this temporary life and wehave one enemy shaytaan and o he ain't imaginary.. and we have one God Allah he ain't imaginary's easy to advise anybody but it's not easy tomend any problem because we are human weak if Ifall down now I won't fly I'll hurt because I'm human Ican tell you now when you fall buy a bandage to cover the wound take a pain killer but Icant ever take the pain away or make the wound fade why? because we both human...

  5. Make a lot of Dua for what your going through. allah fix everything, Don't worry everything is going to be okay, by the will of Allah 🙂

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