Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Suffering from Clinical Anxiety, Should I get Married?

Girl with hidden face, teenage girl

Aswak,

I am suffering from clinical anxiety disorder. I go into deep depression when I am not able to handle a simple situation of my life due to stress and anxiety. It's a cyclic reaction triggering each other. This has shattered my self-confidence and self-esteem. I have been on medication for the last 6-7 years and it has improved my situation to a good extent where I am able to cope with it.

I am planning to get married but this idea is panicking me. I was alone all these days and was able to handle up my stress and anxiety and hiding my foolish mistakes (which I do when I am in stress), but the situation will be different when I am married. I always think, will I be able to keep my wife happy in my current state?

You need to have a lot of patience and self confidence and stable emotions to lead a good married life. I lack all these parameters most of the time when I am under stress/anxiety.

This is causing lot of confusion for me in deciding to go for the marriage.

I discussed with my parents about my problem. They think that it's a very small problem and I am exaggerating it. They and people around them find me very confident and charming because Allah has blessed me with a good education. I have been in the United States for last three years with a handsome salary.

Girls are very demanding-they cannot compromise a little when they are not treated well and not paid enough attention. I go into my own world detaching and withdrawing myself  from everything around me when I am going thru a phase. I received a couple of girls' proposals for marriage, but I find myself very uncomfortable when I find a woman with high self-confidence and who is not flexible about how they are treated.

I have not really articulated my thoughts well and missed lot of details, but I think this should at least give the reader the feel and idea where I am coming from.

Please advise me what I should do to improve myself, or should I give up the idea of marriage?

Allah Hafiz.

-msk

 

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4 Responses »

  1. Dear brother, before you get married make sure you let your bride to be know about you're situation. You will be wondering who will accept you like this but if someone should enter your life they must have full knowledge of it. When you go through a phase do you have the power to hurt someone physically Or emotionally? I go through the same situation but i just detach myself from within till I'm fine in a day or two. But before i get married I'll make sure my husband to be understands this situation and understand that when i go thru a phase i wannt be detached from every one. The guy who will respect this will get my hand in marriage because i don't wanna keep him in the dark. I know it's hard but world revolves around hope. 🙂

  2. Salaams,

    I do not believe anxiety should be a deterrant to you getting married. However, I understand for those suffering from severe anxiety, it does end up being a deterrant to many things- things even as simple as going to the grocery store. Most often, giving in to the anxiety and letting it dictate what you do and don't do in life is what creates its strength. The only way to overcome anxiety is to do the things you would like to do in spite of it.

    I know it's easier said than done, but you did say you live in the US and have a good income. There is nothing stopping you from getting this fully treated and conquering it. You have access to countless qualified psychiatrists and mental health counselors who specialize in anxiety who could help you overcome this and live a more fulfilling life. When anxiety is left not fully treated, it ends up demanding more and more from you and leaving you living barely any life at all. That's no future for anyone! It's good that the medications are adequately managing your symptoms, but what I'm hearing is that there is still a loss of confidence that hasn't been addressed and medication can't "fix" that. You need to work with a therapist to resolve that aspect.

    Another issue I see here is a mispercetion of women. You seem to believe that they need a lot of attention and sulk when it's not given. Although some women are indeed like that, many are not. I think a lot of women would be understanding of your situation and be patient with you as needed if you married them. In fact, some women suffer from the same things you do! Not only that, but girls who are going to school and studying in the field of mental health will have an educated understanding of your condition and know how to deal with you when you have episodes. I wouldn't be so quick to rule out the option of finding a suitable and compatible lady who you can have a fulfilling marriage with.

    Consider also the fact that when some couples get married, one of them may develop anxiety afterward for whatever reason. People don't go splitting up with each other over these things...or at least they shouldn't. Even if you had no anxiety at all, you will still have to contend with the issue of making enough time for your spouse and "keeping him/her happy", because those are universal issues pretty much every marriage has to face. As you seem to think that "You need to have a lot of patience and self confidence and stable emotions to lead a good married life", you might want to know that NO ONE is capable of having these qualities consistently. NO ONE maintains the "ideal" marriage; in reality you have moments where everything is going as it should and you have moments where things are a lot of hard work or seeming to fall apart.

    So cut yourself and your challenges some slack. There are opportunities and avenues for you to explore; you don't need let these misplaced ideas hinder the quality of your life. Start looking for a good counselor in your area who specializes in anxiety, and in shaa Allah through working with them all these doubts will have ceased by the end of the year.

    -Amy
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  3. Salaam Msk,

    I would advise you never to give up on yourself first of all brother. You are stronger than you realise. Humans are very very strong but we can sometimes fall into traps of believing we can't get out of something or we are stuck. This is only our perception so its important to be aware of that! Don't limit yourself brother.
    I am not a psychologist in any way (just to clarify) but I do have a keen interest in self and emotional development, how we think and feel etc. I absolutely love studying it from an Islamic perspective where possible. What I do know is anxiety is very common. It affects a huge proportion of the population at some point in their life. Some more than others. And it is something you can work on.

    I also agree it would be good if you can go to a therapist and begin to resolve issues such as low self esteem and confidence.

    In terms of marriage, it is difficult, because naturally you don't want to bring these issues to the table. Marriages are generally better the less one brings in and the more emotionally healthy they are. But this does not necessarily mean you need to be 'cured' of your anxiety before you consider it. Don't rule it out. Just start heading in the right direction and learn coping strategies for your anxiety. Work on improving your self esteem and self confidence. Do this with a trusted therapist who can advise you.

    If you can speak with a Muslim therapist this would be ideal. But not essential. See if you can find one in the area.

    Also have a look at ipersonalenrichment.com a website created by AbdelRahman Mussa (who is therapist.) He and the course on the site has good reviews so if you want to try something different (like the online course) you could contact him and see if he thinks it will help you. But do check with your therapist first if you have one. Let me be clear: I am not saying this should be used as a substitute to any state approved therapy you might be undergoing, I am not a doctor or a professional and I am not advertising in any form so do take it with a pinch of salt.

    If you are still unsure about when to consider marriage do istikhaarah (scroll to top of page and see above links on istikhaarah questions and answers. Read carefully BEFORE doing the dua)
    May Allah swt heal you and help you make the right decision.

  4. Salam,

    i was in the same exact situation. i told my husband about my anxiety before we got married and al-hamdulilah he was amazing and didn't mind and even vowed to help me overcome it.

    i advice you to try acupuncture for your anxiety....find a good acupuncturist who also prescribes herbs and get off of the medications because they only make the anxiety worse in the long run. i tried meds which helped the anxiety but never cured it, i also tired acupuncture which helped me GREATLY....you have to be consistent tho and not give up on it quickly...give it time to work and also make sure you choose a good acupuncturist who also prescribes herbs.

    i think you should try these things first which would in turn improve your self esteem and confidence and then seek to get married, because i know that anxiety causes a lot of emotional baggage that is better soled before marriage.

    i wish you the best and may Allah help you and guide you!

    Eiman

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