I am sharing this story because firstly, I know how lonely it is for those suffering from mental illness and how comforting it is for us to hear from others who have had similar experiences. Secondly, I’ve learned a lot from the past 4 years that I think will be useful for those who have just started experiencing symptoms. Thirdly, understanding mental illness from a theoretical perspective doesn’t do justice to what people suffering from it feel, especially when we consider how the suffering is invisible on the outside. The list of symptoms for these illnesses can often sound generic or trivial, but the person suffering from it distinctively knows that something is tangibly wrong with them. Lastly, I want to emphasize how much we Muslims need to take mental illness seriously, not just in confronting the stigma, but in approaching diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention as seriously as we would do any other health issue we encounter in our own lives.
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April 3, 2021