How a Quote From the Qur’an Affected My PTSD

How a Quote From the Qur’an Affected My PTSD

Disclaimer: This article is in no way meant to substitute for medical or mental health advice from a trained and educated mental health professional. Muslim Girl encourages those who need help to seek it, and encourages the use of resources such as therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and trained mental health professionals. You should never try to manage your mental health alone. You are not alone, and there is no shame in seeking professional help. Muslim Girl also does not recommend self-diagnosis; again, please seek the help of a professional. The following are the views and experiences of the author only.

Sometimes, I’ll look at something, smell something, hear something—and now I’m there again. I can’t breathe; I’m being suffocated by the hand of my past. I feel the same fear all over again. It’s like I’m trapped in a bubble with the real world on the other side; a bubble I don’t seem to be getting out of anytime soon.

After several traumatic incidents, I was left with CPTSD, or Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This affects many different people who have witnessed or gone through a traumatic event(s), and it definitely doesn’t just affect war veterans. More than 20 million people are affected by PTSD in America. It’s not something that can be cured by simply “not thinking about it.” Trust us, we’ve tried.

For me, every day was a struggle. The smallest things would set me off into a flashback that was difficult to get out of. I was reliving my trauma every single day and there seemed to be no way out. I felt completely hopeless. I let it take over my life. It was as if there was physical evidence of it; stains ruining everything I used to love.

Self-diagnosis can be pretty dangerous, and also disrespectful to those suffering from the illness. tweet

One day, I woke up and decided I didn’t want it to be like this anymore. I fought against it with everything in me. I talked about it, took my medication, exercised, slept with a weighted blanket—everything. How I wish I could give you an inspirational story of how all of those things worked wonders for me. I wish I could tell you that my will was strong enough to cure me—but it wasn’t. I felt as though I’d been defeated. So, I went back to not caring about how bad my PTSD was getting. I went back to hating my life one month, trying to get control of it the next, and then went right back to being defeated again. This cycle went on for months.

I was the only Muslim girl I knew with PTSD. This was probably because mental illness isn’t talked about enough in most communities, especially in the Muslim community. Not a lot of people I talked to knew a lot about itT, and there was barely any coverage for it online.

A very famous and beautiful quote from the Qur’an is “Verily with every hardship comes ease” {94:5}. I came across this quote while writing a paper about Islam and suffering. Ease and healing are promised to us by Allah. Maybe not tomorrow and maybe not next week or next month, but it’s in Allah’s hands.

This quote didn’t save me. Yes, I still have bad days, and yes I still have PTSD symptoms. What this quote did do is open my eyes a lot to the vast progress I was making, which helped me tremendously. tweet

Following this moment of clarity, something interesting happened. While I was stressing myself out about never getting better, while I was overthinking the panic attack I’d had the night before, or about how I dissociated so hard that I didn’t know if the previous day had been a dream, I noticed how the frequency of my flashbacks reduced from thrice a week to once a week.  I noticed how vibrant and full life felt after my dissociative period ended. This was all ease after my hardship—baby steps that I believe will lead to a bigger picture in my healing journey.

This quote didn’t save me. Yes, I still have bad days, and yes I still have PTSD symptoms. What this quote did do is open my eyes a lot to the vast progress I was making, which helped me tremendously. If you have witnessed or been through something traumatic and still suffer from the symptoms of PTSD a month after the event, it is important to see a professional. Self-diagnosis can be pretty dangerous, and also disrespectful to those suffering from the illness. Please see someone to get the help you need and deserve.

Image courtesy of @afcbird1
Now Reading:
How a Quote From the Qur’an Affected My PTSD
5 minutes read
Search Stories