So Ramadan has well and truly unpacked its bag and will be here to stay for about another 27 days. It’s common to find a lot of material (both online and in books) on how a Muslim should ‘practice’ the fast and conduct their behaviour during the Islamic sacred month – all fine and dandy and very useful information! However, the topic of dealing with a mental health issue during Ramadan is not quite as commonly discussed.
I’m not an expert on the Islamic guidelines of how to/not to go about dealing with Ramadan and a mental health issue, but it’s important that, when a person is faced with a challenge, those around them are there to support that person through it. Examples of how a mental illness can get in the way of fasting Ramadan include triggering eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia) and daytime medication (such as antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs) schedules for depression, shizophrenia, etc.
One thing that mental illnesses are great at doing is making the diagnosed individual feel very alone. Therefore, here’s a bit of a doodle for the Muslims out there who are faced with these challenges to say: keep going- we support you!