Question

I am suffering from anxiety and OCD and it has gotten worse over the last few years. It is constantly present and makes it difficult to live. I want to change my medication. The thoughts are of a sexual nature due to my past and disable me from doing anything. I want to be free of all this. Do you think changing medications is a good start? Also, I am starting therapy soon.

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Response

Assalaamu alaikum – peace be with you,

We understand that what you’re going through must be extremely hard but thank you for contacting us about it and seeking help.

Firstly, if you are on medication and starting treatment soon, that means that you have already made the hardest step of opening up about your difficulties to a professional. It can take a while to notice any changes from medication so we would advise that you keep consistent with your medication for a minimum of 3-6 months. If you have been on medication for longer than this and still feel no benefit, then the best thing is to consult with your doctor about other options available. Most of the time, doctors have already prescribed the best medication to help you with your difficulties but there is no harm in asking for an alternative. Please be aware that changing medication can come with side effects and may make you feel worse initially before any benefits are apparent.

You also mention that you are starting treatment soon, we would advise you to attend the treatment for a significant period of time before considering changing medication as most of the time therapy and medication complement each other and you may feel fine to stay on your current medication.

In your question, you say that you are having thoughts related to your past and these stop you from doing things in the present. A very useful technique that focuses on the present and aims to avoid rumination (thinking about the past) or worry (thinking about the future) is mindfulness. Mindfulness can be a very effective way to distract from the past and live in the present moment and allow you to fully experience the beauty of this world Allah (swt) has created. Guided mindfulness may be more effective as you are helped through it and leaves less room for rumination (you can access guided mindfulness exercises from mobile phone apps).

Alternatively, at Inspirited Minds we offer counselling and a listening service that you may also find beneficial if you need someone to talk to or an outlet.

Please remember that these difficulties are a test from Allah (swt) and he tests those he loves. The Prophet (saw) said: “The people who face the most difficult tests are the prophets, then the righteous, then those following them in degree. A person is tried according to his religion. So if there is firmness in his religion, then the trial is increased, and if there is a weakness, then it is lightened” [Bukhari]. You are strong enough with prayer and sabr to overcome this difficult time as “Allah does not burden any soul beyond what it can bear” [Qur’an 2:286].

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further support.
Allah knows best and Insha‘Allah we hope this helps,
Duas always,
IM Support Team

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Ask Inspirited Minds is a safe, anonymous and confidential space for you to ask specific questions or seek advice around your mental health and wellbeing. We will publish your question and our response on our website but will make sure to make it anonymous and change any identifiable details. If you are going through these problems, then it’s highly likely someone else is going through something similar and we hope our advice can also be of help to others in a similar situation.

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