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xssht
07-18-2017, 03:29 PM
Hello. My name is Ayesha, and I've just graduated university with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Ideally, I want to use my degree to help those in the muslim community. There is a massive stigma around mental illnesses, and when someone is showing signs or claiming to have anything of that nature it is usually reproached with "just trust god's plan" or "read this surrah and all will be well", which of course is valid, but I want to use my degree to show people that mental illnesses are a very real thing and as are other issues which are associated with the study of psychology. But, I have no idea how to do this. I need some kind of advice or guidance and was wondering if you had any advice for me. Thank you.
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sister herb
07-18-2017, 04:12 PM
Salam alaykum

This sounds a great plan. In my earlier job (advicor and teacher of immigrants) I faces this problem many times when people whose had mental problems denied their mental disorders, refused to seek help from doctors and as in some cultures, afraided to admit their problems (as their social group thought that kind of problems are a sign of sinfulness, not a disease). Unfortunately not only people whose had mental problems got this kind of stigma of sinful life but also some other diseases were labeled same, like epilepsy. I didn´t find other way what to do than spreading information about real nature of such diseases but I am not sure how many really listened or believed me as such thinking were so widely spreaded.
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Freedom
07-18-2017, 05:16 PM
I have also studied Psychology, and have had some success explaining to my 'religious' friends that mental disorders are a legit thing and not always Jinn possession. However, the older generation just don't listen.
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Hamza Asadullah
07-18-2017, 05:26 PM
Originally Posted by xssht
Hello. My name is Ayesha, and I've just graduated university with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Ideally, I want to use my degree to help those in the muslim community. There is a massive stigma around mental illnesses, and when someone is showing signs or claiming to have anything of that nature it is usually reproached with "just trust god's plan" or "read this surrah and all will be well", which of course is valid, but I want to use my degree to show people that mental illnesses are a very real thing and as are other issues which are associated with the study of psychology. But, I have no idea how to do this. I need some kind of advice or guidance and was wondering if you had any advice for me. Thank you.
:sl:

There is certainly a huge gap to be filled in the Muslim communities with regards to help for those who are going through mental issues, problems and illnesses. This is why we need more Muslims out there who have a Psychology and mental health background to create a help service for Muslims going through psychological and mental health issues either in one's own locality, regionally or nationally.

This help service be also via an established mental health charity. Even better would be to set up your own mental health help service and employ other Muslims to create an online, telephone and/or face to face help service for those going through mental issues.

We really do need more o these types of services out there as Mental Health is still very much a taboo topic particularly among culturally restricted families. So Muslim mental health awareness has a long way to go and we do need more counselors for Muslims going through psychological and mental issues. There are a few Muslim mental health help organisations out there but we still require far more resources in this area so there is a huge gap that needs to be filled.

So my sister use your knowledge and qualifications, networking etc to help other Muslims going through psychological and mental health issues/problems by creating a help service whether it is face to face, online, telephone help or all of these things.

We must never limit ourselves and think that we "cannot" possibly achieve great things. As Muslims we must aim as high as possible and and have the best intentions and sincerity in everything that we do. We must make the necessary effort and put our faith and trust in Allah and ask of him to aide us and there is no reason why we cannot be of those who leave a continuing legacy behind that will benefit Muslims and the whole of mankind so we continue getting rewards (Sadaqa Jaariya) even after we are gone from this world inshaAllah.

May Allah enable us to be of the greatest benefit to Muslims and the whole of mankind. Ameen
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Umm♥Layth
07-18-2017, 05:39 PM
Waleikum Asalaam :)

There is a balance that needs to be found between the secular teaching of psychology and what Islamic psychology. Psychology is the study of the self, in Islam this is known as "nafs" so people DO have a point when they say that people's psychological issues have to do with sinning, choices and whatnot, but it isn't as cut-and-dried as it is made out to be.

People also have a tendency of confusing psychological issues to psychiatric issues, so there's alot of fog and lack of clarity.

Modern psychologists have a tendency of dramatizing something very simple and blaming childhood, parents or something else and avoiding accountability and this is a big problem that does clash with Islamic teachings. They also ignore the spiritual side of things which should never be ignored or separated/ treated as something unrelated.

If you want to approach things form an Islamic perspective and really help, then you will need to educate yourself even further. If you are not familiar with Imam Al Ghazali, you really need to look into his work. His book, "The Alchemy of Happiness" is basically the science of the self from an Islamic perspective backed by authentic sources. There is no translation as of now, but Sheikh Hamza Yusuf translated and commented on the entire book, its alot of audio, but very worth it.

If I had a psychology degree, this is the approach I would take. I've been able to help my clients from a psychological perspective with this knowledge alone and it has helped immensely in my line of work :)
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*charisma*
07-19-2017, 04:40 PM
Assalamu Alaikum

Originally Posted by xssht
I want to use my degree to show people that mental illnesses are a very real thing and as are other issues which are associated with the study of psychology. But, I have no idea how to do this. I need some kind of advice or guidance and was wondering if you had any advice for me. Thank you.
My suggestion would be to collaborate with various organizations that are focused on mental health. Even ones who are not neccessarily Muslim organization could very well be in need of Muslim psychologists because they are unable to connect with the patients.

My second suggestion would be to raise awareness at any Muslim functions/events, organizations, mosques, schools etc. You can place posters or participate as a guest speaker just to bring awareness and let people that you have services that are available for them.

And my final suggestion would be to have active social media accounts for people to reach out and know more. Perhaps find a way to collaborate with speakers of other languages in order to have different media translated to reach a wider audience.

May ALlah make things easy for you ameen.
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