Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).
The emotional toll and challenges faced by both the diagnosed, as well as by those that interact with them on a daily basis, are enormous. The ensuing fluctuating moods associated with the illness can often lead to dysfunctional and fractured relationships.
However, Bipolar disorder is still a manageable illness and diagnosed individuals, given the proper medical and psychological intervention, can definitely lead a functional and satisfying life.
The important role that Divine Intervention also plays in true healing must never be undermined. Without a doubt, true healing or "shifa" occurs more completely and efficiently when one couples medicine "dawa" with worship "dua".
It is imperative to note that this is a lifelong illness that requires constant adjustment and treatment. There are no quick solutions. Rather, correcting dysfunctional behaviour and patterns is an on-going and often trail-and-error process.
Thus, if a loved one has expressed an inability to tolerate the way we react and behave, and has, in fact, chosen to leave due to the difficulty this poses in the relationship, then true resolution and reconciliation can only occur if we make a commitment to changing the said behaviours by first obtaining the proper medical assistance.
The issue in hand requires a long term, life-sustaining solution. Simply bringing back the spouse does not solve the issues that made them leave in the first place. Rather, a focus on managing the symptoms of the illness, itself, will have more tangible results and may lead to a changed atmosphere that would be more conducive to them returning.
First, it is important to have a proper, medical diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder by a medical practitioner who specializes in mental illness. Second, it is crucial to learn about the symptoms and treatment options. Be well-versed with the illness and become a full participant in your treatment so that you can make informed choices. This will not only help to manage your symptoms more efficiently but will indicate to your spouse that you are committed to becoming a more mood-regulated partner.
Take your medication regularly, whether you feel it is working or not. This also helps convey to your loved ones that you are making an active effort to manage your symptoms.
Du'a e Yastasheer and Du'a e Mashlool are highly powerful and recommended duas for those who struggle with mental illness.
Ibna tawus in his book Muhaj al Dawat and Kafami in his book Misbah narrate dua'a Yastasheer on the authority of Imam Ali ibna abi Talib (a.s) who learned it from the Holy Prophet (saww). It is said that "the sound of this dua'a moves to and around the arsh, its direct destination. It cures sickness and disperses sorrow, it cures insanity if recited before a mad man."
Dua Mashlool, also known as "supplication of the youth stricken for his sin," is also quoted from the work of Kaf-ami and from Muhaj al Da-wat by Sayyid ibn tawus.
Recite this dua'a after Isha salat, especially on Fridays. "It brings countless blessings. All your legitimate desires will be fulfilled. It drives away poverty and sickness. Sins are for given. Debts are cleared. Enemies become friends. Domestic affairs are set aright. Disputes are settled in your favour. Prisoners are set free and mental worries disappear. Prosperity, sound mind and healthy body stand by you at all times".
Managing bipolar disorder starts with proper treatment, including medication and psychotherapy. Be patient; it takes time to find to find the correct treatment.
Know your triggers (stress, financial difficulties, arguments, seasonal changes, lack of sleep, too much caffeine, missing medications) Learn how to relax and monitor yourself to ascertain what effectively helps you to regulate your moods.
It is extremely important to build and keep a strong support system. Never allow yourself to isolate from others; it may be very beneficial to join a support group and to also build new relationships. Take a class, join a group, volunteer, attend events at your Islamic centre.
Engage in a firm commitment to regulating your mood-swings. Using proper medication, psychotherapy, learning more functional ways of interacting and beseeching to Allah swt will put you in an optimum position for reaching out to your spouse for a reconciliation. Commit to join couples therapy and encourage your spouse to join a support group so that they can also learn more functional ways of dealing with your mood-fluctuations.
Do recite Dua Tawasul and ask the 14 Masumeen (a.s) to intercede and to assist you with the task ahead.
For a list of websites, resources and medical organizations that offer specialized care for bipolar disorder in specific cities around the world, visit:
May Allah swt bless you with healing and health, reconcile you with your loved ones and grant you the towfiqaat to deal with your illness with steadfast faith and patience. Ilaahi ameen