Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder that causes periods of depression and periods of abnormally elevated mood. The elevated mood is significant and is known as mania or hypomania, depending on its severity, or whether symptoms of psychosis are present. During mania, an individual behaves or feels abnormally energetic, happy, or irritable.

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Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla, Zakira Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla is a graduate of York University in Canada from where she obtained a BA in Psychology and Sociology and a Masters in the field of Education. She lectures on Islam at... Answer updated 2 months ago

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:

https://bipolarcaregivers.org/resources/organisations-and-websites-dealing-with-bipolar-disorder

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

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 6 months ago

There is no evidence that the Prophet was bipolar or ever acted in a way that could be considered as suffering from a mental disability. He shouldered tremendous responsibilities - personally, religiously, and as leader of state - and it is truly amazing how he managed to balance all of those responsibilities while at the same time maintaining an intense personal schedule of worship.  

However, given that receiving revelation is said to have been a heavy thing, I can understand why one might be tempted to draw a sort of mental parallel. In many cultures, there has been a thin line between spiritual vision and insanity - not the least because, to a very mundane person with no interest or belief in the spiritual realm, someone speaking on behalf of the divine is often considered insane!

It seems reasonable to treat these terms as mostly literal. Majnun, rather than meaning "mad", likely refers to the ancient practice in the Mediterranean and other regions whereby oracles, soothsayers, and so on, used to claim to transmit information from jinn or spirits. Thus, they are accusing the Prophet of being possessed and receiving the Qur'anic text from something other than God. However, God corrects them and says that this is not the case and that the revelation is actually from God. Some of the Sunni hadith texts refer to this view held by some disbelievers.  Some may also have meant it in the sense of "that's crazy", but not necessarily as an expression that he was suffering from a psychiatric condition. 

Similarly, some people who did not accept Islam accused the Prophet of bewitching people to follow him, and advised people not to listen to the Prophet speak so that they would not become bewitched. One of the companions even plugged his ears so he wouldn't hear the Prophet before eventually listening and becoming a Muslim!

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Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been... Answer updated 7 months ago

Islamically, people that suffer from mental health disorders that involve a change of personality, or a lack of awareness about what they are doing and saying, are not to considered to be in a state of responsibility for their actions. A person can only be obeyed if they are aware of themselves and what they are commanding; if they are in a state of conscious responsibility for their actions. When your husband is more 'himself', stable and conscious of his actions, then he can be obeyed; if he is going through a psychotic episode, and is not aware of the requests, or the consequences of those requests that he is making, then it is not obligatory to follow them. Of course, maintaining love and respect for him remains an obligation.