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It's an itch, almost electric. I can feel it pulsing through the right side of my body. The only way to make it stop or at least tame it is by shaking my right leg, my right hand and especially my right finger. I don't know why. But there is something about this "energy" that I dare not talk about lest it become immortalized on the internet: hypersexuality.

Hypersexuality and Muslims

The Mayo Clinic says this about hypersexuality:

Compulsive sexual behavior is sometimes called hypersexuality or sexual addiction. It's an intense focus on sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors that can't be controlled. This causes distress and problems for your health, job, relationships or other parts of your life.

Bipolar and the Sexual Energy

I can't say I have a sexual addiction but if I weren't Muslim then I probably would and Allah knows best. I don't know where my high libido comes from. Making wudu feels very good. It tames the sexual thoughts pervading my head. But I paint myself as such a bad person for having them. I think myself impure but the thoughts don't define me. They are just that: thoughts. But try telling that to an addict.

This post is meant to normalize the sexually charged thoughts or energy you can have with a mental health challenge. It's not about addictions because I don't know enough about it nor do I have enough experience about it. What I do struggle with is the intensity of the thoughts I have and how my mind will use to define who I am as a person.

Hypersexuality Doesn't Define You as a Person

Men think about sex nineteen times a day while women think about it ten times a day according to an article on BBC. The problem can arise when you obsess about those thoughts, especially if your mental health challenge predisposes you to have obsessive thoughts. Sexual thoughts can also become a problem when you let your mind reign free and don't take care of the mental junk you have.

The lack of critical thinking, reflection and self improvement is what I mean by letting your mind reign free. There are no checks in place to make sure your soul and moral intelligence are in charge and above your emotional intelligence.

Quote by Ibn Qayyim

This quote is so relevant for Muslims with bipolar when it comes to hypersexuality. I know it is challenging but mastering your thoughts can be done. Check out my bipolar ebook for more on that.

A key method in managing my thoughts is the things I expose my senses to. So that depends on what I look at whether it's social media or watch television or even the content I consume while walking down the street. No wonder why Islam places such an importance on lower your gaze and being very mindful of what we look at.

You can't control the thoughts you have but you can definitely control the things you look at. When you are looking at sexually explicit material even if it's looking at a person (male or female) down the street who is not covering their awrah, repeated exposure can increase the probability that you have more sexual thoughts.

I must say that think link between hypersexual thoughts and what you consume is just based on my experience so do your own research or see what happens in your own situation. Because Muslims with bipolar are more sensitive, the things they look at can affect them more than others.

Hypersexual Music and Audio

Listening to explicit music, podcast or even swear words can definitely get you hyped up. If you are an audio person, as opposed to video, then keeping your ears clean can keep your thoughts clean.

Listen to nature sounds more, even if it's a simulated audio. Listen to Quran recitation or be around people who speak good.

When is Hypersexuality Okay

When you are hypomanic and especially manic, you will probably be hypersexual. That's ok. It's not your fault. God knows how many times I've been there and the things I've said and did. Alhumudulillah, Allah covered me up each time.

When you have lost your insanity, you are not held accountable for your actions. So if you do things that are not permissible in Islam while you are sick, the rules are different. Do your own research to see what applies to you and what doesn't.

If you do end up doing embarrassing things or shameful things while you are unwell or in an episode, like many people I know, forgive yourself. See that as part of your illness and not who you are as a person. Have compassion on yourself just like you would for a friend who did something wrong.

Ask Allah for forgiveness and write a forgiveness letter to yourself.

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A brain with a pink background

Depression. It's more than sadness. It's a tsunami of impending doom. It's more than worry. It keeps you up at night. Not because of amusement but because of the taunting, the screeching thoughts, the monstrous howls, the silent scream and the excruciating cries. Feeling any pain or even disturbance yet?

I'm currently going through postpartum depression or so my therapist says. I did a podcast episode on this topic before and a previous blog post on it as well.

Beginner's Mind Set

I am working on instilling a beginner's mindset. This means, as I'm learning from Susan David in her book "Agility," means I approach every situation with a new set of eyes instead of using the same thought patterns or biases I've heal about that very same scenario before. I went through postpartum depression before and as I go through it again, I'm trying something different, just to spice things up. You may have seen on my Instagram that I was recently at a crisis center. Coming out of it, I walked away with a very important and dare I say life-saving tool: A Safety Plan.

A Safety Plan for Depression

A safety plan for a mental health challenge is meant to keep you, well, safe. It protects you from harm should a crisis arise. This tool is the "Tie your camel part" as you put your trust in Allah.

I didn't think much of it. Meh, it's just a piece of paper. However, when I was recently in a crisis, after I came out of the crisis center lol, it helped. I know, my life is just full of fun hardships. I love it alhumdulillah. I think of the little bursts of bipolar I go through as a track, jumping over one hurdle after another, racing to get to Jannah. Anyways, back to the topic: a safety plan.

Defeat Depression at It's Own Game with a Guide

Depression is very cerebral. I mean it is in your head, duh. But I don't mean that you make it up. I mean that it is mental albeit with a biological root. So you need something that is outside the head. You need something that is logical, a clear cut tool to slay away the depression.

A Clear Plan for Depression (or insert your challenging feeling)

This plan doesn't cure depression. That cure lies with Allah. This tool does give you the means to help yourself when you start feeling depressed. You can very well use this template I made for you, a copy of the one I got, for anxiety, mania or other tough times you may me challenged with even for anger.

Click on the PDF below to get your copy of the comprehensive safety plan guide.

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Download PDF • 26KB

In the first part of the safety plan for depression, write down the warning signs that accompany your depression, postpartum depression, anxiety, mania or psychosis. They can be physical or mental symptoms. For example, for mania it could be that you start many different projects and keep jumping from one to other without even finishing one.

The next parts are pretty explanatory. Step 2 is about things you can do yourself to cope. The next step is the social situations and people that can distract you from your situation but in a good way. The next two steps are turning towards your social support network and then turning towards the mental health support network you have. Lastly, list the ways you can make your environment safe.

This crisis plan is a great tool to have handy. Keep it on your fridge or somewhere you look often so that it becomes second nature to you. Once you recognize the signs (step 1), you can start right away in helping yourself.

May Allah give you much healing and health.

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Updated: Apr 28

A man running on a mountain

Running and Spiritual Health

Running is invigorating. Running is spiritual. Running is motivating. Running is freeing. But above all, running is brutal. It has the capacity to tear you down to your raw bones. And that's what makes it worthwhile. Am I crazy? Maybe. But what if I'm not?

Runner's High, Mania High and That Other High

If you ask me, out of all these three highs, I prefer the runner's high. It is the hardest one to have but definitely the most worthwhile. It's a challenging high because you have to elicit the emotion. For one thing, you actually have to do work and run to feel elated.

I've experienced the mania high more than I care to count and alhumdulillah I've kept myself pretty sheltered with good company to stay away from that other high of illegal drugs and alcohol.

Many of us seek highs, if not through running then through fulfilling our passions and desires. This drive to feel elated can be to our betterment or determent. When we have a hunger to to do meaningful work or have meaningful relationships, then our life is fulfilling. However, when our energy is directed towards base pursuits, things that are harmful to our physical, mental, spiritual health, then the high actually turns in to a low and even a down fall. Having the correct self-awareness, insight and company is crucial to fostering a life of healthy highs.

Your Body is a Blessing. It's Your Job to Take Care of It

I you don't actively derive energy from your passions, your pain and hardships can consume you. In other words, the challenges of this life can suck the life out of you. You need an escape. That escape for me is running. Doing this activity is a way closer to Allah. You are taking care of your body that your Lord blessed you with.

What is your passion? What is your escape? What is the moment in your day where you can feel at peace? What is the one hobby or recreational activity that can bring you closer to Allah?

Runner's High?

Running or aerobic is one of the best things we can do for mental health. David Linden, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says that a "runner's high" is actually very rare. Yes, I'm eating my own word. He says,

"Exercise increases the levels of endocannabinoids in the bloodstream, Linden explains. Unlike endorphins, endocannabinoids can move easily through the cellular barrier separating the bloodstream from the brain, where these mood-improving neuromodulators promote short-term psychoactive effects such as reduced anxiety and feelings of calm."


Fauja Singh

I must say when I took up running, I was inspired by Fauja Singh's story. He started jogging to deal with the grief of his son's death. At the age of 89, he started running seriously and became famous when he completed the London Marathon and beat the record for world's best in the 90 plus section.

His story is inspiring because it shows you can take up running at any age. But more importantly, Singh use running as a way to deal with the loss of his son. In this way, running became more than just an activity or sport. He raised it to a level of a therapeutic tool. I can't say if the thumping on the pavement with one foot after the other was spiritual for him for I've never met him but there's no denying that it meant more to him as it helped him deal with a tragedy.

In this way, running can help someone deal with mental health challenges.

Maybe Running Ain't Your Thing

Just because running is spiritual for some doesn't mean it'll be for you. In this case, find your own spiritual activity besides the ritualistic actions we perform such as salah, adhkar and fasting. Experiment my friend and find your own thing you will.

Schedule in Your Spiritual Health

When something is important, you schedule it in. You put it on your calendar. So make sure to schedule in your spiritual activity. Pick a time that works for you and is blocked out so no one can reach you or disturb you. Shut off your phone, leave the house or school or send the kids to grandma.

Do what you need to do to have this preventive routine for your mental health and wellbeing.

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