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.
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.