Faduma emerges through depression, hearing voices, disordered eating and embracing a son with unique needs to proudly pursue her hopes and dreams

We are currently seeking Muslims who have been through difficulties and challenges with their mental health to contribute to this pocketbook of hope; 

CONTACT US HERE if you’d like to find out how to get involved

Once feeling alone, worthless and that everyone was judging her, Faduma learned that facing and talking about her pain and challenges was the key to healing. She’s now grateful for her blessings and aims to use her difficult journey as a foundation for helping others…

Faduma-2

I first experienced depression after I gave birth to my son. I had postnatal depression which is quite common in women. My depression was very severe; I heard voices that constantly told me to take my life.  This started a week after giving birth and I said to myself ‘you can’t tell this to anyone’. I feared that if I told healthcare professionals, they would take my baby away. I mean I was thinking of taking my life, I thought how could I be normal? I was 22 years old, a mum for the first time and I was a single mother. My circumstances didn’t make things easy, in fact they escalated my symptoms.

Healing from the pain of childbirth, I felt as if I was in a war between my body and mind. As the voices got louder, it was hard to know what was real and what was not. I was scared for my son’s safety, so if I wasn’t feeding him or changing him, he was in his bed. There was no time for bonding. This was survival.

After 2 weeks I realised I wasn’t well, and I couldn’t continue to live like this, so I told my family. I left my house and stayed with extended family members. Surprisingly the voices weren’t there anymore; til this day I believe that house where I heard the voices was haunted. I mean, I didn’t hear the voices unless I was inside my house, but as soon as I left, they left too.

I decided to move and by the time my son was 6 months, I found a new place to live. By the will of Allah, our new home felt much safer, and I no longer heard those voices. I started to bond with my baby and started to enjoy being a mother. I still felt depressed every now and then, but not to that extreme length.

Depression came to visit me again when my son got diagnosed with Autism. This time I didn’t need voices. I was my own worse enemy. I felt worthless and constantly picked on myself. I was the mother with the sick child. I hated it when people said to me; ‘May Allah heal your child’ because it didn’t feel like a dua (prayer), it felt like a statement. I felt like I no longer belonged to my community. I had a disadvantage already for being a single mother, now I had a child with special needs. It was obvious that I didn’t have my community’s support. I felt like I was just a ‘thing’ people looked down on, a ‘thing’ people looked at and thought; nah I don’t want to be associated with her.

I prayed to Allah asking him for comfort. I cried everyday all day. I would look at my son and fear for his future. Would he ever talk? Would he require a lifetime of care? I had so many questions and no one understood my pain. I didn’t know who to turn for comfort, so I turned to food. I ate my feelings and felt guilty the next day. So, I would overeat one day and starve myself the next so I wouldn’t get fat. But I started to gain weight. I drove myself to deep depression. I lived inside my head. To the outside world, to my friends and family, I was happy. But they had no idea what was going on inside my head. I started to isolate myself, I felt ugly, fat and worthless. I had to do everything by myself.

This continued for almost 2 years. My son started special school, I was going to uni and working. Things started to feel balanced. But he struggled with sleep, he was up everyday at 2am so I’d take him to school, leave my car and take the train, go to uni and sit in a 2 hour lecture half asleep. I couldn’t do it. It took a toll on my health big time. I felt the most alone I’d felt in my life.

One day, I decided I was gonna get help, professional help. I spoke to my GP and was put on anti depressants. It didn’t help, they just increased my appetite. So, I did a self referral to Lambeth Talking Therapy. They offered me 6 weeks cognitive behaviour therapy and it was the best decision. I was committed to going to therapy and was honest about how I was feeling. I am still using the techniques I learned during therapy as this isn’t a quick fix.

My son is doing well now, he has said his first word, spelled his first word. He is the sweetest little boy and I can’t imagine not being his mother. He is a beautiful blessing and I thank Allah for choosing me to be his mother. I am now studying psychology part time and hope one day to be an Educational Psychologist inshallah. I am slowly learning to not be so hard on myself.

I will be 27 this year inshallah and I am glad I didn’t listen to those voices and take my life.

I have so much to live for and you do too.

Never give up.

We are currently seeking more Muslims who have been through difficulties and challenges with their mental health to contribute to this pocketbook of hope; 

CONTACT US HERE if you’d like to find out how to get involved

Why is this important? 

This groundbreaking book in this wonderful series is aimed at breaking the silence and stigma in Muslim communities around mental health issues, providing a platform to share recovery stories and giving hope and inspiration to our friends, families and communities. All contributions will be published on the #EmergingProud blog, and with enough contributors we will be able to publish both a hard copy and EBook which can then be circulated far and wide inshaAllah!

If you would like further information on how to go about writing your story for the blog please CONTACT US HERE 

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