Question and answer details
|As-Salamu `Alaikum. I constantly fear for all the things around me like talking to my family members, friends, teachers, or colleagues. My fear gets worse when I see a crowd, or when someone suddenly comes in front of me. I think too much about things. Due to my fear, I am unable to express my views to others. When I get fear, my voice changes, and I am unable to talk. I cannot concentrate in the class; I feel heaviness in my head. Please, help me overcome my fear and live a good life.|
|Aliah Azmeh, MSW|
As-salamu `alaikum brother,
Thank you for sending us your question. I am sorry to hear that you are having what it sounds like uncontrollable fear or anxiety. I ask Allah to rid you from these uncontrollable fears in order to help you to live a more fulfilling and constructive life.
The first thing I want to tell you brother is that you need counseling. Please seek out a counselor, therapist, clinical psychologist, or any mental health professional in your area that works with people in overcoming mental health disorders.
It is evident from your question that you are suffering from extreme anxiety that is affecting your day to day life, and you need to get treatment as soon as possible. The mental health provider that you choose will help you overcome your fears through a step by step process that would start by helping you realize where the fear cames from and why. Seeking counseling will help you tremendously to reach your goals.
When dealing with fear, the first thing to keep in mind is to analyze the fear. When did you first have these feelings of fear? What exactly are you afraid of? Why do you think you are afraid of it? What will happen if you are in contact with the source of the fear? Can the source of fear harm you in any way? These are questions you should always stay mindful of throughout your day, and when you start to feel fearful.
You need to get to the root of the problem and specify what you are afraid of. This is important because your fear can get way out of control, and then you start to get lost in your fear and you basically become decapitated socially and emotionally. The key here is to stay in control of your thoughts and emotions instead of letting them control you.
To put it in practical terms, you have mentioned that you are afraid of crowded areas. The next time you are in a crowded area, and you start to feel fearful, ask yourself: What is the worst thing that can happen when I face a crowd? Answer that question honestly within yourself, and then determine if it is realistic or not. For the most part, people do not get hurt in crowds, so you would have to compare your answer to the fact that the probability of getting hurt in a crowd is very low.
You must continue to remind yourself that you are generally safe and that nothing should hurt you. At first, doing this will be difficult because you are telling yourself one thing, and you feel something completely different. You just have to believe in yourself, be patient, and continue to rationalize your fear whenever you face it in this way.
Exposing yourself slowly or doing it a little at a time can also be helpful and make way for a gradual desensitization of your fear. The key here is to stay patient and to stick to your goals without giving up.
I ask Allah to help you to overcome these fears and to lead a successful life.
For further guidance, please try the following links:
About the Counselor:
Aliah F. Azmeh is a licensed clinical social worker who practices in Detroit, Michigan. Aliah graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has experience working in the United States and overseas. Aliah currently works as a clinical social worker and provides individual, family, and marital counseling at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response reflect an attempt from the counselor to deal with the case, based on the limited information provided in the question with no responsibility whatsoever on the website. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.