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Existential "crisis", not sure where to post.

J

JohnK

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First of all, let me start by saying that I have no intention whatsoever to be insulting or hurting in any manner, I am purely here to ask question to try to get feel better about something that troubles me very much.

I have a fear/paranoia of islam, it is not always there and on my “good days” I have the sensation to be at ease with the world, but when it hits me it hits bad. I don’t know how it came to be, maybe it’s from my father who is a bit right leaning or just the way the recent past unraveled (I am French). I read the qu’ran, which did not make things better, even though I tried to dissociate myself from my bias.
Anyways, that is not really the point of this post, the past is past, I am rather seeking a way to get better, and if not change my point of view, at least accept thing the way they are.

I think it affects me for two main reasons that I will detail in a moment but first I feel like I should explain what thoughts are “triggering” me. First of all, when I think about ex-muslims/atheists living in muslim countries, it causes me pain. I am only aware of 2 muslim countries where leaving islam doesn’t have explicit legal repercussion, but even in those, leaving can lead to social stigmas. As an atheist, thinking that someone deserves to be jailed (or worse) for his/her lack of faith profoundly shocks me. Even in France, it seems that the amount of peer pressure that muslims are putting on each other is quite big, I have once seen a girl on the street being insulted for being a “bad muslim” since she wasn’t wearing the hijab. Trying to imagine what it is like living as a muslim and having to perform all the social obligations makes me uneasy, as it doesn’t very healthy psychologically speaking. Based on my very subjective limited experience, it looks like it’s not getting better since religiosity seem to be increasing (at least on a surface level) in muslim communities. So whenever I see a young woman fully covered I get sad because I think “why are you willingly doing that to yourself?”, also, it shows me that these beliefs are not going to “disappear thanks to the internet and education” as some are claiming.

Now that I have described some of my trigger thoughts, I want to try to explain why I think it makes me feel that way in general. The first one is easy to describe, the second one not so (but I will try).

When I think about islam related issues/questions, it makes me feel incredibly alone because I get the impression that I cannot talk about it with anybody since all my friends are very left leaning. I am afraid they would not understand or reject me if I really stated my concerns. I am very aware that this might completely a projection created by my fear of judgment (I often have problems stating what I want/think out of fear of being rejected). Even so, I am like paralyzed and cannot talk no matter how hard I try, which sometimes fills me with apathy or hatred towards the rest of the world.

The second point could be the most relevant because it is what is preventing me from taking a “step back” and telling myself that all this concerns don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. This paranoia of mine keeps telling that there is a slim but existent chance that islam takes over the world given a long enough time-scale. This has started by seeing demographic projections from the UN and PEW stating that it will be the 1st religion in the world by 50 years from now and seeing the shift in population in France supports this. I keep trying to tell myself “it doesn’t matter, I’ll be dead by then anyways” but it doesn’t work because of the kind of belief that I have of what comes after death. I don’t know how it could be called, memoryless-reincarnation or “circle of life” : you cease to be but life goes on so you cease to be you but the capacity of having consciousness still goes on as long as human exist. With this belief, whenever I have bad times, I can say “well my life sucks now, but the situation will get better eventually in X00 years for the next generations” which comforts me. But because of my islam paranoia I cannot say that anymore since there is a slim chance that the coming generations end up all brainwashed and psychologically abused. A religiousless world would encourage more research in the pursuit of happiness (once social inequalities are taken care of) which cannot be the case in a religious world since in this configuration, the meaning of life is already written and unquestionable.

I don’t know how to make sense of all of this and am wondering how to change this paradigm. Any suggestions ? Should I get look for help ?
 
Tawny

Tawny

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I naturally, don't understand very well how you feel and your reason for feeling the way you do. For me, religion is a very simple and straightforward thing - a person either believes in God, or they do not, or they are uncertain. Just the three positions.

Some people go from one to the other often. Some stay in one belief.

The name of the God or the name of the religion, doesn't matter to me. The place a person worships, doesn't matter. If others know or not, it doesn't matter. My religious views are private and they are mine. It is my choice what i believe and how i practice my religion. The book, the bible for example, guides people how to practice, but the most important thing IMO is the belief and how we choose to be as a person. It is the basics of our religion, of all religions, that are important. For me, that is belief, and to be a good person, fundamentally.

The name of your religion is based on what your parents believed usually, and which country a person grew up in. If there is a mosque in your town, you may be a muslim, a church, you may be a christian, a temple, you may be Hindu.

This is how i personally see it.
 
M

Mistral

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With all due respect I cannot see why this has anything to do with mental health. The OP uses a few words like paranoia and fear, but it appears to be just one person's view of a religion and the people who practice it.
 
J

JohnK

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With all due respect I cannot see why this has anything to do with mental health.
Then I didn't do a good enough job at describing how I feel. I think of it kind of like what some of my friends who really got into ecology are going through (obviously religion and climate change are two different things, this is just to illustrate). The more they learn about it and try to find solutions, the more they have this impression that everything is hopeless and get super depressed and/or resentfull. But they talk about it, they get in touch with other like-minded people and eventually they figure it out and are able to find some sort of peace or hope again.
But I don't, since, as i've mentionned I really have trouble to talk about it and so I stay alone and keep feeling miserable. I don't care if what i'm thinking is true or not, there is nothing I can do anyways. I just want some sense of meanning in life or the ability to have hope again.
 
M

Mistral

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Your assumption that I did not understand your first post is puzzling to me.
 
M

ManDss

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I understand your concerns, but a I think you are making it all too big.

You cant talk about this with your friends ? Wow, they are dumb people. It shouldnt be a very polemic topic.

But yes you are just too paranoid about somethings. The same fear you have now is the fear people had abiut 20 years ago, does something happened ? And 1 thing is to be worry about, you are just too concerned about something could or not happen and is mostly improvable to happen.

Feeling bad about people living there, thats the only reasonable thing I see. To what point ? Its hard to say it, but if you cant do nothing... whats the point. To the point makes you sad ? Reasonable. To the point controls and dictates your life ? No.
 
M

Mistral

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I think if the OP has accepted that this fear is not a rational fear, then perhaps therapy might help.
 
J

JohnK

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I think if the OP has accepted that this fear is not a rational fear, then perhaps therapy might help.
Well that depends on what you define as not rational. I think it has very good reasons, both subjective (personnal experience) and objective (texts/data) but the proportions it has are indeed irrational and I want a change. I guess I need to accept that I am irrelevant and that some of the values I hold dear (like freedom of thoughts) might not be essential for the overall well-being of a community.
Which kind of therapy would you suggest ?
 
M

Mistral

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It looks like you do not accept that it is a mental health problem that needs treatment, so I doubt that therapy would help.

Maybe you should post this on the debating chamber sub forum.
 
P

Prycejosh1987

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Religion can be a blessing or a curse, in the lives of people that follow. It is a blessing if a person receives the right guidance, but a curse if a person doesnt have good examples to follow. If a person does not spiritually grow then it can be a problem. I go to church, it is a blessing for me. I try to take in the principles and directions that Christianity follows and allows.
 

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