The Student Room Group

Do Muslims go to therapy and get eating disorder treatment?

Because Muslims fast during Ramadan and there's loads of other special optional days to fast.
Reply 1
And you have to fast when you are healthy or make compensation if you are unable to fast during Ramadan.
Yes but have you seen how much a muslim eats during iftar? Most Muslims now eat more in ramadan than in any other months and all of the foods we eat in iftar are sooo unhealthy.
Reply 3
Well, I am not Muslim, but I spoke to a Muslim friend once about eating disorder therapy and Islam and fasting and eating disorders...
She told me that just like in Judaism, if there is a health issue that prevents you from fasting you are allowed not to fast. Going to any type of therapy or counselling is less common in Islam, just because it is not traditional, however, in modern cities where they are exposed to it more they are more likely to go to a therapy if needed. Just like 20 years ago Muslim women didn't go to a gynecologist and now it is almost as common as in any other group in modern cities.
I was raised in a mixed town (Jews and Arabs). A genecology nurse in the clinic I went to was an Arab.
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 4
Do they go to therapy for eating disorders?

Yes, some do but probably fewer people than who actually need to due to a lot of reasons. This includes things like stigma or shame (not just personal shame related to the ED, but also from their communities e.g. certain ethnicities. A lot of this is based on misconceptions or stereotypes, or a lack of awareness. Some also might believe (falsely) any ED or mental health condition, like psychosis, are linked to demonic possession. It’s sound foolish, but some believe it.

A strong element around ED are issues in self control and discipline where essentially it’s taken to an extreme and overdone and usually in response to some form of trauma.

Fasting during Ramadan, and Ramadan itself will not stop anyone from having an ED and shouldn’t be seen as such. The aim of Ramadan is to improve yourself spiritually and mentally, by learning the struggle of those less fortunate than yourselves and to an extent regaining self control and disciple over yourself, spiritually, mentally and physically.

People shouldn’t be eating to excess during iftar at Ramadan time, or at any time really. I think there a Hadith around this too but obvs there are people that do.

You can see how the two might get mixed up wrongly.

Seeking professional help is a must where you need it, even Islamically (despite what a very very small minority might believe) and so you should not be put off.

If you have or think you have an ED, then please seek help as soon as possible. Talk about this with family and friends who you trust and love and will support you, as well as professional help from your GP or there are a number of charities that offer practical advice and support, such as BEAT.

Recognise the signs, and identify the causes or the habits that you feel are impacting your life negatively and try to change these. Try and ignore any negative thoughts, especially if anyone tries to shame you or your family, understand this is based on ignorance and try to have patience and educate people.
The fasting Muslims do isn't actually healthy and loads of them actually put on weight during Ramadan because fasting all day doesn't help you lose weight when you're stuffing your face with dozens of greasy samosas and other things as soon as the sun goes down.
Reply 6
Original post by Sorcerer of Old
The fasting Muslims do isn't actually healthy and loads of them actually put on weight during Ramadan because fasting all day doesn't help you lose weight when you're stuffing your face with dozens of greasy samosas and other things as soon as the sun goes down.

There's nothing stopping them from breaking their fast with healthy food (or even eating healthy for the meal before sunrise).
Reply 7
Original post by NazifaNawer
Yes but have you seen how much a muslim eats during iftar? Most Muslims now eat more in ramadan than in any other months and all of the foods we eat in iftar are sooo unhealthy.

There's nothing stopping you from eating healthy food for iftar and sehri though. You can still eat healthily, we just choose not to for some reason.
Reply 8
Original post by Sorcerer of Old
True, but I'm not talking about what people should be doing, I'm talking about what people are doing. And it's undeniable that most Muslims stuff their gobs with an obscene amount of greasy and fatty foods before sunrise and after sunset. After Ramadan it is very common to see a big increase in the advertising of weight loss products and services in Muslim countries.

Before sunrise we don't eat greasy samosas, we tend to eat rice and curry (Asian Muslims anyway)
Original post by Anonymous
Do they go to therapy for eating disorders?

Yes, some do but probably fewer people than who actually need to due to a lot of reasons. This includes things like stigma or shame (not just personal shame related to the ED, but also from their communities e.g. certain ethnicities. A lot of this is based on misconceptions or stereotypes, or a lack of awareness. Some also might believe (falsely) any ED or mental health condition, like psychosis, are linked to demonic possession. It’s sound foolish, but some believe it.

A strong element around ED are issues in self control and discipline where essentially it’s taken to an extreme and overdone and usually in response to some form of trauma.

Fasting during Ramadan, and Ramadan itself will not stop anyone from having an ED and shouldn’t be seen as such. The aim of Ramadan is to improve yourself spiritually and mentally, by learning the struggle of those less fortunate than yourselves and to an extent regaining self control and disciple over yourself, spiritually, mentally and physically.

People shouldn’t be eating to excess during iftar at Ramadan time, or at any time really. I think there a Hadith around this too but obvs there are people that do.

You can see how the two might get mixed up wrongly.

Seeking professional help is a must where you need it, even Islamically (despite what a very very small minority might believe) and so you should not be put off.

If you have or think you have an ED, then please seek help as soon as possible. Talk about this with family and friends who you trust and love and will support you, as well as professional help from your GP or there are a number of charities that offer practical advice and support, such as BEAT.

Recognise the signs, and identify the causes or the habits that you feel are impacting your life negatively and try to change these. Try and ignore any negative thoughts, especially if anyone tries to shame you or your family, understand this is based on ignorance and try to have patience and educate people.


This is the correct answer! I didn't know how to put this in words properly but you explained everything perfectly.
Original post by Anonymous
There's nothing stopping you from eating healthy food for iftar and sehri though. You can still eat healthily, we just choose not to for some reason.


Yes we can. And there's even a hadith about eating moderately. But as already mentioned by another user, muslims should be eating healthily but we are not doing it because of cultural reasons. Nowadays ramadan is more of a month for eating and celebrating instead of being a spiritual booster. So it's our fault.
Reply 11
Yes, they do. Loads of my Muslim friends and myself see Healthcare Professionals for different types of things. I saw a question on here similar to this before and I wonder why people are wondering if Muslims get Mental Health treatment. Muslims get medical treatment like everyone else.
Original post by Anonymous
Before sunrise we don't eat greasy samosas, we tend to eat rice and curry (Asian Muslims anyway)

What you and a few other outliers do doesn't change the reality that most Muslims eat very unhealthy foods during Ramadan in obscene quantities and that's what causes the weight gain.

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