A Khoja doctor has warned that too many Muslim men are reluctant to seek help with their mental health issues. Dr Mohammedabbas Khaki has written in UK national newspaper The Independent to urge Muslim men to contact their local GP or healthcare team.
He highlighted the importance of the issue of mental health, with ‘suicide being the leading cause of death of young men under 35’, while globally ‘depression has overtaken back pain as the number one cause of disability.’
Dr Khaki argued that traditional notions of masculinity can make Muslim men less likely to confront what can be perceived as a source of weakness, blaming themselves for mental health problems. Often members of the community believe that since depression is not visible, it is not real, he said.
No need to suffer in silence
Many can see depression as an issue of belief, fearing questioning of their faith. Dr Khaki reminded Muslim men that ‘you haven’t done anything wrong; that God is not angry with you, and that you don’t need to suffer in silence.’
Dr Khaki urged Muslim leaders to address the taboos surrounding mental health, and to support their congregations with their mental health needs. He also argued that mental health services should be more culturally competent, providing holistic community-oriented health and wellbeing support.
Talk to a medical professional
Muslim men often only seek help with their mental health issues when it is too late, Dr Khaki warned, urging that it is vital that they talk to a medical professional.
Read the full article in The Independent here
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