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Case Study: A Muslim experience of OCD

Dr Yusuf presents a case study of providing support for a Muslim who was experiencing scrupulosity OCD

In this video, Dr Yusuf presents a case study of providing support for a Muslim who was experiencing scrupulosity OCD.

The person in the case study had previously received mental health support that was informed by the bio-psycho-social approach, receiving both talking therapy and medication. However, he felt that this treatment plan had not addressed his spiritual and religious concerns, experiencing the non-Muslim practitioners support as intrusive and not sufficiently informed about Islam to provide advice and guidance. He had also sought support from an imam, but because the imam had not received sufficient training around recognising OCD as a mental health problem that may require medical intervention, his advice was insufficient to address the problem.

Dr Yusuf explained the person’s OCD to him as both a mental health problem that impacted on his spirituality, and as a spiritual problem that impacted on his mental health. Dr Yusuf provided religious guidance on the spiritual aspects of the problem, and healthcare support for the mental health problem (or disorder). The outcome of Dr Yusuf’s intervention meant that the person’s self-reported anxiety reduced from eight out of ten, to two out of ten after two weeks, and he maintained this reduced level of anxiety thereafter.

As a psychiatrist and an Islamic scholar, Dr Yusuf was able to provide both mental health support and spiritual support to this person. He suggests that an integrated multi-disciplinary team (MDT), that includes an imam or religious scholar alongside mainstream (e.g. NHS) health and social care practitioners, might also be an effective solution to providing mental health support from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework.

Over to you

Do you make use of multi-disciplinary teams, or consult other specialists more informally, in the mental health support you provide?

  • If you are a religious practitioner (e.g. imam or chaplain), how would (or do) you feel about working with mainstream mental health care practitioners?
  • If you are a mainstream practitioner, how would (or do) you feel about working with a religious practitioner?

Share your responses to this question below.

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Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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