Fasting in the holy month of Ramazan has many advantages for individuals living with psychological disorders such as mild degrees of depression, anxiety and insomnia, an expert at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) in Doha, Qatar said.
“Fasting, and the spiritual and social practices that accompany it, enables these individuals to withstand and cope with life’s worries and woes, thus helping them reach a state of,” HMC senior consultant psychiatrist Dr Suhaila Ghuloum said.
Fasting and associated acts of worship like Taraweeh or “evening mass prayer” during Ramadan promote communication and social interaction, Dr Ghuloum said.
“Patients with mild to moderate degrees of depression participating in such activities tend to get removed out of their secluded lifestyle and alternatively, become rather optimistic and start to think positively of themselves and others around them,” she explained.
Citing figures from the World Health Organization, Dr Ghuloum said 6 percent of the world’s population suffers from depression or an estimate of about 350mn people of varying ages.