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Mental Health and Fasting in Ramadan

Author(s): Sh. Sardarpour Goudarzi | A. Sultani Zarandi

Journal: Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology
ISSN 1735-4315

Volume: 8;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 26;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: Ramadan | psychiatry | fasting | SCL-90-R | mental health

AbstractObjectives: The study was conducted to evaluate the correlation between fasting in the month of Ramadan and mental health.�Method: 75 seemingly healthy Moslem men intending to fast in Ramadan 1418 lunar calendar (1376 solar calendar, 1997 Christian calendar) as they had in the previous years were studied in a two-month period. The subjects’ mental health was assessed through SCL-90-R at three stages, once in the beginning of Ramadan, then at the end of Ramadan, finally a month later. The data were analyzed through t-tests.�Findings: The average scores of the subjects who fasted in Ramadan showed significant difference across all scales at the end of Ramdan as well as a month later. Fasting in Ramadan only significantly reduced the average score on the scale paranoia. The reduction was still significant at the follow up, a month after Ramadan. The study demonstrated that the scores obtained by the married subjects on obsession, compulsion, and paranoia scales were higher after Ramadan  as compared to single subjects the reduction of paranoia and the overall coefficient of symptoms were greater among the employed fasting subjects than their unemployed counterparts. Results: Fasting in Ramadan reduces some mental disturbances, but such reduction are not significant in most cases. There is a need for  more controlled studies. 

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