Bipolar Nuns

Somebody landed up on my blog using the search term bipolar nun, which piqued my curiosity, so I searched it too. Sidenote: looking for bipolar monks gets you a whole bunch of Buddhists, plus Thelonius Monk.

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Forum thread: can you be a Catholic priest or nun if you have a mental illness? Turns out it’s a fairly common query; here’s a thread from a different forum, by a woman dealing with not being able to be a nun.

In Surviving Depression: a Catholic approach, Kathryn James Hermes , a Catholic nun gives the following advice for overcoming depression:

1.) Return to the Church: At least continual Mass, Confession, and Eucharist, see a priest, and proper prayer – this will strengthen your soul;
2.) Go to regular therapy
3.) Medication, if still necessary.

Another book, about spirituality and mental illness, is Wrestling with Angels by Sr Nancy Kehoe.

Then there’s this:

“I think the Catholic faith, especially with all its traditions and rituals, can give you a kind of safety,” Borchard says. “I joke that there’s a saint for every disorder, and if you run out of saints there’s always St. Jude for hopeless causes.” – See more

and here they are.

My vote goes to Saint Stephen Fry.

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Then I searched bipolar Buddhist nun and some of first results were about dealing with bipolar as a Buddhist. Given the popularity of mindfulness these days, I didn’t think it’d be particularly interesting, but it was.

A bipolar patient discusses Lamden – prisoner, psychiatrist, Buddhist nun.

… medications help fill the void and basically keep me alive because my depressive episodes easily lead to suicidal thoughts.
Meditation or medication? (Often both)

Well, om and amen.

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