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.


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.


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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battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

12 thoughts on “Bipolar Nuns”

  1. Having seen some amazingly people of faith pushed out of the Catholic Church after a nervous breakdown I should think bipolar nun is an oxymoron at best.


    1. Shit I should have looked into the San Franciscan sisters of perpetual indulgence xD

      I grew up Catholic btw – no idea what damage it may or may not have caused and that whole time is too murky to look at now. *swishes velvet cloth to hide crystal ball*


  2. Takes me FOREVER to make it through your posts, as they take me on so many side trips. Enjoyable, informative side trips, though. Thanks for the patron saints of the mentally ill. Baptised RC, although my parents left the church when I was five. I’ve been something of a church slut, not devoted to one or another denomination for any length of time, and currently not attending church, though I did attend seminary a couple of times. Om and amen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess I did Catholicism up to 1st holy communion, then when someone brought up the subject of confirmation and told me I’d then be accepted as an adult into the church, I had one of those solemn deep adolescent thinks and said I’d better not.

      I’m glad you follow links and enjoy stuff – I like doing it and sharing it. I meet cool people that way :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. P.S. You are my favorite bipolar nun, I mean bipolar dyke. (My parents used to tell me that Catholics became nuns and priests for that was the only place gays and lesbians could be accepted while hiding behind clerical garb and “vows of chastity.”)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Closeted? What a waste. Is South Africa conservative? Of course, we’re talking a huge country. In the US, there are HUGE regional differences in terms of open-mindedness and homophobia.

        Liked by 1 person

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