Any Catholic Practices Designed for the Psychologically Ill (Borderline, Bipolar, Depression, etc.)?


I have been searching on Google and even on this forum, and I still haven’t found a compendium for Catholic practices that might be suitable for the psychologically ill. Indeed, I have always heard of praying the Rosary, seek St. Dymphna’s intercession, etc. However, I have never heard of something more integral, such as the mortification one can do if you have depression, or some sort of guidance to the spiritually devout (as differentiated from insane “fanatics”) who happen to be psychologically ill in some form or another (like bipolar, depression, etc.).

Of course, this is going to depend on what kind of diagnosis that one might have (me, having a bit of depression, might differ in “spiritual treatment” than say, a borderline person). But it remains the same – it seems as if there is almost no help in spiritual guidelines when it comes to people like me (at least, none that I know of). Can you help me, please?

Thanks a lot! Your help is much appreciated!

[SIGN](And please remember that this thread is only for spiritual help, not psychological therapy!)[/SIGN]

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus bless you and St. Jean Vianney help you all.


P.S.: Any recommended books that I should be reading could help too. Again, thank you for your help.


I encourage you to click on the “Groups” tab at the top of the page and find the group called (I think) “Mentally Ill Catholics Staying Close to the Cross.” I admit I’ve not visited this group, but it comes up frequently on the list on the left side of the page with new messages, which probably means it’s fairly active.

Hope it helps.



My thoughts: First, working towards health psychologically and physically IS a form of prayer in action (it is genuinely loving the temple of the Holy spirit). Second, spiritual direction is a great resource if possible. Third, website posted above. Fourth, looking for role models in Saints that were depressed–Therese of Lisieux, Elizabeth Seton, Edith Stein, Gregory Nazianzus for example.

Books out there now.( I am sure more to come): The Context of Holiness–Psychological and Spiritual Reflections on the Life of Terese of Lisieux… and because your particular case is depression–Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach.


I didn’t say part of that clearly. To work towards health IS prayer when one, from the heart, makes that the purpose. “God, I love you. Please help me through the day. I will do my part. I will (go to the doctor, take my meds, do my therapy homework, seek consultation, etc).” Something like that. That’s when working toward psychological and physical health is prayer, not when you just do it spiritually un-recollected.


Thanks for the answers, guys, but would anyone who’s actually in this situation help me out here too? The theoretics (and books) are nice, but it would help to have some personal experience in this mix: I want to learn from what other people have done to actually build their spiritual life despite this numbing psychological disorder. ;):thumbsup:

Again, merci beaucoup!

–Jean-Therese Delacroix


After 40 years of depression, and a turn to the Church in the last 10-15 years (each year more deeply than the last), I am finally accepting the need for the big guns. I am accepting the reality of a sort of demonic oppression that has affected nearly every aspect of every foundation in my life. I won’t go into details, but I have had, over the last 5 months, an overwhelming feeling of not being able to carry on. I was put into contact with a local priest with a gift of reading souls, who told me things about me that he just plain could not have known. Recently I met a visiting priest who is quite credible in his assessment of demonic influences, who had me buy a book by Neal Lozano (“Unbound”), and suggested I undergo a deliverance. Finding out that deliverance is 98% finding the truth, and 2% commanding the enemy to leave, I am ready to do it, and have made an appointment.

I am considered outwardly a successful professional man with a great career, family, and am a catechist at our Church. I do not consider myself a “flake”.

I asked Jesus in front of the Blessed Sacrament what plan satan had for my life. The answer came very quickly and with quiet certitude - to have me destroy myself. It is the plain and simple truth. I myself am powerless to resist. I have no choice left but to place my entire trust in God, because there is nothing left in which to trust.

God’s blessings be upon you, Tim


Offer your daily crosses to Jesus each day.


One thing I’ve heard stressed over and over is for people to seek out a spiritual director that is trained in helping those who suffer psychological problems (ask your priest about how to contact one). The second thing would be follow the advice of the spiritual director in matters concerning faith (like figuring out which actions were sinful and which were not in order to make a good confession). Psychological illnesses can cause a a lot of confusion with people concerning what they need to do to fulfill their obligations.

So, I would say the number one thing would be to always seek out and ask for help when needed.


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