Discernment and Mental Illness


So, I have diagnosed Major Depressive Disorder and a Generalized Anxiety disorder and I am on meds for both. I want to date but I keep having this feeling of guilt that I’m running away from God’s will. I “discerned” religious life for several year in high school and college which included talking to orders. I don’t feel called to religious life, just an overwhelming sense of guilt for not choosing it.

I don’t really want to look into it further because it makes me so anxious. I really want to find peace in not choosing it but it is so hard for me. Now, I’m trying to figure out if this feeling is of God or because everything makes me anxious.

I have been praying for a spouse for years and I feel like God is holding back for some reason. Is this in my head or what? Please help! :eek:


Well, if you truly don’t feel called tot he religious life, but also not to a spouse, then maybe God is calling you to the single life with maybe entrance into a lay Third Order, like the Franciscans or something. Check it out!

May God bless you and keep you at peace! :slight_smile:


Rest and live each day and each hour as it comes and for what it brings…as Jesus bids us do… do things you enjoy and find a pleasure, simple things and leave the rest to God. Each day each hour give to God and ask nothing …Been there done that and this is a way to peace.


Praying to St. Dymphna for your health & recovery. Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your discernment.


Praying for you and your discernment…


If you are not called to religious life, then God is calling you to another vocation. You can still get a spiritual director to help you discern it. Stay on your medication and pray, pray, pray; God has an amazing plan for us all!


So the guilt I’m feeling is probably my anxiety, right? I get so worried that I’ll get to the last judgement and God tells me that I didn’t follow his will in this life. I mean, that would be horrible! :blush:


From what you’ve described, it sounds like anxiety speaking to you.:o Trust me, if God wants you somewhere, you will find yourself there.:thumbsup:


Yes. Anxiety as a symptom knows no boundaries. It will infiltrate all aspects of your life. God is not cruel and He knows your problems. There is a lovely piece that was given to me at a hard time. catholicdoors.com/prayers/english2/p00613.htm


I guess I’m just really confused about what my heart wants. One one hand I want to give my heart entirely to Christ and feel like marriage would be a distraction but on the other hand, I feel like marriage could be a great blessing and I want to raise children someday. I’m not even sure if I should be open to dating anyone until I figure my heart out first.


Well, don’t isolate yourself from others during this time. I also have Major Depression and Anxiety disorder, along with a couple of other things. On days I don’t go out, I get really anxious by the end of the day. Even if you’re not called to be married, you can still find people to get together with. You might see if there is a group in your area where you can get with them and gain insight on your problems, and maybe even some ways to cope better when it all flares up. Check out the NAMI web page, there may be some groups they have near you. Or, at the very least, they can have some information they can send you that might help. And be assured that prayers will be said for you.


Perhaps you are indeed called to a life as a single. Perhaps as a consecrated lay woman. I have discerned religious life as well and I do know that religious life can be very demanding. Perhaps a less radical way of consecrated life suits you better.
I do know that many religious orders do not admit people with severe depressions or anxiety, even if they use medication.


That’s what ended up with my discernment. My depression and other medical issues have me on daily medications, which most orders don’t allow, which good reasons. So I went from discerning religious life in a community to consecrated virginity and third order religious membership and marriage. I know that no matter if I end up married or Virgin of Christ I am going to be a Third Order Carmelite.

Praying for you, OP. You are not alone.


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