Am I on the verge of a nervous breakdown . . . a serious question.

  1. I was noticing something tonight at work . . . .When I was doing my charting my hands were shaking so bad that I could hardly write. I have never ever noticed that before, and I am kind of worried. I wasn't too overwhelmed tonight, actually it was kind of nice! there was one point in time tonight when I had to deal with a very raunchy smell . . . .and ontop of that a psych resident that keeps her hands in her pants 98% of the day put her whole fist inside my mouth YUCK!!!!
    I managed to vomit like 3 times tonight, but I dont think thats why my hands were shaking so bad.

    Yesterday I was so overwhelmed and i did not shake at all. Keep in mind that I am 17 . . . and I'm not old enough to be shaking like that (lol),

    I seriously do not know what is wrong with me, but I hear that that is what happens before a nervous breakdown. i dont want to have a nervous breakdown this young, but sometimes I feel like I could. Is this why I am shaking so bad???:imbar
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  2. 52 Comments

  3. by   Jenny P
    Mandi, I don't know what is going on with you and I 'm not a psych nurse; but there may be several different innocent reasons that a person may have shaking hands. Fatigue is a main reason for shaky hands; as is a low blood sugar-- had you eaten before that or had you skipped your meal or breaks? You've been under a lot of stress lately with your post about worrying about your missing parents; that could also cause shakey hands. Are you a coffee drinker? Too much caffiene could also cause this. And vomiting 3 times would leave me shaking all over; not just my hands! The idea of that lady shoving her hands in her mouth would also cause me to shake violently. I hope this may give you some ressurance; I'm sure that someone else may think of other reasons for shakey hands.
  4. by   PennyLane
    Mandi, like Jenny said there are many reasons that your hands could have been shaking. But it sounds like you have serious concerns about your mental health. You know what you should do--go see your doctor! You may have had a panic attack without really knowing it. That's happened to me--times when I was sooo weak I couldn't walk up the stairs or even sit up straight. I didn't know what was wrong. I wasn't even feeling that panicky.

    You're probably not going to have a breakdown, don't worry about that!!! But if you're feeling unsure and don't know what's going on, see your doctor. Maybe you just need a vacation?
  5. by   shabookitty
    Mandi
    You sound alot like me. I have been experiencing the shakes, coldness, and fatigue. I began to notice it when a coworker pointed it out. She was watching me do various things, like drawing blood or holding papers. She would laugh and ask me if were nervous. When the actual task really wasn't making me nervous. I had noticed that I had broken out with a small rash on my neck. My skin seemed to be in a mess. And yes, I had been feeling very stressed and moody for a long time. Sad alot and not in control. And so cold! My mind just felt like screaming at times. And I was super forgetful....then I began to realize that the shakes might be a factor of how I am feeling. And really, before I or my coworker noticed my shaking I would sometimes "think" that I was going to having a nervous breakdown at some point, but I wasn't sure because I didn't know what "constitutes" one. I have always heard that they are sooo severe and I couldn't imagine myself getting that way.
    First I cut out caffeine...then I tried breathing more and stretches (if you can imagine! haha!) Nothing worked. So, I decided to seek medical advice. I went to an internal Dr. for testing...which turned out fine. So it seemed to be "mental" I guess you could say. He prescribed Effexor.
    I have been taking it for a couple of weeks now. He started me out on a low dosage with a gradual increase. I feel great! The shakes are gone. The rash is disappearing. I don't feel like I am unraveling like before. I too thought I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. And could have very well been a year down the road.
    Try other alternatives first like written in the previous post. You have depression or anxiety along with shaking you may want to get it checked out. An internal Dr. can do a CBC to see what is going on. Best wishes to you. Keep us informed.
  6. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Mandi,

    Stress can be manifested in the appearence of "shaking hands", or involuntary tremor..........but.........What struck me in reading your post was that you said you vomited three times. Vomiting is related to the loss of substances that help regulate many functions in your body called electrolytes. The rapid fluid loss associated with vomiting can bring on such things.

    Blood sugar is another possibility, but the enviroment that you work in sounds like it has stress built into it. You should be proud of yourself for looking for a cause instead of denying that you might be suffering from stress, and then making it worse.

    Here is how I would start to remedy the possible causes.

    #1). Identify or recognize your stress:

    It sounds as if you've covered that, but I want to also point out that you may carry stress with you from other situations in your life, as well as from work to those situations. Stress adds up and reaches a point where you're no longer equiped to handle it yourself if you don't recognize it and take steps to lessen it somehow....................just never deny that it exists. Everybody has stress. Not being able to cope with stress any longer and seeking help, is the mark of an intelligent person, not a weak one.:kiss

    #2). Meet your nutritional needs:
    First priority here is to drink water. You should drink 8 glasses a day just to meet your base requirement. Softdrinks, and any other liquid that contains caffiene can make your body lose water instead of helping you fulfill your requirement. Have your softdrinks but also keep in mind that they don't count towards hydration.
    Of course, pay attention to what you're actually eating over the course of a day. If you write down what you eat for a day on a note pad you would be totally amazed at the diferrence between what you think you're eating and what you're really eating. Nutrition plays a role in stress.

    #3). Take a good multivitamin with B or a B-complex.

    Vitamins and minerals help regulate various functions in our body. Vitamin B helps regulate nevous system function. You may be experiencing a B-vitamin deficiency related to stress.
    If you smoke, that can make you lose vitamin B at a greater rate.

    It's not complicated(although I have a way of making it seem that way:chuckle )

    Make sure you're hydrated before work.

    Take a multivitamin daily.

    Learn about your eating habits.

    Post your comments and progress/talk to someone

    I'm subscribed to this post of yours and I'll be looking for your comments.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Agree w/the posts above. REALLY examine your life/health and do what you can to improve things. I recommend a checkup...I hope you are doing better soon.
  8. by   Allison S.
    Hi Mandi,

    It sounds like everyone else has good, reasonable suggestions. The only thing that occurred to me that may have been left out is alcohol. I don't want to cast aspersions, but people who drink can have withdrawal effects. I'm not talking about ER type DTs, but even effects from a weekend of social drinking, follwed by a day or two of abstinence. Something to think about.

    I still recommend a check-up, and the whole good nutrition, exercise, rest, stress-management thing. Good luck!
  9. by   tattooednursie
    Those are all very logical explanations. I have been under stress, drinking alcohol, smoking, loosing sleep, and I have had ALOT of caffine. the shaking is back this morning but only my right hand.
  10. by   RN2B2005
    My vote is with the others--sleep deprivation, stress, caffeine. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, if it continues you should probably go see your ARNP or physician.

    I had an episode of transient severe right-sided hand tremor a couple of years ago. I didn't think anything of it, since I've had transient episodes of right hand tremor for years and never thought anything of it. At the time, though, one of the radiologists I work with noticed it and kept after me until I saw my physician, who recommended an MRI. I scheduled the MRI of my brain just to humour the radiologists I work with.

    As it turned out, I have a very benign brain tumour about the size of a golf ball living in my deep right parietal lobe. Periodically, it leaks blood into surrounding tissue, causing a transient mass effect and causing the problems with my hand (and some other stroke-like symptoms). Since the tumour is growing very slowly, and is very deep, and since they never turn malignant (it's a cavernous hemangioma), I've elected not to have it removed. However, knowing about it means that I know to avoid blood-thinning medication and to report any new symptoms.

    Anyhow, get it checked out. That's my $0.02.
  11. by   Sleepyeyes
    My daughter had a fine tremor of her hands at your age. Turned out to be a malfunctioning thyroid. See a doc; get some tests before you decide that it's all emotional, k?
  12. by   Sleepyeyes
    Oh and QUIT the caffeine
  13. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Mandi,

    If the tremors are truly unilateral(only on one side), it's time to go see a doctor.

    Do you take a multivitamin?

    Do you make sure you drink 64 oz of water per day?

    Alcohol also depletes vitamin B.

    But hey, if you don't think it's seriouse enough to do simple things like drink more water, take a multi, consider nutrition, etc., why bother?
    Live it up! :hatparty:


    I'm just wondering.........if you work in LTC, there must be nurses there that would give you the same advice...right?

    Then I'm also wondering that if you came in contact with a patient like that, wouldn't they offer a physical examination just to cover there butt? Your mucos membranes of your mouth probaly came in contact with Ms antzy pant's bodily fluid. Shouldn't you be talking to employee health?

    Anyway, the possible tremors wouldn't be of immediate concern if I was you, that pt contact would.
  14. by   Worthy
    Hi there, just a student nurse here, but about seven months ago I noticed a tremor. It was one hand at first, then both. It would come and go sporadically. I was under tremendous pressure with family problems, so I thought it was stress, but I was worried. My grandmother had Parkinson's, so I really noticed it.

    On my honeymoon, I took a horseback riding lesson. I hadn't ridden in over a year, and the instructor, when she heard I could ride, WORKED me to DEATH in 90 degree heat. When I finally got off the horse, I almost fell over from exhaustion, and I shook like a Leaf. I couldn't hold my bottled water straight. I was terrified. I thought I had Parkinsons. I thought I had MS, then ALS....all these things run through your mind.

    I went straight to the doctor, who of course listened, then asked questions...when do the shakes occur? How long before them have I eaten? Consumed Caffeine? Stress? Extremely strenuous exercise?

    Turns out, I am borderline Hypoglycemic. My diet was awful, I was stressed out, and I topped it off with a sudden workout my body was unfit for. I have started eating better, more often, taking a multivitamin with extra Vit. B, and cut back on caffeine. Now I only get the shakes when I skip a meal or am really stressed.

    See a doctor, it's probably nothing...but make sure. It could by hypoglycemia, a vitamin deficiency, or a thyroid imbalance...all little things. Good luck!

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