anyone else struggle with Anxiety?

  1. I always thought once I'd been a nurse for a few years that the anxiety would go away. I'm talking SEVERE, heart pounding, "can't sleep, want to throw up and head is killing me because I have to go to work today" type of anxiety. I started having this when I began clinicals in nursing school. I thought as I became more experienced it would diminish. It hasn't - and I have been a nurse for 3 years now. It doesn't matter where I am or what shift, whether small hospital, big one or clinic. I was put on antidepressants in nursing school and I'm still on them (Wellbutrin). I haven't had a panic attack in years, but I had one the other day toward end of shift (I went and hid in the bathroom). I feel like I do OK at hiding my anxiety at work but after that panic attack last week, I don't know that I'm still OK..Does anyone else deal with this? I'm new at this hospital and I don't want to cause problems or ask for any special treatment. I'm not sure what to do.
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   BSNtobe2009
    I have so much built up tension right now that I think if I was given a sledgehammer and allowed to knock a couple of heads off a few ex-boyfriends...I MIGHT feel better.

    Right now I'm trying to pacify myself with Chocolate and Pumpkin Spiced Coffee. Yup, not a very relaxing combo.

    If I were a drug addict, I would need a "hit" about now.
  4. by   wileoutgirl
    I have anxiety disorder too, and was on wellbutrin. I stopped taking it because it didn't help. I'm not depressed, I'm anxious so why take an antidepressant. I'm not on anything right now but if I get back on I may switch to Clonozopan. My mom says it helps her anxiety a lot. You may want to ask your doctor about it.
  5. by   firefly49RN
    you are not alone, i have been a nures for 22 yrs and still have shifts like that.please get some counseling. no one at work has to know, that is your private business. take care of yourself, not just emotionally but physically.i was always one of those that thought i don't need no stinking counseling, i'm tough.well,live and learn,"to your ownself be true." if you don't take care of yourself ,how can you help anyone else. it's not selfish to take good care of yourself.i really emphasize the counseling.see if your hospital has a counseling service for employees. my hospital does and it was free.it felt good to yell,cuss, scream for a whole hour and it was all private,: i have a very brave and patient counselor(also a nurse).again it is your private business,not even your head nurse has any right to know.if you do have some type of panic disorder, again see your doctor, there is treatment for this.let me know how it's going.
  6. by   adrienurse
    When anxiety starts impacting your life, this is when you need to seek treatment.

    Clonazepam is a sedative and does work on the short term, but does nothing for the cause (it's also extremely addictive). I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for a long time. I recently had to take some time off work to get some treatment. I'm now on Wellbutrin AND celexa and I feel much more balanced and focused. Anxiety is in control or at least in proportion to what's going on (since stress can't be avoided).

    Even though you might not feel depressed, depression will sometimes manifest itself as severe anxiety. I've definately learned that even though rx's may work initially, sometimes they have to be ajusted along with changes in your life. It's an ongoing process.

    If you can access some counselling it can really help you work on strategies to cope.

    PM me any time. I do know what you're going through.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I have struggled with anxiety and panic disorders on and off for most of my adult life. If it's interfering with "normal" life and job performance, you need to seek medical advice. This is a medical condition to be treated, just like you would diabetes, heart failure or other medical problems. Don't let it take over! There is so much out there to help you.
  8. by   snowfreeze
    anxiety can make your life difficult, both of my daughters have trouble with anxiety and one of my brothers has a lot of trouble with crowds. Seeking medical advice and interventions is essential, all of them now function quite normally.
  9. by   Simplepleasures
    Whoa, this is a tough field to be in with anxiety issues. But if its only this profession that is causing your anxiety, I can say from experience of 27 years in the field that my anxiety did get better with time.I do however think I now suffer from PTSD, occasionally have nightmares Im still out there working on the floor and get accused of doing something wrong, wake up SO glad it was only a dream.I do think that getting some degree of personal empowerment helps, being a victim of this profession and management makes for alot of anxiety, not speaking of anger, hurt frustration, etc, etc. Take care of yourself FIRST, or else you wont be any good to anyone else.
  10. by   newbynurse
    being a new grad and starting on a critical care stepdown unit where you have cardizem drips, nitroglycerin drips, ect. that can bottom out someone just freaks me out. i go to work and my heart starts pounding because im like oh my goodness, this persons wellbeing is in my hands.....! i became a nurse to help people and i just wonder if all this anxiety ever gets better. even though i may know what to do in these situations it still makes me so nervous bc everyone is different and each person could react differently to different things and if you dont catch something quick enough, etc they will suffer. thank God I had great preceptors but now im on my own and just feel sick to my stomach when i have to go to work. does this ever get better?
  11. by   SuesquatchRN
    I've been battling anxiety and depression for my entire life.

    Wellbutrin put me right over the edge into panic attacks, BTW. Lexapro has an anxiolytic affect in addition to its antidepressant properties and helps me a lot, as does 0.5 mg of Xanax BID PRN.

    I know what the underlying causes are. Therapy didn't and won't fix them.

    As to working in a cardiac step-down unit - why not find a less stressful area? I actually thrive on action, but not everyone does. For every pot, there's a cover, and maybe you're in the wrong soup.

  12. by   Multicollinearity
    I tried meds years ago and they didn't work; in fact they made me worse. Seeing a psychologist to understand my thought patterns and why I was anxious did work. Therapy taught me how to talk to myself when feeling anxious.

    Exercise is fantastic too. I found it was impossible to feel anxious after running 4 miles. Only calm and centered.

    Just offering another perspective. Different solutions for different people.
  13. by   SaharaOnyxRN
    Quote from lannisz
    I always thought once I'd been a nurse for a few years that the anxiety would go away. I'm talking SEVERE, heart pounding, "can't sleep, want to throw up and head is killing me because I have to go to work today" type of anxiety. I started having this when I began clinicals in nursing school. I thought as I became more experienced it would diminish. It hasn't - and I have been a nurse for 3 years now. It doesn't matter where I am or what shift, whether small hospital, big one or clinic. I was put on antidepressants in nursing school and I'm still on them (Wellbutrin). I haven't had a panic attack in years, but I had one the other day toward end of shift (I went and hid in the bathroom). I feel like I do OK at hiding my anxiety at work but after that panic attack last week, I don't know that I'm still OK..Does anyone else deal with this? I'm new at this hospital and I don't want to cause problems or ask for any special treatment. I'm not sure what to do.
    I used to be so anxious that I have often thought about checking myself into the psychiatric floor at my local hospital. Just the thought of work used to invoke extreme anxiety and fear. I used to be so anxious when I was on my way to work. And I know that it was work-related because when I wasn't working, I was fine.

    I finally had to do two things. First, i had to pray and really talk to God about my fears. Many of them were unfounded, but I couldn't snap out of it alone. So, what you need to do is talk to someone. If you don't believe in God or aren't a religious person, then talk to a professional that can help you deal with your problems.

    Secondly, i had to self-hynotize. I really had to tell myself that I am not anxious, I will not let anxiety rule me, and I don't care what anybody thinks of me. Because a lot of my anxiety had to do with a lack of confidence. You know, sometimes the patients can give you looks that make you feel like the dumbest person on this planet. Sometimes it's not the patient. It can be a family member, a doctor, another nurse, etc. But what you've got to remember is that you can't be any worse than the worst person. Unfortunately, there are some not-so-smart nurses that do just fine day to day. And I can tell by your post that you're not one of them. If they can do it, so can you. You have a fear of failure, don't you? I once did, too. But after a lot of praying and a lot of building my self-confidence, i changed. Now no one can make me feel that I don't matter.

    So, please, talk to someone you trust. It will help you so much. Good luck in overcoming your anxiety. The mind is more powerful than the body. With that knowledge in hand, you CAN overcome this. You just got to believe in you and you will make it. I promise.

    Love ya, and God bless.
  14. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from multicollinarity
    I tried meds years ago and they didn't work; in fact they made me worse. Seeing a psychologist to understand my thought patterns and why I was anxious did work. Therapy taught me how to talk to myself when feeling anxious.

    Exercise is fantastic too. I found it was impossible to feel anxious after running 4 miles. Only calm and centered.

    Just offering another perspective. Different solutions for different people.
    Running helps me a lot.

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