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I am a bipolar nurse that is also taking the "L" drug.There exists so much stigma about being bipolar.What most people don't understand is that there are various degrees of this illness.Yes,I said illness just like DM or Lupus.As far as my abilities,I am a 15 month LPN that is now nursing coordinator(don't like the word supervisor because it sounds exclusive) at a 34 bed personal care home with a staff of 3 PRN nurses(one of wihch is an RN) and 12 aids.I make 15,000.00 MORE than I did while working the hospital.In summary,if you are bipolar God still loves you and has a fantastic career for you somewhere!
I agree...just because you're Bipolar or if you have DM or Lupus as a nurse-you're still a nurse and if your disease/disorder is controlled, it should pose no problems. Be aware of your ups and downs, enlist the help of those who know you well, and call in sick if you're dangerously manic. Good luck!
Thanks so much for the words of encouragement! I had somewhat of a "break down" (for lack of a better word) last year, and was diagnosed with mild bipolar II. A lot of people have been telling me to find another career, but I believe the nursing field is my calling from God.
I don't think a career move is in order for this diagnosis. I have a seizure disorder myself, was dx when I was still a cna, didn't think much of it, knew I had to take some meds, get sleep, take care of myself etc, then a nurse I was working with found out and was appalled, said "I don't believe they let you around the residents", that's when I learned to be ashamed of this dx, took many years to come to grips with it. Ironic that the very discipline who should (in theory) be the most understanding and supportive can sometimes be the most damaging. Moral of the story, we can as nurses make or break a person's perception and consequent future with a diagnosis. Keep on keeping on, you may make a difference for someone on the planet!
I'm a bipolar nursing student. It hasn't been easy but I'm doing well! I really recommend a book called the Bipolar Survival Guide. It has worksheets that are helpful in identifying your prodromal symptoms and making plans of action according to them. I brought it to a counselor and made contracts with her my doctor and my husband. So for instance, if I wake up on my own with less than 6 hours sleep one night, I will take extra seroquel the next day. I rely a lot on those around me to help me identify the early signs of cycling. My supervisor has been really understanding as well, and when I'm not in my right mind, so to speak, she doesn't give me hell for staying home.
I've worried about this as well, but have received a lot of support from this board. I think the best thing you can do is to understand your illness and be prepared to catch the early signs of any kind of swing - up or down. Sometimes this means enlisting the help of others to say "I've been noticing this lately." We aren't always the first to notice, or sometimes maybe we just don't want to. I have a roommate who occassionally asks me if I'm taking my meds. (I am) but this usually means she's seeing something so I check back in with my doc.
Take care and good luck!
I'm also a bipolar nursing student, and actually never considered whether it would be an issue until I read a thread about it. My disorder is very much under control, and I rarely even think about having it. Most people would be shocked to find out that I even have it. In fact I'm pretty open about having it, because I hope to educate others that being bipolar doesn't mean that you're a serial killer, etc., like is often portrayed in the media.:angryfire I'm a stable, responsible person--more so than many others I know that don't have mental disorders!
IMO, any hardships, whether it be mental or physical disorders, or relationship problems, or whatever, make you a stronger person and, therefore, a better nurse. The most important thing will be for you to recognize if you're feeling "different"--more manic or more depressed than usual, as it could be from stress from your job or nursing school. Easily remedied, and no reason to give up career dreams!
i am a bipolar LVN and have done wonderful...as long as i stay on my meds. it took a few years to finally find the right combo for me, but now we have and it works great. State boards required me to go to counseling for 3 months and the Dr. send in reports, and my DON sends in quarterly reports on job performance (for 1 year) and after that, i'll be off of supervision. I've had some rough spots over the last 6 yrs, due to me "not needing my meds cause I am just fine" problems. I now know that I must stay on my meds no matter what. And if i do say so myself, I am a great nurse. It's all in how you handle your disease. There are alot of bipolar nurses I know that are great nurses (as long as they stay on their meds). Good luck to you.
State boards required me to go to counseling for 3 months and the Dr. send in reports, and my DON sends in quarterly reports on job performance (for 1 year) and after that, i'll be off of supervision.
I'm just curious, but was this to get your initial license or because of problems? I know the licensing application asks about mental illness but I was hoping to not have a big hassle about it. It's still a year off for me, but I'd rather know up front if there will be issues. Going to counseling isn't an issue for me - I continue to go at least once a month, and usually every 2-3 weeks just to keep myself in check.