Do we need to take drugs.. in order to do our job? - page 15
by Been there,done that, ASN, RN | 19,966 Views | 144 Comments
Recent posts have brought up the question.. is it legal to take mood altering medication while on duty? ... and " I am so stressed out , I am now on an anti-depressant medication". I cannot think of any other profession... Read More
- 7Mar 10, '12 by VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN GuideThis really is a great thread. The worst thing about mental illness of any kind is feeling like you're alone in the universe, which occurs mainly because our culture isn't comfortable talking about it.
I'm so proud of all the nurses who have posted here and admitted to suffering from depression and anxiety, whether it's work-related, genetic, situational, or all of the above. It takes a lot of courage to buck the prevailing view that seems to say that if we'd just "get over ourselves", we could restore ourselves to sanity. Don't folks know that if we could do it ourselves, we would? Nobody, but NOBODY, enjoys taking meds that have side effects like weight gain, nausea, vomiting, rashes, disturbed sleep, dizziness, dry mouth, tremors, visual disturbances, swelling, bloating, fatigue, abdominal pain, sweating, brittle hair and nails, urinary retention and other unpleasantness.....but we do it because we cannot live anything even approximating a normal life otherwise.
I'm with madwife and Gold_SJ: I am very, very thankful that medications are available that help straighten out my brain chemistry so I can work on the issues created by my illness. I've probably been bipolar all my life, but until recently had only allowed myself to believe I had depression. It was less complicated to treat and carried less stigma than BP, so it was therefore an "acceptable" diagnosis in my mind. The end result was my first mixed episode, in which I experienced acute symptoms of both mania and depression at the same time. Thankfully, after my first appointment with a doc who put me immediately at ease and who treats me as an intelligent human being, I got over the fear and shame I'd always associated with a psychiatric diagnosis, and that's why I've been able to improve fairly quickly with a combination of an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer.
Granted, I've had to face the fact that I can never go off medications again. I've done it several times, and each time I've gotten progressively worse. Some more fortunate sufferers are able to stop meds, and I'm happy for them....but if I want to feel "normal", I have to take pills. I'm lucky in that my current regimen is simple AND cheap---less than $15 per month for both scrips---and the $50 co-pay for my psychiatrist is small potatoes compared with the potential costs of losing a job, alienating a friend or family member, or being irresponsible and foolish.
- 6Mar 10, '12 by needshaldolI am truly amazed at the strength of all of you who are taking these meds. I look at this issue without judgement and always "if it helps, go for it". If ones blood pressure is high, take anti- hypertensives. If one is depressed, take anti-depressants. Life is short and we have one time at it. There is no reason to feel miserable and hopeless when there is help out there, even if the help is only 50%, that is better than nothing.
- 5Mar 11, '12 by fuzzywuzzyNot everyone who takes a pill does so because they're too lazy to "exercise it all away" or so coddled that they're unwilling to experience negative emotions.
I have a lot of anxiety, as well as seasonal affective disorder. I've been a spazz my whole life, and I know how to deal with it without taking meds.... 95% of the time. I am okay with the occasional panic attack or blue mood or intensely stressful situation. I have gotten a prescription a few times before when things got unbearable for an extended period of time. There is no reason I should be so stressed out about my job that I can't sleep at night and have panic attacks on my day off. And nothing bothers me more than hearing "it's all in your head, just get over it" when I'm horribly depressed because it's the middle of winter and the sun hasn't come out for 2 weeks. I KNOW it's all in my head-- that's the point! I can't just get over it. And at least I know that in my case, it will go away as the days get longer. I can't imagine how hopeless it must feel to be told that when you're depressed and you DON'T know if/when you're going to feel better.
- 1May 14, '12 by elprupViva las vegas - so glad you found your manageable place. It is such a great place to find - i know! And yes, I too will be on my meds forever (at a tiny dose that drs say does nothing, but when I stop, i fall back into pain and depression) i am extremely happy I found my space where I feel normal. And i eat organic everything if I can, no sodas no more, no alcohol, and protein shakes, yum. And exercise. It is so awesome to feel energetic without worrying about pain later. Yay!!!!