A note of deep concern and worry - page 3

by CheesePotato, BSN, RN | 12,667 Views | 48 Comments

My colleagues of all stages, please take a moment: There has been a rash of suicides and suicide attempts in my community and it has driven me to write this note. After the devastating loss of a nursing student, I just....I... Read More


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    You are so right. There is no way from this if you are successful.
    CheesePotato likes this.
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    I also lost an 'online' college classmate 3 years ago. He was an LPN working in the ICU at an area hospital in his state. According to him, he was the last LPN at his hospital, as they were no longer using them there. His continued employment was contingent upon his passing his clinical weekend exam and graduating from college. He was very confident in his skills as an LPN. I cautioned him against that confidence for the upcoming exam as well as against disclosing his exam date to numerous others. He TRULY had a lot riding on this exam....more than just the cost of funding a repeat exam if he should fail. Well, the weekend came and went.....no word. Ok. We were all going through our own successes/failures, anxiety of upcoming NCLEX/repeat clinicals, etc. after two weeks had gone by and I finally received an IM from him.....only it wasn't him, it was his brother. I thought it WAS him playing a joke or something. The 'brother' finally said that he was called to the home where police had found a note explaining that the deceased had failed "some exam" and ultimately lost his job. Still not believing that this was serious, I went to the college's website for enrolled students and started a thread asking had anyone heard from 'John'. One student said yeas. What a sigh of relief! Great! When? She said 2weeks ago. I was like NO!!!! I need to know if ANYONE has heard from him since XYZ date. No one had. So I went back to the IM to the 'brother' , more believing that this was actually happening but still hoping it was not. The brother was looking for anyone who was close with him that could shed some light on the location of important papers to tend to the usual business affairs of a loved one. Finally there was confirmation from another student, as we ALL started to investigate by checking the local papers, obituaries, etc. this student checked with the coroner's office and there he was listed.Now, and since then, everyone that asked me about the college that I attended or any online learning experience, I tell them to be SURE to become a part of the peer network at whatever college he/she attends. Developing a circle of friends with those who are going through the roller coaster of emotions with exams and studies is a MUST for the support aspect! And I also caution against disclosing an exam date to others. You have leave an open avenue to save yourself embarrassment and humiliation should you not be successful if it is THAT important to you. I've never been one to boast about succeeding but I am one to bury my head in the sand if I fail. And I've failed at many things in life that people didn't even know I was attempting until my mission was accomplished. My own family didn't know I was close to graduating UNTIL it was done.Never assume that a person that is outwardly together has his/her act together. Sometimes that outward strength simply means that a person does not have an available to shoulder to cry on.
    MedChica and CheesePotato like this.
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    That is heartbreaking! I had no idea there was so much suicide involved in the nursing profession. I've had terrible anxiety connected to it, and still fight it, but it should be telling the industry something when there is so much stress on people that things like this happen. Terrible!
    CheesePotato likes this.
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    Great post.

    I have attempted suicide (three hospitalizations), self-harmed (last cut was a couple of weeks ago) and have seriously contemplated suicide within the last few months. I don't have a support system; I really am on my own. It is sad that people don't seem to give a shyt about those with mental illness. The ignorance that surrounds it is mind boggling. We are seen as either psychotic or melodramatic attention seekers and not people who are in need of emotional support. The stereotypes really disturb me. Some of the most brilliant individuals have suffered from a mental illness, including Abe Lincoln, Sir Isaac Newton, Sylvia Plath, Vivien Leigh, Winston Churchill, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Charles Dickens, Beethoven, Marilyn Monroe, etc. Just to name a few.

    I have found the nursing profession and nurses in general to not be very sympathetic. My very own clinical instructors from last quarter failed me despite knowing that I was suffering from anxiety. I have found nurses to be very callous about this issue, with the exception of psych nurses (and noticed how med-surge and other non-psych nurses accuse mental health nurses about not being "real" nurses). It is sad. Very few people in my real life know about my mental illness and for good reason.

    At the end of the day, people are going to kill themselves if they want. All you can do is let them know of other options and listen to them.
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    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    Great post.I have attempted suicide (three hospitalizations), self-harmed (last cut was a couple of weeks ago) and have seriously contemplated suicide within the last few months. I don't have a support system; I really am on my own. It is sad that people don't seem to give a shyt about those with mental illness. The ignorance that surrounds it is mind boggling. We are seen as either psychotic or melodramatic attention seekers and not people who are in need of emotional support. The stereotypes really disturb me. Some of the most brilliant individuals have suffered from a mental illness, including Abe Lincoln, Sir Isaac Newton, Sylvia Plath, Vivien Leigh, Winston Churchill, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Charles Dickens, Beethoven, Marilyn Monroe, etc. Just to name a few. I have found the nursing profession and nurses in general to not be very sympathetic. My very own clinical instructors from last quarter failed me despite knowing that I was suffering from anxiety. I have found nurses to be very callous about this issue, with the exception of psych nurses (and noticed how med-surge and other non-psych nurses accuse mental health nurses about not being "real" nurses). It is sad. Very few people in my real life know about my mental illness and for good reason.At the end of the day, people are going to kill themselves if they want. All you can do is let them know of other options and listen to them.
    For the simple fact that YOU ARE HERE on this website means that you are NOT alone. Real quickly, though before I move on, nursing instructors are NOT supposed to be concerned with your anxiety in regards to whether or not you pass or fail. You HAVE to make the grade and be able to perform appropriately as a nurse because someone's life depends on YOU, the nurse. Now, what's going on with you now means that you will have a positive testimony to your patients with similar issues that you WILL encounter from time to time in your career as a nurse. Your survival and determination to overcome NOW depends on their survival LATER. It's not that nurses don't care about you......from where I stand, it's more like our profession has become more of a mechanical business in a field run by humans that's the driving force, which is, for the most part, out of our hands. We and YOU, need to band together to reclaim our profession. It's not you; it's not your instructors; it's not us. It's all politics and economics and the advancing age of technology. We need you to focus so that you can help us as much as we can help you. You CAN make a difference here. So please, allow us to cry on your shoulders as you cry on ours. Then, we can wipe the tears away, develop OUR game plan, and reclaim OUR profession. Lots of us go home in tears EVERDAY because we are struggling to take care of people in a world that is being dictated by machines. Take yourself for example. Internally you feel horrible....no doubt. But your instructors have to go by what the NUMBERS say on the exam. They have too! When you graduate and sit for boards, the computer is not gonna look at the fact that you may have puked all over the mouse. It is only going to look at the NUMBERS when you click next. That is life now and i dont see it going back to the way it was many years ago. I failed my first LPN NCLEX on paper years ago because I was suffering from morning sickness.....too sick to study. The NUMBERS didn't care that I was carrying what turned out to be a fine young man. Afterwards, though, when I got it together, I became the worlds greatest nurse. Lol! Well,maybe not the greatest in the world, but my kids thought so once I threatened them. Lol! ANYWAY....


    At the risk of sounding like an AA counselor, you are DEFINITELY not alone!
    Last edit by BSNbeDONE on Feb 9, '13
    GrnTea, anime09, and CheesePotato like this.
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    Quote from LYNDAA
    For the simple fact that YOU ARE HERE on this website means that you are NOT alone. Real quickly, though before I move on, nursing instructors are NOT supposed to be concerned with your anxiety in regards to whether or not you pass or fail. You HAVE to make the grade and be able to perform appropriately as a nurse because someone's life depends on YOU, the nurse. Now, what's going on with you now means that you will have a positive testimony to your patients that you WILL encounter from time to time in your career as a nurse. It's not that nurses don't care about you......from where I stand, it's more like our profession has become more of a mechanical business that's the driving force, which is, for the most part, out of our hands. We and YOU, need to band together to reclaim our profession. It's not you; it's not your instructors; it's not us. It's all politics and economics! We need you to focus so that you can help us as much as we can help you. You CAN make a difference here. So please, allow us to cry on your shoulders as you cry on ours. Then, we can wipe the tears away, develop OUR game plan, and reclaim OUR profession. At the risk of sounding like an AA counselor, you are DEFINITELY not alone!
    I realize that, but I also was receiving an A in the class portion. Clearly, I knew what I needed to succeed and I was a hardworker in clinical and did well for the first 2/3 of the year. But having a type A clinical instructor work with a student with anxiety disorder is a recipe for disaster, and I find many nurses to be type A. I know that I would have flourished under different guidance and the right meds, but it is what it is.

    I think I will band with someone who knows something about mental health and clearly the majority nurses outside of mental health know nothing about mental illnesses. I blame the system and the schooling more than the nurses themselves.

    But thanks anyway.

    P.S. Sorry I sound bitter, but working with nurses and seeing how they behave and treat one another (and the patients) makes me believe that the field as a whole is seriously lacking in this area.
    CheesePotato likes this.
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    Thank you from from everything that is in me, for taking the time out to post this. All of us at one time or another have thought about it or had these low feelings before and we all as human beings need to reach out to one another, listen to one another, or just say "hey I care" It could save someones life that needed it. Its so hard to loose people to suicide whether we know them or not. So really thank you for being the voice that spoke up.
    CheesePotato likes this.
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    Thank you, CheesePotato for offering yourself like that. I've been a long time "guest" of AN and love reading advice from wise nurses like you
    CheesePotato likes this.
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    To all those that took a moment to like and/or respond...it gives me comfort and hope to see stories, replies, and support. As one who has also lost those close to me to depression, suicide, and mental illness, I offer condolences to those who share such pain. Although I may like your post, know it is done in support, and not in favor of your tragedy. Forgive my absence(sp) from this thread. I have been sleeping off a night shift. Yeehah. Kindest regards and have a scrumptious weekend,~~CP~~
    Last edit by CheesePotato on Feb 9, '13 : Reason: pudgy thumbs
    BSNbeDONE likes this.
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    I too wonder sometimes what is going on with people these days. I have never seen so many people with such an utter lack of self, and absence of coping skills. I sit there feeling so helpless and wondering how they became this shell of a person. What happened to them? All I can do is prescribe medications. There are no resources for them. It is such a tragedy.
    CheesePotato likes this.


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