A note of deep concern and worry - page 4

by CheesePotato

12,291 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


  1. 1
    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    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.
    You have valid points. Unfortunately, although the system is designed to be accessible to the 'handicapped' (for lack of a better word), it seems that it is basically geared towards those using mobility devices. I don't know the exact reason given to you for being failed; so you might want to take your concerns up the ladder a little bit if you feel it was unwarranted. Maybe you could become the pioneer to effect change in this regard. You're right in that there are so many nurses who know very little about mental illness. In fact, there are very many nurses who know little about nursing. I've seen those who went from CNA to an MSN without ever having passed a bedpan or administered an aspirin on the job. How they can profess to have 'mastered' the field of nursing defies MY definition of the world. But technically, they did the bookwork to say they are masters on the field. There are times when the Trainer needs to be trained. Often times, it is already assumed that you 'know' based on your credentials and as such, not questioned on your abilities to teach ALL that sit in your class when the actuality is that the ability to teach is limited to all HEALTHY students. Come to think of it, the last job application that I completed did ask, "Are you physically able to perform the duties of the job in which you are applying for?" it said nothing about mental abilities. Anyway, good luck to you in your quest to become a nurse. I do hope things work in your favor.
    CheesePotato likes this.
  2. 2
    Quote from LYNDAA
    You're right in that there are so many nurses who know very little about mental illness. In fact, there are very many nurses who know little about nursing.
    I know this is taken out of context, but bahahaha. I had the biggest laugh at this--thanks.
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    Quote from wish_me_luck
    I know this is taken out of context, but bahahaha. I had the biggest laugh at this--thanks.
    I meant that as no insult to anyone but there are those people who can ace any exam that you put in front of them, yet are incapable of application. I know of a nurse personally who spends an entire shift trying to convince others that she's actually doing her job when in reality, she has done nothing by the end of the day. It happens......
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    This is a great discussion. however, I want to add a note of caution regarding depression. Some people at the very depths of this disease are completely immune to anything positive. Offers of help and guidance, anything positive, serve only to generate anger and cynicism, driving the afflicted deeper into the depths of their own misery. Someone like this is often beyond help and succombs to suicide without anyone having ever known the depths of their suffering. For someone like this there was never a chance of survival, the disease having been too far advanced. Others survive solely out of spite for the world, and the disease that has taken so much from them, caused them so much pain. For these people, clinging to a life of pain and bitterness is the only way they have to not let the disease beat them. It is a way of saying "You have robbed me of everything, you have destroyed for me the faintest glimpses of love, joy, and hope. You have cursed me to live a life of hatred towards all that is beautiful, sweet, and kind. Of all you have taken, I have one thing left, the heart that pounds within me, and I curse you with it's every beat. I live if only to mock you. " Someone like this will only mock your positive gestures and think you a fool. I am not sure how to help someone like this or what advice to give. I simply want you to know that depression is often times more than just needing a shoulder to cry on, more than flirting with casual attempts at self harm. For some, depression is a way of life, for those who survive anyway.
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    Hold your loved ones close. Doesn't matter if they think you are a pain in the patootie or not. Get up in their business--your cousins, nieces, nephews, siblings, your parents. Especially your kids--biological or not.
    Thank you for this post, CP. After losing one too many friends to suicide, it changes the way one sees life, especially me.
    CP, have you ever thought about being a suicide hotline person????? I bet you'd be awesome.
    Suicide is a permenant solution to a temporary problem. It is not a character defect, it is not poor parenting, it is not a lot of things that would prevent someone from getting help with someone who is at risk.
    Thank you for this post. xo
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    I appreciate your heartfelt note and expressions. Thank- you for sharing

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    CheesePotato likes this.
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    Good post. My best friend shot and killed himself when I was 16. I was 100% shocked and devastated as he never gave any signs that I noticed that he was considering such a thing, although looking back I'm sure they were there.

    Now, working in psych, I hear sooo many people say, "My mom (or dad or spouse, etc) thinks I need to just suck it up and move on." People who have never dealt with a mental illness don't get it, and how could they?

    I know people want the best for their family members, and when mommy just lays on the couch all day and hasn't showered in 3 days, it's easy to say, "What is WRONG with you? Get up and DO something!" People don't realize that it's not that easy. People with depression would love to be able to "just get up" but asking that of someone with depression is no different than asking a double amputee to "just go for a jog." It's unrealistic, impossible, and if they could do it that easily then they would.

    It's not easy to live with a family member who has depression. It can be frustrating. If anything, encourage that person to go to a doctor and get help, especially if it's someone who used to be active and productive. Asking someone to "get up and do something" isn't encouraging when they feel like they can't. Instead, it makes them feel like MORE of a burden and might send them over the edge to do the one and only thing they feel they can do to make everyone's life easier which is ending their own.
    CheesePotato likes this.
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    Quote from LYNDAA
    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.
    That is the absolute truth.
    I had a bout with depression years back. Father had just died. I'd miscarried. My job was super stressful. Just a lot of things.

    I was high performing at work. I look good 'on paper'. I'd smile and crack jokes and whatnot.
    Minute I got home? I'd be in bed and sleep for days. Friends call? 'No, I don't wanna go.'
    Boyfriend calls? 'No, I'm tired.'
    Too tired to talk. To tired to be bothered with anything. I just wanted to sleep. Maybe tomorrow would be better or maybe I could just 'fall asleep and never wake up'.
    My friends came to my house and wouldn't leave until I answered the door. They stayed the whole w/end with me.
    Same w/end, my boyfriend came and forced me out me out of the house. It was a straight-up intervention! Even then, I was crying like, 'It's fine. Everything's fine!"
    ...and I'm not a crier!
    It was only then that I came to realize that I was really depressed and on the cusp of a 'nervous breakdown' which is odd. I've dealt with the mentally ill my whole life. I'm a psych nurse, for crap's sake!
    How odd and ironic that I'd have so little insight into my own behavior?
    I think denial was driving a lot of it, to be honest. I can be strong for others. When my father died, everyone remarked on how strong I was...because I didn't cry. I held my mother and comforted my dad's sister, actually. Contrary to popular belief not all black folks give themselves over to loud, over-the-top vocalizations of grief, i.e., screaming, crying, falling out and trying to climb into caskets and 'I wanna go too!"...

    No.
    Stoicism is a virtue in my family. Actually.
    I don't think it a good thing, though. I don't actually know how to lean on or 'rely' on people, I guess you could say. I don't know how to ask for that kind of help from others. I can comfort. I don't know how to be comfort-ed. I push it away, to be honest.
    "No, it's fine." ; "No, it's ok." In a sad way, I've always been proud of my ability to handle immense amts of pressure. That I don't fold easily.
    Plus, I'm introverted...and, at work, I keep everyone at arms length. I'm very likeable because I'm generically 'cool' with everyone but I'm not the sort to keep coworkers as friends. I'm closed off, in ways.

    So, when it all boils down to it? I don't have an outlet but it's kind of my fault. I guess that's the problem. For If I'd committed suicide or something, a trifle few would have seen it coming.

    ...but getting back to what you'd said? Yeah. Plenty out there are crying for help. They just aren't that obvious about. Not everyone who is depressed or with suicidal ideation has multi-suicide attempts on their record.

    It's quite the contrary. Some people are high-functioning and have a great Poker Face. Some people can smile through emotional pain.
    Some look like they have it all. Everything's 'fine' on the outside but their inner world is utter hell.

    I am thankful for the experience, though. That may sound weird but it allows me to understand and see things from the perspective of my pts/residents.
    ...because in addition to the depression? I 'think' I had a mild psychotic episode.
    I'm totally serious!

    See - I had a box of extensions (lol) being delivered to my house, right? Ok, I KNEW what was in the box when it arrived. Yet, the box of weave sat in the living room for 4 days because I was afraid to open it. I could not, for the life of me, shake the feeling that someone had put a bomb in it!
    My rational brain was literally fighting it out with the delusion!

    So, as a individual with such thoughts? That was just strange.
    But...as a nurse? C'mon - you've gotta appreciate the opportunity to gain such perspective! LOL
    When I told my friend this? She shook her head and laughed.
    Well, I'm serious. I feel, like, I 'get it'. I kind of 'see' what some of my pts/residents go through.
    CheesePotato likes this.
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    I didn't mention...... My mother killed herself Ina. Drug rehab. First transferred to a psych hospital after a suicide attempt. She was also a self- medicater with cocaine. After about a week in the psych hospital the case manager felt " she needed some more attention, and her 21 year old daughter should be nicer to her ( that's me. My mother was emotionally abusive to me due to her disease, but I was " mean"). And they transferred her to a drug rehab ( she had been in both of these facilities 12 years prior) and the next morning they found her dead.Somehow she got a hold of a whole bottle of Prozac according to the autopsy report.Her time would have been much better spent in the psych hospital given she already detoxed.If only the disease got more attention.
    CheesePotato likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from LYNDAA
    You have valid points. Unfortunately, although the system is designed to be accessible to the 'handicapped' (for lack of a better word), it seems that it is basically geared towards those using mobility devices. I don't know the exact reason given to you for being failed; so you might want to take your concerns up the ladder a little bit if you feel it was unwarranted. Maybe you could become the pioneer to effect change in this regard. You're right in that there are so many nurses who know very little about mental illness. In fact, there are very many nurses who know little about nursing. I've seen those who went from CNA to an MSN without ever having passed a bedpan or administered an aspirin on the job. How they can profess to have 'mastered' the field of nursing defies MY definition of the world. But technically, they did the bookwork to say they are masters on the field. There are times when the Trainer needs to be trained. Often times, it is already assumed that you 'know' based on your credentials and as such, not questioned on your abilities to teach ALL that sit in your class when the actuality is that the ability to teach is limited to all HEALTHY students. Come to think of it, the last job application that I completed did ask, "Are you physically able to perform the duties of the job in which you are applying for?" it said nothing about mental abilities. Anyway, good luck to you in your quest to become a nurse. I do hope things work in your favor.
    As for the bit about people with Master's degrees who do not work at the bedside not being real nurses, I encourage you to start a new thread and not hijack this important one. I'll meet you there; I'm a PHN with a Master's.

    Actually, there is something called reasonable accommodations a student or employee may request. This is part of the ADA, which has been around since 1990. If you are struggling, there are options to discuss with your adviser. I think it's important for nurses to be aware of this piece of legislation. These little steps may aid in preventing what the OP was originally posting about. This excerpt pertains to employees, but could be applied to students as well.

    What are "reasonable accommodations" for people with severe mental illness?
    Examples of reasonable accommodations for people with severe mental illnesses included providing self-paced workloads and flexible hours, modifying job responsibilities, allowing leave (paid or unpaid) during periods of hospitalization or incapacity, assigning a supportive and understanding supervisor, modifying work hours to allow people to attend appointments with their psychiatrist, providing easy access to supervision and supports in the workplace, and providing frequent guidance and feedback about job performance. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Sec...ontentID=47065
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