Nurses: Who came from a dysfuntional family? - page 5

I am just curious as to how many of us came from a dysfunctional family. When I say dysfunctional, I mean children of alcholics, drug addicts, mental illness, child abuse whether it be physical or... Read More

  1. by   shellek
    Quote from kstec
    I am just curious as to how many of us came from a dysfunctional family. When I say dysfunctional, I mean children of alcholics, drug addicts, mental illness, child abuse whether it be physical or emotional. I read years ago that 75% of all nurses come from this type of environment. Is it true? Let me be the first to say "Yes"
    LET ME JUST LET US ALL RECOGNIZE "CO-DEPENDENCY" I AGREE!!
    NOT ONLY THAT BUT NURSES TEND TO BE or BECOME THE SOLE PROVIDERS AND HAVE MANY PERSONAL REALATIONSHIP ISSUES...caring tooooo much can often be recognized as weakness in predators! However, I have to recognize it as a God Given Blessing in my Spirit that allows me to be so giving,,,,,not just anyone can do what we do! BE PROUD IN YOURSELF!
    Last edit by shellek on May 25, '07
  2. by   dubstar
    Quote from P_RN
    Yep, I'm a member of that sorority too.

    me too i'm lovin psych. I feel right at home..:spin:
  3. by   sockmonkey70
    BIG FAT YES lol. Drugs, Alchohol (Dad)..but that wasn't so bad because he was still a great dad despite his addictions. Mom also relied heavily on alcohol and anti-depressants.

    Physically and mentally abusive step-father is where I would say the majority of my disfunction came from.
  4. by   gentle
    Yes, I started life in a dysfunctional family of sorts.

    IMHO, I have benefitted from God, therapy, and medication. Interestingly, in that order.

    I must say, I did not become a nurse as a direct or indirect result of my upbringing. I just knew I was supposed to be a nurse. I tried talking myself out of becoming a nurse too. Yet, no matter what happened, I found that nursing is what I am meant to do--for this season.

    All this said, I do truly believe that my upbringing has influenced the type of care that I provide at the bedside.
  5. by   Multicollinearity
    Dad's a classic case of narcissistic personality disorder. Mom's a moderate case of borderline personality disorder. No drug or ETOH use or abuse in the family. I'm an only child.

    When I was young, my father became disabled, and we ended up on welfare. That's when the crap hit the fan, going from middle-class to poor. Both devolved into really bad mental illness at this time. Mom used to have actual psychotic breaks and hallucinate. Dad just withdrew.

    Lots of neglect and emotional abuse. And yet after years of therapy - life is very, very good now.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on May 26, '07
  6. by   NurseCard
    Quote from RNperdiem
    Am I the only nurse then that grew up in a happy home? No drinking or drugs, no divorce, happy married parents, etc.
    The whole family still gets together every Sunday afternoon for lunch. I visit my folks every week, an my kids love their grandparents. I am actually looking forward to the 2 family reunions this summer. My husband is from a very functional family also.
    Not bragging, but there are nurses from functional families out there.
    No, I grew up in a pretty happy home as well, and most of the RN's that I worked with at my previous hospital, from what I knew about them, seemed to come from pretty functional, nuclear families as well. I don't know much about many of the nurses at the hospital that I work at now, but I have heard that many of the employees here.. not just the nurses but the therapists, SW's, etc... come from fairly dysfunctional backgrounds, are recovering addicts, etc.. 'Course I work in psych now; psych tends to attract folks with "issues". My own issues aren't really that I came from a dysfunctional background, but I do have a history of mild clinical depression and anxiety disorder.

    My husband's family OTOH, has it's fair share of dysfunction, or history of.
  7. by   kstec
    The reason I started this thread is to prove or disprove the study. I too came from a family of drug addicts and alcholics. My mother was a prescription drug addict and alcholic who overdosed at the age of 49 and that was the overdose that did her in. I do not know who my father is and the rest of my family also abuse drugs and alcohol. I was the first person to graduate high school and the first in my family to have a child after I go married. I'm not judging if you did it different, it was just a personal goal of mine. In a round about way I have asked several nurses that I work with regarding their upbringing and most meet the dysfunctional criteria. The reason it interests me so much is who else would volunteer to go into a career where you clean shi_, clean urine, suction trachs, work short staffed, work for low pay (alot of us), work nights, weekends and holidays with having a little something wrong with us. I know with me, that everytime I make someone feel better it gives me a certain gratification that nothing else does. I always cheer for the underdog and have a dier need to try and make everything okay. All I can say is I commend all of us who broke the cycle and became nurses for whatever reason. We have to be the coolest of cool individuals whether you be a CNA, LPN or RN and up.
    And it's ironic that when people ask me if I ever plan on becoming a RN, because I'm a LPN, in my heart of heart I know that I'm the only person in my family to even go to college, so I usually say maybe, but I'm very proud of my accomplishment. When I compare myself to my family, I rank up with being the president of the U.S. in my accomplishments.
  8. by   TazziRN
    AAAAAAGH! I had a whole post typed out and it blew up!!!


    Okay here goes: by the criteria you just listed, I have a dysfunctional family. My father grew up in one. Between him and his brother there are 7 of us. Out of the 7 I am the only one who graduated from high school vs quitting (my brother and one cousin got GEDs, the others didn't bother). I am the only one who went to college and graduated with a degree, vs just taking a class here and there. I am the only one in a profession rather than a job.

    However, my father was determined that his children would not grow up the way he did. Although I fit your criteria for a dysfunctional childhood, I did not have a dysfunctional one.
  9. by   aerorunner80
    Interesting. I have a family hx of alcohol abuse on both sides and drug abuse (heavy) on my Mom's side. I also have a family hx of mental problems on both sides. I know my Mom has issues, either bipolar or depression not sure which it would be. She admitted herself to a psych hospital with a push from my grandparents, when she was in nursing school (never graduated) and I was about 5 years old. She was there for appx 3 weeks. I also suspect my mom of using drugs. I know she did in her past but I think it still carries on today.

    Somehow I ended up normal........no mental problems or abuse problems, never used drugs or anything like that. Wierd.......................
  10. by   tutored
    Does anyone know a family that ISN"T dysfunctional? I don't
  11. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from kstec
    The reason I started this thread is to prove or disprove the study. I too came from a family of drug addicts and alcholics. My mother was a prescription drug addict and alcholic who overdosed at the age of 49 and that was the overdose that did her in. I do not know who my father is and the rest of my family also abuse drugs and alcohol. I was the first person to graduate high school and the first in my family to have a child after I go married. I'm not judging if you did it different, it was just a personal goal of mine. In a round about way I have asked several nurses that I work with regarding their upbringing and most meet the dysfunctional criteria. The reason it interests me so much is who else would volunteer to go into a career where you clean shi_, clean urine, suction trachs, work short staffed, work for low pay (alot of us), work nights, weekends and holidays with having a little something wrong with us. I know with me, that everytime I make someone feel better it gives me a certain gratification that nothing else does. I always cheer for the underdog and have a dier need to try and make everything okay. All I can say is I commend all of us who broke the cycle and became nurses for whatever reason. We have to be the coolest of cool individuals whether you be a CNA, LPN or RN and up.
    And it's ironic that when people ask me if I ever plan on becoming a RN, because I'm a LPN, in my heart of heart I know that I'm the only person in my family to even go to college, so I usually say maybe, but I'm very proud of my accomplishment. When I compare myself to my family, I rank up with being the president of the U.S. in my accomplishments.
    Thing is, this cannot support or falsify the study. Those with dysfunctional backgrounds are much likely to respond to this sort of thread than those without.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on May 26, '07
  12. by   justme1972
    When my husband and I watch Dr. Phil or Oprah and they are featuring a particularly dysfunctional family, we look at each other, smile and say, "We can top that!"

    The sad part is, most of them were healthcare professionals. They put on a front for a show when they got together with relatives or friends, but living at home was not fun.
    Last edit by justme1972 on May 26, '07 : Reason: typo
  13. by   NurseCard
    Yeah, you may have wanted to title this thread "Did you come from a dysfunctional family, or a "normal" one, and why?" Because the way the thread has gone, most people possibly feel *bad* for saying "well, you know, I came from quite a happy family". Possibly. Just a handful have stepped up and said such.
    Quote from kstec
    The reason I started this thread is to prove or disprove the study. I too came from a family of drug addicts and alcholics. My mother was a prescription drug addict and alcholic who overdosed at the age of 49 and that was the overdose that did her in. I do not know who my father is and the rest of my family also abuse drugs and alcohol. I was the first person to graduate high school and the first in my family to have a child after I go married. I'm not judging if you did it different, it was just a personal goal of mine. In a round about way I have asked several nurses that I work with regarding their upbringing and most meet the dysfunctional criteria. The reason it interests me so much is who else would volunteer to go into a career where you clean shi_, clean urine, suction trachs, work short staffed, work for low pay (alot of us), work nights, weekends and holidays with having a little something wrong with us. I know with me, that everytime I make someone feel better it gives me a certain gratification that nothing else does. I always cheer for the underdog and have a dier need to try and make everything okay. All I can say is I commend all of us who broke the cycle and became nurses for whatever reason. We have to be the coolest of cool individuals whether you be a CNA, LPN or RN and up.
    And it's ironic that when people ask me if I ever plan on becoming a RN, because I'm a LPN, in my heart of heart I know that I'm the only person in my family to even go to college, so I usually say maybe, but I'm very proud of my accomplishment. When I compare myself to my family, I rank up with being the president of the U.S. in my accomplishments.

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