Nurses with eating disorders???

  1. [b]

    okay, i know this is a bit of a sticky issue. i am really going out on a limb here but i feel so alone and i"m hoping to connect with anyone else out there who might be experiencing the same or something similar.
    i'm just wondering if there are other nurses who struggle with managing an eating disorder as well as working with a nurse. if they've had a nursing supervisor make comments to them or even clinical instructors in nursing school say anything to them and how they have dealt with that situation. (i'm currently just in nursing school right now, and haven't had anyone say anything to me but we were learning to take bps last week and my lab instructor was using me to show something to me and a my partner and couldn't get my bp).
    did you make sure you were fully in recovery before getting a job after graduation?? do find that the medical/nursing environment encourages you to be healthy or do you find it as more of a trigger to you?
    have you had any patients make comments to you??

    really i'm just looking for anyone to say anything about their experience(s).
    and people's opinions.
    [b]
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Jessy_RN
    I am not sure what you mean by "people making comments". Can you give an example of a comment. Unless someone knows for sure that you have an eating disorder they cannot make a comment to you. What I am getting to is, I don't think it is a frequent subject to talk about or to receive a comment from different people unless they know you have a disorder.


    I know you did not mention that YOU had an eating disorder (or maybe you need this for a school work)...... therefore I am a bit confused. I know someone will be in here soon and hopefully can give you the needed advice.

    Best wishes to you
  4. by   Tweety
    I hope that you get someone who can relate, either on this therad of in private messages.

    Nursing career or not, comments or not, the important thing is to get help NOW. You're asking how to deal with comments about your eating disorder, when the focus should be on getting help, not in staying in the disorder and dealing with comments.

    You are not alone.
    Good luck.
  5. by   RENAISSANCE RN
    Quote from Tweety
    I hope that you get someone who can relate, either on this therad of in private messages.

    Nursing career or not, comments or not, the important thing is to get help NOW. You're asking how to deal with comments about your eating disorder, when the focus should be on getting help, not in staying in the disorder and dealing with comments.

    You are not alone.
    Good luck.


    PLEASE PLEASE!!!!! GET HELP We don't need any more terri shiavio's (sp).
    you can over come this!!


    Please start loving yourself!!!
  6. by   SandraJean
    Please get help right away. You need to be healthy and that is the top priority. Don't wait until a "better time"... get help now.
  7. by   Nickle
    Okay, what kind of comments are you anticipating? I think we can answer your questions better if you give us some more info. Did your instructor say something or have a strange expression when she couldn't get your BP? What happened when she couldn't get it?

    Your post made it sound like you do have an eating disorder and are in treatment. Is that right? (If I have misunderstood and that is not the case, I do apologize.) If you are in treatment, I would look to your treatment team for advice on how to handle these types of questions. Self-disclosure is tricky, between classmates, instructors, nursing staff, coworkers and patients. I can't really advise you as to the best way for you to respond, because there isn't one best answer for every situation. People may ask out of concern - they may be snoopy/nosy/gossipy - or they may be naive. Their interest may be benign, caring or otherwise. You may not want to disclose to certain people. Or you may find some degree of self-disclosure to be therapeutic.

    One student I went to college with (before nursing school) is now a medical student coming to see patients at the hospital where I work. She has an eating disorder, and looks unwell. I have never said anything to her, nor said anything to anyone else about her. I wish I knew how to handle the situation better. I guess what I'm wondering is, in a perfect world, how do you wish people would respond to you? Do you wish to start to have a dialogue with certain trusted people about your illness? Or do you wish to only discuss things with your treatment team and family/friends?

    As for your question about exacerbation/relapsing due to a stressful environment, nursing can be very stressful. Your success really depends on how you deal with stress. Nurses in recovery can definitely be successful with a good support system in place. The levels of stress vary by hospital unit, types of patients, facility size, and I think most importantly by your coworkers. At my facility, the medical unit is commonly felt to be the most challenging area - yet I love going there since the staff is so great and supportive of one another. Going to the surgical unit is another story - it's a very tense and non-helpful atmosphere. It just depends on what your triggers are. There are many other options in nursing besides hospital - there's hospice, home health, government, private duty, etc. One environment may be wrong for you, while another could be a good fit.

    I think it is smart for you to post here in order to prepare yourself for any possible questions. It's good for you to try to anticipate some of these situations. I wish you all the best in your treatment and recovery.

    Hopefully some nurses who have dealt with these problems can lend some insight?
  8. by   Nickle
    Please feel free to PM if you are uncomfortable discussing this openly.
  9. by   Frolicking
    I have an eating disorder but I'm postponing nursing school untill I've recovered. Personally I know I need to be able to care for myself before I can provide optimal care for others. You need to make sure you aren't putting others needs above your own. Besides the tangible risk to your patients if you're engaging in eating disordered behaviors there will be an emotional toll on yourself.

    I don't think that everyone has to be totally perfect and recovered to be a competent nurse but you do need to be able to maintain a basic level of care for yourself. Good luck fighting this awful disease.
  10. by   Camelhappy1
    Check your PMs
  11. by   68RN
    Hi Carine2,

    I have fought my weight problem all my life-compulsive overeating. And of course, alot of it is from stress. I entered a diploma program in the fall of 1965 after a summer where I lost 50 pounds using hypmosis. Came from a family where your appearancce was of paramount importance. My mom was a trophy wife who atched her weight closely. She was exercising before Jack Lalaine was , I think haha.
    I do remember in nursing school being picked to demonstrate different positioning. I was in a hospital bed and it was an arena type setting =rows went up. I was put in some of the wierdest positions in fromt of all those classmates and was humiliated to say the lease.
    I think you realy have to learn to deal with stress, and it is no secret, nursing is a stressor. After 38 years,I am one of the disabled. I will post my story one of these days. The suggestion of meditation is great. Any form of exercise melts away stress. Yoga,tai chi. Biofeedback is a wonderful alternative. You can buy audio hypnosis tapes which help with stress. There is a stress reduction program that is always advertizing on TV I think it is overcoming stress, which I have thought of ordering.
    I have to say, despite my size, I have really not been aware of alot of discrimination. I have held management and charge positions. I think my personality helped alot. Due to some childhood issues I treat everyone I meet with dignity and respect so I think that holds down on some of the comments. I do not remember any patient ever remarking on my size. I am especially attuned to the large overweight patients that are made fun of. Yes, they helped me along to become disabled, but they were so thankful, for the most part for anything you did for them.
    I think as your confidence grows, your anxiety will wane somewhat. But it is a fact of life that nursing is a very hard profession both physically and emotionally.
    If you have a support group I would recommend keep going or join, as there is nothing like a group of people with similiar problems where someone may say something that will help you alot.

    good luck in your career choice. I think emotionally injured people flock to the helping professions. I have a yonng niece who is bulemic and went through a treatment program and is now home and restarting college. She still has days where she stays in bed and will not answer the phone= life is just so hard sometimes. She is the sweetest child you could ever meet-her parents divorced when she was barely 6 and her mom kind of went crazy for awhile dating around and other things. Any way, she wants to go into a Helping field. I wish her the best and just want to cry this will be a life long struggle for her. She got her a puppy not to long ago and it has made a big difference-unconditional love!!!
    Bye for now and keep us posted how you are doing. 68RN

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