Anti-depressants and nursing school

  1. First of all, let me say I don't mean to be a whiner....but ever since I started nursing school I've changed a lot. I've become more anxious, impatient, extremely stressed and kind of depressed. Some times I feel like I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown. One night after a looong day of school I was talking to my husband and started to laugh about something funny and the laugh turned into a crying fit, for no reason, then back to a laughing fit. I was seriously.... "cracking up." I couldn't stop crying for atleast a half an hour. He didn't know what to think. I have a high strung/ nervous personality anyway and I've always been able to handle normal stressors, but this is too much and I am now able to admit it. I can't do this alone anymore. I have 4 kids (3 in school, 1 in day care), and a great husband, yet I'm still feeling pushed to the brink. I am not asking for any medical advice, but I will say that I visited the nurse practioner and explained these feelings to her and she told me that without this stress I couldn't get through nursing school so I didn't get a prescription. :uhoh21: I'm going to see someone else this week, but does anyone else feel this way?
    I think I push all the stress aside, because in nursing school...who has the time to devote to your own needs? But then when I do have a minute to breathe and recoupe it all comes out and I am unable to hold it in anymore and it drains me so much. I do deep breathing excercises, I meditate, during breaks all I do is sleep, relax and stay as far away from any stress as possible, but now that school is 1 week away (3rd semester)I feel it coming on again. Sigh.
    Please tell me I'm not the only one under this much stress. How do you cope? Are you taking anything and does it help or take away your motivation? I need to know I'm not alone.
    Thanks
    Last edit by SoulShine75 on Jan 9, '07
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    I was on an anti-depreesant throughout nursing school, but I was on one before, as well. I can't, well, LIVE without one.

    Call your primary care provider and see what s/he says.
  4. by   MIA-RN1
    I think at least half my class was on zoloft by the time final semester came!
    Talk to your doctor. Anxiety is only good if it works for you; if you are paralyzed or otherwise incapacitated with it, then you need medical attention. Nursing school is stressful but its not the be-all and end-all. You need to help yourself find balance.
  5. by   SoulShine75
    Thank you all. I am going to visit a DR this week to try and get something. I put it off before because I thought I could do it on my own. After much struggle and tired of feeling this way I decided I need something to help take the edge off. Hopefully the actually listen to me and not brush it off as the practioner did.
  6. by   AtlantaRN
    "I think at least half my class was on zoloft by the time final semester came!"

    Same here, I graduated in 1996...And the other half was on Xanax...

    linda
  7. by   AtlantaRN
    "I need to know I'm not alone. "

    You aren't alone. I take 150mg zoloft daily, and I have good and bad days. Some things won't bother me at all, and then the next day, I get sooooo MAD...I'll yell, and then i'll cry--zoloft helps me stay "balanced".

    I listen to alot of contemporary christian music, i have a set of tony robbins tapes--motivational tapes (on ebay for $15 for the set and they retail in the $225 range)...but it helps me. I like to shop at thrift stores too.

    Everyone has what makes them happy.

    I do home hospice as well as critical care in the hospital setting; so it can be stressful. Hubby is disabled, but does alot around the house.

    You aren't alone. Even through the stress, find time for yourself. Laughter
    is a good medicine.

    linda
  8. by   Jules A
    Quote from AtlantaRN
    "I think at least half my class was on zoloft by the time final semester came!"

    Same here, I graduated in 1996...And the other half was on Xanax...

    linda
    Same here although I wish I had known they were handing out Xanax, lol. Definitely get something to help if it is getting too much.
  9. by   manofcare
    Hey, I take buproprion, but I don't really need it. My wife, kids, and friends say I need it to keep from becoming a total and complete @?*?#, but I don't need it. Just kidding. I do take it and it seems to help with the anxiety. I don't agree with the NP you visited. It's kind of like pain, the pt is the only one that should judge the need for pain meds., and I think you have the most knowledge about your body and state of mind. I'd see someone else.
  10. by   Achoo!
    I was having a discussion about this with a bunch of fellow classmates. Only one out of 10 of us was not on some kind of medication. By the end of the semester she got a script for Lexapro.
  11. by   jov
    Quote from SoulShine75
    I visited the nurse practioner and explained these feelings to her and she told me that without this stress I couldn't get through nursing school so I didn't get a prescription.

    I think I push all the stress aside, because in nursing school...who has the time to devote to your own needs?

    I do deep breathing excercises, I meditate, during breaks all I do is sleep, relax and stay as far away from any stress as possible, but now that school is 1 week away (3rd semester)I feel it coming on again. Sigh.
    well... the first time I tried to get through nursing school 20 years ago I ended up with irritable bowel syndrome so bad I had to drop out. This time through, I am handling the stress beautifully. And without Zoloft or Xanax, I might add.

    First of all, I am not at all sure what your NP was trying to say.
    "Without this stress, you couldn't get through nursing school"?! Whaaa?
    I've got news for you, this stress isn't going to go away. If it does go away, it will only be temporary and then it will be back in the form of your sick parents, your husband laid off, your own chronic disease, etc., etc. So it would behoove you in the long run to work towards more effective stress management techniques.

    Second, I'm in nursing school, in addition to having two school age children, a husband, and running my own business. BUT I find the time to devote to my own needs. Otherwise (as you found out) you fall apart and then you can't help anyone.

    Obviously your depression is coming from the up and down and chronicity of your stress, so if what you are doing ain't working, you should try something else. I can only highly recommend hightailing it to a counselor and sorting some of this out. My own personal experience was a 10+ year history of depression and anxiety, Zoloft, Xanax, to (after counseling) sailing through the stress of nursing school without meds. I'm not against meds, mind you, but they work far better as a temporary bridge to better mental health than as a permanent intervention. JMHO. and Best of Luck.
  12. by   love for nursing
    Most of my class is on something. We joke and refer to our antidepressant as a B@*&$ pill.
  13. by   Kemccanha
    Alright...I don't feel so bad now after reading all these posts! I started having pretty serious panic attacks right before I started nursing school (while driving, having to pull off the road, etc). My doctor put me on Lexapro and Xanax as needed! I still have my days, however, I decided that being a patient isn't so bad either! You have to do what will get you through. I'll worry about weaning myself when I'm done with school!
  14. by   PralineLPN
    A couple people in my class were on Xanax before the end of the year. Really, not suprising, considering the financial, social and mental strains being imposed. However, xanax only works for a few weeks or PRN. Maybe something like BuSpar? or Prozac, both are somewhat mentally stimulating, as well as modulating the anxiety centers.

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