Anyone Bipolar??? - page 5

I was wondering if anyone is, or knows of any successful bipolar nurses. I am non-medicated but cope with my symptoms via behavior modification and therapy. I do not want to rely on medication if I... Read More

  1. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from NZ_RN
    Also, a thank you to all on this thread, it's great to know I'm not alone! BP is something I have kept to myself in life to avoid the judgement of people, especially wokmates, and I have felt ashamed of it.
    Nice to meet you and hear from you - check back in now and then, k?
  2. by   inthesky
    i have bipolar as well. I am a new grad and I have gotten through my first 3 months with good evaluations. im actually pretty good at my job, but working night shift is destabilizing me. I'm going through sleep meds like crazy.. swinging in between stages of laying in bed crying and irritible restlessness and energetic optimism. I think i could handle the stress of the job if i could just have some quality sleep. Handling stress is very cognitive and I've worked really hard..but this sleep crap is something i just cant control! I sleep many hours, but just keep waking up. I really do think that people with bipolar can hold demanding jobs, but i think we should avoid night shift and get regular psych care (even when we feel good!! =P )
  3. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from inthesky
    i have bipolar as well. I am a new grad and I have gotten through my first 3 months with good evaluations. im actually pretty good at my job, but working night shift is destabilizing me. I'm going through sleep meds like crazy.. swinging in between stages of laying in bed crying and irritible restlessness and energetic optimism. I think i could handle the stress of the job if i could just have some quality sleep. Handling stress is very cognitive and I've worked really hard..but this sleep crap is something i just cant control! I sleep many hours, but just keep waking up. I really do think that people with bipolar can hold demanding jobs, but i think we should avoid night shift and get regular psych care (even when we feel good!! =P )
    I always preferred night shift but my shrink was always recommending I get off them - that they wreaked havoc w/ DEPRESSION especially. But also, lack of sleep will certainly set one up for a MANIC state as well... think your advice is wise!
  4. by   hulahut
    Hi, all. I am new to the site and joined d/t noting the BPD messages. I, too, am bipolar. I have been an RN for 19yrs. and a darn good one, too. I was diagnosed correctly in Fall of 2003. Before that I was only treated for depression because I only went to the MD when I felt like crap. After reading about BPD, I went to a psychiatrist and he agreed I was indeed bipolar. I was placed on new meds and functioned well for the next 4 yrs. with a few med adjustments in between. But, this year everything escalated. I crashed & burned in Feb. and only recovered well enough to return to work in April. I was placed on Lithium in addition to the Lamictal I was on previous. However, within 2 months, I am back on the roller coaster from hell. I have poor concentration & alternately feel like jumping out of my skin or hiding under the covers for life. Geodon was added but I'm unable to tolerate it. The odd thing is I work as a Psychiatric RN! While this does give me intimate knowledge into their feelings, it also makes it painfully aware to me that I may have to leave the nursing profession for the sake of my patients and myself. I am deathly afraid I will come unglued at work and traumatize the patients, not to mention some of the staff. While they (the staff) are aware of my BPD, since this last episode, some of them have taken to "hovering" over everything I do and say. Did I mention my paranoia? (Ha, ha). I guess my question is...how will I know for sure that it's time to hang up the ol' stethoscope? When I'm controlled, I'm great, but I wonder if I will ever again feel controlled. And I don't want to make such a decision if I'm not in the right frame of mind. My MD thinks I can recover again, but I have mountains of bills to pay and am a single Mom besides. Income is rather important for those things. Anyone out there able to give this chick some advice?? All will be appreciated.
  5. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from hulahut
    All will be appreciated.
    Have you seen http://allnurses.com/forums/f296/nur...ess-94244.html ?

    All I can say is been there done that - and keep doing the best you can. I suspect you will know long before anyone else that it is time to hang it up.

    Good luck!
  6. by   inthesky
    Bipolar is technically a medical illness and you should look into emergency medical leave (FMLA --i think =P.. im new at this). Bipolar disorder is also covered by the 1990 American with Disabilities Law. If you still want to practice, I think you should continue 'after' you get stabilized which could take weeks, depending. I'm a psych nurse as well with bipolar disorder. I was rendered unable to work recently due to being agitated and difficulty concentrating due to racing thoughts. As you know, having episodes is the nature of the disorder and i don't think it means you have to quit if you don't want to. If you are paranoid and jumpy, it probably is not safe to practice at the moment.

    Let's say you got into a car wreck and had a bunch of surgeries.. you would take a good chunk of emergency leave and then get back to work right? Do you have a psych doc who will work with you?

    Recovering from a bad episode myself, i wish you the very best <3
  7. by   hulahut
    Thank you both for the advice and sharing your stories. I returned to my psychiatrist and he believes it was the addition of Geodon that triggered the mania and exacerbation my symptoms. Needless to say, I am no longer on that stuff. He raised my Lithium to TID and that has seemed to help immensley. In fact, I am cleared to return to work Saturday. Never ceases to amaze me what a little tweaking of meds can do. Hopefully this will hold me in a stable pattern for quite a while. Things are looking up! I'm just wondering, has anyone else had such a reaction to Geodan?
  8. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from hulahut
    Thank you both for the advice and sharing your stories. I returned to my psychiatrist and he believes it was the addition of Geodon that triggered the mania and exacerbation my symptoms. Needless to say, I am no longer on that stuff. He raised my Lithium to TID and that has seemed to help immensley. In fact, I am cleared to return to work Saturday. Never ceases to amaze me what a little tweaking of meds can do. Hopefully this will hold me in a stable pattern for quite a while. Things are looking up! I'm just wondering, has anyone else had such a reaction to Geodan?
    I guess I didn't catch this the first time. I had a horrible reaction to Geodon - felt like I had to jump out a window to make that feeling inside stop. Got very manic. Wasn't suicidal or wanting to self harm, it was like something horrible was inside me. Ended up hospitalized til it passed. (shudder)

    Seroquel did the same thing. NOT FUN.
  9. by   kburns0016
    I was just dx'd with Bipolar myself a few months ago back in April and also just accepted into the RN program at my local community college...so it is good to hear that there are nurses out there dealing successfully with this condition!I have not yet had a typical manic phase, hypomania is more my style
    I had a fairly minor depressive episode after having Gallbladder surgery on April Fools day, and then once my classes let out for summer and I was cooped up in the house all day every day with the kids I fell into a much deeper depressive state. My doc started my on meds including Remeron , Librax, Inderal and Ativan PRN for infrequent anxiety attacks. I have been pretty lucky only having to tweak my meds a little , trying Seroquel( woah I did not do well on that!) and finally adding a once daily dose of Zyprexa to the mix I seem to be on the right track now.we are also trying Ambien CR. for 10 nights to try and restore my sleep patterns.I have done a few things lately much more like my "normal" self, been getting up in the day (intsead of wanting to sleep 14/15 hours) doing my chores (stuff like dishes and laundry that I avoid like the plague when I am in a depressive state I just want to sit form sun up to sun down when I am that way but my anger is also phenomenal ...like a hurricaine sweeping through the house) I have also finally became concerned about my diet and how it may be affecting how I feel physically and mentally, started taking vitamins and B complex daily and trying to work out and eat healther ...while these may not sound like a lot of changes I can really feel a differnce in myself , in how ALIVE I feel from one day to the next.
    I have noticed though if I don't sleep like I should it can all go to H*LL in a handbasket real FAST~ anyone else have this problem?
    My hubby is trying to hard to be a help right now trying to learn how to spot the signs of a serious flucuation in my mood and bring that to my attention early on, but there is definintely a learning curve for loved ones and significant others in this game I think, as I am often in tears before he realizes anytihng is really wrong, I dont know what I would do without him and it seems like since I dx'd I am constantly apologizing to him for all I have put , continue to put and eventually will put him through~
    I am so glad I found this board, my mind is at ease just being reminded I am not alone
  10. by   hulahut
    Hi. It sounds as if you're doing all the right things to get a handle on this "wonderful" illness. Sleep patterns can sure make a difference for bipolars. I worked 3rd shift for awhile & it nearly ruined me. I feel an important part of managing bipolar is to really get in tune to yourself and your emotional status. If you do, you can recognize "little" changes early & get to your Psychiatrist before the little things become BIG things. I have had an AWFUL year but think I have finally reached a point that is manageable. But in a positive spin on my forever relapse, I found even more signs that should hopefully decrease the severity &/or frequency of future relapses. Best of luck to you. It is possible to have a wonderful life with this illness.
  11. by   ERNurseRN5316
    Hi! I also have BiPolar. I'm surprised to find this thread - I always feel like the only one! I'm about to start the nursing program next month. I've been taking prereq's for the past 1 1/2 years and have had 2 depressive episodes and 1 manic. I feel the mania is well controlled by the lithium, but I am most concerned re: the depression. The worst part is the CONFUSION. I can't think. I can't speak. I sit and stare or stand and stare. Very slow. Has anyone else had an episode while working and how did you deal with it. Did you call in "sick" or explain the situation. How were you received. I'm top of my class in grades, but I feel the next swing is waiting...
  12. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from nontradstudent69
    Hi! I also have BiPolar. I'm surprised to find this thread - I always feel like the only one! I'm about to start the nursing program next month. I've been taking prereq's for the past 1 1/2 years and have had 2 depressive episodes and 1 manic. I feel the mania is well controlled by the lithium, but I am most concerned re: the depression. The worst part is the CONFUSION. I can't think. I can't speak. I sit and stare or stand and stare. Very slow. Has anyone else had an episode while working and how did you deal with it. Did you call in "sick" or explain the situation. How were you received. I'm top of my class in grades, but I feel the next swing is waiting...
    Yep I have those moments, this time it has lasted over 4 yrs!

    Well not continuously but ... my mind doesn't work as well as it did.

    Anyway - all you can do is the best you can do, one day at a time, one HOUR at a time if necessary!

    God bless you!
  13. by   linda215
    Hi,

    Im Bi polar, wella actually my name is Linda... haha I am so grateful to know that their are actual nurses living the way I do Im considering going to Lincoln Tech for a LPN program... this is somewhat scary for me because I was enrolled in a Paramedic program and for various reasons, I couldnt keep up. I had to leave to smoke or walk around because I was "bored", then the director of the program asked me to sit out for a bit. Not being able to stay home ( idle hands) and for fear of my credit ( for shopping) and not being able to afford the stuff, and writing bad checks, I looked in to an RN program which in my area there's a high demand so the waiting list are like ah... ah.... Football feilds long (2-3 years) and even then they only take the highest NET or TEAS scores, I spoke to a gal who suggested LPN first then RN. Well to cut this story short I applied for SSI I couldnt work I was a supervisor for a mental health joint ( go figure) and began yelling at people and sleeping on the job, funny thing is when asked why I was so tired I'd lie and say I was expeccting ( that only lasted for so long)..... None the less..... I applied and was granted SSD, and I am taking Seroquel 400mg, Lexapro 20mg, Ive tried Prozac which didnt work I jump off the Bridge literally, many bouts with death, and suicide on PROZAC...If it works for you run with it, but I hated it.

    AGAIN lon story short, Im gonna try and run with this LPN thing, and see how that works, I feel like GOD has provided me another door, to be able to go to school and not have the headache of working how cool. and I plan to make the best of it
    I still have my quirks,CANT and I am not even entertaining the idea of a realtionship,
    Im focusing on school my kids and school and myself.
    Hope I helped someone.

    Good luck everyone.

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