Anyone Bipolar??? - page 8

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   stevieg
    Hi all

    well just thought id update. Im still studying and exactly half way thru my mental health nurse training. I have decided to seek help after suffering all alone for so long think i could fix myself.(after all a surgeon cant do surgery on himself.) I now understand the frustrations of patients in the waiting to be seen. I have asked to be seen by a dr outside my practice area which has caused complications as no one wants to touch me now. I shall be seeing a psychiatrist in april which seems years away and have adopted self help strategies such as sleep hygiene etc. After reading vastly around my illness i can quite confidently say i have bipolar 2 due to the intensity of my mood and unhelpful thoughts that occurr. I have also come round to the idea of taking meds as i cant do it with strategies alone.I thought id share a few of my strategies whether it helps others or if anyone else can add anything. I no longer drink any more than 2 units of alcohol at any one time, I have took tv and all electricals from bedroom, i have a lava lamp and relaxation music on a weds evening as its now non tv day. I have implemented a tv timer to cut down the amount of tv the kids watch and noise this generates, I now see a healthy diet as essential as opposed to favourable, mood diary rating, i am in the process of purchasing a bike to cycle half way to work to ensure that extra serotonin and on i certainly find kay jamiesons an unquiet mind book an inspiration. I would also reccomend stephen frys biography. If any of you have heard of robbie williams his music is awesome and a lot of his music relates to his personal experiences of bipolar. It would be interesting to know what peoples views on disclosing there illness to patients are. steve from england x
  2. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from annaRNC
    You are not required to disclose your diagnosis to anyone except for employee health when you start a new job. If you are diagnosed when you are already employed there is no reason to disclose the information at all. When I first became a nurse I disclosed and was required to get a letter from my MD stating that I was stable enough to practice and not be a "danger" to my patients. I had been stable for 3 years by that point and have been now stable for 7 years. To the OP--please don't rule out medication. I can appreciate wanting to do without it (as I tried to do for many years) but it has given me the stability I need to be an excellent nurse. There are a ton of support groups out there as well as NAMI (which is the national assoc. of mental illness) that can help too. None of my coworkers know because judgments are still out there about mental illness. I think BP has made me a better nurse and a lot more understanding of what some people might be going through. anna
    Thank you Anna I am hoping my meds will give me that stability. I worry about side effects - but I do want to be able to function, too!

    Quote from stevieg
    Hi all

    well just thought id update. Im still studying and exactly half way thru my mental health nurse training. I have decided to seek help after suffering all alone for so long think i could fix myself.(after all a surgeon cant do surgery on himself.) I now understand the frustrations of patients in the waiting to be seen. I have asked to be seen by a dr outside my practice area which has caused complications as no one wants to touch me now. I shall be seeing a psychiatrist in april which seems years away and have adopted self help strategies such as sleep hygiene etc. After reading vastly around my illness i can quite confidently say i have bipolar 2 due to the intensity of my mood and unhelpful thoughts that occurr. I have also come round to the idea of taking meds as i cant do it with strategies alone.I thought id share a few of my strategies whether it helps others or if anyone else can add anything. I no longer drink any more than 2 units of alcohol at any one time, I have took tv and all electricals from bedroom, i have a lava lamp and relaxation music on a weds evening as its now non tv day. I have implemented a tv timer to cut down the amount of tv the kids watch and noise this generates, I now see a healthy diet as essential as opposed to favourable, mood diary rating, i am in the process of purchasing a bike to cycle half way to work to ensure that extra serotonin and on i certainly find kay jamiesons an unquiet mind book an inspiration. I would also reccomend stephen frys biography. If any of you have heard of robbie williams his music is awesome and a lot of his music relates to his personal experiences of bipolar. It would be interesting to know what peoples views on disclosing there illness to patients are. steve from england x
    Wow Steve fantastic! I am glad you are doing so well taking care of yourself! I know I could feel better if I started doing more of the exercise and nutrition piece. I am supposed to be starting a support group soon that focuses on that.

    I have shared w/ patients before my alcohol history but not my mental health history. And providers, they have alluded to it in their histories occasionally but nothing specific, and I think it is better that way. I want to believe my provider is more stable than I am lol.. actually I have a voc rehab counselor who is quite frank about her illness and the relapses she has had. She is very matter of fact about it which also gives me hope, I would like to feel freer to discuss it. I guess it is good both ways.
  3. by   CherryAmes_RN
    well im a little late in the game but ill share too

    anyone bipolar? why yes, yes i am. i was diagnosed with BP II at 18. i went through hell as a teenager, starting @ age 12. i saw a total of THIRTEEN different psychologists & psychiatrists. not a single one would listen or take me seriously, wouldnt take my very extensive family hx of MI into account, wouldnt even look @ my "mood journals" (that they suggested i keep) so i went in & out of doctors offices, refused to go, took the meds they threw @ me- the wrong meds for this disorder & also for my age & size (10mg valium QID for a 100# 13 y/o? ok!) that made me sicker & quit taking them everytime on my own, making me physically sick.
    finally, i found a doc that would listen, she diagnosed me & started me on depakote. it worked, i felt better, quit going. felt bad again, went back &/or found new doc because i was embarrassed... repeat as necessary x2yrs. finally i had enough & accepted that i needed help.
    now, i take my meds (depakote & PRN restoril), i go to my appts., i take care of myself & try to keep stress from getting to me. i have started to have anxiety like i havent experienced since i was a teen- im not quite sure why, but its something ill be addressing quite soon. i still have verymild cycling but its managable. my brain is not "normal," nor will it ever be & thats fine. im stable & im not a zombie, works for me.
    im not embarrassed, ive talked to a few people @ work about it... its not something i feel the need to disclose to an employer. i wouldnt have a problem to bring in a doctors "clearance" if an employer asked but i honestly dont think its any of their business. quite honestly, my IBS would effect my work performance 100x more than this ever will
  4. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from CherryAmes_RN
    well im a little late in the game but ill share too ... my IBS would effect my work performance 100x more than this ever will


    NEVER too late Welcome.

    I got a chuckle out of your last line, too true...
  5. by   beat2beat
    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 )
    [font=fixedsys]i cannot agree with you more on midnight shift being destabilizing. i was diagnosed as bipolar in 1994 and have been mood-swing free and stable on medication for over 10 years. i was fine all the way through nursing school. i just recently graduated and have been working midnight shift for the past 6 months and have been a mood swinging mess. mostly hypomanic. i am back to seeing a psychiatrist after 8 years of having my primary care take over prescribing my meds and i am back in therapy learning how to deal with the disappointment of the re emergence of my symptoms. it also hasn't been the change in sleep hygeine for me, it has also been the fact that i get no time to eat on my job. i have lost over 30 pounds since i started working, so 3 days a week i eat only one meal. i am finally pulling it together with a change in medication, and lots and lots of support from my therapist and my husband. i am glad i found this thread. i work in psyche and it amazes me how much misunderstanding and stigma is still surrounding bipolar disorder withing our own profession. for some reason there seems to be a huge misconception that all bipolar patients are crazy and are a danger to others. even at my worst i was never a danger to others, only to myself. inwardly it makes me angry, but people will believe what they choose to believe.
  6. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from beat2beat
    I work in psyche and it amazes me how much misunderstanding and stigma is still surrounding bipolar disorder withing our own profession. For some reason there seems to be a HUGE misconception that ALL bipolar patients are crazy and are a danger to others. Even at my worst I was never a danger to others, only to myself. Inwardly it makes me angry, but people will believe what they choose to believe.
    Yes, don't you love hearing coworkers make blanket snide remarks about people w/ bipolar or depression or whatever it is, and you realize they are in actuality talking about "you".

    The only thing I want to add is that sometimes people ARE a danger to themselves or others and don't realize it. Usually, I do. But this past summer when I was hypomanic I was "controlling it" and realize in hindsight that I could have hurt someone either while working or while driving - I was a bit sped up and my judgment was impaired. I also know that had I had a gun this past fall I might easily have used it on myself, my depression was so bad.

    But you're right, you can't say "all". Many are stable and able to function w/o being a danger to themselves or others. But definitely their being permitted to have a gun should be approached with caution and with follow-up (someone stable "today" could be a totally different story a year later)

    Just my thoughts on that.
  7. by   annaRNC
    It is ironic to hear your coworkers talk about how a patient with BP, depression, or anxiety as "the crazy one." It bothered me so much in the beginning that nurses thought that way but now I hit my "ignore" button. I'm doing my APN in psych and still working full-time. I've managed to do all of this with BP.
  8. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from annaRNC
    It is ironic to hear your coworkers talk about how a patient with BP, depression, or anxiety as "the crazy one." It bothered me so much in the beginning that nurses thought that way but now I hit my "ignore" button. I'm doing my APN in psych and still working full-time. I've managed to do all of this with BP.

    and I'm sure more than one of the staff standing next to them has a dx of that as well...
  9. by   chubbybutt
    Just a quick note to all who suffer from Bipolar Disorder, and want to be a nurse. Florence Nightingale our founder of modern nursing was Bipolar. Just because you have a illness, just like diabetes, Bipolar needs to be controled. I understand the fear of somebody thinking your crazy, so my advise is to not divulge information that could in the end hurt you. It is your business, and your business only. If you feel you would like to share, then share it. We too can live a normal life just like everyone else.

    I read a article about the percentage of nurses that are Bipolar....huge numbers! So, never feel your the only one.
    Good Luck!
  10. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from chubbybutt
    Just a quick note to all who suffer from Bipolar Disorder, and want to be a nurse. Florence Nightingale our founder of modern nursing was Bipolar. Just because you have a illness, just like diabetes, Bipolar needs to be controled. I understand the fear of somebody thinking your crazy, so my advise is to not divulge information that could in the end hurt you. It is your business, and your business only. If you feel you would like to share, then share it. We too can live a normal life just like everyone else.

    I read a article about the percentage of nurses that are Bipolar....huge numbers! So, never feel your the only one.
    Good Luck!
    Thank you for posting!

    Love your user name
  11. by   hikingnurse
    I am so glad I found this thread. I am an aspiring nursing student and I need advise. I have finished all my prerequisites for nursing school and have an excellent GPA. I just found out that the BON background check is asking about any mental health issues. I am terrified, because I have a dx. of bipolar/depressive. I am taking one medication and have been stable for years. I see my doctor every three months. I also have a very stable work history and have never gotten a bad evaluation from work. I have no criminal background and I don't do drugs.I am so afraid now that I won't even get into nursing school if I have to disclose my dx. I am single parent and I worked so hard to get to this point. I would be so devasted if my dream of becoming a nurse would die because of my dx. Any advice is very much appreciated. Thanks.
  12. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from reachingforstars
    I am so glad I found this thread. I am an aspiring nursing student and I need advise. I have finished all my prerequisites for nursing school and have an excellent GPA. I just found out that the BON background check is asking about any mental health issues. I am terrified, because I have a dx. of bipolar/depressive. I am taking one medication and have been stable for years. I see my doctor every three months. I also have a very stable work history and have never gotten a bad evaluation from work. I have no criminal background and I don't do drugs.I am so afraid now that I won't even get into nursing school if I have to disclose my dx. I am single parent and I worked so hard to get to this point. I would be so devasted if my dream of becoming a nurse would die because of my dx. Any advice is very much appreciated. Thanks.
    I don't know, it has never stopped me from working, but I guess it is different for every state. I hope it doesn't get in the way!! I would contact a disability rights center to find out, or if you get a decision from the BON I'd call the disability rights people. Not sure how to reach them.
  13. by   hikingnurse
    Thanks for your response. I am still nervous about it, but I think it will be even worse if I don't disclose and they somehow find out later. I just have to trust that it will be o.k.

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