Depression/Anxiety

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    How many AN members here suffer from anxiety and/or depression? The incidence of both seems to be on the rise in nursing professionals. 1 in 5 nurses are depressed and twice the amount of nurses are depressed compared to the general public.


    I think I have suffered from job-related anxiety for awhile now and now it's making me depressed. I've been feeling like I'm on edge at work at times. Recently, my home life hasn't been that great. I'm moody and I've been snappy towards family, which isn't fair to them. I recently had a pretty big argument with my husband (which NEVER happens) and that has taken a toll on me. My sleeping schedule is already messed up due to working nights but even on my off days I will go to sleep and then be wide awake at 0200 or 0300. I feel like I've been a hermit for the past month - not really in the mood to socialze with anyone. My husband thinks I'm depressed because I never used to be like this. It's just kind of been building up for awhile, I guess.


    At work I somehow manage to do my job. I love what I do. I get along great with my coworkers and my patients love me...but I just feel like all of this work-related stress I am feeling is taking effect on me once I step foot out of the hospital. It seems like we're constantly overworked and understaffed. Once my shift is over, all I want to do is just go to sleep, wake up, go to work, then go back to sleep, and the cycle repeats itself. On my off days I just want to do nothing.


    How do you cope? I eat okay. I don't exercise like I should and I know that can elevate your mood but when you're so exhausted all of the time, how can you even do that? And I'm also interested in those who take anxiolytics/antidepressants and how it affects your work performance, if at all.
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

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    36 views and no replies?
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    Look at the other threads on here about this subject - you will find lots of comments/thoughts etc. that maybe helpful.

    Also, Depression Forums has lots of info. on what you are looking experiencing.
  6. 3
    I suffer from anxiety, as well, but it's something I've dealt with pretty much all my life. I've always been an emotional person and a worrier. I work in an office setting, not in a hospital, and I still have anxiety. I noticed that I interact better with patients and am able to deliver education, etc. when I am not anxious. When I'm anxious, I just can't get the message across very well, my mind goes blank. So I finally decided I would see my doctor to try some medication. I am now on Buspar twice daily regularly, and I take a low dose of Xanax when needed. The Buspar has really helped me - I still have feelings of anxiety occasionally, but not as much as I used to. Before the Buspar, I would have anxiety for no reason at all. I just got tired of feeling that way, and realized that there was something I could do about it. I know medication is not right for everyone, some people really don't like to be on it, and I totally respect that. But it has definitely helped me a lot.

    I have realized, though, that a job with a lot of stress is definitely not right for me. I tried working LTAC before I went to the office setting...let's just say, that did not go well at all. I called in sick several times because I was so anxious and worried about how my day was going to go, that I would actually become nauseated and vomit. The outpatient setting is definitely where I belong, and I really enjoy it. But I think all fields of nursing have their own stresses.

    I also have been coping well because I do a lot of praying. I feel like I have come a long way with my anxiety, with help from God and the medication. If you think your job might be causing your anxiety, maybe it's time you think about what really makes you happy. Life is too short to allow your job to cause you to feel this way. Maybe it's time for a change. If you really love your job and you don't want to change, there are also other ways of coping with the anxiety. Hope this helps!
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    I agree with your husband. You sound depressed and if you don't seek treatment it will probably worsen. I recommend you talk to your primary physician first to rule out any physical problems such as thyroid or other hormone imbalance. If working nights is starting to take its toll on you, you may have to think about changing shifts. See a therapist/psychologist/mental health nurse who can help determine need for medications. Or your primary doctor can prescribe for you. Main thing is to do something. Don't deny you are having difficulty. I suffer depression/anxiety as well, and I have a good relationship with my primary doc and he treats me as long as I am stable. Paxil works for me as it is good for the anxiety as well. There are so many medications, so what works for one person may not work for another, as you know. I hope that soon you are feeling much better.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from turnforthenurseRN
    How many AN members here suffer from anxiety and/or depression? The incidence of both seems to be on the rise in nursing professionals. 1 in 5 nurses are depressed and twice the amount of nurses are depressed compared to the general public.

    I think I have suffered from job-related anxiety for awhile now and now it's making me depressed. I've been feeling like I'm on edge at work at times. Recently, my home life hasn't been that great. I'm moody and I've been snappy towards family, which isn't fair to them. I recently had a pretty big argument with my husband (which NEVER happens) and that has taken a toll on me. My sleeping schedule is already messed up due to working nights but even on my off days I will go to sleep and then be wide awake at 0200 or 0300. I feel like I've been a hermit for the past month - not really in the mood to socialze with anyone. My husband thinks I'm depressed because I never used to be like this. It's just kind of been building up for awhile, I guess.

    At work I somehow manage to do my job. I love what I do. I get along great with my coworkers and my patients love me...but I just feel like all of this work-related stress I am feeling is taking effect on me once I step foot out of the hospital. It seems like we're constantly overworked and understaffed. Once my shift is over, all I want to do is just go to sleep, wake up, go to work, then go back to sleep, and the cycle repeats itself. On my off days I just want to do nothing.

    How do you cope? I eat okay. I don't exercise like I should and I know that can elevate your mood but when you're so exhausted all of the time, how can you even do that? And I'm also interested in those who take anxiolytics/antidepressants and how it affects your work performance, if at all.
    Hey there! I have never had issues with anxiety/depression until recently. I am happy to say I've kicked it's ass too! I am back to myself, and if you are like me, it's not a chemical imbalance and therefore you do not need meds...side note- I am not saying to not look into medication, which helps many people, I did not want to go that route so it took time but I was able to get through it on my own.

    My anxiety stemmed from applying to nursing school, which I am doing now. In my area all of the schools are on a lottery system so there is really no telling how long I will have to wait to get in...plus, I don't really like my current job so that didn't help.

    I hated waking up in the morning and having to be at work and the idea of being stuck at this job while I waited and waiting to get into nursing school was slowly driving me crazy...

    I finally went to see a therapist and I talked and cried and talked and cried...she helped a lot. I also started getting into working out again and talking a relaxation/yoga class which e's helped a lot. It took about a month, but I was able to get my head in the right place, thinking positively is key. I also started taking 1mg of melatonin to help me sleep though the night, and it works!

    Feel free to private message me if you have any questions, I hope this helps!!!
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    OP, have you talked with your doctor yet? I agree with DSkelton, you would do well to get a referral to a mental health professional for a full evaluation. Depression and stress go hand in hand, and it's almost impossible to deal with the latter if you don't get help with the former.

    I think nursing is one of the most stressful occupations there is. We have tremendous responsibility and very little real authority; we often work 8 or 12 hours without breaks for meals or to perform necessary bodily functions; we have little control over our workloads. It's no wonder so many of us suffer from anxiety and depression! I share these problems with you, although I'm actually diagnosed as bipolar and have to contend with mania as well. I survive in nursing partly because I'm medicated, but also because I'm learning to let go of the things I can't change---nasty families, grumpy doctors, sniping co-workers etc. I can't fix that. All I can do is modify my own reactions to these stressors, and then turn them loose.

    I'm the first to admit that I couldn't do this job without meds. While your mileage may vary, you may want to at least try a medication that works on both anxiety and depression to see if it helps; however, you need to be aware that it may take six to eight weeks to become fully effective. I wish you the best and hope you know that you are NOT alone.
    Marshall1 likes this.


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