How many nurses take antidepressants or antianxiety medication?

  1. I was wondering and it seems to be quite prominent. Nurses seem to have to take medication alot. Mine started in nursing school. Of course I was a single mom of two, going to nursing school, building a house and living with my mother till it was finished. Talk about stress.. I started having panic attacks. Never before in my life had I had one. I thought I was dying. Well I lived and now not only do I take a PRN order of xanax but I also take an antidepressant. Every nurse I know is either doing the same or has the symptoms without treatment. I was wondering how common indeed it was world wide? Is our profession making us have to be medicated?
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  2. 92 Comments

  3. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from Attheana
    I was wondering and it seems to be quite prominent. Nurses seem to have to take medication alot. Mine started in nursing school. Of course I was a single mom of two, going to nursing school, building a house and living with my mother till it was finished. Talk about stress.. I started having panic attacks. Never before in my life had I had one. I thought I was dying. Well I lived and now not only do I take a PRN order of xanax but I also take an antidepressant. Every nurse I know is either doing the same or has the symptoms without treatment. I was wondering how common indeed it was world wide? Is our profession making us have to be medicated?
    I proudly take Zoloft everyday and Ativan PRN. I don't think our profession is anymore likely to be on anti-depressants/sedatives. I think the whole world has issues no matter the profession. The world is a totally different planet than it used to be.
  4. by   redshiloh
    No, I don't think it's just our profession, although it sure contributes to our depression and stress. I like to believe that since nurses have a better understanding of depression/stress AND medications, we are more willing to treat it. I have been on paxil and now wellbutrin.
  5. by   leslie :-D
    i take zoloft....and did start taking antidepressants in nsg school but it wasn't the nsg school itself but all the added responsibilities of home and babies; just everything was totally overwhelming.

    i do have a personal philosophy though about women and depression though.

    i think that women are complex creatures and our chemical and hormonal make-up predisposes us to imbalances that require medicinal intervention.
    so we are treating the endogenous factors rather than the exogenous.
    just for the fact that we all know how we respond to hormonal imbalances is enough to drive us nuts. i think the same holds true, that we are more prone to chemical imbalances so if there are antidepressants that can counterbalance the effects of acetylcholine, dopamine, etc....then we take those antidepressant specifics.....albeit much of it is experimenting until you find the right one. it's just a matter of finding the one that allays its' action to our reaction.

    leslie
  6. by   nurturing_angel
    I take Zoloft everyday and it literally saved my life!



    Vickie
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    I've been on Paxil and Ativan for years. I'd suffered from bouts with clinical depression since my early teens, but it wasn't until I'd been a nurse for awhile and saw the devastation wrought upon others by this disease that I got treatment for myself. I take the Ativan only at night to help me sleep, as I'm in perimenopause with the accompanying night sweats and other unpleasant hormonal effects, but it does help keep my anxiety at bay as well, and overall I'm a much happier and easygoing person than I used to be.

    I don't have the wild mood swings that I used to, either.......I've never been diagnosed as bipolar, but I've suspected it for years, and I thank God for the way these meds stabilize my mood. (So does my family, who used to have to live with my uncertainty and my sudden rages that seemed to come out of nowhere.)

    I don't believe nursing itself has had a lot to do with my being the way I am; if anything, it's just made me smarter about taking care of myself and more willing to accept treatment when it's clear that I need it.
  8. by   camay1221_RN
    I take Zoloft, and it has been a God send for me, my marriage and my family. Once upon a time, I was bothered by having to take an antidepressant because I thought it would be a stigma. I have since determined my sanity is more important to me than any stereo-type assigned to antidepressants.
  9. by   akcarmean
    I believe that depression is not only situational but also a inherited chemical imbalance, just like ADHD, migraines, and other inherited problems. I have had depression since I was a teenager. It wasn't until after the death of one of our children that I needed to be on a daily medication. Angie
  10. by   huffmans98
    I take Xanax prn also, but I started that before I even started nursing school, but thank god I did, or I would never make it!! I suffer from panic attacks, and school definately will trigger them. I always thought I wouldn't need them once I graduated and less stress in my life, but I'm sure I will be on them forever!
  11. by   amy
    I have been taking lexapro for almost 1 1/2 yrs. Told my PA that I will be the poster child for lexapro if he wants. He joked "can you just sit in the waiting room and tell other patients to take their meds?" Don't ever wanna see what happens if I am not on it...another who feels their life was saved...
  12. by   Dixielee
    I think this is an interesting question, but think you might get a better idea of the numbers if you posted this in poll form. The way the question is currently asked, only those taking meds will answer, so you may get a skewed result. Now if you only wanted to discuss this with nurses who do take meds, this is the forum for it. I would be curious as to the results. A poll is more anonymous as well and you may get more answers. I do work with 2 nurses in our VERY busy ER who are bipolar and are well managed with meds. I personally, have never taken any, other than an occasional ambien. But, I have never suffered from major depression either, thank God.
  13. by   peaceful
    The posts regarding medication are interesting. Very good that people are willing to discuss what is working for them. Are the antidepressants you are using making you gain weight or doing the opposite? Thanks for the info if you have the time to post.
  14. by   medpsychRN
    Severely depressed after my mom died and fought going on meds tooth and nail. I was still in the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" mentality. Meds have been a lifesaver as it gives me the ability to see things more clearly and make better decisions. Are nurses more prone to depression? You'd think so. In reality, we deal with some pretty depressing situations sometimes.

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