night shift depression!

  1. 0
    SO I have been working nights for roughly 3 years now and it is starting to get to me. I have begun feeling depressed I don't want to do anything and to top it off I am making my fiance suffer for how I feel. She is on days and is also a nurse, I talked with my manager but she is going by first come first serve so the nurses that have been here 6 months get first dibs before me. I talked to her explained how I feel and my concerns. Due to my sudden mood change I haven't been sleeping...sometimes 6 days in a row but I refuse to take a sleeping med during the day I'd rather wake up early and spend the day with my fiance but that affects the nights I work. I have noticed taking less care in talking to patients, I've even skipped an assessment this is not how I used to be but I'm just so unmotivated she said it could be 6 months to a year before another day opens. I have now applied to floors with day spots that I actually hate (med surg, OR, Endo). Sadly though I'm desperate enough to the point where I will just smile through the hate and do it just to be on days. I don't want to feel like this but don't want to take antidepressants or anything like that. Also with the lack of sleep I am really concerned for my nursing care on my acute tele floor. Mistakes may be made and I won't be up to my full ability if need be. Please any advice would be great because I have run out of options except playing the wait and see which comes first day shift position, or patient error...
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  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I can't really offer any suggestions because unfortunately I am in a very similar position. Ive been on full time nights for about 3 years now too and I can definitely feel it starting to get to me. Hopefully somebody can offer some good suggestions here...
  5. 1
    It sounds as if you are at the point it is affecting your job performance in a negative way. Not safe for you or the patients. If you are suffering from depression please don't completely rule out medication which may help you.

    I had PPD many years ago and suffered needlessly for months because I just kept thinking it would get better. (I'm even a psychiatric nurse). After finally going to my doctor he put me on Zoloft. Within 3 months I felt like a new person. We then stopped it, the short term use was all I needed.

    I also worked many years rotating from days to nights. About 2 years ago I got to the point that I couldn't sleep anytime, day or night. I was exhausted, worn down and depressed. My doctor diagnosed Shift Work Sleep Disorder. I went back on the Zoloft for a few months. He gave me a low dose (25 mg) of Trazodone for sleep. For those not familiar with Trazodone, it's an antidepressant but our doctors use it for sleep instead of your typical sleeping pills. Usually at of dose of 100-150 mg.

    Again within a few months I was greatly improved. I was able to get a good 5-6 hrs of sleep without feeling like a zombie. Plus had the rest of the day to spend with my family.

    I didn't mean to make this about me! Just wanted to tell you I know your pain and reluctance to take medication. I'm all for trying natural ways to improve your mood and sleep. If all other options have failed please talk to your doctor. Don't continue to put yourself and your patients at risk.

    Hope a day shift job comes your way soon!
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  6. 1
    I had trouble with depression on nights as well, even though I loved the shift. Especially after I got married because I felt like I was never in sync with my husband. I had to go to days when I got pregnant because my body couldn't handle it and after four years on nights I realized how messed up my body was. Some of us, unfortunately, just don't do well forever on nights :/

    Best of luck figuring something out,

    Tait
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  7. 0
    I also work nights and I have little to no energy on days off or even days on anymore. Unless and sometimes even if, I have less than 3 nights off in a row I just sleep and watch tv. Are you sure you feel like this just because you work nights? Day shift is so stressful to me , it was a diferent kind of miserable feeling. I would hate to try days, lose my night shift position and be even more miserable. How many nights a week do you work? Pointless to say but you need to sleep! Does your day shift nurse fiance stay awake all night after working to be with you ? (not to pry but that is a sore subject with me!) I reallly do not want to take any "psych" meds either but am getting to the point where if a pill and a lifelong psych label may make me feel better I might change my mind. doubtful but at least now I am considering it.
  8. 2
    < Pointless to say but you need to sleep! Does your day shift nurse fiance stay awake all night after working to be with you ? (not to pry but that is a sore subject with me!) >

    Exactly! You are (in part at least) doing this to yourself. You are making yourself and your fiance miserable AND endangering your patients. Turn around the am's for pm's in your sleep / wake cycle and ask yourself this: If a day shift nurse was doing what you are doing - sleep wise- how would you view it? Foolish and dangerous, right? Yet you continue to go without sleep and wonder why you feel terrible?

    Start sleeping and see if things don't change.
    VivaLasViejas and anotherone like this.
  9. 0
    If I sleep then I will never see my Fiance, and honestly I've gotten to the point where on nights I'm not too worried about patient safety, I did a day shift and covered for someone last week, felt amazing. I came home happy, I was amazing with my patients that day I did everything I could for them. I am now to the point where I am thinking of using FMLA as to not have to come to work some days of the week. It would really screw over my floor a bit but I feel like I am getting screwed over since 3 years seniority no longer matters. Thanks for all the suggestions though.
  10. 0
    I just started on nights after spending most of my training on days. I hate it, so much. The people are nice and the teamwork is great, but I feel like my life is upside down. Before starting nights, I never spent a night apart from my husband in years and now.. And on my last shift, I forgot to put the last couple hours of output..

    Just complaining is all! I'm going to ask to get on days ASAP.
  11. 3
    Although this isn't true for everyone, you may want to check your vitamin D levels. I have been on nights for 3 years, and began feeling depressed, restless, emotional, stressed ect. Someone told me to get it checked so I went for a check up and it was critically low. I didn't think it would help with my depression, but it did. The first couple of weeks I could tell a huge difference, and the fact that it gave me more energy helped with my depression also. Like I said, not true for every night shift worker but it worked wonders for me!
  12. 2
    Quote from fellatamas182
    If I sleep then I will never see my Fiance, and honestly I've gotten to the point where on nights I'm not too worried about patient safety, I did a day shift and covered for someone last week, felt amazing. I came home happy, I was amazing with my patients that day I did everything I could for them. I am now to the point where I am thinking of using FMLA as to not have to come to work some days of the week. It would really screw over my floor a bit but I feel like I am getting screwed over since 3 years seniority no longer matters. Thanks for all the suggestions though.
    You're 'not too worried about patient safety'?????
    VivaLasViejas and anotherone like this.


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