Nurses with depression - page 3

by grandmawrinkle

17,686 Views | 77 Comments

Are you one of them? What is your story? Me: dysthymic disorder, likely depressive sx from the age of 10-12. Major depressive episodes: 2. Other psychiatric comorbidities: anorexia nervosa (currently, in longstanding... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from subee
    About 1/4 of the population is (supposedly) depressed. Sounds about right to me - especially for those who live in northern climates. Think of it as a variation on normal, put on your big girl panties and get on with it. It's the way we're wired. We were probably not happy go lucky babies. If we had DA (Depressives Anonymous), I'm sure we'd get the same advice you get in AA. If you're not happy - fake it. Just smiling makes a big difference. You see yourself in your reflection on others. Dance a half hour every day - with yourself or better, with your pet. They'll love it too.
    everyone should remember that subee is addressing the OP, who has a dx of dythemia, not major depression.
    in that case subee's obs are pretty much on target. and the big girl panties remark, i presumed was aimed at the unwillingness to continue meds.....
  2. 1
    Quote from MsbossyRN
    Hi since you mentioned panic attacks/anxiety. I just had a quick question. How do employers feel about their nurses taking benzo's or other things for panic attacks and anxiety? I read somewhere, maybe here, that BON don't allow nurses to work when taking narc's for pain, even chronic pain. So I was wondering like is it an issue as a nurse if one takes benzo's on a PRN basis?
    I take benzo's for emergencies, then I call in sick. Doesn't happen alot, I'm on paxil also usually does the trick. I also use deep breathing, immagry (pardon the spelling) and quiet "time outs". The benzos are strictly for chest pain panic attacks.

    My employer is quite aware of the situation, they have treated me very well, as I said before, I have a cake job now.

    So...no I'm not walking around work all doped up. Thanks for asking.
    pagandeva2000 likes this.
  3. 1
    Quote from chrisj74
    I can't function without my medication
    Chris
    That's where I am at. Without meds - major depression with some delusional features. With meds - still have depressive episodes but they are MUCH milder and I have a life!
    claire tonkin likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from chrisj74
    OP, I think you are one of many. I am too. I have chronic depression, PTSD and a generalised anxiety disorder, with borderline personality traits thrown in.

    I can't function without my medication - I take cipramil and seroquel. Have tried many others but at the moment this is what works for me. I've been in hospital 3 times and have been seriously suicidal. I've come to the conclusion that this is what's best for me and for those who think putting on big girls panties is gonna make a difference - well they can go jump in a lake.

    I don't cope with change well and at the moment it's effecting me badly. I've just completed my nursing course and am having a hard time finding a job (Australia is just as bad as the US for new grads).

    Good luck with your meds and I assure you that you are not a failure.

    Chris
    Chris donno what state you are in, but NASA and some other agencies do GNPs, you can probably get work through them. just contact them and ask.
  5. 1
    My best friend is an excellent RN with bipolar disorder. In fact, she just got out of the hospital after a 10 day stay because she went manic. She is still my best friend, and I have nothing but admiration for her. She had been doing quite well for the past 1.5 years, and suddenly, she had a manic episode a few weeks ago. Not sure, but I suspect that because she has serious financial problems, she had to skip some days of taking meds because she simply could not afford to get them. Unfortunately, they stripped much of the prescription benefits from the RNs in my hospital, so, this may be a result of that. She said to me that she prefers working to staying home and thinking of her problems and that working does distract her. I see her as a phenomenal nurse that has a keen eye for detail and correlates her knowledge and critical thinking very well.

    I suffer from anxiety. The anxiety attacks seem to occur twice a year, but I am able to hide this from the 'general public' at work. With the economy and seeing many friends being laid off, additional work placed on us, I saw the symptoms of my anxiety brewing, so, I went back on my medications. I don't feel like a failure. I knew I needed assistance or it would be difficult to function.

    Do what you have to do, and try and reach out to those that will understand without judgement.
    TheCommuter likes this.
  6. 2
    Quote from LTC RN jc
    I know many nurses with mental health issues, mine is anxiety and panic attacks (Yes, and I try to avoid the ER...but somtimes the chest pain is too bad, sorry to all the ER nurses out there). I know a nurse with major depression and one with bipolar disease. We manage. Bipolar friend does very well. Depressed friend struggles, calls in often and has some trouble, but is one of the best nurses I've ever met.

    I lost a job R/T panic attacks, I couldn't cope with the pressure, so I quit spontaneously. The irony was that I was often complimented at that job about how calm I was in stressfull situations. People have no idea what goes on inside. I now have a very mellow job (rare, hard to find in LTC), my anxiety still gives me trouble and sometimes I feel like a failure, but I push on.

    You are not alone, get the help you need and know, you are not alone. Hugs.
    I know how you feel with the anxiety attacks. I get them as well. My first time was a few months after my mother died 11 years ago. It was horrible, but I knew exactly what it was. I would feel faint, have stomach problems, start worrying for no real reason, heart palpitations, thinking I am dying, etc... And, like you, many people think that I am articulate, cool and collected. Most of the time, I am, but again, as you said, inside, sometimes, I am a MESS. Usually, for me, they may occur twice a year, usually around the date of my mother's birthday or date of death.

    We have much in common, it seems. My best friend in the entire world is an RN who is bipolar. We are inspiration for each other. She is a phenomenal nurse and she says the same for me. It is NOT as easy as jump into your Zen zone...it has to be worked on. I usually use music. I downloaded all sorts of music into my MP3 player. I have calming New Age meditative music for when I really get riled, some inspirational gospel and other tunes that assist me. I listen to them daily during my travels to and from work. And, sometimes, I have to call sick to get myself together. My hobbies bring me peace as well. I'm into amateur astronomy, so, looking at the stars and planets really help me.

    So, no, OP, you are not alone.
    pedsrnjc and mustlovepoodles like this.
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    Quote from LTC RN jc
    I take benzo's for emergencies, then I call in sick. Doesn't happen alot, I'm on paxil also usually does the trick. I also use deep breathing, immagry (pardon the spelling) and quiet "time outs". The benzos are strictly for chest pain panic attacks.

    My employer is quite aware of the situation, they have treated me very well, as I said before, I have a cake job now.

    So...no I'm not walking around work all doped up. Thanks for asking.
    Oh no I wasn't trying to imply you walk around all doped up. I have a hx of depression and panic disorders. I take anti-depressants daily and benzo's prn. I was just wondering how employers feel about that. I never skipped nursing school because I had to take one. But then again I don't really feel doped up when I take them anyway. Just more relaxed, focused, and able to function. As opposed to feeling like I'm able to die So that was why I asked in reference to how does one work with anxiety type disorders in the hospital. I hope you were not offended or anything. Thanks for the reply.
  8. 3
    Quote from grandmawrinkle

    Mania is absolutely not my problem. Sometimes, I wish it was....I understand it from an academic perspective, but to get that high....would be interesting.

    Thanks for that....I'm not sure if I can ever view antidepressants as a "supplement" ... but in this day and age, seriously, why do I feel so damn bad about taking a stupid little blue pill? It's JUST A PILL. It's not like I'm....IDK, doing something illegal.
    Yeah, well mania isn't all its cracked up to be. I have much more depression than mania and my episodes of depression can be very debilitating. I used to feel like a failure all the time. Like, if I just tried hard enough or was a stronger person I could overcome this stuff. I was very resistant to treatment. I just flat out didn't want to have it and by not acknowledging it I WOULDN'T have it. Except, that doesn't really work so well.

    Last year the depression got so bad, so deep that I became a danger to myself. I've never tried to hurt anyone, but I was making some pretty poor choices and had engaged in some risky behavior. One day the tide turned and I began to perseverate on killing myself. Thankfully, my husband recognized the seriousness of the situation and took me to the hospital. I was in treatment for 8 weeks and it saved my life.

    I take three drugs to keep me stable. I will never be off the meds. I am not afraid of the future because i'm doing all I can to keep the mood swings at a minimum. I will tell you this--I no longer feel like a failure. I've come to understand that depression is a disease, just like lupus is a disease. No one would tell someone with RA or type 1 diabetes to just gut it out. The thing is, there *are* meds that can help but they aren't going to cure you. Meds are 50% of the game. The other 50% is the supports you put in place--doctor, therapist, support systems.

    I hope you can find your way. Depression is a nasty thing and it nearly cost me my life. I am actually happy in my life now, for the first time in decades. I wish you all the best and a big hug too.
  9. 3
    yup, i'm one of them.
    Quote from grandmawrinkle
    are you one of them?

    what is your story?


    me: dysthymic disorder, likely depressive sx from the age of 10-12. major depressive episodes: 2. other psychiatric comorbidities: anorexia nervosa (currently, in longstanding remission.) hospitalizations: none. medications: on and off since 2001...tried just about everything. currently just restarted a single antidepressant. therapists i've been through: too many to count.
    the statement about on and off medications concerns me. i hope this was done under supervision

    i honestly think i went into nursing, in part, because i didn't think i could do any better and i couldn't fathom working in a role where i would actually have to be a boss or make important decisions. i viewed nursing as very subservient and i was totally ok with spending my life in the background and taking orders (that is what i thought nursing was, at the time.) this was over 10 years ago now and i don't see nursing that way anymore, and i do think i have grown into the role to some degree, and i'm not as fearful as i once was.

    i am so glad you've been able to grow into the role of a nurse. yes there are times when this job will suck the life right out of you but there are other times it will feed your soul on a level that few people get to experience!
    subservient. ha ha ha. that's funny. lol

    it is taking me way longer to complete my graduate education than it should because i struggle with maintaining work/family/life balance. it is incredibly frustrating to know that you are really smart (i'm not going to go into that because you all are probably going to either think i'm a. inflating my intelligence or b. a pompous a#$hole) but you cannot manage to accomplish what you think you should be able to, given a normal mood. i'm not even going to talk about my undergraduate education....lets just say i took more incompletes, part-time semesters, etc. than any human being should. i would have graduated when i was 40 had i not had pseo credits. fortunately at work, i have not struggled....i think the nature of shift work allows me to be able to put on a happy face for 8-12 hours.

    i really think that you need to give yourself a big break. i understand you want to further your education but as a person who suffers with depression, putting more on your plate than you can reasonably manage, over an extended period of time, is a recipe for disaster. it will wear you down and make the depression worse. you could get yourself into a position where a vicious cycle of failure to meet your goals will feed the depression and the depression will feed the failure. it's like running on a treadmill, you just keep getting more tired and your going no where! yes, i too have put on a happy face at times. nursing feeds me though. it's funny how several bad days can be erased in an instant when one patient decides your the best nurse ever and wants you back the next day!

    i hesitate to post this because i'm sure there are plenty of people out there that aren't sympathetic and don't believe that depression is a real, legitimate problem. i just feel like such a failure right now because i went to the doctor today and got back on wellbutrin .

    your trying to work, keep up with your life and go to school. ummm, that isn't failure honey. it may however be masochistic
    seriously, take a break. getting another degree is not worth your health!

    wellbutrin, really? i would think there would be better antidepressants

    Vtachy1, SaintsFan1, and whodatnurse like this.
  10. 1
    Have you tried Cymbalta? Ask your prescriber. Many have a very quick response time upon starting it.
    leslie :-D likes this.


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