Nurses with depression - page 5

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

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    I have suffered from depression for many years, since my late teens (and probably before, when I think about it). I have been on and off several different meds over the years, too. My "best" isn't the equivalent of someone without depression, unfortunately. However, my worst is suicidal, unable to shower, clean, pay my bills, and coupled with a feeling of anxiety so strong that I can't even go out and get the mail. I've accepted, finally, that I will need to be on an antidepressant and mood stabilizer for the rest of my life. It has never gone well when I've thought I was doing ok enough to NOT be on anything (hey, self, perhaps you felt decent AS A RESULT OF THE MEDS? Yea, took a while to "get" that for me).

    I've had a few rock bottom episodes over the years. I've tried to kill myself before. My previous psychiatrist (who has since retired from his office practice) at one point offered me a leave of absence. I didn't take it; being single and living alone, the only thing that got me out of the house was work. I believed things would get even worse, if I did not have that to do.

    I've never done an inpatient program, but probably should have. Maybe still will.

    Luckily, my sister (who is also my best friend), can see when my depression "flares up" (we talk on the phone and I visit often, so when these things decrease, she knows I'm isolating) and she will not only point it out, but try harder to get me out of the house. I am better at at least recognizing when it happens (although I too often am powerless to CHANGE it, even though I want to). I disagree with the "putting on your big girl panties and faking it" thing.....even though I know what I SHOULD do, when I say at times it's impossible, I mean it. That's one part that my sister doesn't get....she says, "just do it." I say, I wish I could, and she says, "then just DO IT." It's a struggle, all the time.

    Bottom line is, you are not alone. There are people that understand. Keep fighting.

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    I have bi-polar depression, with primarily mixed episodes and can definitely relate to this post. I started on medications during my second to last semester of nursing school because I was so stressed and unable to deal with up and down moods as well as the stress of group projects, clinicals, etc. I had been working at a psych hospital as a mental health tech and was well aware of what I was going through. I turned out to be a psych nurse and it seems that a good lot of my peers have mental health issues as well, or at least are close to people with mental illness. It's a tough road and I have not found a psychiatrist that will actually listen to me - I swear they think I have no idea as to what I'm talking about even though I do my research and have seen certain meds work well on patients. I'm in between therapists again but it's hard to keep a regular appointment with such an irregular schedule.

    I hit rock bottom last December and had to take time off from work to participate in a PHP program and get my medications sorted out and my idea of what I wanted in therapy going in the right direction. I had a hell of a time getting back to work with Employee Health micro-managing me and getting confirmation not only from the doctor that treated me but my psychiatrist at the time who had nothing to do with my medication changes or knowledge of how I was functioning at the time. If I need time off for mental health reasons again, I think I'll file for FMLA.
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    I've suffered from one major depression and one post partum one. The post partum one was definitely worse w/ dehabilitating anxiety. I really hit me out of the blue ... but somehow I pulled through it.

    It's no wonder I experience it as I had a pretty rough childhood growing up.

    I now just try to understand it and know that when it's coming on, i have to get the help/meds and some counseling to pull out of it.

    i think I live now w/ more of a lo-grade one that comes and goes than any major events .... my life is good, but it isnt' easy w/ a special needs child and a not so satisfying marriage ... I like many things, but there are a lot of things I wish I could change.

    Overall, though, I'm super, super strong. I realize my weaknesses and take steps to overcome them when i have to ...that's about the most that anyone can do and I take pride in that.
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
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    Quote from applescruffette
    So does this doctor blame high-fructose corn syrup and mercury for the really great aspects of ADHD, too? Sorry I'm being a bit punchy, but ADHD is sort of awesome in many ways.

    OP--I found Wellbutrin worked wonders for my longstanding depression, but that's because it was actually treating my long undiagnosed and untreated ADHD, a major factor in my depression. Is it possible that there an underlying cause in your case that hasn't been discovered?
    I don't think the idea of diet affecting aspects of the mind and body is a far fetched idea...no need to bite...but I forgive you.
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    I went through two rounds of major depression when I was younger, and I hope I'll never go through another round. It took multiple versions of meds and a few years of therapy to get everything sorted out. It was a terrible struggle - at my worst, I could barely function and I'd semi-surface enough to beat myself black and blue with anything heavy I could find and cut myself with pieces of broken glass (that was back before cutters were popularly known to exist).

    I didn't want to be beholden to any medications, but I had to use them to help pull myself out of the deep, dry well into which I'd suddenly fallen. I eventually came to realize that it was much more weak and cowardly to avoid taking the meds and thereby remain a semi-catatonic lump than it was to use them in order to work my way back to my real self.

    I'm thankful I did come to that realization during my years battling depression, because it helped me to accept the need for the medications I now must take to control the pain and muscle spasms from major damage I suffered to my spinal nerves. Both situations are chronic, both are genuine medical conditions - and in both cases, the only way I'd be a failure is by not taking the medications and losing my true self to illness or injury.

    Taking anti-depressants for years or decades doesn't make you weak, OP, and it damned sure doesn't make you a failure. You are not alone.
    morte and latebloomer74 like this.
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    I have often looked for articles R/T the mental health of our healthcare workers. Even wonder what percent of our folks are on medications. This would reveal the condition of our profession . When I hear the term "going postal". It is not that pleasant but it did reveal enough to make major changes to the postal dept. How many of us have called in because we really needed a day off for mental health?. The hospital where I worked had some kind of program where they would provide you assistant with mental health sessions woithout the management knowing. But the folks who I knew belevied that the management in deed could fine out if you were going to them. I had nurses who were on medications that they would buy from pocket to to keep from being on there RX/insurance plan out of fear of folks finding out aboutr the medications. But wow what an interesting posting......
    Last edit by dnnc52 on Sep 1, '10 : Reason: speeling
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    You are not alone. Give yourself credit. You took the first step by seeking help. Keep your head up.
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    Thank you to everyone who has shared their experiences about depression.
    I have had dysthymia too - chronic low mood, since my teen years. My father was physically and emotionally abusive to my brother and me. An angry unhappy man. My mother was lacking in confidence and suffered with depression on and off and post partum depression after her 3rd child.

    For nearly 20 years I have taken an antidepressant - initially Prozac and now Zoloft - although I have tried a few others Zoloft seems to work best. The only side effect I have/had appears to be loss of libido (etc) and so I would taper myself off the medication, have return of symptoms after about 3 weeks and restart the medication. This has happened numerous times over the years. I have read that some say this is withdrawal from the medication and not return of symptoms. Who knows.

    Psychotherapy has been very helpful, although I still have extremely harsh negative self talk. I'm working on it - when I remember - but its so automatic.

    My biggest regret is that I have two children who were raised by a depressed mother (me). One of them really got the worst of my depression affected behavior. Thats the saddest thing of all.
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    Nurses with depression. Not so uncommon for so many reasons. By nature, I think many of us may be drawn to nursing because we understand and have experienced a sense of need or helplessness, therefore we want to help others through their times of trouble. For others, we may become depressed after watching and becoming entwined in the sorrow and pain that our patients and their families experience. We often then build walls to protect ourselves and fail to care for ourselves properly. We are faced with difficult decisions everyday and feel the frustration when it is impossible to provide what we consider proper care. We burn out, lose sleep, eat more, exercise less, drink more and possibly quit nursing all together. We really have to be sure we take care of ourselves first before we can take care of others and realize that all we can do is all we can do. We can not hold ourselves to superhero expectations. We are human. We need to cry and more importantly, we need to laugh. We also must come to realize that although the need for antidepressants may make us feel like a failure for not being able to care for ourselves, we need to remember that sometimes taking antidepressants IS taking care of ourselves. Just like a diabetic needs hypoglycemic agents, we may need to suck it up and admit we need help. There is nothing wrong with that. After all, we realize our patients need help and don't think less of them. When appropriate, there is better living though chemistry AKA antidepressant.
    need2chill and latebloomer74 like this.
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    http://www.mcmanweb.com/omega3.html

    Taking fish oil made a huge difference in relieving my depression. Sounds like BS; but it worked much better than antidepressants. The right nutrition is a huge part of the answer....of course, Big Pharma, the FDA, and even the entire field of Medicine certainly don't want us to know that!
    leslie :-D likes this.


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