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... Read More
Sep 2, '10Grandmawrinkle,
I guess you can see from the pages of responses that you are not alone, not defective and not unique in your difficulties. It is amazing to me that depression is as much looked down on by medical professionals as it is the general public. We are supposed to be educated, yet our comrades continue to criticize or berate people with this condition. It happens with alcoholism and anxiety, too, and some other disorders. You just can't help what other people think.
One of the hardest parts of being depressed to me is feeling guilty about it. Even though I have been able to see both familial tendency and external reasons for depression, I still struggle with it and with feelings of guilt about just feeling depressed. I too have tried a half dozen or so different antidepressants and psychiatrists/social workers/counselors over the years. The fact remains that I still have feelings of depression which seem to have cycles of worsening at times. I've tried going off the meds and it gets unbearable.
It's a tough life living with it. No doubt. I still want to live and have hopes to enjoy life when I can. I keep looking for improvement over time. We are going to have some really bad days, even "normal" people have bad days, so don't let your self-loathing get you down. It IS hard to make decisions and to be active and it's hard to accept that. I don't have a magic answer. I just keep looking.
Oh, and my take on a previous comment is I put on my big girl panties and pooped in them when someone told me I was a big BOY! LOL I just had to say that.
I have been a closet depressive at work. Somehow, it has never seemed to interfere with my work other than to say that my memory is not very good. I never was a gregarious person or much of a talker...many men are not, so I don't feel too badly about that. It's at home that my depression has been worst. Sitting feeling anxious to do something, yet unable to make a decision about what to do or to have the energy to get up and do something. I've sat for months just staring at the TV or reading on the computer. I guess that is a poor coping mechanism, but I'm still here, hoping for something better soon.
Currently, I am also exploring the possibility that I may have a low testosterone level. I've had 2 tests: one low, one normal. Waiting for results of the 3rd test now. Lots of overlap in symptoms of low T and depression. We'll see. Even if it's not low T, I will still look for another way to treat this depressing feeling. Another med, maybe a different kind of therapy....I've been on Celexa for a couple of years and even doubling the dose hasn't helped. I'm not giving up. And I guess that's the only thing I have to offer to you. Don't give up. Don't let your thoughts get disproportionate to reality and exaggerate your REAL life. You are alive, working, have a family and while things could be better, you are still working on it.
Good luck and God bless.:redpinkhe
Sep 2, '10It's so great that you were strong enough to put up this post. I have felt less than great dealing with depression and just entering the nursing field. I don't know if my employers need to know I have suffered in the past and am currently on meds. I am proud that I made it through school and am working and not dealing with any Sx's (at this point) although my anxiety is a bit tough to control somedays. I work on the mental health floor at the hospital and I LOVE it. I feel like I make a real difference, without patients knowing about my past. I feel they can tell I understand at least some of their pain. I know that depression doesn't last a few days and "they were the worst DAYS ever" and that the mind really can mess you up without being able to control it.
Don't feel like a failure because you are taking meds, because that would mean everyone on meds is a failure, and I can guarantee that we are not! The failure comes in not taking care of yourself and you are working on you and that is huge.
Focus on something positive, even something really small, like getting up and dressed or sleeping less today and take it from there.
I worry though that you keep going off your meds. I am concerned that like anti-psychotics, once you stop a med, they become less and less effective. Why not think of it has some people take BP meds all their lives, insulin everyday and some are wearing patches for many different reasons, why is this any different? If you have to take them for the rest of your life, it's better than having those lows that last for years and take meds to pull you out of it. Consistency is key, in my opinion.
Good luck, there is light at the other side of the bridge (I prefer not to say tunnel, they are too dark!). I have seen it and it is great! I hope to meet you there one day! (Also, as much as people dislike Dr. Phil, he has some really positive messages about mental health and depression).
Take care of yourself!
Sep 2, '10Why do people feel we must all be happy and smiling all the time? I do my best to put on a happy face but I like many others struggle through my days much of the time. I am always stressed and afraid that I will make a mistake or get in trouble. I cannot wait to retire, yet taking care of people is something that gives me joy. It is not the patients, it never is. It is the hassles of the workplace. Some people don't worry. I wish I was one of them. Call it depression if you want, give it a label if that makes you feel better, but why do I only feel this way when I am working? When I am off I feel completely different. I think many of us are just overwhelmed with stress. I think many of us are struggling each day. 1/4 of the population sounds just about right from what I have seen, but you have to always pretend that everything is fine. At least nurses seem to accept that we all have our quirks, though even some of them can be judgemental.
Sep 3, '10Depression is a disease process just like diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypertension, etc. It is as real as real can get. That being said, it can also be controlled like other chronic diseases. I asked a psychiatrist why people with depression seem to be in an ever revolving cycle, with increases in their medications, but no discernible improvement in the way they feel. He advised me that most people are not taught to change their thinking processes. He said "if you think you are not good at something, or are less of a person for xyz, you feel that way; if you continue to think those same thoughts, you continue to feel poorly; same thing with depression, if you think you are depressed, you feel depressed, and you think you are depressed, and continue to feel that way". He advises we need to change our thinking in order to change the way we feel. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a good tool.
We also need to realize that we are not perfect, no one is. We each have different gifts and we excel at some of those gifts, others we do well, others we might do so-so. That does not make us less of a person, just makes us human.
Imagine you are caring for a patient who has depression who has come to you and reported feelings like you posted. You would create a plan of care with this person to address these concerns. Using what you yourself have stated, create this plan of care. What kinds of interventions can you incorporate in this plan? Diet, exercise, sleep, learning to delegate, learning to think positive thoughts, setting realistic goals, support groups are just some of the ones that come to my mind. You may have others that are more meaningful for your imaginary patient (yourself).
It took me 6 years to complete my bachelors (I had some credits already). I worked 60 hour weeks, raised 3 daughters on my own, struggled to pay bills (often played 52 card pickup with bills lol), and had no health insurance or retirement options. I was lucky to get a job 10 years ago that paid better, gave me health insurance, retirement options, and the opportunity to try different types of nursing. It has taken me 4 years to almost complete my masters; I still need 3 more credits to finish. When I was divorced I thought I had hit rock bottom. My upbringing was based on divorce is not an option, so family support was nil. Some of my siblings actually felt it was my fault for making a wrong choice. Every Christmas for several years my hard saved Christmas club disappeared as my clunker always broke down in October requiring major dollars to repair which left buying Christmas gifts for my daughters on credit...that eventually got paid off. .
I tell you this not to have people feel sorry for me but to encourage you to not give up. You can accomplish the goals you have set for yourself, one step at a time.
The older I get and the more people I interact with, I realize there are very few people who had ideal family lives. We all cope differently with what life throws at us but I do believe we are stronger than we think.
Sep 4, '10I'm studying a post grad dip in mental health and am thinking of specialising in clinical depression, as it is such a prevalent condition in our society. I wonder if this is because we are more aware of it, or because our lifestyle/way of thinking exaggerates depressive symptoms? I would be interested in pursuing a Phd in this.
I think you (and all depressed people) have to explore many, many different options to see what helps them. I often wonder though what do we do with the people who say they have tried all the med's, changed their diet, etc (whatever) and they are STILL depressed? How do we go about helping them?
I get SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and started on Lexapro, but I have been so tired can't hardly face the thought of getting up in the morning, let alone work. So I will have to go back and see the Dr. I tried splitting the dose up but it doesn't help. I find many SSRI's don't seem to do much for me.
I know self hate talk doesn't help - I tend to slip into this at times because my childhood wasn't great. I think an abnormal/bad (whatever word you want to use) childhood does have a lot to do with depression though. I know it affected me a lot, and I won't ever get over it, medication or not.
I am now isolated from most of my family members cos they won't acknowledge what happened - everyone just wants to forget or gloss over it. BTW both my parents were abused by their family (from what I can tell) and they passed it onto us - the abusive cycle then continues.
Grandmawrinkle, I'm sure your daughter understands you and is a great support. I often wish I had had a child to help me. You at least acknowledge your depression and try to get help; my Mum never did and took it out primarily on me instead in the form of beatings and verbal abuse from when I was quite young.
As long as you are not taking your depression out on her, I am sure you are doing your best, though I know it is a hard road for you. One suggestion I can make - have you tried writing a diary? I write many things down and when I look back on them the next day, sometimes they make me think and laugh - it's a good way to get things back into perspective, cos I tend to think negatively and it is hard to get out of the habit.
Try that - it may help you a bit
Sep 5, '10I sympathize too - I too have dysthymia - I can't remember a time when I haven't been depressed. I don't ever get happy, I just occasionally am "OK." I tried meds, all they did was make me tired, and I'm already tired. At the present time, I use bonsai (working on trees makes me content.) Counselling helps for the very worst times. I feel like my moods are "down" or "very down". But unless you know me VERY well, you won't know - I have learned to put on a "happy face" for work/family/friends.
Sep 6, '10I am happy to find this subject and others that can understand depression, I am 37 and I have been on and off meds. I am currently off, was taking effexor, the withdrawl was awful and the sexually side effects was one of the reasons I wanted to be back off. I also have anxiety/panic problems, my pcp don't get it, I need to see a therapist and psyciatrist again but life gets in the way.
Sep 6, '10Hi (semi-) quick question. I think I might be experiencing a small depressive episode again and was thinking of trying to get some help before things get too bad, but I am a nursing student and wasnt sure how that would my affect my plans to be a nurse. I am afraid that I will be hospitalized if I talk to anyone and I would have to drop out of school or would not be allowed to be a nurse due to mental illness or something. Could someone give me any info on these things? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Sep 6, '10Quote from yepyepjustmeNobody gets hospitalized for mental illness these days unless they are really sick. If you are depressed, you would pretty much have to be suicidal with a plan/intent to get yourself locked up. You'll probably get offered medication and/or counseling/psychotherapy if you go in to see someone -- it's not so scary.Hi (semi-) quick question. I think I might be experiencing a small depressive episode again and was thinking of trying to get some help before things get too bad, but I am a nursing student and wasnt sure how that would my affect my plans to be a nurse. I am afraid that I will be hospitalized if I talk to anyone and I would have to drop out of school or would not be allowed to be a nurse due to mental illness or something. Could someone give me any info on these things? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
It will not affect your schooling unless your depression gets to the point where you are not performing in your classes/clinicals. You don't have to reveal depression to anyone at your school, nor do you have to tell your employer (and I would recommend that you don't tell unless you have good reason to, because of the stigma surrounding depression/mental illness.)
Sep 6, '10Quote from grandmawrinkleYeah, that's what I thought. But when I have bad ones, they usually include the specific suicide plans and the semi- attempts and such. So just don't mention that have "End of Road Plan 2010" and don't show up with any suspicious scratches showing or anything and should be ok? Any other things not to mention? Really appreciate help because it is already starting to affect classes/clinicals, though have gotten pretty damn good at putting on the smile and uttering "Nothing. I'm fine." randomly. Am occassionally successful at diverting these things but then again sometimes not, you know?...you would pretty much have to be suicidal with a plan/intent to get yourself locked up. ...It will not affect your schooling unless your depression gets to the point where you are not performing in your classes/clinicals.
Sep 11, '10Quote from nyamomThere are other meds good for anxiety and depression with less or no sexual side effects. I didn't think Effexor was a big offender in the orgasm department but Paxil was definitely a bust. If it's the only med you tried then you haven't been well-treated. Withdrawal is an awful problem. I'm content to stay on half doses.I am happy to find this subject and others that can understand depression, I am 37 and I have been on and off meds. I am currently off, was taking effexor, the withdrawl was awful and the sexually side effects was one of the reasons I wanted to be back off. I also have anxiety/panic problems, my pcp don't get it, I need to see a therapist and psyciatrist again but life gets in the way.
Sep 22, '10But...are we covered by the American with Disabilities Act. Are we covered by FMLA? How do you cope without telling everybody (actually just WHO is it that needs to know?)...I dont want to lose my job. I struggle daily. I am an efficient nurse. But...Migraines r/t depression are threatening my employment. Cant just "Cowboy Up"...true dibilitating migraines. Yes..it doe smake you feel like a failure when you are a nurse..and cant make it in because , heck...you need a nurse yourself. Thanks.
Sep 24, '10Lots of nurses struggle with depression/anxiety, just like a lot of people do in general. I'm in psychiatric nursing right now, and I know that I've struggled a lot my whole life with anxiety. One way to think about your situation is relating it to another medical condition. Let's use diabetes.
A huge number of Americans have diabetes, and although some of them end up very very sick and needing to be hospitalized, the majority do not. Most can manage their condition. When someone becomes very hypo or hyperglycemic, their mental status can be compromised. The same is true for mental illnesses. Most people can manage, but for some their condition becomes too severe and their mental status is compromised.
Now, would you think that someone with diabetes would be unable to be a nurse?
Mental illness is a medical condition. If anything, having the experiences you do will make you a greater asset to nursing, because you will have increased empathy for your patients.