Recently dx'd bipolar: Any chance of surviving nursing?

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    This is rather difficult for me, so please be gentle. I have recently been dx'd with bipolar disorder, which explains a lot when it comes to my behaviors, thoughts, volatile moods, etc. My question is: What chance do I really have of being successful in nursing, considering the extreme stressors that are ever-present in nursing? I am supposed to stick to a "regular" routine, limit stress, (AAHHHHHHAHAHAHAHA!!!), and try to keep my life on a even keel. Nursing seems to be the evil twin of all that I'm supposed to avoid. I am on my 4th job, but have only had a license for 18 months. I start somewhere new, and all goes well for the first couple of months, then I fall apart and my job performance and attitude nosedives into the "I-don't-give-a-rat's-ass" realm of complacency, then I quit. (For the record, I always make sure my resident's are taken care of, it's the politics and paperwork that I become neglectful of). I have been at my new job for 2 months on nights, and have already had 2 call-offs. It's not fair for my co-workers to have to cover my ridiculous butt. However, there are days I simply can't bring myself to go. Then I feel guilt. Most days, it's a chore just to get ready for work, then I'm mad I have to go, then want to cry when I have to leave my family, and don't settle into "work mode" until a couple of hours into shift. After that, I'm usually OK. (Save for the occasional snippiness at other co-workers, then I feel guilt again). My insurance doesn't kick in until September. When it does I plan to run to the nearest therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist. My family MD has started me on Depakote, which has helped some, but I'm far from "better". I don't even know if this is the best place to find info on this issue, but I've searched the 'net and have only found forums that seem to focus mostly on office-type workers. One last question: Is there any type of nursing that is less stressful and more stable (as far as scheduling and intensity of stress) than skilled/LTC type nursing? Mind you I'm not looking for the "oasis in the desert" of nursing, but something more tolerable has to be out there. Thank you in advance for any help at all.
    one03grad and SamB12rn like this.
  2. 3 Comments so far...

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    I'll answer my own question: No. At least, not at this time. I've had to bow out of working due to meds and their side effects. I was getting very worried about my ability to pass meds as I would give someone their pills, then nearly have a stroke on the way back to the med cart worrying that I gave the wrong person the wrong meds. I felt like I was a danger to the very people I was entrusted with caring for. So, I made the decision to go PRN. I haven't worked a shift yet as my confidence is non-existent. Maybe down the road a ways. They say when one door closes another opens. I'll let you know if that rings true.
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    Why not venture into "less stressful" environments like School Nursing? I agree with the other post that you are potentially dangerous to other patients in this condition.

    Think postive thoughts, and be with people who love and support you. And don't forget to pray. You may think that you are in a disadavantaged position, but believe me, there are people who are in the worst. Count your blessings daily dear. You do have a lot. You should know that.

    Smile always! Good luck.
  5. 1
    Quote from neonatal_nurse
    Why not venture into "less stressful" environments like School Nursing?
    Excuse me for laughing, but anyone who thinks school nursing is "less stressful" has obviously never done it. Anything that can happen in the ER can, and does, happen in a school. Only, you have no one to back you up, no equipment and no meds. I used to work NICU and didn't have the level of stress there that I had as a school nurse.

    OP, the reason I'm resurrecting your thread is to give you some support. I was diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders about 12 months ago and it has been very hard. I spent about 8 weeks in the hospital after I tried to kill myself and I haven't been able to work in 9 months. It has been a long, hard uphill road and I'm finally pretty stable. But I know that it wouldn't take much to tip the balance. My concentration and short term memory are impaired and I have frequent panic. After 32 years, I think I'm done with nursing. I feel awful even saying that, but I just can't take the stress anymore. I will not likely find a job that will pay me what nursing pays me, but then again, I can't manage the responsibilities that I once did.

    Best of luck to you. I know how hard it is to live and work with bipolar.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.


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