When we ourselves need help - page 2

by mclennan

3,524 Unique Views | 19 Comments

I'm filling in for a co-worker who suddenly and without warning went on a leave of absence. We have been informed by family she was 5150'd and is now going to a 30 day inpatient treatment program for depression and SI. She showed... Read More


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    Quote from elkpark
    Please note there is a big difference between "getting help" and having to be committed involuntarily. If your colleague had voluntarily sought help, it would be an entirely different matter.
    For one thing, private therapy and treatment with a psychologist or psychiatrist is a confidential medical matter; being placed on a hold is a legal event which puts it into the realm of the courts and public agencies.
    KelRN215, Lucky724, poppycat, and 1 other like this.
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    I was an involuntary admitted the last time. I had a suicide attempt. Please do not get in mind that it's only someone who went off the deep end. I had a serious suicide attempt and it grants an automatic 72 hour hold. Mine wasn't planned. It was something that was thought of the day of the event. A couple of days earlier I was talking to someone about all the plans I had for my life. You do not ever know. That is why it is important to ask people how they are feeling and if they are homicidal or suicidal. You cannot tell by looks.

    I am not being insensitive when I ask this, but I still need CA on my thread of states and mental health reporting, can someone add it? I would appreciate it. My goal is to have all 50 states and DC up. Thanks!
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    I have a very sad story to tell. I was a nurse for 26 years and went through a rough period in my life starting with the death of my father and my best friend. My husband ruptured his appendix and went septic, and I had a wrong-sided surgery in which the surgeon removed the wrong ovary. I had severe insomnia and felt like I needed some help. I asked one of the doctors to help me out and she took me to the psych hospital where I checked in voluntarily.
    The nursing board found out and suspended my license. They ordered me to be drug tested 2-3 times monthly and to see a therapist and psychiatrist monthly. They wrote that I was unable to practice safely.
    I have had over 100 negative drug screens and saw the mental health providers as they demanded for 3 years now with no end in sight.
    So yes, they can take your license away for ANYTHING! Pray you don't get involved with them.
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    I have to disagree with some of the things you said. I was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. On Christmas Eve last year, I went to bed and my boyfriend came into the room acting crazy. He threated suicide and starting sticking a needle into his arm (he was on B12 shots at home and had them). He asked how much air would kill him. I screamed and fought with him to get the needle away. I did but then he started choking me and tried to smother me with a pillow. I fought and ran out the door with my phone in hand. I called 911.
    The police came and my boyfried was a smooth talker while I was hysterical. I ran outside wearing just my nightgown on a cold night. I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. I didn't want to stay there- I just wanted to be somewhere safe.
    I was interviewed by the ER doctor and a mental health nurse practitioner. I said that I was NOT suicidal and had no intentions of hurting anybody. The NP had me involuntarily committed and I was taken to the mental health hospital in handcuffs on Christmas day(handcuffs are a routine procedure for transporting). It was humiliating.
    Since it was during the holiday, not much was done for a whole week. Most of the staff was on vacation. I was kept there for 10 days until I could arrange to go stay with relatives.
    The nursing board found out and punished me! So I suffered from the abuse of almost being killed, forced to go to a psych hospital and punished just because I called the police and ran out of the house in my nightgown! This is like punishing a woman who has been raped.
    Last edit by debbiek22 on Jan 28, '13 : Reason: added more
    Lucky724 likes this.
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    My question is: how is the BON finding out about any of this? Wouldn't HIPPA come into play? And as far as involuntarily committed and being public record as someone on here posted - I don't see that either - at least not in Georgia or Florida. Who is reporting this and where is any mental health facility information public record? I know someone who had a similar situation as debbiek22 and she was a nurse and it was not reported to the BON nor is it public record she was in a private inpatient facility for 3 days or so.

    I have been to therapists and psychologist and am right now struggling with whether it would be worth the side effects, money and commitment to go back on medication - as I have been advised by 3 different doctors to do for depression and anxiety - the natural stuff and "giving myself a pep talk" doesn't cut it. Part of my struggle is what all are talking about on here - getting time from work to make the appointments, judgements from others about being on medication (right or wrong some people in healthcare are not understanding that all illness isn't COPD, diabetes or a broken bone) and yet, like others on here, I know without help I am going to continue to sink and not function which comes with its own side effects. Depression is not "the blues". Anxiety is not "butterflies in the stomach" on occasion or before a big event. They are different beasts altogether and are stronger and more insidious than most people understand.

    The BON's have either changed or I've never understood alot about them..so many nurses seem to fear them and based on stories on here its no wonder as they sound more punitive than helpful. If a nurse has a drug/alcohol or a legal issues (assault/battery/forgery/theft) I can see the board getting involved and having guidelines/regs and rules in order for the nurse to possibly stay licensed but when the BON starts getting into a nurses life that is seeking help for a disease/illness that has reached the point of inhibiting his or her life...I think its too much and frankly, unless a nurses health (diabetes, depression, medications, whatever) effects his/her ability to perform the functions of their job I don't think it's any of the BON businesses.

    Amazing we are in a profession that is suppose to offer help/guidance/support and a compassionate hand and yet it appears some have this "gotcha" mentality with inflexible opinions and judgements.
    poppycat and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    ^^^This.

    Thank you, Lucky724. Psych pts records are kept very private for obvious reasons- it goes further even than HIPAA- many doctors, nurses, and other professional healthcare workers end up hospitalized for depression and many other mental illnesses as well. I don't want anyone to feel like they are alone in this. It happens to a lot of us, just nobody talks about it bc we know how bad the stigma is and exposing ourselves to ignorant individuals' beliefs about mental illness and psychiatric healthcare would only hurt us and set us back. We need to destigmatize mental illness and the necessary tx that goes along with it. Education is our friend. Open your mind! Put yourselves in our shoes- which is near impossible bc how could someone without a diagnosed mental illness even TRY to understand the way our minds, thoughts, and emotions work?? It's scary stuff bc, well, "what if it happens to me?" etc etc. Sorry for the ramble this is kind of stream of consciousness. This is not an attack on anybody, I just wish more people +especially+ in our profession would open their minds and get some further psych education if need be. Ok guess I'm done now. Sorry if I derailed here a little bit.
    poppycat, VivaLasViejas, and Lucky724 like this.
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    It's not a breach of HIPAA, some states it is mandatory that the healthcare provider (i.e. psychiatrist) report a healthcare provider (i.e. nurse, physicians, etc.) that goes in-patient. It's kind of a "either you can report yourself or I will report you". It isn't right, but it's the rules/law. The thing is, as much as it stinks being in a monitoring program, the Board is just following the law. We need to change the law, not get mad at the Board.

    This is part of why I disclosed on my application. You can get a license suspended if you do not disclose and you feel the need to go in-patient. They consider it lying and you are punished for lying, not having a mental illness. Then, when mine went public (as most states do make it public), I decided to take things into my own hands and am open about my mental illness. If it must be disclosed, then I am going to spread awareness, educate, and advocate for mental health rights.

    Use your situation to band together and change things. There's strength in numbers.
    poppycat and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    Not trying to be argumentative here but can you please tell me where mandatory reporting of a healthcare provider by another going to in-patient is mandated? I cannot find this law or rule listed anywhere. Also, where is this information made public? I cannot find that anywhere either..I understand if a healthcare provider goes into a rehab treatment agreement with the BON or medical board that is noted under the license information but hospitalization for mental health issues?

    I have looked on the BON site for Georgia, Florida and Texas as well as read on the HIPPA web site and also "googled" this - can't find anything that states this is law/rule etc. or where it would be made public. I also called my own mental health provider after reading your post to ask about this and he said other than abuse/suspected abuse he knows of nothing - no rule/law/mandate that requires him to notify anyone about treatment inpatient or not - to the BON or medical board or any other licensing agency. Impaired due to drugs/alcohol and going through the board program to get license reinstated etc. is not the same and not what I'm referencing here.

    What concerns me, as others on here have stated, is misinformation gets put out here and it prevents people from seeking treatment - in or outpatient. There is NO way a BON would know about inpatient treatment unless the nurse told them his/herself or someone decided - on their own - to call and report the issue.

    Again, I'm interested to know where this information is coming from, what validity there is to it - just because a question is asked on an application doesn't mean its a state or federal law. As with gun ownership (NOT to open that can of worms but want to make a point here) - the application asks something to the effect if you have been treated for mental illness - again, I forget the wording - it includes hospitalization - there is no way, unless a person answered "yes" to this that - unless a criminal charge was also present - the background check would come back showing a hospitalization.
    None. There is no computer system linked like this public or private.

    As far as lying on an application..I see your point - if you were hospitalized etc. and answered "no" and I don't justify lying but given the punitive nature of (or the sound of the punitive nature) of the BON's now can you blame someone? Especially if it was short term and they are healthy? Who wants to spent 4 yrs in college only to possible lose out on a license because 8 yrs ago depression knocked someone so far down they ended up in a hospital for a few days or a week?

    Again, not trying to be argumentative - I am seriously interested in knowing where the correct information is located. I appreciate any direct linked information you can provide.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
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    In Virginia, it is mandatory and the info is made public. I know because I went through it. It is within the Code of Virginia under the section discussing various occupations and things that can be called into question, so to speak, when giving a license.

    I do not know where it is located in other states.
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    I have to agree with lucky, making someone's psych hospitalization for say depression/SI public does not seem legal, and is NOT legal in the two states I have lived in. They only report possible child/elder abuse (not even domestic abuse) and if someone has a plan to harm someone else. Period. My own doctor wasn't even able to access my records from the psych hospital, even though I had signed consents. Very, very strict security, which makes me feel safe in getting help. If this is not the case elsewhere, I feel very sorry for people in those states.
    poppycat and VivaLasViejas like this.


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