Bipolar Nurse Hoping to Open Awareness of Mental Illness - page 3

Hello everyone, I am new to the site and have chosen to join simply because of a previous post about mental illness and incredibly insulting comments that followed. I am posting a thread about this in an attempt to create more... Read More

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    My name is sapphire18, and I have borderline personality disorder.

    I hate that some of you also have to live with this awful thing...but it is comforting to know that I am not alone.
    Esme12 and VivaLasViejas like this.

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    ((((ThePrincessBride and Sapphire18)))) Group hug! Finally some company in the BPD club (I love my BD people just as much, but it's nice having company in the other club.)

    Did either of you have to self report to your state board?
    Last edit by wish_me_luck on Jan 20, '13
    Esme12, sapphire18, and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    BRAVO! to sapphire18 and wish_me_luck! I think you both have a lot of courage to "come out" with your BPD, which is probably one of the most feared and least understood of the major mental disorders. I hope you'll keep on talking about it, because eventually it will become less stigmatized just like alcoholism in the 1980s, depression in the late 1990s, and bipolar disorder in more recent years.

    What's sad is that it still does take courage to say "Hey, I'm here and I'm (fill in the blank)." I think we can all agree that the vast majority of patients with psychiatric issues still feel that they must hide their condition like a dirty secret. I also am of the opinion that society rather likes things that way, because mental illness makes people uncomfortable and it's much easier not to acknowledge or deal with it. Good on you for making 'em sit up and take notice!
    sapphire18 likes this.
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    To Motorcycle Tech:

    I chose to disclose this out of a desire to open awareness. I am very selective about who I share my experiences with. None of my co-workers actually knew about my disorder, nor did my patients. I appreciate your concern, I might be misunderstanding your sentiment however, this took a lot of courage to say, so for you to say be more selective is very disheartening. This discussion allowed many others to open up. I am a very trusting individual and choose to share this to help others. Thank you for your post. All the best.
    Last edit by HannaRNBSN on Feb 6, '13 : Reason: Reply to Motorcycle Tech
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    Thought I would post this to the Bipolar Nurse group. Has anyone ever heard of the State Board imposing a 5 year probation to a nurse who has mental illness. Doesn't this sound extreme and don't drug addicts and those who have other problems like theft and battery and even worse have even less years imposed on them? I am in a situation in which a doctor took advantage of me by not addressing my physical needs while in an examination tailored for a mental status examination which led me to answer the questions in a less than favorable responses. (like if you had a fever or were hypoglycemic) When addressed to the board the doctor lied about giving me adequate breaks when I did not and the board denied me an opportunity for another examination when I told them about it. The doctor took advantage of me during his questioning and deemed me unfit to be a nurse even when I was needing to postpone the examination at a later date and time, he just coerced me into sitting into an examination that was supposed to be 2 hours when it ended up being 5.5 hours with no food, 5oz . of water and no addressing of other physical complaints such as sweating and hypoglycemia.
    Just because I have bipolar disorder, the physical parts of this were unenduring and I was answering questions relative to the coercion of the psyschiatrist somewhat similar to being coerced into a false confession. I also did not have representation with me either.

    Now I am left with a decision to go to the board and show just cause or take the five year probation. I feel that the minimum five year probation is uncalled for due to the symptoms I was experiencing during the exam, that I should have an opportunity for another exam, that any nurse who is forced into probation because of a mental illness is pure discriminatory and that I am leaning towards proving just cause because I informed the board, the psychiatrist and even my lawyer that I was experiencing physical symptoms during the exam and that I should be given another opportunity when I am feeling better and at my best when I can answer the questions more accurately. I believe I was operating at a position of weakness and these physical symptoms were influencing my mental state regardless of whether I have bipolar disorder or not. It does not make me any less of a nurse.

    Please respond with information of your knoweldge of others who have been on probation for what reason and how long.
    Also I am curious as to what percentage of nurses have this disability and what percentage of nurses suffer from depression or any other mental health condition.

    Please also respond if you would take this any further legally and where you think I can get support for this (NIMH or ANA) or where.

    I have a lawyer and he wants me to take the probation and I don't want to nor do I think it is approriate for the duration or for the surrounding circumstances that were involved.

    I am supposed to respond the the state board by 2/22/2013.

    Thanks for your input.

    Last edit by BeOne77 on Feb 9, '13
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    We cannot give any sort of legal advice here. However, I will tell you that I am in a monitoring program for 5 years (complete with drugs screens and appts and form completion every month) for BPD and alcohol abuse--that's what my board order says. I have been in 6 months. The reason your attorney may want you to take the probation is because he is thinking that you might get denied going before the Board. I could be wrong, but that is always a possibility.

    Take a look around the forum about threads with nurses with mental illness.As far as ANA and NIMH, they do not really have a dog in the race, so to speak. I think you mean citing ADA. As long as they offer you licensure if you do "x,y,z", they are not breaking ADA.

    My situation--I have a consent/board order and it is public--no the Board is not breaking HIPAA. I have a thread going on that in the recovery forum about HPMP.

    Good luck!
    Esme12 likes this.
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    Quote from BeOne77
    Also I am curious as to what percentage of nurses have this disability and what percentage of nurses suffer from depression or any other mental health condition.

    Hi, Heather, I'm a longtime member here. I have bipolar 2. (Changed later to bipolar 1.)

    As wish_me_luck posted, we can't offer any legal or medical advise per the Terms of Service of this site. However, you raise an interesting question that I've been studying for awhile myself; personally, I find it fascinating that there are so many nurses with bipolar disorder. When I was diagnosed a year ago, I felt utterly alone; but as I've 'met' more and more BPers here, it's become clear that it's not an uncommon condition. Stress brings out the worst in us, and nursing is nothing if not LOADED with stress!

    I'd also be surprised if a poll of nurses didn't show that a large minority of us have one or more diagnosable mental illnesses, with depression and anxiety leading the pack. Which makes for an interesting "the-chicken-or-the-egg" discussion: are people with mood and other mental disorders more likely to go into nursing, or does the job itself cause or contribute to the development (or exacerbation) of mental illness?
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Sep 17, '13
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    Viva las viejas,

    You make an interesting observation of whether or not the profession relays into a possible mental health problem. It is possible that the profession itself does result in some other abnormalies. It is quite clear that the nursing profession itself discriminates among its own members when it comes to mental illness. Their is no reason why a nurse with mental illness cannot carry on duties just like any other nurse who says has diabetes or high cholesterol. We don't tell someone with these problems that they must be monitored by a governing body. Mental illness is no different. It is a medical illness and it should be treated as so. PMHP is a program designed for people who have experienced theft, battery and have diverted narcotics. It should not be used for people with medical illnesses. This only promotes discrimination invades privacy and responds with humiliation within the field.

    Esme12 and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    Viva, I've come to learn that ALL of us have the many traits of mental illness through our personalities...When a series of crises or a significant stressful event occurs, the aspects of those traits come up, sometimes to our benefit, sometimes to our detriment...but they are there, and can be managed, that's for sure.

    It is a chronic health condition no different than hypertension, DM, CAD...there is a growing consensus about using debriefing and EAP programs are available and free as well. Sometimes the stigma is within ourselves, our images and expectations for ourselves and how we "should be as nurses."

    I can see the evolution about mental health. I disclosed my condition and was very upfront about it, and my continuing management for it. It is in my physical records in employee health, every thing. People have been SUPER supportive, from my school, my previous job, as well as my current job. I hope we keep our voices strong...we have support here, and we can evolve this attitude.
    Last edit by LadyFree28 on Feb 9, '13
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
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    I do understand what you are saying. But, as I told my mom, I don't think it helps to try and divide yourself from your monitoring program peers. I think a better way to approach this is to educate other nurses (and healthcare professionals) that the monitoring programs are not only for people who divert, but for everyone who has a physical or mental illness and/or chemical dependency/drug diversion. Then, start educating other providers and lay people/citizens about mental illness.

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