Bipolar Nurse Hoping to Open Awareness of Mental Illness - page 7

by HannaRNBSN

9,808 Views | 64 Comments

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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    I'm surprised to hear that. A lot of LTCs will hire anybody with a license and a pulse, and you have much more to offer than that. They are usually willing to train, as the turnover is high in many facilities. And the need is growing: soon there will be a huge market for geriatric nurses as we Baby Boomers age. Don't dismiss LTC just yet; it could very well be your ticket back into nursing.
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    Hello everyone,
    It has been quite sometime that I have been on here, my last post was right after I passed the entrance exam for nursing school.



    I did not go.



    A series of unfortunate events occurred after I passed the exam. I am going to be real with all of you. I never disclosed why I was discharged from the military back in 2001. I have Bipolar I disorder and that is why I was let go. Fast forward to 2013 summertime, I have always been in close contact with my VA treatment doctors. I told my doctor that the only problem I had with my medication was how it was hard to lose weight and easy to gain it. For the past 10 years I have been on Depakote and Abilify. Well, doc changed that cos of my complaints of my weight to Topamax which was a stimulant and resulted in me going off the deep end in a matter of weeks.
    When my manic phase peaked I ended up assaulting a female police officer and resisted arrest by force. Ironically, I was military police in the Air Force back in the day...weird. So the big problem is, now I have a felony charge on my record. Currently I am in veterans court and as long as I follow orders/dont violate probation I will hopefully get it dropped to a misdemeanor. I am really worried though. Can I still go into nursing school with a misdemeanor charge? I dont want to go through the process of getting my CNA again,it expires next year, but I cant handle residents due to my charge so I have to let it expire and retake the course...grrr only to find out that I shouldn't waste my time if I cant get into nursing school.
    I hate that I had to put my career on hold, but what happened, happened and there's nothing I can do about it. All I can do is pray for the best. I still want to be a LVN though, what happened to me was not a result of me NOT taking my meds, it was because my medication got switched for a selfish reason and my body didnt like the medicine. I feel so bad for what happened. I am trying not to let it bother me but it still does....
    poppycat and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    (((((captain serenity)))))

    So sorry to hear of your misfortune. It does sound like you've got your stuff back together, but are left with this albatross around your neck. I would suggest you post this question in the Nursing Licensure With a Criminal History forum for best results, there are people around that forum who know more about this sort of thing than we do.

    But the best piece of advice I can give you is to talk to your State Board of Nursing to find out exactly what you're up against. Any sort of physical violence toward another person, even a misdemeanor, is apt to make it difficult to obtain approval to get into a nursing program, let alone licensure. Not impossible, but difficult. I don't know what bearing your bipolar disorder and medication issues might have on the process.....these certainly are mitigating factors, but the fact remains that you have a criminal record and the law is going to hold you responsible, even if it's at a misdemeanor level.

    In my honest opinion, I think you would do well to defer your dreams for a little while. You need to get stable and stay that way for a couple of years before you consider going to nursing school with all its severe stresses, and you need to be able to prove to your BON and the legal system that this incident was a one-off thing, and that you can be a safe practitioner.

    Whatever you do, though, DON'T fix what isn't broken---if your meds are working, resist the temptation to switch them out for something else. I made that mistake a few years back when I asked my doctor to switch me from Paxil to Wellbutrin since the Paxil had stopped working. Let me tell you, that stuff sent me right over the edge and into a manic/psychotic episode the likes of which I've never had again, thank God. (This was just before I myself was diagnosed with bipolar.) I didn't do anything physical, but I did have some pretty ugly homicidal ideation. So I can certainly understand how things can go so wrong when we get on the wrong meds.

    Wishing you the best. I'd wondered what happened to you. Thank you for updating us.
    SHGR, captain_serenity, macfar28, and 1 other like this.
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    I am afraid to post one cos of my diagnosis. I am reallly embarrassed about it. I fear that they will make judgments about me and leave nasty comments.
  5. 4
    Quote from captain_serenity
    I am afraid to post one cos of my diagnosis. I am reallly embarrassed about it. I fear that they will make judgments about me and leave nasty comments.
    Your illness is part of your life, but it doesn't define you. Neither do the mistakes you made. The forum I suggested is full of posts made by people who have done things they regret; I don't feel there's much if any judgment over there.

    And please don't be afraid people will condemn you for your diagnosis.....I have been openly bipolar here for over 2 years and have not received a single bad comment about it. Not one. There are a number of nurses here who have helped raise awareness of mental illness, and they've paved the way for other nurses to learn about the real people behind the diagnoses. As a result, there are very few posts anymore that condemn or judge on that basis.

    You needn't be ashamed of your illness. You didn't want it, didn't ask for it, and it's not your fault. Yes, you got carried away during a manic episode and did something you regret, but it's over and it won't ruin your life forever. One day you'll look back and realize that this was a learning experience and not the end of your dreams. Take care.
    poppycat, Fuzzy, LadyFree28, and 1 other like this.


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