Getting into nursing school with a mental illness? Is it going to be possible? - page 2

Hi There!. I registered for this board a while ago but haven't really posted quite yet. I am now at the point where I have a very important question and nursing school is a very big reality now.... Read More

  1. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
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    Yeah, they tend be on the cautious side because remember, it's their license if something happens to you or anyone else gets hurt.
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  3. Visit  lntm2925 profile page
    0
    Oh yea, I agree completely and understand.....but I'm not at a risk of hurting myself or anybody else. I know exactly when to get help and have always done it when I felt I needed to. Like I said, I was very close to having myself admitted to a hospital twice....not because I was told to go to the hospital, it was because I chose to go. I was never once admitted though. Even the first time when it got REALLY bad (after the birth of my first son). After talking with doctors there, I was told told that it was just my OCD and anxiety and I did the right thing by going in. They reassured me that if I was in a dangerous state, I wouldn't have known to go get help. That is why my docs are "tolerant" (which is the right word for this situation) of me not taking my meds every day. They aren't jumping for joy and praising me that I'm not taking them, they just understand that sometimes you will forget.
  4. Visit  TerpGal02 profile page
    1
    Yep you can certainly be a nurse with a mental illness, but I'm going.to strongly caution you that if you wish to be successful and safely practice, you are going to HAVE to figure out a method to remember to take your meds everyday. Intrusive thoughts can def hinder your ability to think critically and be safe in your practice. Intrusive thoughts are very distracting and once they really get going and spark anxiety, it can almost be damn impossible to focus on anything else. Trust me, been there, done that. Providers have been disagreeing about my dx for oh 6 years and as a result I never got the right combo of meds. Finally during my last hospitalization, my new pdoc definitively diagnosed me bipolar 2 which def comes with intrusive thoughts. I am finally on a stable cocktail of Lamictal (and can I just say I LOVE Lamictal), Zoloft, Elavil and PRN klonopin that I NEVER take on the job (I also have panic disorder). I am feeling great now but my illness caused a lot of issues with my work performance when I was not properly medicated and the meds I was on were actually making me worse. So yeah, take your meds!
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  5. Visit  mariebailey profile page
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    Nothing needs to be disclosed to the nursing school.

    You can make it through nursing school and enjoy nursing while living with a mental illness.

    Psychosis is a broad term to describe symptoms managed well with proper dosages of anti-psychotics, just like obsessive/compulsive behaviors; it does not warrant being singled out among symptoms associated with mental illness, IMO.

    Good luck with everything.
  6. Visit  VivaLasViejas profile page
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    Quote from mariebailey
    Psychosis is a broad term to describe symptoms managed well with proper dosages of anti-psychotics, just like obsessive/compulsive behaviors; it does not warrant being singled out among symptoms associated with mental illness, IMO.
    Yeah, but it sure looks bad when it's on your medical record. Even if it's there only because of a reaction to a drug (in my case, Wellbutrin).
  7. Visit  Sadala profile page
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    I don't really see why people feel the need to disclose SO MUCH personal medical info to nursing schools/employers UNLESS they honestly feel that they are not stable enough to attend school/work as a nurse. And if such is the case, then perhaps that's something to think about before beginning.

    If you feel you are unsafe, have been unsafe, or could be unsafe with patients, then this is cause for concern. If you just get depressed sometimes and you have a little OCD then - why mark your record like that? Do the tx that works for you and get on with it. Hell, half of America is on an AD. So what?

    But I guarantee you, if YOU make it a big deal, then schools and employers will as well. Under the radaaaaaar...
  8. Visit  Sadala profile page
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    I didn't see the part about not taking your meds every day. THAT part concerns me. If you have an ongoing medical condition then the best way to stay stable is to find a consistent way to manage it and then DO THAT.

    Nursing school and nursing are both tremendously stressful - in their own different ways. You want to be stable going in and to maintain stability throughout.

    It concerns me when someone says (of a mental health issue) that their physician desires them to stay on meds, but they don't think they need them. It's your right to do that, but a lot of times when I see that behavior, someone is really not taking the fact that they have an issue seriously.
  9. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
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    Sadala, mine was the opposite. I was on Depakote for epilepsy (but some how someone started using it as a psych medication, even though it was given for epilepsy) and then, my former psychiatrist took me off of it. He said I didn't need it. So, I am on zero medication. I go to a therapist once a month.
  10. Visit  wayward_pitbulls profile page
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    So happy to see this thread. I've been terrified of the mental illness/getting into school issue. I don't feel any special need to disclose it, but it's there in my medical records. When those records go to university health services, they'll see i've been on psych meds since 2005. They might not see the whole crazy laundry list of dxs (or is it the laundry list of crazy dxs?), but they'll see the latest version (at the moment, bipolar II, OCPD, and schizotypal PD).

    I'm not worried about being able to hack the schooling or life in a hospital. I'm used to doing hard physical labor at weird hours, i'm used to working and taking classes at the same time, i'm used to giving myself the self-care i require. I suspect things might even be a little easier once i get work which is both physically and intellectually demanding enough to keep me from jumping out of my own skin, AND which pays me enough that i don't need to choose between buying health insurance or health care for said skin.

    What i'm worried about is being _allowed to try_. I feel a little more confident now. Thanks, all.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  11. Visit  VivaLasViejas profile page
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    Quote from wayward_pitbulls
    So happy to see this thread. I've been terrified of the mental illness/getting into school issue. I don't feel any special need to disclose it, but it's there in my medical records. When those records go to university health services, they'll see i've been on psych meds since 2005. They might not see the whole crazy laundry list of dxs (or is it the laundry list of crazy dxs?), but they'll see the latest version (at the moment, bipolar II, OCPD, and schizotypal PD).

    I'm not worried about being able to hack the schooling or life in a hospital. I'm used to doing hard physical labor at weird hours, i'm used to working and taking classes at the same time, i'm used to giving myself the self-care i require. I suspect things might even be a little easier once i get work which is both physically and intellectually demanding enough to keep me from jumping out of my own skin, AND which pays me enough that i don't need to choose between buying health insurance or health care for said skin.

    What i'm worried about is being _allowed to try_. I feel a little more confident now. Thanks, all.
    I'm glad you feel better about all this. There's no doubt that having a mental illness makes everything harder, but it CAN be done, and indeed is being done by countless nurses and students all around the globe......successfully, too!

    Hang in there, take your meds as prescribed, see your mental health professional regularly, and know that you can do this.
  12. Visit  Sadala profile page
    1
    Quote from wish_me_luck
    Sadala, mine was the opposite. I was on Depakote for epilepsy (but some how someone started using it as a psych medication, even though it was given for epilepsy) and then, my former psychiatrist took me off of it. He said I didn't need it. So, I am on zero medication. I go to a therapist once a month.
    I'm confused. Why didn't the doctor who was following your epilepsy keep you on the medication if that was the case? I wouldn't let one physician dc a med another physician was giving me just because he/she felt like doing so. I pay the doctor, not vice versa.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  13. Visit  Sadala profile page
    1
    Quote from wayward_pitbulls
    So happy to see this thread. I've been terrified of the mental illness/getting into school issue. I don't feel any special need to disclose it, but it's there in my medical records. When those records go to university health services, they'll see i've been on psych meds since 2005. They might not see the whole crazy laundry list of dxs (or is it the laundry list of crazy dxs?), but they'll see the latest version (at the moment, bipolar II, OCPD, and schizotypal PD).
    Your school requires seven years of medical history? That's a little extreme... My school required a physical that said I was healthy enough to attend. Period.

    Also, I turned in one month of pharmacy records when I did my drug screening.

    Again, why volunteer all of this additional information?
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  14. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
    2
    PCP had no idea that psychiatrist said I didn't need it. For a long time, I still took the medication; but, after psychiatrists consistently/constantly telling me I don't need it--I stopped. I don't think it was right or the psychiatrist's place to determine the need for medication/lack of medication for epilepsy, especially without neurological assessment--rather dangerous, in my opinion. No tapering either, just told to stop--I don't know how to slowly taper someone off of medication, that's the physician's job that wasn't done. But, it is what it is and that's what happened. NP wasn't too pleased when I went for a visit recently and said that when I stopped taking the medication, I should have made an appointment then also.

    I think psychiatry providers often forget that patients with mental health conditions still have bodies; therefore, can still have physical health conditions in addition to psychiatric illness.
    BeOne77 and VivaLasViejas like this.


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