I Hate Being Bipolar. It's AWESOME! - page 3

We've been talking a lot about mental illness during this early part of May, which has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month. Nurses and students with all sorts of psychiatric conditions... Read More

  1. Visit  jenna75 profile page
    3
    It's very sad that you cannot disclose this information without being "branded" or feel like an outcast to coworkers. I disclosed my mental illness to my coworkers and my thoughts of suicide earlier this year and I felt so much better. Though I am a nursing student, I work full time in animal medicine and work with a small group of people. I had a complete nervous breakdown this year and hit rock bottom--full blown with severe panic attacks and everything and keeping it all bottled up inside was killing me. Thankfully, I am close with the people I work with and felt comfortable with telling them how I was feeling, and to my surprise some of them told me deep dark secrets about their own mental issues. It was enlightening.

    As I stated in my post from yesterday, I have suffered from a see-saw of manic episodes and deep depression since I was a teen. Currently I am in my late 30's and was not dxed with bipolar until 7 years ago. I was just thankful to know what it was and put a name to my disorder. I know everyone has their own special mix of goodies that come with this disorder, as do I. I have anxiety issues and obsessive-compulsive disorder thrown in with manic/depressive bouts. I may, at times, have a little ADD too. It is like a big mental disorder party inside my brain! But it is like a car wreck, even though I know it is happening I just can't stop. Meds keep me in check more than I would be without them. I am glad people are able to open up on this forum, it is good to hear your stories. You are not alone!!
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  3. Visit  Ginger's Mom profile page
    1
    Viva
    I think a perfect job for you is one in home health, where you do you visits and go home. Better yet per diem so I you feel on the edge you can take time off without giving a reason. Home Health can be flexible and dealing with patients seem to be your strength. There was no other way to save your career without disclosing your situation to your employer, it sucks, I have to disclose my medical history but it is the only way some times.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  4. Visit  pinkiepieRN profile page
    2
    Quote from TerpGal02
    Even working as a psych nurse which I do, people are not understanding at all. I'm sure I would be treated very differently if my chronic illness were something like diabetes. Very very sad. Just makes me wonder how many nurses I work with have psych diagnoses they are afraid of opening up about.
    I can relate to and endorse this SO much. I even know other psych nurses with a MI dx, and even though they might be okay saying, "Yeah, I'm on an antidepressant," but god forbid you try to relate to them and say, "Me too." No. *shakes head* It doesn't work that way.

    Quote from TerpGal02
    I feel like a lot of mental health professionals got into the field for a reason.
    While it's not always true, I like to operate under the assumption that, "It takes one to know one." Not always, but more often than not.

    BTW, @TerpGal02 - UMD grad or Maryland resident?
    poppycat and VivaLasViejas like this.
  5. Visit  VivaLasViejas profile page
    2
    Funny you should mention that. My own psychiatrist suggested mental health as something to look into as far as my next job is concerned, and at first I was kind of "really?" The idea of taking care of psych patients when I'm one myself seemed just too weird, but then again, the fact that I can identify with---and not be judgmental toward---mentally ill individuals might make me a decent psych nurse. I don't know. I'm afraid I might OVERidentify with some and not be as therapeutic as I should be under the circumstances; still, I'm pretty decent at setting limits with patients and might do very well......at any rate, I'm not ruling it out.
    poppycat and pinkiepieRN like this.
  6. Visit  pinkiepieRN profile page
    4
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    Funny you should mention that. My own psychiatrist suggested mental health as something to look into as far as my next job is concerned, and at first I was kind of "really?" The idea of taking care of psych patients when I'm one myself seemed just too weird, but then again, the fact that I can identify with---and not be judgmental toward---mentally ill individuals might make me a decent psych nurse. I don't know. I'm afraid I might OVERidentify with some and not be as therapeutic as I should be under the circumstances; still, I'm pretty decent at setting limits with patients and might do very well......at any rate, I'm not ruling it out.
    You haven't known me while I was well enough to work with psych patients, but it's both cathartic and rewarding at the same time. It can be hard to stop and say, "This is a boundary. This defines the line between me as a professional in this capacity and them as a patient," but it's definitely do-able.
    captain_serenity, YasminRN, poppycat, and 1 other like this.
  7. Visit  TerpGal02 profile page
    0
    Quote from dolcebellaluna
    I can relate to and endorse this SO much. I even know other psych nurses with a MI dx, and even though they might be okay saying, "Yeah, I'm on an antidepressant," but god forbid you try to relate to them and say, "Me too." No. *shakes head* It doesn't work that way.



    While it's not always true, I like to operate under the assumption that, "It takes one to know one." Not always, but more often than not.

    BTW, @TerpGal02 - UMD grad or Maryland resident?
    Both! Life long MD resident and UMD class of '02 BA in polysci
  8. Visit  YasminRN profile page
    2
    I think it would be great if someone put up a page listing all the states whose BON investigates when a nurse seeks certain psychiatric treatment or substance abuse treatment. My state investigates when someone gets inpatient psychiatric treatment regardless of the circumstances. In fact, I am leaving the profession over this---I have bipolar among other things and I know I may need hospitalization in the future; it has been hell since my last hospitalization. I also have some physical problems, but in another state, I would be keeping the license going because I enjoy the volunteer nursing work I got to do in free clinics. Now I am in graduate school for a completely different career that does NOT require licensure.
    poppycat and VivaLasViejas like this.
  9. Visit  pinkiepieRN profile page
    1
    Quote from YasminRN
    I think it would be great if someone put up a page listing all the states whose BON investigates when a nurse seeks certain psychiatric treatment or substance abuse treatment. My state investigates when someone gets inpatient psychiatric treatment regardless of the circumstances. In fact, I am leaving the profession over this---I have bipolar among other things and I know I may need hospitalization in the future; it has been hell since my last hospitalization. I also have some physical problems, but in another state, I would be keeping the license going because I enjoy the volunteer nursing work I got to do in free clinics. Now I am in graduate school for a completely different career that does NOT require licensure.
    Umm...color me stupid but this sounds like a violation of HIPAA. Do you have to report to the BON once you've been hospitalized?!
    YasminRN likes this.
  10. Visit  Munchkin8516 profile page
    2
    Thank you for sharing about your own personal experience with bipolar disorder!

    I was diagnosed a month ago after being diagnosed with depression 4 years ago. My psychiatrist spotted bipolar 2 right off the bat. With help of medication (Trileptal and Celexa) along with counseling with my psychologist, I feel like I'm on the path to stabilization. At least with Trileptal, it's seen as anti-epileptic. I would like to be on Zoloft to help me with anxiety, but I want to wait until my mood is stabilized with the Trileptal.

    I'm a pre-nursing major and am looking forward to nursing school and joining the ranks. I see my bp2 (what I call bipolar disorder II) as a chronic illness that I must manage with medication, good sleep, good nutrition, exercise/stress reduction, and counseling.

    For me, as someone who is newly diagnosed, it's reassuring to know that there are others in the nursing profession that also have bipolar disorder. I, too, wish there wasn't as much stigma associated with mental illnesses.
    poppycat and VivaLasViejas like this.
  11. Visit  VivaLasViejas profile page
    2
    Welcome aboard the (Bi)Polar Express, Munchkin! It's wonderful to hear from a pre-nursing student who's newly diagnosed and yet so enthusiastic about the future, not to mention accepting of the diagnosis.

    Funny how no matter how much proof I have of its existence, I'm still fighting the label---I thought for the longest time that my psychiatrist was just humoring me by assigning a diagnosis to my screw-loosey thought and behavior patterns! Finally one day not too long ago when I was going through one of my "But-I'm-not-crazy" diatribes, he just looked at me and said "You're BIPOLAR. That means you're mentally ill. It doesn't make you 'crazy', but it does make you behave in ways that aren't good for you or the people around you. It's OK---you're not a bad person for having it." Sad that I still have to be told this after having been dx'd for 15 months, but acceptance has been a long and difficult struggle for me. I'm glad it's so much easier on you!
    YasminRN and poppycat like this.
  12. Visit  YasminRN profile page
    2
    Hi dolce,

    Apparently, in Maryland, the hospital does NOT have to report because my understanding is that Maryland considers this a violation of federal HIPPA. However, my state (Virginia) doesn't particularly concern themselves with this detail. Luckily for me there has been no action against my license and nothing about me on their website. However whats going on in Virginia, was that in 2010 and some previous years the board of health told hospitals, if you have a licensed health care provider that is admitted to psych, and you don't tell us, and anything happens, we slap you with a $25,000 fine per admission. So some hospitals just began automatically reporting every health care practitioner who was admitted to psych. Because of my bipolar disorder, a couple years ago I was investigated for admitting myself to hospital for a depressive episode. I was absolutely begging my psychiatrist to admit me because it was not being managed outpatient and I thought it would be a safer and more efficient way to stabilize on medications. Unfortunately, and my psychiatrist was unaware of this, the hospital involved was among those that just automatically report. Ever since then, no one (my psychiatrist and those that cover for him) wants to admit me when I have needed because of the stress of investigation. I was hospitalized recently after the bipolar got so out of control it was necessary to save my life. However somehow during that episode I had the good sense to not tell anyone I am a registered nurse. I have met a couple other nurses and doctors who have had similar experiences. It is too bad because it discourages people from getting inpatient help when they really need to. It is even worse for those with substance abuse disorders, luckily I don't have that.
    poppycat and VivaLasViejas like this.
  13. Visit  YasminRN profile page
    0
    Quote from dolcebellaluna
    Umm...color me stupid but this sounds like a violation of HIPAA. Do you have to report to the BON once you've been hospitalized?!
    Hi Dulce, see above comment
  14. Visit  YasminRN profile page
    3
    Quote from dolcebellaluna
    You haven't known me while I was well enough to work with psych patients, but it's both cathartic and rewarding at the same time. It can be hard to stop and say, "This is a boundary. This defines the line between me as a professional in this capacity and them as a patient," but it's definitely do-able.
    As a student nurse, everyone thought I would be great as a psych nurse. I did work a bit in psych and loved it.


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