I Hate Being Bipolar. It's AWESOME! - page 4

by VivaLasViejas 10,060 Views | 44 Comments Guide

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 have been coming "out of the... Read More


  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 2
    I am still thinking about it, but I do a lot of waffling these days. I'm not sure which way to go. It doesn't help that I'm smack in the middle of a horrible mixed mood episode......I don't feel particularly confident about any decisions I might make right now.

    Gotta love these mixed states---too weepy and miserable to be manic, too energetic and productive to be depressed. Bleah.
    pinkiepieRN and poppycat like this.


Top