I think I had a panic attack at work.

  1. A little history...

    I've been diagnosed with major depressive disorder with periods of anxiety, but nothing too bad. I've been on and off antidepressants for years. I went off them over a year ago and was doing ok. A years worth of stressors hit me at once and last week I went back on them.

    One of my stressors is a new job in an ICU. I feel like I'm in a constant stressed state at work and I've just stopped coping. Tonight I was wandering around taking care of my patients as usual (nothing too weird), and I just got frantic. I went and sat down, did some deep breathing, drank some water... my heart rate was 160, blood pressure was 150s/90s (super high for me... usually 110/60), I was hot, shakey (CBG 111), etc. Sinus tach on the monitor. I sat for a while, deep breathed. Started feeling better, went back to work, started feeling it again. They found me a replacement and my husband came to get me. They wanted me to go to the ER for a cardiac work up, but I opted to go home because I'm 99% sure it was an anxiety attack. ER was packed anyway which just stressed me out more.

    I don't know what the point of my post is other than to ask for advice for someone who has been there. I feel like work is the major cause of my anxiety. I want to transfer to a unit I'm more comfortable (and experienced) in, but I don't even know where to start, who to talk to, or what to say so I don't sound like a total nut job. I just feel like a complete crazy and am wondering if i can even function as an RN anymore.
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    About ONCRN84

    Joined: May '08; Posts: 257; Likes: 218


  3. by   canoehead
    ICU as a new grad is a HUGE responsibility. You are entitled to a few meltdown moments, but if they happen at work you may need to think about a few months or a year on a less stressful floor.
  4. by   ONCRN84
    I've been a nurse for 3 years. Mostly medical and oncology. Give me 8 medical patients or a couple chemos, neutropenics, and dying hospice patients and I'm ok. A couple alarming vents and unstable patients throws me over the edge apparently.