Nurses struggling with mental illness - page 5

I was just wondering if there are any other nurses who struggle with mental illness. It seems to be one disability that is met with little tolerance and support in the medical field. I do have major... Read More

  1. by   beesnest
    I went through years of depression and multiple hospitalizations until someone had a brainwave and thought "sheesh, I wonder if an antidepressant would work?" (well, duh)

    Anyway, I used to have dreams that I was working my shifts without legs and trying to keep up. Also had dreams that I had to pay for my therapy by working (which was true) but I had to balance working while I was admitted to the hospital on the same floor and not let anyone know I was playing both sides of the fence.

    Anyway, what ended up happening was that I was hallucinating one day while admitted to the hospital. I remember very little about that day except one old lady repeatedly coming up to me and asking where I worked. Well, turns out she was on the board of the hospital where I worked, and it also turns out that two months later I got the first poor evaluation of my 6 years at that hospital....related you think?

    So no matter what I NEVER reveal what meds I take or my history. I'll even lie on physicals, whatever. I need to protect my livelihood
  2. by   PJA2004
    I am a Tech in a busy Emergency Room, and have found that most of my co-workers and even our manager are on some form of anti-depressants for anxiety and depression. There was an article I read somewhere that stated most people that suffer anxiety/panic attacks are very intelligent people. I believe that statement is true, but as we all know MI does not discriminate and it can disable you and alter your life if you allow it to take over.


    I struggled with panic/anxiety attacks twenty years ago when being physically abused and nearly killed by my ex-husband. The episodes lastes about six months, and I went to my PCP and he prescribed valium. I was able to relocate to a safe place (away from the ex)and took the valium for about two weeks and never had problems again. But I can remember it being a very dark and scary time for me and my whole family.

    It all comes down to educating ourselves about mental illness and understanding the reasons behind it. Sure, I know that many MI's are hereditary but also know that several are caused because as young children we are not taught positive coping skills when dealing with stress. Educators think as long as children are taught math, reading and writing that is all they need to excel in the world to be productive citizens.

    Sorry for the long post, but I would be honest about what medication you are taking if working in the medical field. You would probably be surprised to find out that 85% of your co workers are taking something too. There is no shame in getting help and taking meds if needed, but it is doing yourself an injustice to suffer in shame and fear worrying about what others think and how they will judge you.
  3. by   Ms.RN
    hello

    i was wondering if its possible i can talk to someone in private who have suffered depression. thanks
  4. by   Severina
    Quote from mattsmom81
    How do ya'll handle license renewal? The states I've lived/practiced nursing in have verry specific questions RT mental health. Do you fully disclose and provide statements from your docs about your competence or???

    To be honest, fear of living under this kind of 'microscope' with a hostile BON has prevented me from dealving into my depression/anxiety issues.
    Dang!
    what state do you live in??!! Remind me to never move there.
    I live in Michigan and no one has ever inquired as to my mental health background. I think that is discriminatory. Do they inquire as to physical limitations as well? I think I would be writing to them and/or my state congress about that. Thats horrendous! :angryfire

    Severina
  5. by   kitkat55
    i suffer from depression...had a horrendous marriage...and being out of that...it is now my own profession exacerbates it...feel free to p.m. me any time...it's been a long battle....
  6. by   lovingtheunloved
    Quote from kitkat55
    i for one, am not coping well...i have fibromyalgia...accompanied by chronic depression....i wouldn'r rule out ptsd although it has not officially diagnosed...i worked mental health for yeasrs and i know all of what you are supposed to know about mental illness but being on the other side of the coin is a rough thing...i also work in hospice...and i don't believe that has done any good for my depression...i love the hospice philosophy...i love my patients....i am well versed in hospice and find comfort in giving others comfort as their loved one passes through the final stages...but the intense hours they ask....if i could work 40 hours that would be fine...but iam salaried....and they ask more and more so that overtime need not be paid to hourly part timers...if i didn't need the insurance...i would be part time and it would be wonderful....i love the jobs....its the management demands i can't handle....
    I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia as a teenager. I am thouroughly convinced that I never had it. I think that my physical problems were a manifestation of my emotional problems. I get maybe 5 hours of sleep on a good night, I have a very poor diet, and I work constantly. There's no way I could treat my body that way and have that illness. My problems never went away, I just use denial and workaholism to deal with them now. How healthy.

    That's not to say that I don't believe fibromyalgia is real. I know it is. Just wasn't what my problem was.
  7. by   NurseCard
    A little late but I thought I would chime in...

    I deal with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I took Paxil all throughout nursing school, and then a couple of months after I graduated, I decided that I didn't need it anymore. Well, I did okay without it for a few months but then I started having a lot of problems... starting really losing my cool at work, couldn't get it together enough to call the doctor whenever there was a crisis... couldn't handle crises, period... and things started getting bad at home too. I resisted it for a long time, but I finally had to go back on the Paxil. It did wonders.

    My problems are probably minor compared to others, though.
  8. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from RealNurseWitch
    A little late but I thought I would chime in...

    I deal with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I took Paxil all throughout nursing school, and then a couple of months after I graduated, I decided that I didn't need it anymore. Well, I did okay without it for a few months but then I started having a lot of problems... starting really losing my cool at work, couldn't get it together enough to call the doctor whenever there was a crisis... couldn't handle crises, period... and things started getting bad at home too. I resisted it for a long time, but I finally had to go back on the Paxil. It did wonders.

    My problems are probably minor compared to others, though.

    You are SO FORTUNATE that you found something that works!

    I'm glad that you realized what you needed to do, some can go on and off them prn, I'm not one of them ...

    Take care!
  9. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from Severina
    Dang!
    what state do you live in??!! Remind me to never move there.
    I live in Michigan and no one has ever inquired as to my mental health background. I think that is discriminatory. Do they inquire as to physical limitations as well? I think I would be writing to them and/or my state congress about that. Thats horrendous! :angryfire

    Severina
    Texas every 2 yrs renewal asks about 'any physical or psychological history that may interfere with your duty to patients..blah blah". (paraphrased)

    Also just moved to Washington state and they ask too. Of course I am likely taking this too literally...and probably worrying too much. To me, even nurses are entitled to protected health information and even their asking smacks of HIPAA. I imagine they feel they have a pressing 'need to know' to protect the public and this is how they would defend themselves if challenged...

    Do not all states ask this?? I guess I worry if I say 'NO" and someone finds out I'm on an antidepressant it will open up a can of worms with the BON...but part of my problem at present is I worry about EVERYTHING...LOL!

    I've lived in an employment at will state for over 20 yrs. Hospitals ask all kinds of questions RT physical and mental health as well, (usually in the guise of employee health) and of course they don't have to disclose WHY they are leting you go, you can be discharged for any reason ior no reason. So it becomes a Catch 22 there too.
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Feb 21, '05
  10. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from kitkat55
    i suffer from depression...had a horrendous marriage...and being out of that...it is now my own profession exacerbates it...feel free to p.m. me any time...it's been a long battle....
    Boy I hear ya...and feel the same way. Wondering if I have PTSD from some of the craziness in this profession.

    But I stick with it, its my livelihood and I stubbornly refuse to 'let it beat me'.
  11. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from mattsmom81
    Texas every 2 yrs renewal asks about 'any physical or psychological history that may interfere with your duty to patients..blah blah". (paraphrased)

    Also just moved to Washington state and they ask too. Of course I am likely taking this too literally...and probably worrying too much.

    I called the (I think) ADA when I started my last job (Maine). They said that I did have to disclose to employee health what meds I am on and dx. But that the hospital isn't allowed to discriminate based on mental illness.

    But how could you prove that they did not, if they don't disclose the reason you (anyone) were let go.

    Another thing - you can apply for unemployment insurance, don't they have to disclose why you were fired in that instance?
  12. by   CelticBombshell
    i am currently trying to get a decletary order so that i can even get into nursing school. i kinda understant that they would like to know if you are gonna frak out an dmaybe be a danger to your self and your patients but i also feel that it sucks because i am lumped in woth the convicts and criminals in having to get this order.

    i have just found out that i have pcos - polycystic ovary syndrom and i feel that it is causing my mental health to deteriorate more so than if i were just bipolar b/c both ahve the same symtomology. i also have a pain in my side that i've had for 6 months and the doctors keep giving me all the diagnostic tests over and over again to rule out galstones ect. but everything turns out normal except i have high triglycerides and ldl as well as a fatty liver and a 18mm cyst on my left ovary. the only reason i mention this is that i have always been a mother by nature, i want to be a midwife, have kids ect and it is really trying on me that i might have problems with my reproductive system. also my fathers mother died from ovarian cancer and had her right ovary removed at my age, she went on to have 2 children but still it's a worry and i feel like i am at the end of my rope. they keep giving me pain killers to help with the pain but i can't work while i'm on them b/c i can't drive to work, and if i don;t take them i am in so much pain i cannot concentrait, 7,8,9, and 10 on a scale of 1 - 10 with out oain pills, varying by if i'm active. i have been running a fever for almost the whole time but the doc's don't seem to think it's a factor b/c i normally run about 96 and have been running only about 99 to 100 still in the normal range but really high for me. any ideas on what to do to deal. i feel like i'm gonna have a nervous break down if i don't find out what is going on with me. i want to excercise b/c i know that it would help both my biploar and pcos if i were lighter but the pain makes it impossible and i don't want to have to rely on pain killers for ever. if anyone has anyideas please pm me or just post

    celticbombshell :angryfire
  13. by   Lady Fingers
    All I can say is good luck to you honey.

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