Nurses who are on anxiety/depression meds?

  1. Hello All,
    I am just wondering do any of you have anxiety, depression or a mental illness and you have to take meds for it? I am currently trying to pursue a career in Nursing and I feel as if my anxiety gets the best of me on some days. What do you guys do to cope? i have been on and off antidepressants since I was 16. Nothing above 25mg because I refuse to go higher. I hate being on medicine period and I worry that my anxiety will affect my career. Thoughts?
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   DextersDisciple
    1) yes
    2) talk to a friend and take my meds as directed
    '25 mg limit'? Trust you physician, they are there to help find the right drug and right dose so you won't have to worry about anxiety affecting your career. If your Cardiologist said you needed to increase your blood pressure mediation dose would you tell them no and risk having a stroke or heart attack?
  4. by   DextersDisciple
    The stigma around Psychiatric medication is alarming. I'm perfectly fine with taking 3 medications if they help me get out of bed in the morning and clear my mind of irrational thoughts. If eating 2 bananas a day would have the same effect then I'd always have bananas in my house
  5. by   Davey Do
    A lot of us suffer from depression and anxiety to some extent, Hooven. I have, for years, dealt with bouts of depression. I experience at least a little anxiety every day. A little anxiety is okay, for it's a great motivator. If I was okay with just about everything the way they are, I'd probably be a complacent slug and doubt if I'd ever get much done.
    Quote from Hooven20
    What do you guys do to cope?
    Dealing with depression and anxiety is a lot like a recovering addict who works a 12 step program; it's a lifestyle decision and we must practise working that program every day.

    I cope with my depression and anxiety predominately through Art, exercise, spirituality, and humor. (Read my signature line.)

    I have always done some form of exercise, but didn't realize how therapeutic it was until I had lapses and periods of inactivity. I exercise every day, even if it's for 10 minutes of weight lifting before work. I do small things, like park a good ways from the Hospital and walk the distance. I opt to take the stairs in lieu of the elevator. I go for relatively long bicycle rides at least twice a week. I have weights and an elliptical in my basement which I use routinely about 3-5 times a week.

    After suffering from some symptoms of PTSD following a stabbing by a psychotic Patient about 20 years ago, I sought the services of an Art Therapist for about 6 months. She showed me methods in which I could express my feelings using my Art. I use those methods every day.

    I read spiritual literature every day- something, anything to get my mind in a more positive space.

    I attempt to live a healthy lifestyle. You are what you eat. Sometimes, I'm a big fat cow. But the majority of the the time I'm lean and green.

    Immerse yourself in your endeavor. Make happiness and contentment what you eat and breathe and happiness and contentment will find you.

    The very, very best to you, Hooven!
  6. by   NightNerd
    I certainly experienced an exacerbation in my anxiety and depression during my first year in the hospital. I take a daily medication (for which my 150 mg is considered a small dose, by the way) and a PRN for when I am very anxious to the point of physical symptoms (e.g., feeling like I can't breathe).

    I understand that it can be hard to accept being on medication, but if it gives you your life back, why would you not? They're should be no shame or stigma associated with antidepressants. They are not going to fix everything, but they can certainly put you in a place where you are better able to use your coping mechanisms, and that is what will really help you. I know that once I had been on my medication for a few weeks, it got exponentially easier to make myself exercise, eat regular meals, feel more sociable with friends, and genuinely enjoy my hobbies. I really hope you will consider giving medication another try if your doctor recommends it; it can help you get your joy in life back.

    Also, just throwing it out there, therapy is great. If you have very few coping skills to begin with, that is where you can learn some.

    Being a nurse is tough, but rewarding, a lot of the time, so it's up to you whether you are interested in pursuing it. Regardless of your career, though, wouldn't it be worth not feeling that way all the time?
  7. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    Quote from Hooven20
    Nothing above 25mg because I refuse to go higher.
    Did you state the name of the antidepressant to which you are referring? Because 25 mg of Zoloft is not really comparable to, say, 25 mg of Lexapro.
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    There is no shame whatsoever in taking psychiatric medication. I am on SIX psych meds for bipolar disorder, and I take that many because five weren't enough. I am not ashamed of it; I call it taking care of myself, because without them I would literally be insane at best, or dead.

    Maybe medication isn't for you, but I think you should consider giving it a fair trial in the amount your provider decides is best. You may also want to try therapy and/or support groups to help you sort out why you're depressed and anxious. Getting to the root causes of your distress may benefit you to the point where you don't *need* meds. There is also something to be said for a healthy lifestyle, e.g. eating a good diet and getting exercise (I admit I don't do the latter for many reasons that are beyond the scope of this post, but I do try to eat well).

    I wish you luck in pursuing a nursing degree. It is very stressful and you will need to be prepared for that, but if you take good care of yourself and know your triggers, you can manage your illness AND your career. I was able to do it for 20 years despite my bipolar and anxiety. All the best.
  9. by   HalfBoiled
    On my fridays I usually cope by hanging out with my friends Jack, Jameson, and Grey Goose at home or with other coworkers. Nothing to excessive. Just relaxing and calm vibes.
  10. by   Boomer MS, RN
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    There is no shame whatsoever in taking psychiatric medication. I am on SIX psych meds for bipolar disorder, and I take that many because five weren't enough. I am not ashamed of it; I call it taking care of myself, because without them I would literally be insane at best, or dead.

    Maybe medication isn't for you, but I think you should consider giving it a fair trial in the amount your provider decides is best. You may also want to try therapy and/or support groups to help you sort out why you're depressed and anxious. Getting to the root causes of your distress may benefit you to the point where you don't *need* meds. There is also something to be said for a healthy lifestyle, e.g. eating a good diet and getting exercise (I admit I don't do the latter for many reasons that are beyond the scope of this post, but I do try to eat well).

    I wish you luck in pursuing a nursing degree. It is very stressful and you will need to be prepared for that, but if you take good care of yourself and know your triggers, you can manage your illness AND your career. I was able to do it for 20 years despite my bipolar and anxiety. All the best.
    Oh...good to hear you're doing Ok and admire you for sharing that you are taking care of yourself. My very best wishes to you.
  11. by   pixierose
    Taking 200 mg of Seroquel, 150mg of Wellbutrin and 100mg of topamax ... combined with exercise, fresh air, and spending time with my family = doing ok.

    I feel like I'm doing pretty ok as an RN.

    Don't fall into stigmatizing yourself. There's enough people out there that can do that for you already.

    What's causing the anxiety? Figuring that out is a good beginning...
  12. by   Orion81RN
    Ive taken Celexa and Xanax for 10 years. I have been very surprised to hear coworkers say they take meds too. More of us do than you would think. Anxiety greatly affects my career when I don't take my Celexa properly (missing doses for extended periods of time.) It makes me almost non-functional in life.
    You are not alone in this. Yes, there is unfortunately a stigma to it. I am very careful with whom I confide in.
    I also agree completely with above poster. Discuss with your doctor the appropriate dosage for you. If a time comes, please don't immediately rule out an increase in dosage.
    So many of us in health care live with anxiety and depression, yet go on to have great careers with learning coping skills and if need be, with meds.
  13. by   traumaRUs
    Moved to Nursing with Disabilities
  14. by   Hooven20
    Hi All,
    Thanks for the feedback! Yes it has been a struggle some days. I am on 20mg of paxil and I feel as if it is not working like it use to. I am starting to avoid people and that is when I know my anxiety is kicking in lol. Right now I have a doctor that I do not fully trust so I am seeking out elsewhere.

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