Nursing and Depression

  1. I hope this is the right place to post this...

    I was diagnosed with depression when I was 16. Back then I was with a therapist that more or less just wanted to drug me with every drug out there but never talk about anything, or try to find a way to help me. When I complained that the meds made it impossible for me to function- more so then the depression- she refused to listen. Pretty much just kept going until I decided to stop.

    Through the years I just learned to trudge through the depression. However as time has gone on- eleven years later- I'm finding it harder to ignore the feelings. And I've noticed them getting worse.

    My question, no one knows I suffer from depression at work. Would it hurt my license to go to a therapist? Even if it meant meds or something? I just really don't wanna mess it up, though I do wanna get help.

    Thanks, and sorry for the stupid question.
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    About WittySarcasm, ADN, BSN

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 139; Likes: 167
    Rehab Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in rehab


  3. by   elkpark
    Lots of nurses and other healthcare professionals are in treatment for depression and other mental health concerns, inc. being on meds. And it's no one's business at work (unless you are specifically/directly asked by your employer or the BON, officially -- in that case, you could possibly end up in trouble if you lie and get found out later).
  4. by   Little Miss Coffee
    I feel strongly about this deserves more attention.

    I'm pretty sure it's illegal to fire you simply for having depression and no other reason. It would be legal to fire you if you pulled a bunch of no-call, no-shows, or even were constantly calling out with excuses when the truth was you just had no energy to go to work.

    But simply for knowing that you have depression? No. In other words, just try not to let it influence your performance on the job. Also, the simple fact that you are going to a psychiatrist/counselor does not tell your employer that you have a mood disorder. People go to counselors for temporary reasons, too.

    elkpark is right; no one at work needs to know, except of course you're not allowed to lie about it if you are officially asked a direct question. (I'm not sure I see that coming up, unless someone notices that you seem depressed and asks if you are seeing anyone about it.) If you don't tell them and they don't ask you, they are likely not to find out.

    Also as elkpark mentioned, MANY health professionals across all fields are seeing counselors, psychiatrists, and other professionals AND are taking medications. Nursing and health care in general is a stressful job, so the need for some kind of help is very common.

    In fact, I don't know where you work or how many people are there, but you might be surprised at who among your coworkers is getting psychiatric help. If you know a good assortment of people, chances are someone is.

    It's been over a week. I hope you've taken action by now, but if you haven't, I would really encourage you to do so. A really good therapist is completely invaluable. It can be a pain finding one you really "click" with personally, but when you do, it's so helpful. Some therapists will ignore you and prescribe medication and have you out of the office ASAP, but I've met some who are just wonderful to talk to and really help you work on the things that bother you. Of course, they'll prescribe meds, too, if they believe it is necessary.
  5. by   WittySarcasm
    Thank you for the replies. I'm gonna for sure get a therapist to at least help me, maybe calm down the cycle a little. Sadly I gotta wait for next month cuz right now I'm insurance-less but as soon as it kicks in I'm going.
  6. by   nola1202
    Not a stupid question at all!

    I have dealt with depression since I was a kid and finally got some help in the junior year of Nursing School.

    I have had to deal with it, including taking medication since then. Having a therapist helped to clarify some of the negative messages and beliefs I was carrying around. I learned to set boundries, and work on my communication skills.

    Mostly I noticed that my level of exaustion and overall job satisfaction improved. I think having an objective person in my corner was helpful to bounce ideas, problems at work off of really helped.

    I also was encouraged to branch out, try some new activities and to journal my feelings daily. Little stuff, but it did help. I did a lot of digging with childhood issues, and PTSD and I honestly don't know if it helped or not.
    It's hard to tell because I don't know what I'd be like without having therapy.

    Anyway, I did self pay for a long time because I was afraid to submit it to the company Health Insurance for fear of having a peer review my claim. (ok so I was paranoid!) I didn't want anyone knowing I took medication for depression. I was afraid when I went for a new job it would show up on the drug screen so I'd stop taking it for 2 or 3 weeks so I could honestly answer I wasn't taking any meds.

    I still don't advertise I take medication for depression, I don't do therapy now mostly cause I pretty much was doing what I was supposed to be doing, and not having any major problems. I don't ever rule out going back to therapy if needed, but so far, so good.

    If you have suicidal thoughts or feelings, now or after starting meds, don't suffer alone and certainly don't act on those thoughts or feelings! Make the decision to be honest and open with your therapist and if you feel you can't because you feel judged or misunderstood, tell them, if they can't get it, you can get another therapist who is a better fit.
  7. by   SpEdtacular
    Nowadays depression (and anxiety for that matter) is like to common cold, everyone gets it and some get it worse than others. If you aren't interested in taking medication make sure you go to a therapist, counselor, or psychologist and not a psychiatrist (these days they mostly just prescribe and don't really do therapy). I wouldn't count out medication completely though. Sometimes even when your depression is largely situational short term medication therapy (six months or so) can help you pull yourself back up. Good luck and feel better!