Nurse with a history of eating disorder?

  1. 0
    Hello,
    I am looking for advice/information. I will be entering nursing school in the fall. I am very excited about it, and think that I could make a decent nurse.
    Problem is, I have an undiagnosed eating disorder (well, disordered eating at the least, the standard for an actual e.d. is pretty strict) and possibly depression. I want to seek out help from a professional for my problems, but I am terrified that coming clean will bar me from meeting the mental competencies required to become an RN. I'm not even sure how the school I've been accepted to will react.
    Like I said, I want to get help, but there's no way I can do it if it will destroy my chances. My whole family and I have sacrificed a lot to make my entry into nursing school possible, and sabotaging it now is not an option, not even to seek therapy. I think that getting help for the underlying depression I could be suffering from would make dealing with my eating easier, but I don't think anyone would look too kindly on someone with a history of depression either.
    If anyone can shed any light on these issues, I would really appreciate it.
    Thanks,
    TH
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Hi TH,

    First I wanted to commend you for seeking help. That's the first step to the road of recovery for anything.

    Due to HIPPA there is no reason that your school should know that you are seeking treatment/counseling for depression or eating disorders or anything else for that matter. The only time that it may come up is when you complete your school's physical for the nursing program. I imagine that all schools do it a little differently but the way my school did it was I received the physical papers to be filled out from my school, then went to my regular doctor who conducted the physical, ordered the lab tests for titres, examined my vaccination history and then signed off on it all. There was just one area of the physical that asked my doctor if they felt there were any reasons as to why I could not proceed in the program.

    So, I guess the way my school conducts everything the only way they would know if I had depression or an eating disorder was if my doctor knew about it and said that it was a reason that I would not be able to perform in the nursing program. The physical never asked me about those types of issues.

    That said, I guess it depends on the types of questions on your physical application and how your school handles the physical portion of your particular program. Also, you will probably find that many of your classmates are or have suffered from depression, don't feel alone in that. It will make you a compassionate nurse, not hold you back.
  5. 0
    I think it's so admirable and brave of you to want to seek out help and you shouldn't let nursing school stop you. There is no reason I can think of for them to find out, unless like the previous poster said, it comes up in a physical exam.

    Everyone has their demons. I can't imagine that there aren't nurses out there who have had their own battles with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, addictions, whatever else. You learn from your experience and become more empathic and thus become a more understanding caregiver. No one should use your desire to get help against you.
  6. 0
    Nursing school is v. stressful, physically and emotionally. You will be much better off seeking help for your difficulties (which are not that uncommon in nursing!) and having the treatment/support you need to be able to function in school, as opposed to waiting to "crash and burn" in school because the untreated disorders have overwhelmed you.

    Folks in the nursing profession will not look down on you for having problems and getting treatment for them -- you are more likely to get looked down on for not sucking it up and taking care of your own problems before you try to help anyone else with theirs ...

    Best wishes for whatever you decide --
  7. 0
    Quote from elkpark
    Nursing school is v. stressful, physically and emotionally. You will be much better off seeking help for your difficulties (which are not that uncommon in nursing!) and having the treatment/support you need to be able to function in school, as opposed to waiting to "crash and burn" in school because the untreated disorders have overwhelmed you.

    Folks in the nursing profession will not look down on you for having problems and getting treatment for them -- you are more likely to get looked down on for not sucking it up and taking care of your own problems before you try to help anyone else with theirs ...

    Best wishes for whatever you decide --
    I agree. I know a couple people in my class that have problems and have told friends but not the school. One person has an eating disorder and the other has Hep B. They both have said taht there was no reason to tell the school. I questioned the one with Hep B as it is infectios if a pt does not have the vaccine and this person said taht they always use universal percausions and if he ever infected anyone like say they got stuck with a needle then he would have a immune globulin administered stat and that would solve the problem. He even said taht he asked the board of nursing in the state and they said there was no reason why he could not become a nurse.
  8. 0
    You need to take care of yourself - physically and mentally. If you really want to make it through nursing school, then you need to step back and take care of yourself. You are not alone. You are not the only person to enter nursing with a history of eating disorders and depression. My concern is that your stress will only exacerbate these conditions.

    Trying to hide your eating disorders and depression takes energy that would be better spent on productive things. Speak to your doctor and get some help. Best of luck to you.
  9. 0
    That is a very widespread problem.

    I doubt if you're the only one...
  10. 0
    OP..I completely agree with everyone here that has posted. I have struggled with both of what you are speaking of (depression and eating disorders) and have won for the moment. YOU have to take care of YOU first!!!! It took me years to realize that (listen to me, I sound like I'm ninety!). I wish you the best of luck and congradulate you on making the very hard decision to seek help and actually want it!
  11. 0
    Seek the help you need..and get into that school no matter what it takes. I do not think you should be discredited for this. I am not sure how it works, but what I do know is experience is the best teacher and if you struggle with this disorder and overcome it..you absolutely should be in this field and (if you wish) work with others who fight the same battle. America puts much influence on young woman as how they should look...I am 32 and battled an eating disorder from junior high until my first year of college. My first year at community college I weighed a wopping 95 pounds...and I am 5'7...all due to running 5 miles a day and eating one bowl of low fat cereal a day. After that I became an "exercise bulimic" who ate but spent countless hours at the gym.

    Today I am healthy...and those who remember me back then and see me now probably are shocked. I still work out, I dress ultra trendy and young...but if I want a cheeseburger I am going to have one...I could lose a few pounds (and I will start on Monday) famous last words

    I understand what you are going through...I hope all goes well..get well..get healthy...the world needs you!

    All the luck to you

    Krissy


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