Back again after panic attacks

  1. 1
    So I had barely started working on my pre reqs to my pre reqs spring 2012 even though I felt old and out of place. Everything was going well except my anxiety would come around and I would try my best to control it. In the fall of 2012 I was seeing the school psychologist to help me handle it better. I ended up failing algebra which was stressful cause math is what I struggle with and by spring of this year I was feeling down and my anxiety was super high. All the classes I enrolled in were kind of easy but I couldn't control my anxiety and I ended up withdrawing my classes. Very depressing time as I am already 32 and it took a while to discover what I wanted to be when I grew up. I have my two boys who I want to be a role model too and I want to do what my heart desires. I came back to school but not at a cc this semester. I am taking my cna at an adult school and will go back to cc next semester. I just started taking meds on Saturday to help my panic attacks so I really hope it helps. So far so good just has me a little slow. Idk does anyone else struggle with anxiety? I just want to help people and stitch and care for wounds - totally gets my full attention my anxiety is gone when helping others.
    carefulcare likes this.
  2. 15 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Its good you are back on track. I am about to turn 27 and have two young daughters. I dont struggle with anxiety so much , sometimes i do get nervous and feel out of place, feel older as well because now I am taking classes at an all woman's university and guess what, all young women who are fit and smart and all want to be RN's. But guess what I am seeing, is that we are older we have an advantage, we can be more focused and know what we want. I get nervous in class sometimes. And math was my poor subject, but I prayed and pushed myself and ended up with an A. Also in all my sciences. And I was an average 2.5 GPA in high school now my college GPA is a 3.8. You can do this! You are not the only one. There are a lot of nontraditional students like yourself. Believe in yourself. You have to be your own cheer leader.
    SoCaliCNA likes this.
  4. 2
    I'm 40 years old,have severe anxiety and panic attacks also.I also have found that I am starting to grind my teeth quite a bit and actually hold my breath without even realizing that I'm doing it,have to tell myself to breath!Yesterday I actually got up the nerve take my butt down to a nursing school and sign up for pre req's,and while I was there decided I would go ahead and take the compass test,which I did.I was fine until I looked around and realized that I was in fact the oldest person in the testing centerI told myself to BREATHE,took my test,did Ok for being out of school for 22 years and patted myself on the back.I start CNA classes October 23,and The LPN program next year.I had a long talk with myself and came to the realization that there is no other way to go about this,there are no loop holes,the only way to achieve what I want to achieve is just do it,end of story.The anxiety makes it harder and can be hard to control,but I know it can be done,getting started for me was the hardest part and everything I do from now till I graduate will be out of my comfort zone,but I made it this far and didn't die from it.Just try to remember to breathe,WE CAN DO THIS!GOOD luck!
    SoCaliCNA and rockinitfreshawaii like this.
  5. 2
    I got diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at 5 years old. I started therapy then too. I've been in an out of therapy all my life and on many different meds. I'm 24 now and next semester will be my last semester of prereqs. I would have been done sooner but spring two years ago I had a breakdown after finally meeting my birth family (it went great it was just overwhelming). I find it hard to work and do classes at the same time so I'm only working two overnights a week at a hotel where I can do my hw when it's slow. I constantly need to remind myself, messing up is not the end of the world. I have had panic attacks where I wake up not breathing and feel like I'm having a heart attack. Thankfully, they seem to be less now because I'm a lot more organized and I removed a lot of stress from my life. Good luck! We can do this!
    SoCaliCNA and carefulcare like this.
  6. 0
    I am also an "older" student. Yes, I think it alienates me a little from 85% of my nursing class. I am a 1st year nursing student. But whats worse is that I have also developed panic/anxiety attacks. The nursing program I am in is a cc program. I feel like I have to teach myself most of the content, so I spend a lot of time outside of class/lab/clinical reading and taking mock tests. There is very little lab time built into the program so there is very little time to practice the skills before doing check offs, so I practice a lot at home, as much as I can anyway. I watch a lot of videos.

    For our weekly clinical, our instructor assigns one patient to each student. We get our assignment the day before clinical. Some of us were assigned to a hospital a little over an hour away. We have to be on the floor ready to work at 6:45am. We are not allowed to park in the parking decks near the hospital so we have to park about 5 or so miles away and catch a bus. In order to catch the bus, we have to be at the stop by 6am. Therefore, I have to be on the road by 4:45am. The 2 panic attacks I have had were like clock work. The night before clinical, instead of going to bed early, I have to work on my patient data packet. It takes about 2 hours or more to answer all the questions. We have to provide proof to our clinical instructors that we are prepared to care for our patient. My attacks came at around 3:00am. With all the nursing homework, clinical prep, mom duties, I do not get to go to bed the night before clinical. I think this is what prompts my attacks. I get extremely nauseated and break out in a drenching sweat. I heave and heave and heave, but nothing comes up. I have to strip off my clothes because I am extremely hot. It takes a couple hours to get over the episode. I actually left a small puddle of sweat on the bathroom floor where I laid down for about 30 minutes. Its like all forces are working against me.
  7. 1
    Quote from jkm0807
    I am also an "older" student. Yes, I think it alienates me a little from 85% of my nursing class. I am a 1st year nursing student. But whats worse is that I have also developed panic/anxiety attacks. The nursing program I am in is a cc program. I feel like I have to teach myself most of the content, so I spend a lot of time outside of class/lab/clinical reading and taking mock tests. There is very little lab time built into the program so there is very little time to practice the skills before doing check offs, so I practice a lot at home, as much as I can anyway. I watch a lot of videos.

    For our weekly clinical, our instructor assigns one patient to each student. We get our assignment the day before clinical. Some of us were assigned to a hospital a little over an hour away. We have to be on the floor ready to work at 6:45am. We are not allowed to park in the parking decks near the hospital so we have to park about 5 or so miles away and catch a bus. In order to catch the bus, we have to be at the stop by 6am. Therefore, I have to be on the road by 4:45am. The 2 panic attacks I have had were like clock work. The night before clinical, instead of going to bed early, I have to work on my patient data packet. It takes about 2 hours or more to answer all the questions. We have to provide proof to our clinical instructors that we are prepared to care for our patient. My attacks came at around 3:00am. With all the nursing homework, clinical prep, mom duties, I do not get to go to bed the night before clinical. I think this is what prompts my attacks. I get extremely nauseated and break out in a drenching sweat. I heave and heave and heave, but nothing comes up. I have to strip off my clothes because I am extremely hot. It takes a couple hours to get over the episode. I actually left a small puddle of sweat on the bathroom floor where I laid down for about 30 minutes. Its like all forces are working against me.
    I am an older student, and it does make such a difference when I went back. The life skills just saved me.

    For clinicals, I use to spend so much time getting ready. I purchased some resources that helped to save me time: mp3 player - holds drug guide, skills list, med surg or pdf reference needed. I also purchased a Nurse's Pocket Guide Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions, and Rationalales, and also Nursing Careplan by Doenges, Moorhouse, and Murr.

    I had to learn how to prioritize where I put my work effort. If it has a high percentage grade, I worked on it. If it was pass/fail, I worked on making sure I learned my basics.

    It is most important to sleep at night, but keep up the good work.
    SoCaliCNA likes this.
  8. 2
    Hi Edna,

    Many of us on here completed a nursing program in our 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s. Most of the classes seem hard when you're taking them. But, I promise you will look back later, a semester or two, and realize all is a-OK.

    You can and WILL complete your classes and earn your degree! Should you need help in your classes, seek out guidance from your instructors, an upperclassman and free tutoring through the school. Stay strong and remember you can do "all things through Christ".

    - p.s. - BTW, I've never shared this before, but, I always got diarrhea the morning of my competency/checkoff tests.




    Best wishes!
    SoCaliCNA and carefulcare like this.
  9. 1
    Hi Edna!

    I can completely relate to you! I have an anxiety disorder that surfaced when I first started college quite a few moons ago.

    My transcript is a hot mess my first couple of semesters because I struggled so much. I had all As my first semester...until the end. I was so anxious at the close of the semester, I didn't even show up to any of my finals. I just felt like I couldn't. All of my hard earned grades...ruined. It's been a struggle. You don't get to put a doctors note on your transcript excusing you from doing poorly, you know?

    But 9 years later, I'm almost finished nursing school at my first pick school (got in my first try) and I'm at the top of my class with job prospects already lined up.

    Just don't give up. Find ways to destress. Watch your diet. Exercise. Maybe a little therapy if it suits ya. You can do it!!
    SoCaliCNA likes this.
  10. 0
    I'm in my late 20s, but I am married, and I have two kids under 4 years of age. I've suffer of depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. After my last baby was born (2012), I decided to go back to school and get my degree in nursing. After a few months in classes I had my first panic attack in life and it kept happening for several days. I didn't know what was going on, and I was really scared. I thought that was the end of my dream of becoming a nurse. I surfed the web and talked to some close friends who advised me to go to a doctor. I first visited a family counselor, and she explained me that my anxiety was very common, she helped me a lot with her counseling. I re-gained the motivation I lost. Then I went to my OB-GYN doctor who prescribed me an antidepressant medication. It's going to be one year this December since I started taking the medication and exercising regularly. I'm the HAPPIEST woman now. If I would have known about the medication before, I would have started taking it before.

    I'm a straight A, with 4.0 GPA student since I started, and next semester I will take the last 4 classes to complete all my pre-req courses for the BSN program. I quit my job to reduce stress and concentrate in my classes and my family.

    Sooo, we can do this! Anxiety disorder only teaches us to be more sensitive with those with mental disorders. The important thing is "Don't give up!"
  11. 1
    @coffee bean I hadn't logged on in a couple of days but I want to thank you for your reply. I to realized I suck at breathing lol. I am working on learning to breathe without hyperventilating myself.
    Last edit by SoCaliCNA on Oct 12, '13 : Reason: forgot to include who I was replying to
    Coffee bean likes this.


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