Is it possible for a Bipolar person to become a psych nurse? - page 5

Hi Everyone, I was diagnosed as bipolar, on the depressive side, about 3 years ago. I've been hospitalized several times in the past, the last time being about 1 year ago. (which is a HUGE step in... Read More

  1. by   mimslaru
    Hi magaroon.

    You should be free to work in whatever specialty you choose.

    You may benefit from working as a psych nurse in a freestanding psych facility. The facilities that I specifically have in mind do employ their former patients if that person is qualified for the position. This may be a supportive environment as the focus is mental health exclusively with the ideas of individual patient and employee respect, consideration, and empowerment.

    Congratulations for actively pursuing your goals and dreams and the best of luck to you as you make those a reality!
  2. by   Louie18
    I found myself getting easily bored and as soon as I would figure out what was going on and modified it wherever necessary I was out the door to my next one.
    The major brain jobs NICU, CCU, BURN, or any requiring a 'fine tuned' mind were out of my league.
    Louie
  3. by   catz
    im pleased to see all u people being encouraging and positive and that there are psych nurses out there who are bipolar. seems in the usa criteria for exceptance are less strict than here in the uk.

    i have had nearly 18months off work sick due to stress and depression. i dont want to go back to the same job i had as a paediatric nurse because my manager was a bully and i have had no support from the hospital i worked for. they are now dismissing me due to my ill health.

    i thought i would consider doing my psych training as i have got the been there done that tee shirt and while i was ip found that the nurses who had were by far better psych nurses.

    the problem.........in order to be accepted onto a training program having suffered from stress and depression i must be a minimum of 2 years sympton and treatment free. that means no anti-ds no therapy, no counselling etc. AND i have to have proved that i can cope with a full time job for that two years.

    dang there go my plans for at least 3 years then. oh and get a dx and u will never get a job as a nurse in the uk (or very unlikely)

    y? becos 1 nurse more than 10 years ago had a psychiatric illness and killed or injured a number of children (beverly allitt). the 2 year n no psychiatric illness criteia came from the recomendations made after the inquiry into her gros misconduct. as a result every person with a psych illness is looked upon as another possible allitt, especially if u show signs of eating disorders or self harm or have had su attempts.


    sorry bit of a rant but it makes me mad
  4. by   ScarlettRN
    I just got diagnosed bipolar last week. I spent all week seeking validation of the dx from people who have known me for many years. Obviously I am at the beginning of a long journey, and it has been good for me to read this thread.
    I think that working in psych and having a dx is perfectly natural, actually and wish you the best of luck.
  5. by   laurenkst
    Yes it is possible for a nurse with a mental illness to become a nurse. You do need to be under treatment and compliant with your program. Why shouldn't you. Who could understand the
    psych patient better? You could probably straighten out a few things we need to change--a few thousand that is--Lauren
  6. by   aussieshane
    i say this with all sincerity. First rule, dont tell any of your colleagues/ bosses about your illness. like any work place gossip is rampant, and nurses attack in packs particularly if your starting to fall ill and theyre noticing this BEFORE you do....psych nurses are very switched on people and miss very little with respect to there patients behaviour aswell as their colleagues...keep taking your medications .......and never forget how nasty SOME nurses can be.
    dont tell the pt's that your a bipolar (with the aim of establishing some credibilty in their eyes) either.
    Ive worked with a few mates who were and they all loved being in the manic phase and didnt want to change despite their friends saying to them 'hey your talking a million miles an hour, why are you sleeping with a gazzillion people.........i think the rule of the day is remember the above
    good luck
    shane
  7. by   Mike RGN
    Go for it

    I am a mental health nurse and some of my colleagues also suffer from mental illness, primarily disorders of affect. I find that the majority make excellent nurses due to their ability to empathise with patients.

    May I just add that I am a psyche nurse, I'm just using my husbands site - don't get upset but - he is one of them!

    Julie, RMN.:kiss

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