My mental state

  1. 0
    I am posting here- Nurse to Nurse, because I am terrified to admit what I am experiencing to a co-worker or counselor. I have been an RN for almost a year in acute care. I have great difficulty organizing my time. I was an excellent student, but am getting concerned. I am having mental blocks, especially at work. I am having memory difficulties and visual problems. Sometimes strange things happen to me. One scary example: I was driving in my vehicle the other day and approached a stoplight and couldn't decide if I was looking at a red or green light. First, it seemed red and then green and then I couldn't tell. I finally decided it was green but couldn't remember if one should stop or go on a green light. As you might imagine, I am distressed about these mental changes. It has been two years since I felt that my mind was clear. I function well at home, although I have several children. I am terrified at work at the hospital and feel I should quit, although I am a single-parent and have much debt. I have a history of victimization and PTSD. I am getting attention at work as an airhead. In other areas of my life and in past vocations, I have proven competence. I do not abuse any drugs and have had ten alcoholic drinks in 20 years. I am a nonsmoker and noncriminal. I am in my forties. Is what I am experiencing the result of great anxiety? The symptoms increase during PMS. I also have some health problems I have been unable to address because of financial reasons. I'm terrified that I am an unsafe provider. I'm terrified that if I seek help, I will bombshell my career and I have a lot of debt and responsibilities. I realize that you are unable to diagnose (although we do internally, every day). Does anyone have any insight for me?
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  5. 0
    jobo,
    I have no idea what is going on with you. It could be neurologic, psychiatric or other.

    I am very concerned, however, and feel that you need to have this evaluated. This does not sound safe...regarding nursing and driving. I know that you rely on your income and am not telling you to get out of nursing or anything, I just think you should have this evaluated.

    Good luck, and keeps us informed on how everything turns out.

    Jill

    [This message has been edited by JillR (edited November 20, 2000).]
  6. 0
    Should I begin with seeing my PCP or a psychiatrist? My PCP takes call at my place of work and I have not been impressed by the lack of confidentiality and respect for patients, esp. psych involvement, I have witnessed among all levels of providers here. I feel that I would be washed-out if I went to my PCP or a GP, as they all communicate here. Perhaps if I went to a psychiatrist in a neighboring city?
  7. 0
    I would initailly see the PCP to rule out other causes. However, if you are concerned about confidentiality issues I would consider changing PCP's all together if at all possible. Just because you work in health care doesn't mean that you have less rights to confidentiality. Or if that is not a possibility, tell him right out that you are concerned about confidetiality and what you just stated about the subject to me. He/she may not be aware that there is a confidetiality problem and may want to adress this issue at the clinic. If the clinic asks over the phone what you want to see the doctor about, just tell them you would prefer to keep it confidential between your PCP and yourself.

    Good luck

    Jill
  8. 0
    Jobo
    I think Jill's comments cover it. While you are waiting to see your PCP, consider keeping a diary. When is this better; when is it worse? What is worse associated with? What is better associated with? HOw many hours are you working? Are you working nights? I am not trying to over-simplify your problem and agree that this could be neuro or psych or other wise BUT when I worked nights I felt out of body and continuously stressed, but did not experience the perceptual difficulties you describe. You describe your past history. Do you have a counselor you can talk to AS WELL AS YOUR DOC? Think as holistically about this situation as you would for your own patients, but do take care of yourself.
  9. 0
    Originally posted by jobo:
    I am posting here- Nurse to Nurse, because I am terrified to admit what I am experiencing to a co-worker or counselor. I have been an RN for almost a year in acute care. I have great difficulty organizing my time. I was an excellent student, but am getting concerned. I am having mental blocks, especially at work. I am having memory difficulties and visual problems. Sometimes strange things happen to me. One scary example: I was driving in my vehicle the other day and approached a stoplight and couldn't decide if I was looking at a red or green light. First, it seemed red and then green and then I couldn't tell. I finally decided it was green but couldn't remember if one should stop or go on a green light. As you might imagine, I am distressed about these mental changes. It has been two years since I felt that my mind was clear. I function well at home, although I have several children. I am terrified at work at the hospital and feel I should quit, although I am a single-parent and have much debt. I have a history of victimization and PTSD. I am getting attention at work as an airhead. In other areas of my life and in past vocations, I have proven competence. I do not abuse any drugs and have had ten alcoholic drinks in 20 years. I am a nonsmoker and noncriminal. I am in my forties. Is what I am experiencing the result of great anxiety? The symptoms increase during PMS. I also have some health problems I have been unable to address because of financial reasons. I'm terrified that I am an unsafe provider. I'm terrified that if I seek help, I will bombshell my career and I have a lot of debt and responsibilities. I realize that you are unable to diagnose (although we do internally, every day). Does anyone have any insight for me?
    I strongly encourage you to get to your doctor asap-but don't freak out until you have some concrete answers ( rememberthat the fear of the unknown is often worse then the thing we actually face)This could be as simple as early menopause-the diverse symptoms women can experience are unbelievable-and most of us don't know about them until we are there-and thinking we are having a breakdown (yes-I did have trouble remembering what to do at the stoplight)
    You sound like you are under a lot of stress too-possibly you may need to make a change at work...Let us know how you make out-and You are not alone....
  10. 0
    Don't panic. I work for the government in Australia and so I can only give advice as to our award. If you have been working only for a year, It is possible that your experiences are related to PTSD. Being confronted every working day by those same challenges that you have faced could well invoke the experiences that you are having. We are entitled to five free counselling sessions by one who does not work for the establishment. We are able to axccess this without having to explain why we are needing this service. Everything is confidential. I wouldn't contemplate quiting work bu asking for a transfer to another unit may help that is less confronting regarding your issues. ALso, do not be afraid to have a sickie if it is needed. You do not want to lose your practicing certificate because of a mistake caused by distraction. Be aware of your limits and practice within them. Also another consideration, are you able to work part time for a season and have family support or a maybe you are involved in a church group that could also provide support. There are many options, write them all down, have a brain storming exercise and then discuss them with someone you trust and who knows your circumstances. This could be a brief reaction that will require a short time out period and then you could be on your way full steam ahead as you have previously done. Your history of success shows this. Good luck and email me if you want more of a personal discussion.

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  11. 0
    I can't believe how wonderful and kind you all have been. I haven't made it to the doctor yet, but will. I'm a very soft person and hesitant to take the time off of work when we are short and the holidays. I'm a wimp, I guess. I have cut some unneccessary activities out of my life and am doing a little better. I have also started taking herbal estrogen supplements and some vitamins, as I agree that I may be in early menopause. It is too early to tell much improvement from those yet. May the Great Nurse Guardian bless you all!
  12. 0
    I can relate to the stop light thing. I have been so exhausted (more than once) that I would be confused about little things like whether red means "stop" or "go". It may be PTSD, or it could be the fact that you're working full time as a nurse and taking care of 3 kids at home (way too many demands on you) and your body and mind are trying to tell you to slow down. My experience has been that if you ignore the warning signs, you WILL slow down because you will SHUT down. I agree that other causes probably need to be ruled out and PTSD is likely a contributing factor. You ask about anxiety so you probably are anxious as well - who wouldn't be, though, in this day and age? I don't know if you're a religious person, but it may well help to see a chaplain or priest because I only know of one truly effective way to treat anxiety and PTSD and it's not with medication. Society is far too over-medicated as it is.

    Best of luck to you.

    Barbara
  13. 0
    Well, things haven't gotten much better. Almost every shift I work, I make a medication error. I can barely read things anymore. I read the medication records and blank out. I read one page three times and still didn't see some of the meds that were on there. My mind just blanked them out. Therefore, they weren't given. I don't know what to do. I have too many bills and have to work, or I will go bankrupt. I know that if someone is harmed or I lose my license, I could never face this community. I am nearly suicidal. I can't remember things, and blank out a lot. Someone can tell me something and it will be gone from my mind in three seconds. I even write things down and forget to read the list. I find myself just reacting my way through each shift and I am so terrified that I want to go to bed and never get up again. But, how can I quit my job. I would have to go bankrupt.


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