RN with depression/anxiety

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    I am an RN with a long history of depression and anxiety. I have received counseling and medication therapy with good results. I just recently went back on Effexor because I had a baby and breastfed for 1 year. The last time I took the drug it worked like magic but now it's not working as well. It's been about 3 months. I am currently in counseling again and have an appt with a MD to adjust my meds. I also have a Rx for klonopin PRN. The problem is that I just moved to a new area and am looking for a new job and I am scared to death to take the klonopin because it will show up in a drug screen so I suffer in silence. I am terrified that if a potential employer finds out about my Dx that I will be seen as unfit. I am a good nurse. How much of a stigma in the medical profession does dep/anx really have? I am terrified that I will someday need hospitalization and that will be the end of my career. I just need some honest and friendly support nurse to nurse. Thank you.
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    I don't know if this is helpful, but I too have depression with anxiety and I take both Paxil AND Ativan daily. If you have to do a drug screen, you need to be honest about what you're taking, bring your prescription bottles and make sure this information goes into the record. You want to be as forthcoming as possible, because benzo's WILL show up in the urine and you need to be able to explain that. Most employers do NOT hold this sort of information against people.....they know that depression/anxiety are very common disorders, especially in the health professions! (The Americans With Disabilities Act provides for legal remedies if you're ever refused a job based on your medical history, including mental illness.)

    Think about it from the employer's perspective: would you rather have an employee who's stable and productive and on meds, or one who is 'clean' but has panic attacks in code situations or calls in every couple of weeks because they're depressed and can't even get out of bed?

    Try not to worry......you have plenty of company.
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    All I can say is take care of yourself first. You are your most important consideration. If you worry about the job first and ignore your anxieties your life will suffer. Can you talk to your therapist about this? Is the Klonopin essential or are their other options?Do you really need to work right now?

    Please take care of yourself. Too often nurses put all else in front of their own needs.
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    I too suffer from anx/dep and take meds. I am a better functional person with the meds, then without. There is still a lot of negativity regarding mental illness, we have come a long way, however; we still have a long way to go.
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    Quote from doularoz
    I am an RN with a long history of depression and anxiety. I have received counseling and medication therapy with good results. I just recently went back on Effexor because I had a baby and breastfed for 1 year. The last time I took the drug it worked like magic but now it's not working as well. It's been about 3 months. I am currently in counseling again and have an appt with a MD to adjust my meds. I also have a Rx for klonopin PRN. The problem is that I just moved to a new area and am looking for a new job and I am scared to death to take the klonopin because it will show up in a drug screen so I suffer in silence. I am terrified that if a potential employer finds out about my Dx that I will be seen as unfit. I am a good nurse. How much of a stigma in the medical profession does dep/anx really have? I am terrified that I will someday need hospitalization and that will be the end of my career. I just need some honest and friendly support nurse to nurse. Thank you.
    I have worked in psych nursing for 20+ years, and one thing I know is that we all go through difficult stuff. Don't beat yourself up for it! In fact, I've done some of my best work when I've been depressed, lonely, anxious etc...
    Just be upfront about medications you are taking. When you get a new job you will find there are people you can talk to and others you can't, just like anywhere else. Consider not working full time. That seems to be one of the biggest causes of burnout/anxiety/depression among psych nurses! You have to get away from it for substantial periods of time...
    Let us know how it goes in your new location.
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    I'd be willing to bet > half the nurses working at this moment are on some combination of depression/anxiety meds...exf the 5 people I work with 3 are on some combination of meds, myself included....I'd much rather work with someone whose s/s are under control , for themselves, and their pts...I don't see a problem with drug testing as long as you have a md order..and if in doubt,talk to your dr about your concerns reguarding work..if he thinks you are ok to work or not...just be honest and open about your feelings..I've had to take a leave years back for a month or so..my dr trusts my judgement r/t my capabilities , cuz you can bet your butt if I don't feel able to work.. I ain't gonna be there! lol ...we all need to let go of the 'shame game'...everyone, at some point in their lives has problems...period..if they haven't, either they aren't old enough, or they're lying..lol....take care and best wishes to you (((hugzzzzz)))
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    Thank you so much! I feel much better. I get this way every time we move and having a toddler doesn't help. I think it's partly postpartum depression. I know when I feel better I will look back and wonder what I was so worried about. I really appreciate the support.
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    Quote from doularoz
    I am an RN with a long history of depression and anxiety. I have received counseling and medication therapy with good results. I just recently went back on Effexor because I had a baby and breastfed for 1 year. The last time I took the drug it worked like magic but now it's not working as well. It's been about 3 months. I am currently in counseling again and have an appt with a MD to adjust my meds. I also have a Rx for klonopin PRN. The problem is that I just moved to a new area and am looking for a new job and I am scared to death to take the klonopin because it will show up in a drug screen so I suffer in silence. I am terrified that if a potential employer finds out about my Dx that I will be seen as unfit. I am a good nurse. How much of a stigma in the medical profession does dep/anx really have? I am terrified that I will someday need hospitalization and that will be the end of my career. I just need some honest and friendly support nurse to nurse. Thank you.
    You got lots of good advise...the only other thing I can think of is that there still is the stigma associated with "mental problems." I am a Mental Health Nurse, and talk about this with my patients all the time. Needing to take medications for mental distress is no different than taking medicine for, say diabetes. I hope the time comes in my lifetime when this stigma is gone. So many people do not seek treatment for this reason. It sounds to me that you have a opportunity to alter the conveersation about mental health. I'm not saying that you should share your personal stuff with co-workers, but I think it would be good for you to own how you have bought into the stigma and see where that might take you. Lots of luck. Be Happy.


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