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A Note of Deep Concern and Worry

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CheesePotato is a BSN, RN and specializes in Sleep medicine,Floor nursing, OR, Trauma.

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My colleagues of all stages, please take a moment... You are reading page 4 of A Note of Deep Concern and Worry. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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Good post. My best friend shot and killed himself when I was 16. I was 100% shocked and devastated as he never gave any signs that I noticed that he was considering such a thing, although looking back I'm sure they were there.

Now, working in psych, I hear sooo many people say, "My mom (or dad or spouse, etc) thinks I need to just suck it up and move on." People who have never dealt with a mental illness don't get it, and how could they?

I know people want the best for their family members, and when mommy just lays on the couch all day and hasn't showered in 3 days, it's easy to say, "What is WRONG with you? Get up and DO something!" People don't realize that it's not that easy. People with depression would love to be able to "just get up" but asking that of someone with depression is no different than asking a double amputee to "just go for a jog." It's unrealistic, impossible, and if they could do it that easily then they would.

It's not easy to live with a family member who has depression. It can be frustrating. If anything, encourage that person to go to a doctor and get help, especially if it's someone who used to be active and productive. Asking someone to "get up and do something" isn't encouraging when they feel like they can't. Instead, it makes them feel like MORE of a burden and might send them over the edge to do the one and only thing they feel they can do to make everyone's life easier which is ending their own.

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MedChica specializes in Psych, LTC/SNF, Rehab, Corrections.

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I also lost an 'online' college classmate 3 years ago. He was an LPN working in the ICU at an area hospital in his state. According to him, he was the last LPN at his hospital, as they were no longer using them there. His continued employment was contingent upon his passing his clinical weekend exam and graduating from college. He was very confident in his skills as an LPN. I cautioned him against that confidence for the upcoming exam as well as against disclosing his exam date to numerous others. He TRULY had a lot riding on this exam....more than just the cost of funding a repeat exam if he should fail. Well, the weekend came and went.....no word. Ok. We were all going through our own successes/failures, anxiety of upcoming NCLEX/repeat clinicals, etc. after two weeks had gone by and I finally received an IM from him.....only it wasn't him, it was his brother. I thought it WAS him playing a joke or something. The 'brother' finally said that he was called to the home where police had found a note explaining that the deceased had failed "some exam" and ultimately lost his job. Still not believing that this was serious, I went to the college's website for enrolled students and started a thread asking had anyone heard from 'John'. One student said yeas. What a sigh of relief! Great! When? She said 2weeks ago. I was like NO!!!! I need to know if ANYONE has heard from him since XYZ date. No one had. So I went back to the IM to the 'brother' , more believing that this was actually happening but still hoping it was not. The brother was looking for anyone who was close with him that could shed some light on the location of important papers to tend to the usual business affairs of a loved one. Finally there was confirmation from another student, as we ALL started to investigate by checking the local papers, obituaries, etc. this student checked with the coroner's office and there he was listed.Now, and since then, everyone that asked me about the college that I attended or any online learning experience, I tell them to be SURE to become a part of the peer network at whatever college he/she attends. Developing a circle of friends with those who are going through the roller coaster of emotions with exams and studies is a MUST for the support aspect! And I also caution against disclosing an exam date to others. You have leave an open avenue to save yourself embarrassment and humiliation should you not be successful if it is THAT important to you. I've never been one to boast about succeeding but I am one to bury my head in the sand if I fail. And I've failed at many things in life that people didn't even know I was attempting until my mission was accomplished. My own family didn't know I was close to graduating UNTIL it was done.Never assume that a person that is outwardly together has his/her act together. Sometimes that outward strength simply means that a person does not have an available to shoulder to cry on.

That is the absolute truth.

I had a bout with depression years back. Father had just died. I'd miscarried. My job was super stressful. Just a lot of things.

I was high performing at work. I look good 'on paper'. I'd smile and crack jokes and whatnot.

Minute I got home? I'd be in bed and sleep for days. Friends call? 'No, I don't wanna go.'

Boyfriend calls? 'No, I'm tired.'

Too tired to talk. To tired to be bothered with anything. I just wanted to sleep. Maybe tomorrow would be better or maybe I could just 'fall asleep and never wake up'.

My friends came to my house and wouldn't leave until I answered the door. They stayed the whole w/end with me.

Same w/end, my boyfriend came and forced me out me out of the house. It was a straight-up intervention! Even then, I was crying like, 'It's fine. Everything's fine!"

...and I'm not a crier!

It was only then that I came to realize that I was really depressed and on the cusp of a 'nervous breakdown' which is odd. I've dealt with the mentally ill my whole life. I'm a psych nurse, for crap's sake!

How odd and ironic that I'd have so little insight into my own behavior?

I think denial was driving a lot of it, to be honest. I can be strong for others. When my father died, everyone remarked on how strong I was...because I didn't cry. I held my mother and comforted my dad's sister, actually. Contrary to popular belief not all black folks give themselves over to loud, over-the-top vocalizations of grief, i.e., screaming, crying, falling out and trying to climb into caskets and 'I wanna go too!"...


Stoicism is a virtue in my family. Actually.

I don't think it a good thing, though. I don't actually know how to lean on or 'rely' on people, I guess you could say. I don't know how to ask for that kind of help from others. I can comfort. I don't know how to be comfort-ed. I push it away, to be honest.

"No, it's fine." ; "No, it's ok." In a sad way, I've always been proud of my ability to handle immense amts of pressure. That I don't fold easily.

Plus, I'm introverted...and, at work, I keep everyone at arms length. I'm very likeable because I'm generically 'cool' with everyone but I'm not the sort to keep coworkers as friends. I'm closed off, in ways.

So, when it all boils down to it? I don't have an outlet but it's kind of my fault. I guess that's the problem. For If I'd committed suicide or something, a trifle few would have seen it coming.

...but getting back to what you'd said? Yeah. Plenty out there are crying for help. They just aren't that obvious about. Not everyone who is depressed or with suicidal ideation has multi-suicide attempts on their record.

It's quite the contrary. Some people are high-functioning and have a great Poker Face. Some people can smile through emotional pain.

Some look like they have it all. Everything's 'fine' on the outside but their inner world is utter hell.

I am thankful for the experience, though. That may sound weird but it allows me to understand and see things from the perspective of my pts/residents.

...because in addition to the depression? I 'think' I had a mild psychotic episode.

I'm totally serious!

See - I had a box of extensions (lol) being delivered to my house, right? Ok, I KNEW what was in the box when it arrived. Yet, the box of weave sat in the living room for 4 days because I was afraid to open it. I could not, for the life of me, shake the feeling that someone had put a bomb in it!

My rational brain was literally fighting it out with the delusion!

So, as a individual with such thoughts? That was just strange.

But...as a nurse? C'mon - you've gotta appreciate the opportunity to gain such perspective! LOL

When I told my friend this? She shook her head and laughed.

Well, I'm serious. I feel, like, I 'get it'. I kind of 'see' what some of my pts/residents go through.

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MomRN0913 specializes in ICU.

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I didn't mention...... My mother killed herself Ina. Drug rehab. First transferred to a psych hospital after a suicide attempt. She was also a self- medicater with cocaine. After about a week in the psych hospital the case manager felt " she needed some more attention, and her 21 year old daughter should be nicer to her ( that's me. My mother was emotionally abusive to me due to her disease, but I was " mean"). And they transferred her to a drug rehab ( she had been in both of these facilities 12 years prior) and the next morning they found her dead.Somehow she got a hold of a whole bottle of Prozac according to the autopsy report.Her time would have been much better spent in the psych hospital given she already detoxed.If only the disease got more attention.

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You have valid points. Unfortunately, although the system is designed to be accessible to the 'handicapped' (for lack of a better word), it seems that it is basically geared towards those using mobility devices. I don't know the exact reason given to you for being failed; so you might want to take your concerns up the ladder a little bit if you feel it was unwarranted. Maybe you could become the pioneer to effect change in this regard. You're right in that there are so many nurses who know very little about mental illness. In fact, there are very many nurses who know little about nursing. I've seen those who went from CNA to an MSN without ever having passed a bedpan or administered an aspirin on the job. How they can profess to have 'mastered' the field of nursing defies MY definition of the world. But technically, they did the bookwork to say they are masters on the field. There are times when the Trainer needs to be trained. Often times, it is already assumed that you 'know' based on your credentials and as such, not questioned on your abilities to teach ALL that sit in your class when the actuality is that the ability to teach is limited to all HEALTHY students. Come to think of it, the last job application that I completed did ask, "Are you physically able to perform the duties of the job in which you are applying for?" it said nothing about mental abilities. Anyway, good luck to you in your quest to become a nurse. I do hope things work in your favor.

As for the bit about people with Master's degrees who do not work at the bedside not being real nurses, I encourage you to start a new thread and not hijack this important one. I'll meet you there; I'm a PHN with a Master's. :cautious:

Actually, there is something called reasonable accommodations a student or employee may request. This is part of the ADA, which has been around since 1990. If you are struggling, there are options to discuss with your adviser. I think it's important for nurses to be aware of this piece of legislation. These little steps may aid in preventing what the OP was originally posting about. This excerpt pertains to employees, but could be applied to students as well.

What are "reasonable accommodations" for people with severe mental illness?

Examples of reasonable accommodations for people with severe mental illnesses included providing self-paced workloads and flexible hours, modifying job responsibilities, allowing leave (paid or unpaid) during periods of hospitalization or incapacity, assigning a supportive and understanding supervisor, modifying work hours to allow people to attend appointments with their psychiatrist, providing easy access to supervision and supports in the workplace, and providing frequent guidance and feedback about job performance. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Helpline1&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=47065

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62 Posts; 2,306 Profile Views

And may I add that committing suicide places family members at much higher risk for suicide themselves. Maybe "suicide is painless" for you; for your family it inflicts pain that lasts for generations.

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OBrnc has 22 years experience and specializes in ob.

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Well said and very needed. We all need to be more aware and present to help.

My colleagues of all stages, please take a moment:

There has been a rash of suicides and suicide attempts in my community and it has driven me to write this note.

After the devastating loss of a nursing student, I just....I don't even know where to begin. So I'll start:

Please, please, please remember that in taking care of others, one most take care of oneself. Please remember no matter how dark, how down, how trapped you feel, there are people that care--that love you--that want to help.

Surround yourselves by people who are a positive influence. Give yourself the benefit of people who will boost you, watch out for you, and save you from yourself. Get out of bad or toxic relationships, regardless of who that relationship involves.

Be your own advocate.

Do not be ashamed of what you are feeling or what you are thinking. It doesn't matter if "someone else has it worse". Please do not, for one moment, think that if you sought help from someone who supported you, that you would be turned away.

Just talk, out loud, about what is going on. Let people help.

There is no bill worth more than you life.

There is no test score that should make you feel as if you are invisible.

There is no relationship that determines your worthiness of love or life.

There is no day bad enough not to merit a dawn.

Suicide is the number 10 cause of death in this country. This is a fact.

And I, for one, decry a society that believes that depression is just a bad case of the blues. I have seen the black dog up close and personal, thank you, and it is very real. It is a medical condition. And it can kill.

So I declare myself a safe haven.

If you need a shoulder, I am here. I am not the most empathetic individual ever created, and I may not be able to fix it, but I can listen. I can be genuinely present in the moment.

I am here.

If you are in need of help, please remember the following resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:


Google free counseling services for your area. There are many.

Keep in mind that there are counseling services offered through many employers.

Do your absolute best to get help when you feel the slouch of depression. Listen to your loved ones that worry, that ask you over and over if you are okay. They are seeing something you are not--trust them. When they tell you they love you, internalize it, believe it.

Please, take care of each other and yourselves.


Written off the cuff. Grammar and spelling mistakes are all mine.

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6 Posts; 1,207 Profile Views

Im glad Im not the only one who has noticed an upsurge in suicides. For some reason I hear about it more and more. I have known quite a few aquaintences, then last week my brother hung himself. He lives 1200 miles from me, and I knew he had a mental illness that he would not seek help for. He would get on medicine then not stay on it. He suffered from major depression, bi-polar disorder and OCD. I too know what that dark place feels like. I take 150mg of Zoloft daily that keeps it in check for me though.

I dont know what has come over people, but I believe it is an ongoing trend that as nurses, we should be very aware of.

Thanks for posting this.

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62 Posts; 2,306 Profile Views

This is the result of a "Progressive" initiative to make people feel that suicide, assisted suicide abortion and even infantacide is OK.

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47 Posts; 2,225 Profile Views

A depressed economy has always been a harbinger for increased suicides. I would anticipate an escalation in that regard.

My personal therapy for depression is spending about 2 months a year camping in a tent with no running water , electricity , internet, television, etc... It kind of puts things in perspective.

Of course I am surrounded by guns, knives, tree stands, 4 wheelers and that durn cell phone.

I guess U can't have everything.

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SENSUALBLISSINFL is a BSN, RN and specializes in Public Health Nurse.

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The OP is correct, there is help out there, there is no shame in grabbing the helping hand. YOU MATTER!


Sending lots of hugs and love.

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Scarlette Wings has 27 years experience and specializes in M/S, ICU, ICP.

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My neighbors son was 28 this past year. He spent many an evening at my house after work till his mom, also a nurse, came home. The one thing worse than watching someone so young choose suicide and death instead of life is being the one to find the body and be unable to help. Somehow in spite of all the deaths I have seen in my many decades of nursing, this one I can't get out of my head. I know why. My own son died when he was 5 and somehow it has just opened the door to grief all over again. Right now knowing all this sounds intellectual, but emotions don't have IQ's and they just are what they are. Suicide does hurt those left behind, and not always just the family.

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11 Posts; 1,347 Profile Views

This was beautiful and I am going to post it on my facebook page!

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