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anxiety depression and adhd have caused me to struggle to find my fit as a new nurse

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by brad0428 brad0428 (New Member) New Member

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My question is what type/area of nursing would be a good fit for me now or prepare me to return to acute care in a hospital setting someday?

About 6 months ago I graduated from nursing school and was hired on a unit where I had previously worked as pca for 1.5 yrs. The unit itself was run horribly and many of the experienced nurses left the unit for other jobs. Being a new nurse that was not liked by some of the RN's (but not all) caused some difficulty for me as far as teamwork and looking out for each other and supporting each other went. Also since our unit was not performing well an interim manager was brought in and the manager that had hired me and worked with me for the last 1.5 years was put on leave for training. I did not perform well as a new nurse for several reasons..... Some of those reasons are: I had undiagnosed/untreated major depressive disorder , generalized anxiety disorder and ADHD (which diagnosis and tx began shortly before I was terminated), and the unit was short staffed, inexperienced and not trained well, and the college I attended gave me a semi-poor education and my disabilities hampered my ability to fully absorb the information to my full ability. Having said that I was let go after six months just before I was out of probation (was on my own for 3 months with no preceptor) and my manager told me that she had full faith that I could make it in that world I just had to work a little harder and longer at it then someone that does well in an acute care level 3 trauma inner city hospital on a GI floor straight out of nursing school.

My question is what type/area of nursing would be a good fit for me now or prepare me to return to acute care in a hospital setting someday? Some factors to consider are me being a new nurse suffering from mood disorders and adhd which all appear to be successfully treated thus far but still mildly affect me and being average intelligence maybe a little above in certain cognitive areas and me not gaining the full knowledge or education that I should have in nursing school but still obtained enough to never fail a class and pass the nclex with 83 questions my first time. Any advice anyone could offer me would be greatly appreciated.

NewRN

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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

9,051 Posts; 44,705 Profile Views

I did not see any statements of "ownership". According to your own words, everything was out of your control and you were unable to make any conscious decisions on your own behalf.

Quote "I did not perform well as a new nurse for several reasons..... Some of those reasons are: I had undiagnosed/untreated major depressive disorder , generalized anxiety disorder and ADHD (which diagnosis and tx began shortly before I was terminated), and the unit was short staffed, inexperienced and not trained well, and the college I attended gave me a semi-poor education and my disabilities hampered my ability to fully absorb the information to my full ability."

 

Until you can objectively analyze your own behavior/performance and figure out what you were doing wrong, there is no hope of making the improvements that will help you achieve your goals.

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51 Articles; 4,800 Posts; 93,192 Profile Views

I did not see any statements of "ownership". According to your own words, everything was out of your control and you were unable to make any conscious decisions on your own behalf.

Quote "I did not perform well as a new nurse for several reasons..... Some of those reasons are: I had undiagnosed/untreated major depressive disorder , generalized anxiety disorder and ADHD (which diagnosis and tx began shortly before I was terminated), and the unit was short staffed, inexperienced and not trained well, and the college I attended gave me a semi-poor education and my disabilities hampered my ability to fully absorb the information to my full ability."

Until you can objectively analyze your own behavior/performance and figure out what you were doing wrong, there is no hope of making the improvements that will help you achieve your goals.

So I would most definetely take this time to have a counselor help you through this. I would think that with undiagnosed mood/learning disorders, your education could have been stellar however, you were not in a place to be able to learn well. Same with your orientation. In my opinion, only a professional can help you to get to a place where you can function well now that you are being treated.

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940 Posts; 16,347 Profile Views

Wow. I feel for you. I have all of the same diagnoses and it puts such a damper on our processing time, short-term memory retention, and stamina. I too, would encourage you to speak with a counselor and get yourself on meds or herbal remedies (talk to an herbalist about lemonbalm, st. john's wart, and others) to get you stabilized and better able to handle the stress.

Don't blame yourself. Nursing is very stressful for anyone, let alone those of us who have extra handicaps to deal with.

As for a better area of nursing?? All I know is LTC/SNF so far and the patient load is just too high in my opinion (25 per nurse). Other nurses I work with say it's easier, but they have no comparison besides other LTC facilies, lolol!!!

Try home health if you can get a job doing that, or maybe like plasma donation centers

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940 Posts; 16,347 Profile Views

I answered your other post- The good news is that you are smart enough, the bad news is that you have some handicaps to manage. I'm a new RN too and can relate your struggles. You can msg me if you want! Good luck either way!

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I think first and foremost its getting treatment and getting your disorder under control.

Then id want to get used to "night hours" because youre going to ideally want a night shift (less to do, less stimulation, etc). And you wouldnt want to suddenly swap from "normal" people hours to nights, and then have it dramatically effect you in some way shape or form.

Then id maybe try to find a nice community hospital with relatively higher acuity level patients, and a positive caring environment. Some hospitals are known to be more of a wild atmosphere, while others have people that youd see on the street.

Odds are youre going to be working in a medsurge unit, or something similar until you get experience. So all you can really influence is whether its a day or night shift, and then just picking a place with a good culture/environment. I think thats the hardest part, and dont really have any great advice on that. Other than just talking to people you know and seeing who likes where

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1fastRN specializes in Emergency Nursing.

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Are you looking for a certain type of specialty or environment?

I was undiagnosed ADHD, thought I just had anxiety problems and a short attention span. I tried ADHD meds for the first time in my life and I was focused for the first time. Interestingly enough, no longer anxious either (besides "normal" anxiety). I just wish I knew sooner and had been on medication because I think I would have struggled a lot less throughout life. Looking back on my childhood, teens, and adulthood I am textbook ADHD. Note: I'm not a big fan of medication and I think as a society we rely on it too much. I was hesitant to try meds myself. But it has made me a lot more productive and focused at work. Still, I don't use it everyday, and pretty much just use it for work and situations when I need to focus.

I found my "disordered" personality to mesh great with the chaos of the ER, and I find a lot of ADHD people tend to work in critical care areas!

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

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There is nothing wrong with your intelligence. But there is something amiss with your brain chemistry, and until you get that straightened out, alas, you are going to struggle in your career no matter what kind of nursing you do. I know. I have a mood disorder (Bipolar 1) and anxiety too, and I've had trouble with jobs throughout my career because the stressors inherent in nursing really kicked my butt. Last year I finally reached the point of no return and gave up clinical nursing, although I still have an active license and am a state surveyor.

I just didn't understand I had a problem that needed treatment, and by the time I got that treatment it was too late to salvage my career. I limped along the last two years as I trialed different medications and therapies, and it's only been in the past six months or so that I've found some semblance of stability. But that doesn't mean YOU have to flame out and leave the profession. You already know you have issues, and I suspect you already have a good idea about what you need to do.

If you are not seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist, please consider it; it's amazing what the right combination of meds and therapy can do. It's evident that what you've been doing isn't working well for you, and in order to know where you're going, you need to understand where you've been. In the meantime, consider a job that's a little lower-key and less stressful while you're deciding what to do next; part-time or PRN would probably be a good idea until the earth is a little steadier under your feet.

Wishing you all the best.

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Lev has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency - CEN.

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I too, would encourage you to speak with a counselor and get yourself on meds or herbal remedies (talk to an herbalist about lemonbalm, st. john's wart, and others) to get you stabilized and better able to handle the stress.

I would be very cautious about taking herbal medications, especially St. John's Wort which is know to interact with many medications, especially since you are being treated presumably with medications for your anxiety.

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561 Posts; 9,078 Profile Views

I would be very cautious about taking herbal medications' date=' especially St. John's Wort which is know to interact with many medications, especially since you are being treated presumably with medications for your anxiety.[/quote']

Agreed.

If youre interested in being a nurse (which is evidence based), it doesnt make a whole lot of sense for you to treat yourself with nonsense and fairy tales.

Plus that herbal garbage can either prevent you from seeing a real professional, or more likely cause serotonin syndrome or a a hypertensive crisis and plenty of other bad things from interacting with real medicine.

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940 Posts; 16,347 Profile Views

Agreed.

If youre interested in being a nurse (which is evidence based), it doesnt make a whole lot of sense for you to treat yourself with nonsense and fairy tales.

Plus that herbal garbage can either prevent you from seeing a real professional, or more likely cause serotonin syndrome or a a hypertensive crisis and plenty of other bad things from interacting with real medicine.

You must not be aware, but "Real medicine" in western society is now begining to accept and implement more natural, holistic methods into the management of many conditions. So, the same ol same old 'only take pharmaceuticals' is now recognized to be ineffective and uh, dismissive. Of course pts should tell all providers which vitamins and supplements they are taking, bc youare right, they often DO interact with other meds.

You migh wanna dust off your drug guide, bc many antianxiety and antidepressants increase impulsivity and even suicide/homicidal tendencies amongst some pts.

For my own mild anxiety, lemon balm works VERY well. No side effects noted. BTW- have you never heard one of your coworkers say they take melatonin as a sleep aide?? That is a natural remedy with no risk for chem dependence as seen with ambien, for instance.

Please educate yourself.

Edited by Nola009
tablet probs...ugh

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561 Posts; 9,078 Profile Views

You must not be aware, but "Real medicine" in western society is now begining to accept and implement more natural, holistic methods into the management of many conditions. So, the same ol same old 'only take pharmaceuticals' is now recognized to be ineffective and uh, dismissive. Of course pts should tell all providers which vitamins and supplements they are taking, bc youare right, they often DO interact with other meds.

You migh wanna dust off your drug guide, bc many antianxiety and antidepressants increase impulsivity and even suicide/homicidal tendencies amongst some pts.

For my own mild anxiety, lemon balm works VERY well. No side effects noted. BTW- have you never heard one of your coworkers say they take melatonin as a sleep aide?? That is a natural remedy with no risk for chem dependence as seen with ambien, for instance.

Please educate yourself.

Taking only pharmaceuticals is recognized to be ineffective ?

Have you ever seen an MD (not D.O but M.D) prescribe any of these herbal things ? i never have, nor have heard of it happening. Herbals arent controlled, drugs are. Which means if someone is legitimately sick, the PCP wants treatments to be controlled to reduce variance within the treatment plan .

Yeah the increased suicide/homicidal tendencies is usually a sign that the depression is lifting, ie that the drug is actually working. If a person is severely depressed they might not have the energy or willpower to think up and carry out a suicide/homicidal plan. So the early phases of antidepressants can have that effect (at least thats my understanding of it). There could be other factors as well.

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