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Depressed and Suicidal at work

Stress 101   (816 Views 11 Comments)
by Coffee Cray Coffee Cray (New) New Nurse

Coffee Cray specializes in CTICU.

91 Profile Views; 1 Post

I’m at a loss for what to do anymore. I’ve been working as a nurse for 6 years now; next year February it will be 7 years. Been in CT surgery icu for 2 years now. Also I have been studying for my Masters, got married this year to a wonderful person, and overall have a lot going on for me outside of work that is going great. 

And yet I’ve never wanted to die so much in my entire life.

I already see a psychiatrist and my depression and anxiety have been well controlled for years. But the work they have been imposing on is has been absolutely inhumane. I work in a very high acuity CTICU unit and the assignments everyone has been getting is awful (I’ve seen them pair CVVH, centrimag, etc). Yesterday they paired me with an unstable post op cabg/AVR Post op day 0 who bled in the OR with neurological Deficits/possible stroke, with a total care patient who had a ton of meds, required physical therapy, frequent diuresis/subsequent electrolyte replacement with Vtach runs. Had to balance that nightmare with 2 sets of anxious families, one of which knew a supervisor who reported me for having a dismissive and unacceptable bedside manner (which I do is admit is unacceptable but I was close to tears and was struggling to keep a MAP > 60 and run to CT Scan at that time...).

We have an absurd amount of turnover and we lost a lot of staff this year and the year before. There is almost no help and the managers are just running around in meetings and catering to whatever survery (VAD, Jcaho, etc) comes around. Even more people are leaving and a lot of new staff either quit in orientation or leave after a year. I’ve been on this unit and it was difficult at first but it’s been getting increasingly worse. 

Any advice on what to do would be welcome. I don’t know if I should talk to my manager, the union, or just shoot myself at this point. Thanks for listening.

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

7 Followers; 2 Articles; 2,847 Posts; 65,726 Profile Views

Find a less stressful job.

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12 Followers; 3,690 Posts; 27,528 Profile Views

Secure a new position and then resign.

This is not a hopeless situation. Make a positive move in your own best interest.

Your life is worth way more than this.

If you are significantly struggling, please get help immediately, IRL or here (call or chat):

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Edited by JKL33

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11 Posts; 61 Profile Views

Well you should never say suicidal ... I did that once and I was left out for 7 years.....  I could have returned sooner but I wasn’t able to attend board meetings and did not know I could have an out of state psychiatrist and be relicensed....  I did do refresher courses and have been going to the dr since 2014...  I could have been in it since 2017 so I’m getting a late start....  however no one in my family wants to even think about helping me get to work on the weekends....  I just have to pray my vehicle can make 12 trips at 500 miles round trip....  so maybe like ten thousand miles....  my problems are always financial but I would never say I was suicidal I told the board that and it all crashed and burned however I never made any threats or anything ....  I knew they cared but never say that

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

1 Follower; 790 Posts; 7,803 Profile Views

First of all, seek immediate psychiatric help if you are actively suicidal, which it sounds like you are. One option is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, at 1-800-273-8255.

Secondly, get a new job. Sounds simple, seems easy enough, I'm sure there are potential barriers that might make it harder than it is but at the end of the day that sounds like what needs to be done. No job is worth your life or your sanity.

Finally, you say your "depression and anxiety have been well controlled for years." Hopefully the psychiatrist you actively work with is aware of your current change and the fact that it is no longer under control at this time

None of this is medical advice of course. Please take care of yourself.

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28 Posts; 257 Profile Views

Wow, I am sorry that this is happening in your life. I do not have a ton of experience, but I would suggest looking for a different place to work. Hopefully a new job at a new location will reduce your stress and increase your outlook on life. I would also suggest talking to someone about what you are going through and maybe find an activity that you could use as an outlet for your feelings. Have you tried going to the gym or going to a park?

Please take care of yourself. 

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3 Posts; 222 Profile Views

Get out of there.  Go to something less stressful for a while and take care of your mental health before moving on.  I know a doctor’s office or urgent care or infusion center isn’t sexy, but your mental health comes first and this job is no longer serving you well.  It is not working for your life.  I went from a really high-regraded but incredibly stressful position to one that a lot of people would scoff at but I don’t worry about people dying on my watch all day, I get to eat lunch, I get to actually enjoy my patients and no more families.  Please take care of yourself first.

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TriciaJ has 38 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

12 Followers; 3,352 Posts; 34,878 Profile Views

Oh, gawd just get out of there.  There obviously needs to be a bigger exodus before management gets a clue.  Don't go down with that ship.

I really hope your new husband is emotionally supportive.  Please talk to him about what you're up against.  The two of you need to revise your current financial plans until you land somewhere else.  In the meantime, just get out of there now.  

Try to stick out a two week notice if you can.  I was going to suggest having your doctor write a note that you are unable to do that, then I thought better of it.  Your employer may try to make some claim of unfitness to the Board just to retaliate.  But please talk to your husband about an immediate exit plan.

Wishing you the best.

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32 Posts; 1,099 Profile Views

Please find a new job.   Yours is not easy and will never get easier. There are less stressful Nursing Jobs out there.     Your health and life are more important than continuing where you are.  

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3 Followers; 4,532 Posts; 35,481 Profile Views

You have had a very big change in your life recently - getting married.

As much as you might be in love, it is a huge change and adjustment.

Plus you are in school, so I am guessing you don't get a whole lot of sleep and exercise.  You don't mention kids, pets, or anyone dependent upon you for care, but perhaps you have that, too?

Your job is way too stressful.  If you are able to get your union to help force proper staffing, great.  If not, get gone.  Sooner rather than later.

The more work you and your colleagues agree to do, the more you will have to do.  So you need to start refusing.  I don't know that you should get into refusing at this point.  You seem to have enough going on, although it sounds like work is maybe your biggest stressor.

If you are serious about being suicidal, you know you need to get to a psychiatrist, social worker, or psychologist immediately, right?   No delay, no excuses.  It sounds like you have a Hx of SI.  Please, please get help for this immediately.  There are suicide hotlines, crisis hotlines.  Or get to a 12 Step meeting (AA, OA, NA, EA, maybe others).  There are some great people at those meetings and even if you aren't alcoholic, addicted to food or narcotics, or don't have trouble handling your emotions, you will find help and understanding at these meetings.  

I wish you were close by but I am sending you a virtual hug.

I really am genuinely worried about you, so I hope you will come back and post again soon.

Edited by Kooky Korky

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Leader25 has 35 years experience.

2 Followers; 902 Posts; 4,979 Profile Views

My dear nurse ,take immediate action,give  two weeks notice,that is a nurse killer job,you deserve better.You might have to go through 3-4 other temporary jobs to find your best one but anything is better,...

also getting married can throw you into depression especially if you felt torn about it.Losing freedom,getting more responsibility,worrying about future.

Work is wonderful when you have stress at home, when it takes your mind about from it.Your killer job is inhumane.Save money,live frugally, so you can call your own shots.

Best of luck keep us posted.

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