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Depression from nursing?

Med-Surg   (2,697 Views | 11 Replies)
by nurset4835 nurset4835 (New) New

752 Profile Views; 12 Posts

It seems that I am currently more depressed than I have been in my entire life. I began my job as a RN in June. I have learned how to cope with the anxiety and stress I feel about/during the job, but it is definitely still present. I was previously on Celexa, but I am so non-compliant with taking medicines. I just don't want to be dependent on anything! I have talked to my doctor about this and she prescribed Buspar that I can take PRN but I have yet to try the med since it was just prescribed today. Just knowing that I have to work even two days from now, I feel so incredibly down and stressed. The high demands of MedSurg, I know, are not something I want to be a part of forever. I would get out NOW if I could, but I know that most other positions would want 1 year of clinical experience. I am currently working towards my BSN online but my employer is assisting with the tuition, so I know I am held to that job if I want all of the reimbursement. I don't even know if I want to do the clinical side of nursing anymore. Maybe education or the business side. I love helping people and seeing them get better, though. I love my hometown and I currently work at the hospital there. I am constantly looking online for open positions in admin there, but I know my manager wouldn't want to recommend me if I haven't even completed a year on the floor. Any advice or thoughts here? Anyone else feel this way? Maybe nursing just isn't what I thought it would be? Or is this something that many new nurses go through until they adjust to their new career? I used to be a very optimistic person and working in this consistently negative environment seems to be draining the life out of me.

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12 Posts; 752 Profile Views

I should also add to this that my original plan was to continue on to be a NP in dermatology, which I still love, but understand there is a LOT of stress in this, too. I read another nurse's blog online. She stated "I use to want it all. Now I just want to be a good wife and a mom." I am getting married in next year to my high school sweetheart. He also says I can work part-time if I need to, so I am letting PRN nurses pick up shifts I don't want because of high stress. But, I feel like that! I don't care about having tons of nice things or money. I would rather work for half the money and be happy than feel like this!

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tokmom has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff.

4,568 Posts; 48,775 Profile Views

It takes awhile to get your footing in bedside nursing, so you need to give yourself some time. When that being said you don't need to be in management. First, it's very stressful. and secondly, you don't have enough experience to be one. If you want to lead, people need to respect you and your nursing skills.

If you are so unhappy in med/surg, then leave to another unit so you keep your tuition reimbursement. Otherwise you may have you choose between money and being happy in a derm office.

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MrChicagoRN has 30 years experience as a RN and specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care.

2,589 Posts; 28,806 Profile Views

Yes, it is very stressful adjusting to entry into a new career.

However, you need to take care of yourself first. If your employer offers tuition reimbursement then they'll also be offering EAP. It's free, it's confidential, it can help you get through this. Use It!

Taking medication isn't being dependent, it's being proactive and will help your brain chemistry achieve its natural state. What would you say to the diabetic or the hypertensive patient who doesn't want to depend on medications?

No matter where you end up working, it's important that you take care of yourself first so you will be successful and able to pursue your goals.

Good Luck

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imintrouble has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in LTC Rehab Med/Surg.

2,401 Posts; 51,514 Profile Views

My first year was exactly as you describe. I hated nursing, before I liked it.

My one blessing, if you can consider it that way, was that I had no options.

I couldn't quit, or go part time because I was the bread winner. I had no choice but to tough it out. I might have quit too if I'd had a SO who encouraged me in that direction. For me that would have been a mistake.

I took the meds and EAP. Twenty years later, that time of my life is just a bad memory.

Don't write off your career as impossible, until you've accessed all your options.

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9 Posts; 1,786 Profile Views

I can completely relate. My anxiety/stress level is at an all time high after working as a new nurse on a med/surg floor for the past 6 months. I'm looking to get into aesthetics nursing, which was my original goal with going to nursing school. Good luck to you with you decision. The way I look at it, I have one life. I deserve to be happy and have a balanced life where I can be the best mom and wife.

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LadyFree28 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma.

8,427 Posts; 76,169 Profile Views

Yes, it is very stressful adjusting to entry into a new career.

However, you need to take care of yourself first. If your employer offers tuition reimbursement then they'll also be offering EAP. It's free, it's confidential, it can help you get through this. Use It!

Taking medication isn't being dependent, it's being proactive and will help your brain chemistry achieve its natural state. What would you say to the diabetic or the hypertensive patient who doesn't want to depend on medications?

No matter where you end up working, it's important that you take care of yourself first so you will be successful and able to pursue your goals.

Good Luck

This.

Mental health is very important; having depression is like having high blood pressure or diabetes; sometimes coping mechanisms are okay, and sometimes medication management and therapy is needed.

I implore you to seek out those options, because you may be triggered by your stress response and causing an exacerbation of your depression.

I learned the hard way to not have meds and two therapists for my symptoms; once I realized I needed a psychiatrist and meds, i an day this is the first time in a long time that I feel better, and can highly function as a nurse.

You have to get well first, then go from there.

Best wishes.

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32 Posts; 1,895 Profile Views

Yep exactly how I feel! I thought it would get better after a year, nope! I'm just as miserable. I'm about to have a baby so as soon as I do I'm getting the hell out of there! I even went down to part time and that has helped only a little. I still dread going in every day. I've never felt this way about any of my jobs before so I know this just isn't for me. Kudos to those that like med/surg! And honestly, a lot of people i work with are just as miserable but have gotten comfortable that they just put up with it and are too scared to try something else. I NEVER want to be that way. And, like you, I used to be all about work and making good money but now I'm all about starting my family and being happy. Some people their life revolves around work and thats okay. Not everyone is like that, so don't feel bad that you feel this way.

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1 Article; 630 Posts; 15,258 Profile Views

Any new, high-stress job can lead to depression. I know now that in my first career in my first job as a new teacher in a huge, very, very rough inner-city middle school in a big East Coast city that I was suffering from depression- probably anxiety too- due to my job.

This was in the mid-nineties before a lot things were able to be self-diagnosed with the help of the internet and I don't recall that there was an EAP program. If I knew then what I know now, I would taken meds and gone to weekly therapy and not even to necessarily begin to succeed at the job but just so I had more assurance that wouldn't crack since I knew from about November this was going to be a 1 and done job even though I could've retired from there as I had a contract.

I didn't quit since these kids had already had so much loss in their lives and I wanted to not be another one and I really thought that I could make a difference and I didn't want to disappoint my parents and I had a lease. I was young, idealistic and a little dumb. I probably should've left in November looking back. If I knew that their next teacher would even be a little more prepared/effective/experienced and I could've gotten out of my lease, I would've left skid marks!!

All that to say that I've seen meds and therapy work wonders in others and myself (this was years later under different circumstances but they helped me!)

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seconddegreebsn has 1 years experience.

311 Posts; 9,757 Profile Views

God, all of this is ringing really true for me. I was on antidepressants at my last job, and stopped them when I left. Got through nursing school unmedicated, feeling great. It was stressful but I could handle it. Between night shift and crazy high stress levels of my new job I'm ready to throw in the towel and go back on them but I hate the thought of it. The point of leaving my last job was to get out of a situation where I had to medicate myself to get through the day.

I'm giving myself a year and going to per diem so I can go back to school or have a baby (or both), possibly just leaving the professional altogether depending on how I feel at that one year mark. I don't think med-surg is for me.

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56 Posts; 1,760 Profile Views

Nursing especially in a hospital setting is high-stress no matter what unit you are on, no matter how much experience you have. More-so if you are new to nursing...but it will take time. I have "many" years of experience on med-surg and still have anxiety about working :yes: sometimes. In life, You go through ups and downs like a roller-coaster. The important thing is to find a healthy balance between your work and personal life. Unless we are millionaires, i think its a must that we all have to be employed in some sort of way right? At least in this profession we can pick what days we want to work and work 3 x a week, being that you put in for your required weekends & holidays...Others...have NO choice..Well, that's one benefit...and there are more, of course!

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classicdame is a MSN, EdD and specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts; 27,208 Profile Views

I don't think you have given yourself a real opportunity to adjust to your new career or to your medication. You will never know if the medication is helpful if you don't take it. Thinking it will all just go away someday is not realistic. Maybe you need to talk to a counselor about tools to cope to with stress. You need an ACTION - learning to cope, checking in with someone about progress, and taking meds - then let us know if you feel better. Hope so!

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