ER RN's with anxiety disorders?

  1. I have worked 2 years in the PICU and current work in adolescent psych for the past 4 years. So it's been awhile since I've started an IV, but I think once I get back into the hang of things I'll be ok, I'm a fast learner. I know at the ER I'm interviewing for has a LOT of psych patients that come in, we have the largest behavioral health unit around. So my psych skills will be beneficial I believe. I have only worked with patients 0-18 years of age so learning all this adult business will be a task for me. Ok, for my main question. Do any of you ER nurses have any anxiety/panic disorders? I do. I take Klonopin 1mg three times a day for my baseline anxiety which works well. I'm asking my dr on my next appt for a fast acting benzo for breakthrough anxiety. No, they don't make me sleepy or out of it, I've taken these meds for a long time, I can function just fine. They do not impair me. But I do feel like I may be the only person in the ED with anxiety issues...or am I not? It's kinda of an embarrassing subject because ED nurses are supposed to be tough and strong and nothing phases them right? I'm not a stupid person but if my anxiety gets too high, my brain just shuts down (that's why I'm asking for an additional prn fast acting benzo like Ativan). Please tell me I'm not the only? If anyone can relate, how do you manage?
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    About Energizerhoney

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 6; Likes: 15


  3. by   itsnowornever
    A tough or strong person knows what they need to help themselves, sounds like you're tough and strong to me! And why tell anyone?
  4. by   OnlybyHisgraceRN
    I have very high anxiety myself. I used to take ativan regularly but I stopped because it made me kind of forgetful. Everyone is different thought.
    I hope I don't break down in the ED. I'm soooo nervous.
  5. by   WoundedBird
    I'm glad that there is someone in the field I'm hoping to go into that's dealt with things that I have in the past that I do worry about resurfacing once I start classes and clinicals this summer. So thank you.
  6. by   libran1984
    Several nurses I work with have anxiety issues. However, if any of them take medication at work they do so privately. (my) Hospital policy is very clear that we discontinue care and leave work after even taking PO benadryl. Very strict.

    However, anxiety issues are common.
  7. by   Energizerhoney
    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. Some ppl don't really understand anxiety/panic disorders and consider those dx as being weak minded instead of understanding it comes from a neurobiological components. I guess it's not much different than a diabetic working and getting low blood sugar which can compromise patient care. Anyways, thanks for the support
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    No, you are FAR from being the only nurse, ER or otherwise, with mental health issues. And you are spot on with the diabetic analogy.

    I wonder if you know that nurses like you are going to be the ones who finally dispel the stigmas surrounding healthcare professionals with psych histories. By being upfront and honest---and successful!---you help prove the point that that we are NOT dangerous, stupid, or evil just because we're challenged with anxiety, depression, bipolar etc. To employ a much-overused '90s expression: You GO girl!!
  9. by   SionainnRN
    I'm sorry you have such anxiety, but I worry about any nurse taking benzo's and working. Not only can this impair your judgement, if something were to happen and you had to take a urine drug screen for work comp your claim can be denied and also open you up for liability. This is just my two cents. Obviously I would look at your hospital and see what their policies are regarding prescribed medications.
  10. by   Racer15
    I'm a new grad RN, starting my first job in the ED, and I suffer from GAD. So yes, I have an anxiety disorder, and I take it one day at a time. I've lived with this problem for...oh, about ten years. I deal with it. I take Lexapro, which helps, and beyond that, I have people I talk to. It is doable
  11. by   livingthedream77
    You are definitely not the only one. Every nurse I've talked to is on an SSRI, benzo, sleep pill. I have panic w/agoraphobia. No problems on the floor, but sit me in a classroom or meeting and I have problems. My doc apparently thinks that benzos are the devil and doesn't like to rx even a few. 30 Ativan in 9 months will not addict anyone. Am thinking I'll need to see a psych. I always have that fear to take one, if I make a mistake or there's an incident, I'll have to pee and sadly, that does open you up to liability. When I feel it coming, I leave and make the excuse of GI upset, then sing songs to myself in my head and tell my adrenal glands to ****!!
  12. by   emtb2rn
    Quote from livingthedream77
    Every nurse I've talked to is on an SSRI, benzo, sleep pill.
    Not this one. No disrespect meant towards those who suffer from anxiety.
  13. by   SionainnRN
    Quote from emtb2rn
    Not this one. No disrespect meant towards those who suffer from anxiety.
    I agree. And I think there is a big difference between benzo's/narcotics and SSRI's or insulin.
  14. by   sapphire18
    Quote from SionainnRN

    I agree. And I think there is a big difference between benzo's/narcotics and SSRI's or insulin.
    Not if they're not abused. I had a CNA treat me like a drug addict one time when it came up in conversation that I was on Prozac. Health care professionals need to educate themselves.