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Finishing Nursing School w/ Depression

Specializes in Nursing Student.

Hi. I'm a SN (BSN May, '21) I know I'm in company among other nurses/nursing students who suffer from depression, but I'm just not sure how effective I can be as a nurse when I myself am struggling just to get up and do my own self-care. On one hand, when I'm in the clinical setting, I'm able to be distracted from my own sadness or ambivalence at times, but other times my depression remains with me even at clinicals and I find myself sluggishly mustering the energy to answer a call light or speak to my patient. I'm tired, not from the work or burnout, but my own emotions and mind draining my motivation.  I genuinely want to help patients, but sometimes I feel selfish for being too stuck in my own head to be motivated. It's also hard to meet deadlines and I feel I'm struggling so bad. My grades last semester tanked, which I know some would blame on covid, but I felt this way before that. I am also a very anxious person, and I'm afraid the combination will drown me this fall.

JabuJabule, LPN

Specializes in LTC.

Hoo boy, do I have a story for you.

I was depressed my entire LPN program. I did the whole nine-yards. Self harm, cried wolf, sometimes skipping class. I understand the depression 200%! Long story short, my school helped me get in order. They helped me talk to another counselor (I was already seeing a psychiatrist and therapist), and they kept tabs on me for the second half of the program.

At the end of the second semester, I had the cops called on me because a few friends thought I tried to kill myself after our final (Thinking I failed). The school made me jump through hoops getting back into school (Which started a week later, I will add!), having to get an emergency appointment to go to the doctors to get a paper signed, meetings with a bunch of official people, EVERYTHING.

You sound a lot like me. Nursing was kind of a saving grace, in a way. I love taking care of people. I love going to work as an LPN too.

Do what you can. You're only human. And my biggest tip: REACH OUT. There are services that schools have for depressed and anxious students! I got to cry with a counselor on a few occasions, she helped me so much. It was in the same building RIGHT after class.

Nothing felt better than to hold my head up high at my LPN graduation, knowing I made it through all these adversaries (And being the only male who made it through to boot). I couldn't do anything but cry once it was all done and over.

Today, I know my resources at my new school where my RN program is located. I go to them if I need them, but otherwise I still see my psychiatrist and I'm STILL getting meds changed around (for anxiety).

 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get the help you need! Call your local clinic or hospital and ask about seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist. And find out your school's services for grievances and therapy. I promise you, it will change your life. You only have one life and you need to take care of it.

If you need help with ANYTHING, please reach out to me. I'm here for you.

 

- Jared

Edited by JabuJabule

SNgirl21

Specializes in Nursing Student.

4 minutes ago, JabuJabule said:

Hoo boy, do I have a story for you.

I was depressed my entire LPN program. I did the whole nine-yards. Self harm, cried wolf, sometimes skipping class. I understand the depression 200%! Long story short, my school helped me get in order. They helped me talk to another counselor (I was already seeing a psychiatrist and therapist), and they kept tabs on me for the second half of the program.

At the end of the second semester, I had the cops called on me because a few friends thought I tried to kill myself after our final (Thinking I failed). The school made me jump through hoops getting back into school (Which started a week later, I will add!), having to get an emergency appointment to go to the doctors to get a paper signed, meetings with a bunch of official people, EVERYTHING.

You sound a lot like me. Nursing was kind of a saving grace, in a way. I love taking care of people. I love going to work as an LPN too.

Do what you can. You're only human. And my biggest tip: REACH OUT. There are services that schools have for depressed and anxious students! I got to cry with a counselor on a few occasions, she helped me so much. It was in the same building RIGHT after class.

Nothing felt better than to hold my head up high at my LPN graduation, knowing I made it through all these adversaries (And being the only male who made it through to boot). I couldn't do anything but cry once it was all done and over.

Today, I know my resources at my new school where my RN program is located. I go to them if I need them, but otherwise I still see my psychiatrist and I'm STILL getting meds changed around (for anxiety).

 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get the help you need! Call your local clinic or hospital and ask about seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist. I promise you, it will change your life. You only have one life and you need to take care of it.

If you need help with ANYTHING, please reach out to me. I'm here for you.

 

- Jared

Thank you for sharing, Jared! I'm glad you were able to get the appropriate help and that you were able to graduate and pursue further goals. CONGRATS btw! There are many supportive people at my school actually, which I found out after the unfortunate circumstance of having my first panic attack. A few days later, I started counseling through my campus. About a year later, my depression just got too bad and I decided to open up about that part of things in counseling as well. A few few months ago I started taking medication after being on the fence about it. I've also reached out to professors (who mostly had initially learned of my difficulties by accident), but I still am struggling. It makes me feel as if I'm a broken record and taking too much of people's time and mental space. Plus, life after graduation terrifies me because those resources will no longer be available.

Treadmill and a textbook, 45 minutes a day did wonders for me. Also, you say you're doing your BSN, have you completed all of your gen-eds? I used to struggle for motivation in school because it felt so endless but I ended up doing CLEP and getting 4 gen-eds (12 credit hours) out of the way my last year of school. Saved a lot of money and was able to replace the unreliable car I had been driving since high school because of it. Plus, freeing up that time I would be devoting to those classes was a definite bonus

SNgirl21

Specializes in Nursing Student.

12 hours ago, DMQ48 said:

Treadmill and a textbook, 45 minutes a day did wonders for me. Also, you say you're doing your BSN, have you completed all of your gen-eds? I used to struggle for motivation in school because it felt so endless but I ended up doing CLEP and getting 4 gen-eds (12 credit hours) out of the way my last year of school. Saved a lot of money and was able to replace the unreliable car I had been driving since high school because of it. Plus, freeing up that time I would be devoting to those classes was a definite bonus

Hi there,

Yes, I have finished my general education requirements luckily. This fall I'll have 16 credit hours, then 12 to finish up my degree in the Spring. 28 total left until I graduate (7 courses left).

SNgirl21

Specializes in Nursing Student.

12 hours ago, DMQ48 said:

Treadmill and a textbook, 45 minutes a day did wonders for me. 

I could use some exercise too. I know that's supposed to be good for mood, but sometimes I just don't have the energy. I'm going to try and add in as much as is doable though. Thanks❤️

All totally normal. Just remember, this is a sacrifice you are making in the short term that will pay off in the long term. It's an investment really, and he payoff happens when you finally graduate and pass your boards and start working in a place you enjoy. Do you have health insurance? Does it cover therapist or counselor visits.? If so, I would recommend getting set up with somebody who you can talk to and who can guide you through this time. Nursing school is incredibly stressful, and some people, myself included, need somewhere to go to vent, talk about their problems, and receive guidance.
If I'm having a bad mental health day I usually journal to get my bad day/thoughts out. It helps me to write things down rather than taking a walk as I think too much when I'm agitated. 

https://printsbery.com/planner-templates/daily-schedule

Edited by topazann

SNgirl21

Specializes in Nursing Student.

On 7/14/2020 at 7:53 AM, topazann said:

All totally normal. Just remember, this is a sacrifice you are making in the short term that will pay off in the long term. It's an investment really, and he payoff happens when you finally graduate and pass your boards and start working in a place you enjoy. Do you have health insurance? Does it cover therapist or counselor visits.? If so, I would recommend getting set up with somebody who you can talk to and who can guide you through this time. Nursing school is incredibly stressful, and some people, myself included, need somewhere to go to vent, talk about their problems, and receive guidance.
If I'm having a bad mental health day I usually journal to get my bad day/thoughts out. It helps me to write things down rather than taking a walk as I think too much when I'm agitated. 

https://printsbery.com/planner-templates/daily-schedule

I have insurance through my parents but they are judgemental about mental health, so I've not told them about my struggles w/ depression & anxiety. Plus their insurance isn't very good. I do see a counselor at my university for free though. Thank you for the suggestions💙

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