anyone else struggle with Anxiety? - page 2

I always thought once I'd been a nurse for a few years that the anxiety would go away. I'm talking SEVERE, heart pounding, "can't sleep, want to throw up and head is killing me because I have to go... Read More

  1. by   nurseinlimbo
    I suffered from anxiety all through school, especially in clinicals until I really got to know my instructor. With each new one I would think "this is the one who will kick me out". It was so bad that I failed the first practical exam we had on head to toe assessments, where we had to do a full systems assessment complete with all the appropriate questions on a fellow student. My partner went first and the teacher took her to the hall afterwards and told her she failed (I overheard just in time to do mine).

    Once clinicals were over, my first preceptor was really anal and worried, she'd never preceptored before and was always hanging over my shoulder, which really makes me nervous. My issue is mostly with feeling like I'm constantly being judged.

    When I was in L & D I told one of the nurses how I felt and then said I'd be so relieved once I was finished school, she laughed and said "no then you'll just constantly worry about getting fired". Which was true, I did.

    It always takes me a good long while at a job before those feelings go away, and during the time I think I'm particularly sensitive to criticism and react defensively. People interpret this as thinking I know everything when it is really just extreme anxiety and a complex about being judged. The more they watch the more I screw up and shake and sweat and have high bloodpressure.

    I have learned that I work better in environments where I am alone, deal with Pts one on one and am independent. I also started on Wellbutrin, and take Elavil because I would lay awake at night and worry about what had happened or what might happen. Now I just sleep.
  2. by   MsPiggy
    Me too, have had anxiety/severe panic attacks since age father had awful ones too. I was on Paxil for a few yr.s but then started having negative side effects, took me 6 months to wean off it. Now I just take .5 xanax prn, a few time a week usually, unless i'm flying I take a hefty dose and pray for sleep and to not freak out during the flight, lol..last time I took 2 mg before our flight & screamed (how embarassing!) during take-off.

    I had a unusally severe panic attack while driving this week but I can usually correlate my panic attacks with increased stressors at home & work. I think for me the answer is to run away to a island somewhere -alone- and paint coconuts for a living...

    Hope you find what works for you. Try to set aside time for yourself to just read and or relax without others making demands upon you (at home esp) That helps me a lot, sometimes you just have to say "no" and then hide out...I think us being care givers seems to be a green light for family, friends and even perfect strangers feel ok asking for favors, help and advice. It gets overwhelming, take care.
  3. by   SillyLilly
    Yeah.... but I have been taking Paxil for 3 years now and its helped me tons. Except I lack libido.

    I also had counseling, and seek help in positive thinking (looking in the mirror, confronting myself and telling myself I am a good nurse) I know that is lame, but I believe it has helped me reinforce positive thinking and I do not call in sick or ditch school because I have toooo much anxiety to go (has happened in the past)

    I also want to try hypnotherapy.

    Exercise is helpful too. Meditation--I am trying that but my mind wanders too much.

    I am trying to ween myself slowly off the paxil. I was on 40, now I am taking 10. But I am not doing that well.

    Good luck to you, and you ARE NOT alone in the way you feel. Remember that. There are ALOT of resources and empathic people out there for you.
  4. by   nurseangel47
    I, too, am one of those who tend to be a nervous nelly over things like job performance, what others think of me, etc. that add up and overwhelm me sometimes. I am on lamictal(bipolar), plus cymbalta. And this combination has done wonders for my disease altogether. That plus talk therapy often with a counselor. And yes, lots of prayer. Hope this helps. You're not alone...not by a long shot! Good luck...keep on posting and reading. A lot of issues affect not just one of us or even a handful. But there may be many in the same boat as you. You never know. Even the most together people have problems, you'd be surprised. I know a lot of professionals in healthcare that are on antidepressants/antianxiety agents. Take care.
  5. by   jenrninmi
    [quote=lannisz;1947678] I was put on antidepressants in nursing school and I'm still on them (Wellbutrin).quote]
    I've been told that Wellbutrin can make anxiety worse.
  6. by   cc902
    I have been a registered nurse for over 19 yrs and when I stopped working on the med surg I had been on for fourteen of those years, I knew it was time. Anxiety became a big problem that I thought I was hiding from the people who knew me best. When I finally sought professional help, I realized that hiding it wasnt what was best for me. I think that getting help from a professional that you can talk to is a great first step. Good luck
  7. by   adrienurse
    The effects of medication on anxiety are different from person to person.
  8. by   RN BSN 2009
    When I get really anxious, I do hot baths, deep breathing, and ask someone in my family to give a deep massage. Usually helps!
  9. by   shawna_alexis
    i too have anxiety, and i'm on like 5 different medications for it but i;m also bipolar. I'm just getting into nursing school, and i feel confident that everything will be ok. a doctor once told me, when i had a panic attack or anything like that to stick my mouth and my nose under my shirt and do some deep breathing, he say that you lack oxygen and that that will help if you have an attack, it's helped me, give it a try.
  10. by   lizzybeth
    I believe that some anxiety is healthy. It makes you aware and careful. But, if it is paralyzing you and making your life miserable even when you are not at work, then you need to talk to someone and get to the root of it. I am also a very anxious person, especially in the face of the unknown--which is what nurses walk into and deal with every shift they work! I tried meds and I also went to talk to a counselor. The meds help the symptoms but not the cause. My counselor helped me to see that my "reactions" to things, potentially or immediate, were my cause of my anxiety. I am a senior nursing student, I have had many mornings before clinicals feeling like the world was going to come to an end and I am not exaggerating! DOOM and GLOOM and pounding heart, sweating--you name it.
    I am much better now thanks to my last semester's clinical instructor. I don't know how she did it but she sent us on our way with our meds, didn't breathe down our backs, but at the same time was there for us(BUT she made sure we knew NOT to need her, unless absolutely PERTINENT!) So, I had no choice but to take control and do what I had to do. And I did it--as a result I feel I can take control of situations better and I have much more confidence.
    Believe me, I know it is apples and oranges (student vs. really being out there alone as an RN) but I am trying to hone in on the skills that will help me deal with and block out anxiety that originates from somewhere inside of me that is unfounded. I think a feeling of control is needed and also the ability to anticipate events before thaey happen.
    Sorry so long, I hope this helps, counselors are great. Get a good one with good references! None of us should have to live this way!
  11. by   Epona
    I believe the question to ask when you get the anxiety is WHY am I feeling this way?? WHAT is it that is bothering me?? I too have dealt with anxiety before and when it rears its ugly head I step back and say "ok.. what is bothering me?" Once I figure it out, I try and put it in perspective.

    I am starting RN school in Jan. We as nurses, do have A LOT on our plates. Our patients lives depend on us. It's a lot to deal with. I can understand. I will prolly have some anxiety myself. It's normal to a degree. Ask a fellow nurse or doctor you work with how they deal with it. I am sure you are not the only one who deals with anxiety at your workplace. Talk to a close friend who is a healthcare worker. If you find the anxiety really interferring with your life, seek counseling.

    There is an old saying that goes "Let go and let God." Sometimes you just have to take that philosophy. You can't control everything. It's impossible. You make mistakes. HOPEFULLY one does not suffer at your hands, but you have to know you tried your best and let a greater power guide you. That is all one can do.

    As a side note...I was leaving for France not long ago and had to take about a 13 hour plane ride over the Atlantic. I said to my Mom, "What if the plane crashes. I am scared." And she added, "You could get in your car and drive to the dry cleaners 5 minutes from your house and get killed in a car crash. You just can't worry about it. What's meant to be, will be. Now go" She gave me a big hug and off to the plane I went. I had butterflys and my heart was pounding. I have a mild health condition and was not sure how I would make out in France if I had an emergency. But I left for France in faith, ended up having a great trip and made out just fine. In the end, it does not pay to worry. Just do your best and leave the rest to the one upstairs. That's all one can do. GOOD LUCK!!!!
  12. by   chadash
    I have to admit, I have got to be the Woody Allen of nursing assistants. I probably burn more calories worrying that walking.
  13. by   NPAlby
    I've also dealt with anxiety ever since I can remember. I've been on and off Celexa, Prozac Cymbalta and nothing seems to work. I'm a psych nurse but even still I've kind of given up on meds (for now at least). I've done some therapy which provided insight but did not change my reaction (anxiety) to stress. I probably will go back to therapy and meds but I feel kind of discouraged right now. I'm trying to accept my anxiety and work with it (restructuring my thinking). I do have some hope that my anxiety will lessen over time but I realize it's a lot of years of messed up thinking that I have to undo.
    BTW Wellbutrin is great for depression but can actually cause and/or worsen anxiety.
    For the nurses who have taken benzos or beta blockers for their anxiety how has it worked for you? I'm afraid I'm too small (4-11, 100lbs) and worry that body won't be able to tolerate it (sedation, hypotension). Thanks in advance!