how to deal with anxiety

  1. From reading an earlier post about anxiety from working on a medical floor and people responding by recommending that the person "take care of their anxiety," what ways do you handle it without resorting to taking meds? Or are meds necessary? I have had some anxiety attacks, but I figured every nurse must have them.
  2. Visit august07 profile page

    About august07

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 25; Likes: 13

    6 Comments

  3. by   VegRN
    First of all, good job on being proactive with your anxiety.
    You said you have panic attacks so you must have seen a professional at some point. If not, what do you mean by anxiety attacks? What exactly happens.
    I used to get very anxious when I was a nursing student. I saw a therapist for awhile, got at the root of the anxiety and now I don't have an issue with anxiety at all except the day to day anxieties that every person has. I was very anxious before, anxiety was getting in the way of my critical thinking and basic ability to do my job and be a good student.

    Some things that helped me were deep breathing when I felt myself getting anxious, focusing on the task instead of the emotions and working through the anxiety with a therapist. I highly recommend seeing a therapist if the anxiety is getting in the way of performing your duties.

    Meds are not always necessary and may not be beneficial. Benzos are not widely prescribed anymore because they are so addictive and people develop tolerances to them quickly. Some SSRI's are used to treat anxiety as well and they may be helpful. There is a reason why you are anxious and I recommend getting at the root of that. See a professional and go from there.

    Good luck.
  4. by   futurecnm
    Quote from august07
    From reading an earlier post about anxiety from working on a medical floor and people responding by recommending that the person "take care of their anxiety," what ways do you handle it without resorting to taking meds? Or are meds necessary? I have had some anxiety attacks, but I figured every nurse must have them.
    I'm sure almost every nurse feels some anxiety from time to time, but I don't think everyone has "attacks". As a student I've had lots of anxiety but never what I'd call an anxiety attack.
  5. by   pengoo2008
    Over the last semester, my anxiety has been through the roof. Now that I'm off for the summer I am feeling much better but it was almost unbearable during school. I've never had anxiety that bad before, don't know why it waited until my junior year to kick in, but it did.

    I guess I can't really be of help, but I am really curious to see what people suggest here.

    The things that helped me most were eating well, giving myself enough time to do things, and trying to lower some really high standards (this was really hard).

    We shall see how senior year goes in the fall =/
    Last edit by pengoo2008 on May 23, '07 : Reason: mistake
  6. by   ldh
    Quote from pengoo2008
    The things that helped me most were eating well, giving myself enough time to do things, and trying to lower some really high standards (this was really hard).

    We shall see how senior year goes in the fall =/
    I totally agree with you here. I spent the better part of 5 years trying to lower my standards (while in my nursing program). I am finding that this is still a work in progress . . . sometimes I just have to sit myself down and say "the world will not come to a screeching halt if I am not perfect . . . I will not stay up all night worrying because I forgot to zero the pumps before the end of my shift....." hehe. This helps with the anxiety. For the most part I struggled with severe anxiety throughout most of my clinical placements - I think it has to do with being rapidly integrated as a student/guest on a particular unit/ward, and then just as you start to feel comfortable you get the rug whipped out from under you and you're forced into yet another completely alien (and possibly hostile) learning environment! It's like changing jobs every 6-12 weeks, having to perform very well in each job, getting paid nothing to do the job, and to have your future riding on how well/poorly you do this job. Personally I prefer to feel fairly comfortable (but not too comfortable) in my place of employment. Being a nursing student, for me, was very tough. I think it's normal to feel an elevated degree of anxiety!!
  7. by   KellNY
    Quote from futurecnm
    I'm sure almost every nurse feels some anxiety from time to time, but I don't think everyone has "attacks". As a student I've had lots of anxiety but never what I'd call an anxiety attack.
    Yes, there is a VERY big difference.

    When I was going through a difficult time in my life, I would have frequent periods of high anxiety, where I felt fidgety, nervous, ill at ease, upset stomach, etc.

    I've also had panic attacks, and they are a different beast-you literally cannot function while in the middle of an attack-it really is Fight or Flight. Hyperventilation/can't breathe, heart in your throat, sweating, feel like you're gonna have a BM in your pants, a full on panic. (Imagine how you'd feel if someone held a gun to your head and cocked it. You wouldn't be able to think, move with real coordination, process things, etc. Now imagine feeling like that out of nowhere.)

    I'm not trying to minimize anyone elses experiences, but I did want to differentiate between generalized anxiety and an anxiety attack.

    Having said all that, Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic formula (comes in pills, lingual/sublingual spray and drops) based on the bach flower remedies. It's been known to reduce stress and anxiety and I've found that it works quite well for me many times. And because it's homeopathic, you can't od on it or become dependant. It is not a medication. (not to be confused with herbal supplements, tinctures and such) I think it's about $8 for a small spray bottle that fits in your pocket.
  8. by   Nurse89
    great advice from all..and keep in mind there is a difference between an anxiety attack and a panic attack,,personally the latter seems condescending (he/she panicked) ,,there's soo much more to it than that
    and yes, you're right, the world is not going to end because you didn't reset all your pumps to zero
    i think alot of us understand where you are coming from..relax (you can try and ease up on yourself
    if you do have any other significant sx's definitely seek some help, diagnosed anxiety, and the people i have seen suffer from it, is no joke
    take care and let us know how you are doing hugs

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