I'm going insane!!!

  1. hi everyone,
    Ive been a nurse for about 4 years now and have been following this forum off and on. So far I like the paycheck and taking care of patients, but I cannot handle the stress/anxiety. I understand this is a constant issue on this forum but I just want some individual advice. I've had 4 jobs now since I got my license, so I guess I don't look very reliable or committed on paper.

    My current job is homecare (been doing it for about 3 months) and my anxiety level is sky-high! I can't sleep, I can't eat, my heart pounds, I've had a headache for a few days, I'm constantly arguing with my fiance, etc etc. and bringing him down. He hates it. I hate it. I can't take a LOA because I'm the breadwinner while he finishes up school. I try to exercise as often as possible, take long warm baths, I have lavendar all over my place to calm me down, but its never enough. I'm always worried I'll do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing. I've made a few mistakes (nothing that would hurt a patient, but just silly stuff like giving a family member the wrong number to order a bed, etc). Im extra cautious, letting the doctors know more often about their pts. I feel like Im annoying my coworkers constantly asking questions. Its all the learning process what I've realised is wrong, but I CANNOT STAND the unknown. I cannot stand not knowing everything. I cannot stand the unpredictable. I love my employer and never want to leave it. But I don't like the position. Or at least its not for me. I cannot move jobs anytime soon. During the interview, my boss questioned my colorful resume. So I don't think it would be good to leave. So I guess I should give it 1-2 years until I think about changing.

    Ive considered psych nursing. Actually that's why I wanted to be a nurse. When I graduated from nursing school, though, there were limited psych nursing jobs. The only jobs were per diem with 2yrs experience. So I did the med/surg route hoping to get into pysch, but i got involved in the elderly instead. :P there is a parttime psych position and per diem position available now. however, I dont know if I could handle it. any thoughts on the stress/anxiety level of psych patients? they would be medically stable, just mentally unstable which I am comfortable with. I enjoy talking and "counseling" not acutely treating and monitoring. :P

    So how do people handle the anxiety of not messing up? I feel like there is so much of nursing that I just dont know!! I hate it!! I do have an appt on thursday to meet with a counselor. However, I do not believe in anti-anxiety, SSRIs, etc because 1)I hate the side effects and 2)I dont want to rely on medication to fix my "fixable" problem so seeing a MD is out of the picture. I'm very sensitive to medications and they just totally screw me up whether it be BCP or psych meds (Ive been on several different kinds).
  2. Visit Nurse4life09 profile page

    About Nurse4life09

    Joined: Feb '09; Posts: 30; Likes: 8
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in Med/Surg, OR, HH,Case Management

    7 Comments

  3. by   arelle68
    You need to get some help. See a counselor or a clergy person. You are not coping. Nursing is the most stressful job. Home Care is the least stressful job in Nursing. This is not about your job, necessarily. This is about your anxiety level. Get some help. Pray.
  4. by   Whispera
    Psych nursing can be extremely stressful, depending on your patients. Not all psych patients are medically stable, and when they're hospitalized, they are sooo far from psychiatrically stable sometimes that it's mind-boggling. You will have to monitor and intervene constantly. Listening is a skill you'll use, but not counseling so much, except in the "therapeutic use of self" sense. Often there's not time to do as much of that as you'd like.

    People mess up. We're human. Everyone makes mistakes. I'm glad you're going to see a counselor. It sounds like you're very very overwhelmed. I'm concerned that you don't believe in psych medications, since if you're a psych nurse you'll be dispensing them and educating your patients about them. Your personal belief might come across to your patients. Also, I think you might have an inaccurate attitude toward them. They work for lots of people! Maybe you just haven't had the one that will work for you, or the right dose.

    What do you do to relax? What do you do for fun? I'm concerned about you!
  5. by   eriksoln
    Get help before ineffective coping mechanisms really start to hurt you (over eating, anger..........you said its affecting your relationship, drinking, isolation).

    Dont be too proud to use the employee assistance offered at most hospitals. Find something in your personal life that will add perspective to your nursing life. A new hobby or reasserting yourself to something worthwhile (family, church.....whatever).

    Choose your outside activities wisely. You seem overwhelmed by the variety nursing confronts you with ("there is so much I dont know"). Hence, your home life should be mostly stable. What I mean by that is, your hobbies and activities should have routine to them.

    For instance, I watch the same movies over and over (star wars, shawshank redemption, tombstone). For some reason, it has a calming effect one me.
  6. by   deftonez188
    You seriously need some medication - go see your physician, see if that is the missing piece - best of luck
  7. by   Florence Ratched
    I have been involved in several fields of nursing, and I can promise you that home health is NOT the least stressful job in nursing, as you are out there on your own with nothing but a phone and whatever supplies are in your car, and little, if any, ancillary support. I've worked psych, ER, private duty, and home health, and the latter, by far, is the most stressful. It's easy for nurses in other areas to thumb their noses at home health nurses. That's all nurses do anyway, talk about how nurses in other fields "don't do nothing," and that's the very reason we are treated poorly by the rest of the medical profession-- we can't stop being predacious to our own.

    As far as being medicated, I'd like to see the stats on how many RNs are on SSRIs. I think if you have to be medicated to handle your job, then you need to find another one, which is why I'm in between jobs. When 100% of your peers are medicated, perhaps something needs to change in the work environment; however, practically the whole world is snowed by SSRIs.

    Nursing is hard. All of it. Had I been aquainted with a non-married RN and seen the struggles of life (which mainly revolve around career, with no balance for the other things) I would have elected to be a dog breeder, or flower arranger.

    Just my two cents...
  8. by   LLLLiiiFFEsaveer
    [quote=Nurse4life09;3702078]hi everyone,
    I cannot handle the stress/anxiety. I'm always worried I'll do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing. I cannot stand not knowing everything. I cannot stand the unpredictable.

    So how do people handle the anxiety of not messing up? I feel like there is so much of nursing that I just dont know!!

    I do not believe in anti-anxiety, SSRIs, etc quote]

    Relax.
    Thats it. Just relax some.

    I like your thinking about ssri's... Me too. I have seen psychiatric illness, and borderline personality dissorder is one of my favorites when it comes up!

    I would not believe otherwise to the fact that I, and WE are all ignorant to ourselves, right? I can see your back, you can see mine, but niether of us can see our own... I am sure you are doing better than you think, but you sound lost?

    True psychiatric illness, requiring meds :;: is a realatively new era, & all, but then again, early western civilizations did not have priveledge to such "chemical imbalance", balancer-out-erzs (you need to research it more! They do mess things up.. up there, in the brain.

    Especially when they are continually taken for many years, every single day). Although, I do believe that some people whom are just out loose free in this word definitely would/do benefit greatly from just such scientific break-throughsl...

    What don't U know?
    Of that, what is most important to know for YOUR part of nursing? You will never master OB if you strictly try to run through Trauma after Trauma...
    Get all your certs, and make sure you get them for the right reasons (MONEY!!!) - (Just kidding)
    What areas are you weeEEeek in? Learn to improve.

    I mean, your just as far along as me, and I try to just soak it up as it comes... It never seems to stop coming...
  9. by   DolceVita
    Quote from deftonez188
    You seriously need some medication - go see your physician, see if that is the missing piece - best of luck
    Wow! Surely you don't mean to sound as offhand as you did. I don't think anyone on this board is qualified to suggest medication on the basis of one post.

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