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are they going to judge me...........need advice

micknmel micknmel (New) New

Hi all I am new to this board and have only posted a view times..But I am worried a little on how to handle this situation. I am 28 years old and I suffer from panic disorder and ocd. It has taken forever to get this under control and I feel that I am ready to live my dream.....being a nurse. My dream is to fishish school and enducate people on this disorder. My first goal is to start LPN school in the fall and go from there. I am going to take it slow and move on. I want to work on the pych ward eventually and help people with panic disorder for I have been there done that. I know longer have the full blown attacks just some general anxiety. Now, I have read on the internet that panic disorder is a disabilty and you can request to take longer on the testing because if this. But how in the heck can I do this. I am afraid that they will judge me. I am afraid that they will think that she has a disorder, she will not be able to be a nurse. I know that being a nurse is alot of hard work and alot of critical thinking and I know that it takes alot out you. But I want to help people. I told the school that I have an anxiety disorder and they had no clue what it was. How do I educate them? How can I let them know that I can be a good nurse. I have what it takes and I can help people? I want to do this and I am gonna do this. I guess I just need some encouragement and suggestions. I would like to also print any responses and take them to the school and show them. I also wanted to mention that I took the entrance exam last month and I did very well except for the math part. The math was the first thing on the test and I truly believe I did terrible because I was a nervous wreck. The middle and end part of the test I did very well on cause that is when I calmed down. There was even a part on the test that tested you on how well you would adapt to nursing a I scored a whopping 97 percent. That made me soooooo happy. Well, sorry for such a long posting. This was very hard for me to write. Any suggestions? Thanks to all the nurses who do what you do.


Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.

OK......well screw educating the school on the disorder issue. They are responsible to know about things (i.e. disease processes, disorders, etc) that may or may not affect how their students perform in thie school.

Despite the need for critical thinking skills, there are always others around that can help you. When is the last time anybody ever heard of only one nurse on a shift for RNF,sdu, icu, ccu, er, etc? I know there are a lot of critical care nurses out there that think they are GOD and every bit as good as some doctors, and they probably feel they can could do anything by themselves. The bottom line is, thats a crcok of @#$%. The best doctors, nurses and medics, all need help from others in any given situation.

Just in case anybody decides to run their mouth on that statement, who can tube, do chest compressions, start a line, give acls drugs, bag after tubing, and do everything themself? Nobody despite any answers that say they could. I consider myself, one of the best nurses on my unit, but there are times when I need help too. Nobody can do it all.

So the bottom line is, go for it!!! Go to school, become a nurse and be the best you can at the job!

As far as concerns about being looked down upon, or having trouble with the academic institution you apply too? Having a "Disorder", is no different than having a disease process, like diabetes, congestive heart failure, seizures, etc etc. No employer, academic institution or other has the right to deny acceptance or employment based on someones health problems. So you will get into school,(its up to you to pass, despite the disorder). If you make it through school and pass boards, you will get a job. Once passed boards, you are considered no different than the rest.

As far as a psych job, I can't say? Never worked there, never wanted too, never will......but thats just me.....and I'll leave it at that.


micknmel: I am in exactly the same boat as you are. I also have a panic disorder, and an eating disorder and take medication to control it. I have also wondered if I will be judged because of this. My therapists are my biggest source of encouragment to take an LPN course despite of what the school or potential employers might think. I hope to start my course soon but constantly fear that I may panic during exams. (Funny thing though, I seem a lot less panicky in actual emergency situations, but I will jump out of my skin if I hear a car horn honking.) I am also considering working with Psychiatric Patients. I would say go for it and don't let anyones misconceptions of a 'disorder' get in the way. If the school doesn't even know what it is, then how can it be a problem for them?Having "been there" will probably make you a better nurse, as you will be able to see a patients positions from both sides, and you should be even more determined to succeed if only to prove to yourself that you can do it. (I know that I am dertermined) All the 'seasoned' nurses I have spoke to have all said everyone has thier moments when they need to ask for help. They have told me that they still look up answers in thier books, still ask other nurses when they have 'lapses in memory' so having a disorder shouldn't make you different from anyone else. Perhaps we can be a source of inspiration to each other. Good luck in your course, I KNOW you can do it! That which doesn't kill us will only make us stronger.

Thanks for the replys they cheered me up some. And CEN35 can you give me lessons on not giving a #$%! what people think lol. Thanks for the reply.

Also.....Sonja, YOu can do it too. If you ever need help with this disorder or just question in general you can email me anytime.

(Funny thing though, I seem a lot less panicky in actual emergency situations, but I will jump out of my skin if I hear a car horn honking.) I liked this...yeah we jump when we hear the slightest thing...but give us traumas and blood and we can handle that. I was told that I am an adreneline junkie and that I would make a good nurse. See we need to put all that nervous energy into something positive. Heres to Nursing school....Good luck to you.

Mick: It's amazing how little is known in the medical community about panic disorders. Bottom line is don't worry about it. If it manifests itself, deal with it at the time. I don't have an anxiety disorder, but I definitely freeze up when taking a test. We all have our moments. Don't let this diagnosis interfere with your career aspirations. And remember, it could happen to any of us at any time. You'll be fine.

I have OCD and it does stink so I understand your problem. My OCD waxes and wanes. Sometimes its real bad and other times its just annoying. Right now, its bad.

Whether this helps or not, I'm 28 and I'm a Nurse Practitioner. I managed to become a Nurse Practitioner with OCD. It was hard at times, but we all have to deal with things. I also had a panic disorder in the past.

Don't worry about being judged. People who judge other people have their own issues. Concentrate on yourself and you will do alright. Good luck!!!


People who judge others are usually the ones that don't have their own lives in order and judge to make themselves feel better. Please don't let your fear of what others may or may not think stop you from becoming a nurse. Have faith in yourself, believe in your goals and then work like the dickens to make them happen. If you're ever feeling down, just drop us all a note here. We've been there and none of us can live without a helping hand or support from time to time. Good luck to you....keep working and you will find the road is not as rocky as you were afraid it would be.


I have worked near 30 years on a psych unit.

You are doing the right thing by bringing this disorder in the open, However I also heard you mention an eating disorder.

None the less, your honesty up front is a must, But let me ask you a question.

At what time will you let this constant thinking of having this problem go?

For if you don't get a handle on it, you will be holding it as a shield in a carreer of constant litigation. Now, I don't know what your familial situation is, but I wouldn't want them to get sucked into this

L-O-N-G, L-O-N-G, road you are paving as your continual path through life.

It may be deep seated, but it is still a neurosis, not a psychosis -


Louie DuLac RN

Micknmel, most schools provide special testing arrangements for those who need them. This ranges from people who are physically handicapped to those who merely suffer from plain ole "test anxiety". There are many, many people out there who have test anxiety. I realize that your generalized anxiety may encompass more than just tests, but I can't imagine that the school wouldn't provide you with whatever you need to take a test successfully. I just completed an ADN RN program and the community college where I went had a special testing center just to accomodate special situations. There was more than one person in my class that used this facility. The nursing educators should be well aware of mood disorders as this is an area they teach. We even had a special counselor for nursing students who would provide emotional support for students. Many people took advantage of this and I never once heard a negative comment from anyone about it. There may be more support in the educational arena than you think. Also, be proud of yourself for continuing your dream. You can do it. Like some of the others said, whoever thinks anything negative about you has their own problems to deal with. Don't worry about them. Good Luck!!!!!!!! smile.gif

Thanks again to all who replied to my topic. You guys are an awesome bunch of people and If I make I hope to run into some awesome professionals as you guys.

Thanks again.

PS. I just wanted to clarify-----in one of the responses to me it was stated that I had a eating disorder, I did not post that.

Oh, and another OCD is Obsessive compulsive disorder.

I am going to have my therapist call the school and see if can arrange special testing. And who cares if they judge. I will be one heck of a nurse!!!!!

Keep the replys coming. Have a nice day smile.gif.


I don't know what ocr is but I do know what panic disorder is so I'll address that.

I wouldn't tell anyone about either until you have started the program and gone through a few situations so that you can assess just how much, when, and how the conditions are going to affect you specifically. You may not need to say anything.

If you do (nursing instructors aren't alway the most compassionate or knowledgeable creatures in the world), go armed with as much info as you can get: articles you clipped, a statement from your doctor, documentation that this is a viable disability, etc. Be prepared to be assertive about your needs.

But do become a nurse if that's your dream. Nursing is just made up of a lot of people with all the quirks, conditions, disabilities, weaknesses and strengths as the rest of the population. You'd probably bring

to a psych job a lot of compassion and knowledge that a person isn't going to get in school.

Go for it & don't look back!

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