Anyone Bipolar??? - page 2
I was wondering if anyone is, or knows of any successful bipolar nurses. I am non-medicated but cope with my symptoms via behavior modification and therapy. I do not want to rely on medication if I... Read More
Mar 18, '07Occupation: RN Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience in geriatric, hospice, med/surg ; From: US ; Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 601; Likes: 40Relieved to find this topic, also. I was out of control manic last spring. Started in the winter, escalated into the next season. My daughter had me involuntarily committed to a state hospital. It was not what I needed/wanted, of course. I permanently severed/damaged relationships prior to the hospitalization. On meds now for control, and in talk therapy. Still learning how to cope. In a non-nursing job now. At a minimum wage pay. But thoroughly enjoy the work I do right now. It is working with dogs at a dog day care center! Almost like play, rather than work, hence the low wage! LOL....if it weren't for my husband, I'd be selling the house, regrouping totally financially in that way. I am in serious arrears in credit card debt, though, since I didn't work for nearly a year in nursing arena. Need to re-enter nursing at some point soon at least part time for financial purposes and to rehone nursing skills, but am anxious over that bit so plan to not push myself to avoid a relapse of anxiety/mania, etc.
Once again, VERY grateful for the opportunity to vent here. I DID feel "crazy" while manic. I am relieved with the meds I have now. But cannot possible afford them once I lose my medical insurance via COBRA thru former job...
Thank you, all, for sharing. Lots of luck to us all.
May 18, '07Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 86; Likes: 13i was told i was bipolar. started on prozac. Stopped that after it didn't work real well and lost weight. Since then, never used anything and never really needed to say i was bipolar. I think i have it mostly under control. I dont have manic episodes, but i do get depressed/happy days a bit. I get insomnia and fatigue though. Could be the stress im under too.
May 18, '07Joined: May '06; Posts: 122; Likes: 4OMG! So grateful to find this thread. I too am bipolar, was first dx 25 years ago, but resented the dx so paid no attention to it and spent the next 12 years in and out of control --- exhausting. In 1997 I was dx again with bipolar I, mixed episodes, and had taken every med under the sun to try to get things under control. Psychotherapy, sometimes 2 X week, but mostly weekly which still continues (which means a 2 hour drive each way to the therapist - weekly). I had been off meds succcessfully (doing very mindful activities to tend to the bipolar) for 4 years until the stress increased and lack of sleep continued in my second semester of BSN program. I seized in class one day and was taken to the ER for full work-up. (actually called pseudo-seizure - because due to psych reasons) I am also dx PTSD which just adds to how attentive I need to be regarding my mental stability.
I ended up in the psych unit at the hospital for a week and back on meds again. The psych unit I was in is a teaching hospital and included students from my BSN program ----- they were great, so supportive, and totally HIPPA-aware. These meds have been a life saver (though I seem to require 11 hours of sleep nightly!!) My instructors have been incredibly supportive and allowed me the remainder of the semester to make up classwork for the week I missed. Because of the amt of sleep required d/t meds, I have had to reconcile that receiving B's instead of A's is really okay. I also noticed with the new meds, that my ability to concentrate has become so keen, that study time is incredibly efficient and have actually not had a compromise in grades at all.
I plan on staying on these meds at least through graduation, and also plan on continuing to get MSN after graduation. The goal is PMHNP --- makes sense huh!?
May 26, '07Occupation: "Exploring my options" ;) Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep. ; From: US ; Joined: Apr '03; Posts: 11,245; Likes: 8,515I'm still here and I'm still bipolar
I too have chosen to work in a more "fun" job for now - maybe sometime I will go back to nursing or at least some kind of human service capacity - but I am treating myself very well right now - it is so hard for me to know when "too much is too much".
I haven't been manic for almost a year and a half (smoke free that whole time too because of being in the hosp for a month, hey hey! ) The depression hasn't been too bad either. Perhaps this is politically incorrect, but I must say that I attribute this to applying Biblical principles to my life and surrendering my life to Christ \O/ I'd been pretty lackadaisical about my faith up until then, but I was knocked to the ground BIG TIME this time. I tell you, my life's been better this year alone than with 20 years of psychiatry and medication! I am working on weaning down my meds slowly with my Dr., but I will keep you posted on that. God made doctors and people to make medications, too, so I need to use caution with this, and not go off them out of self-will or pride or a need to be "normal". I'm NEVER going to be "normal" (who would WANT to be though! LOL!)
May 29, '07Joined: May '07; Posts: 12; Likes: 1Quote from phoenix72Dear Phoenix,I was wondering if anyone is, or knows of any successful bipolar nurses. I am non-medicated but cope with my symptoms via behavior modification and therapy. I do not want to rely on medication if I don't absolutely have to. Will I be forced to disclose my condition? If so, will I have to be medicated to be employable? I am not a severe case and don't have radical mood swings. Most people are not aware of my condition unless I tell them. This has really been on my mind so I appreciate your help.
I have both narcolepsy and bipolar illness. What luck! I have been working as an RN for 3 years now. I am on meds for both illnesses. I had refused to disclose my meds for my current job and they respected my right to refuse. I work a .7 and have not succeeded working more than that. I do have rough patches. Had one recently and my MD took me off work for 1 week. You are employable. You would be suprised at the illnesses of your peers. I have several peers dealing with severe depression. You are in a silent majority. I truly believe in medications-without them I have suffered and so have my loved ones. Hope this helps.
May 31, '07Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 610; Likes: 324I was diagnosed as bipolar and put on several different meds. As long as I take my meds and try to keep my schedule as steady as possible I do pretty well. I always try to be up front with my employer so they can't come back later and say they were kept in the dark about things. Anyway, they can't discriminate because of a condition.
Jul 23, '07Occupation: staff RN Specialty: Intermediate ICU, Medical ICU, PACU,CCU ; Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 15; Likes: 2i was diagnosed bipolar type 2 a year and a half ago, after being misdiagnosed for 20 years. the mds figured it out after a suicide attempt and subsequent psych hospitalization. my mania is anger, irritability and short tempered. i do well on my meds (lithium, lamictal and emsam- a mao patch). i took 6 months off work to regroup and spend time with my husband and 3 children. when i went back to work on a ccu/stepdown unit, i spoke to several of my supervisors and advised them of my diagnosis and experiences, they were very supportive and reiterated their confidence in my abilities, i do need to take my meds- i do not want a repeat of my experiences. i have not ever told my co workers of my bipolar illness. those of us nurses with mental illness are employable, vital, appreciated and definitely make a positive impact on our patients.
Jul 23, '07Occupation: ER RN Going to start travel nursing. Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in ER-Adult and Peds, also ICU ; Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 97; Likes: 24WOW! I thought I was the only one! So happy to find myself in such good company. I was just diagnosed as BP type II or Borderline Personality Disorder. I have been miss diagnosed since I was 14yo. I am on Seroquel and Klonopin. They have been very helpful. My life was so rough my psychiatrist diagnosed me as having situational depression, also b/c none 0f the antidepressants worked on me they made me worse. I have hypomania. I have problems with rage,and irritability. I have not disclosed my condition at work. But then I am an ER nurse and we are all a little off. LOL My daughter has had 43 brain surgeries and over 50 total surgeries in the last 10 years. Has resp arrested twice on me at home. So it was assumed that my s/s were related to that. My bigest problem is that when stressed (which I almost always am) the OCD drives me crazy. I live aprox. 100 miles from work and drive back and forth on each shift. I also work nights so it throws off my Seroquel dosing when I work back to back shifts. Crazy things like I will check to make sure I have my stethascope 5 or 6 times before I leave at the door! Everything I take with me gets check over and over which causes time problems. When I pack for my 13 mo son to go to the baby sitter I do the same thing check and recheck everything. Down to silly things like perfume or enough outfits for my son. I will pack enough outfits so he can be dressed warmer or cooler with extra for diaper leaks. I will pack enough stuff that he could live there for a week not a shift. lol It is really causing problems. Anyone have advice for that? Sometimes I don't know weither to cry or laugh. I usually laugh b/c I have found that exibiting weakness only brings out abusive behavior from those arround you. Esp. in nursing. This post is turning into a rant, sorry!:selfbonk:
Tired Brave Heart
Jul 23, '07Occupation: "Exploring my options" ;) Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep. ; From: US ; Joined: Apr '03; Posts: 11,245; Likes: 8,515Quote from TiredBraveHeartTired Brave Heart
Just wanted to say hi, yes I am still bipolar (lol) - doing fine on meds but not willing to go back to nursing real real soon.
That compulsive thing you mentioned sounds like normal for a nurse and a mom, even without a dx!
Jul 23, '07Joined: Jun '05; Posts: 106; Likes: 41I was officially dx'd 6 years ago with BP I but am relatively stable. I work closely with my psychiatrist and therapist to keep a close watch on my moods and behavior. My husband always is the first to notice when I need some PRN meds. I am very careful about stress, sleep, diet and of course medication management.
I did get through nursing school and am just starting my first RN job. I'm not sure if I will be able to handle nights or even full time. I've always been hard on myself and taking care of my condition sometimes feels like a cop-out to me. Somehow I think I should live up to some ideal I have even with all the setbacks.
Anyway there are a lot of health care providers with mental health issues and you are not alone! I have always been pretty open about my condition (I figured it was the only way to fight the stigma) but now I haven't disclosed it on my RN license application or to my employer. I will release that info on a need to know basis. I'm very involved in mental health advocacy and community groups so I'm not hiding anything! Just make sure you take good care of yourself! Patient safety is first priority.
Jul 24, '07Occupation: staff RN Specialty: Intermediate ICU, Medical ICU, PACU,CCU ; Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 15; Likes: 2i believe that we, the diagnosed bipolar and otherwise mentally ill, generally are great nurses. if controlled by meds, we are equally empathetic and skilled as the "normal" staff. we are more in touch with our feelings, and if we don't recognize our symptoms. frequently a significant other or psych person will. have you ever worked with a crabby, mean co-worker that flies off the handle for no reason, is irritable and impatient? perhaps that nurse is suffering from mental illness, but does not have the insight to know.
to all that are anxious to start ot continue a nursing job. be good to yourself. find a job that fits you and your personality. as for me, i am an adrenaline junkie, so i work in a icu setting. that is not for everyone. i work per diem 12 hour night shift 2 days a week- i call my schedule. night shift works for 2 reasons-my family obligations and i'm a bit of an insomniac. i haven't told co-workers of my bpd because i don't want them to doubt my abilities in the icu setting, these are the things that work for me- nights, icu, part timeand my privacy regarding my disease. the individual needs to figure out what works for themselves.
just starting out in nursing, there is a a natural apprehension. be good to yourselves.
sorry for being so verbose. :wink2::wink2:
Nov 13, '07Joined: Oct '07; Posts: 5,673; Likes: 7,496I also have been diagnosed with BP2 and ADHD. Is it me or do us beepers seem to do better with the psych and/or Alzheimer patients? It seems like I understand them better than my non mentally ill co-workers. :spin: Does anyone else experience this or is it just me???:lol_hitti
Nov 13, '07Occupation: "Exploring my options" ;) Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep. ; From: US ; Joined: Apr '03; Posts: 11,245; Likes: 8,515Quote from StanleyRWIt seems that way to me too. I enjoy them too for the most part. They don't seem all that foreign, ha ha! I also do well w/ the alcoholic population - same reason, I am in recovery.Is it me or do us beepers seem to do better with the psych and/or Alzheimer patients? It seems like I understand them better than my non mentally ill co-workers. :spin: Does anyone else experience this or is it just me???:lol_hitti
Nice to "meet" you!