How many nurses take antidepressants or antianxiety medication? - page 5

I was wondering and it seems to be quite prominent. Nurses seem to have to take medication alot. Mine started in nursing school. Of course I was a single mom of two, going to nursing school, building... Read More

  1. by   lsyorke
    Mama, I know people who have had to open the capsule and count out the little pills inside to lower the dose slower. Really pathetic that people have to go through this!
  2. by   peaceful
    Good to hear a side of the story from someone choosing an alternative to meds for relieving depression. I am a psychiatric nurse who hands out tons of meds a day. I do believe that there are alternatives to relieving depression and offer every possible choice to patients. The psychiatrist who i work closely with also does not push meds. I have seen amazing results with meds and without. I think healthcare professionals must keep their minds open to all possibilities to treating mental illness.

    Quote from robred
    As a teen who suffered from clinical depression and contemplated suicide, I feel I can comment on this.

    I refused to go on any meds as a 16-17 yr old. Instead, I chose intensive outpt counseling and the effects of loving relationships. Today, as an adult, I think we need to concentrate on keeping our lives simpler and lowering stress and steer farther away from antidepressants and anxiolytics. Don't misconstrue; there is a need for those meds, but I think we are too quick to seek a fast fix rather than removing the causes of our ills.
  3. by   lsyorke
    Peaceful, you and the psychiatrist that you work with are a breath of fresh air! Thank you.
  4. by   DR2004RN
    I have taken Celexa for the last two years and it has been a lifesaver! The only SE's I have experienced were dry mouth and weight gain (I have gained about 20 pounds in the last two years.) I tried to wean off of it about 4 months ago, but I was not able to do it. I was emotional, paranoid and difficult to live with. I went back on, and since then, I have been feeling wonderful. I was afraid at first to start on any meds for fear I would become a zombie, but I don't feel that way, I feel...... human, the Celexa helped. My husband was on Effexor, and switched to Desyrel because the Effexor was messing up his sleep, he would be awake all night, but sleep after work in the evening. He weaned off just the way the doctor instructed him to do, and he was fine. The Desyrel has really changed his life too. We are happier together.
  5. by   Audreyfay
    I was on Paxil for about 6 months, when my daughter went through those rough teenage years, and I was a single parent at that time. Went off it for about 5 years. Then when I moved into cold climates again, I found I felt better if I was on it. I don't think it is because of our profession or who we are as a whole. I think it is because we are more informed that there is help for those of us who have depression and anxiety. It isn't caused by anything other than chemical imbalances. Just like the use of insulin pumps. Of the people who have type 1 diabetes and are healthcare professionals, they have a significantly higher number who are on insulin pumps, than the general public. So, does that mean they have a harder-to-control diabetes? Of course not. It means they are more informed and know that an insulin pump makes their life easier and their blood sugars easier to control. So, I choose an antidepressant, until I retire to Hawaii or Arizona! (FYI: I know I never will retire, but it never hurts to dream!)
  6. by   medpsychRN
    I was thinking similar things about diabetes. Some need insulin, some take oral agents and some do well on diet and exercise alone. Same with depression. Some people do well with seeing a therapist and there is no need for meds. Others need meds for awhile. Some need it full time. The key to managing any disease is to have a good physician, ask alot of questions and do a little research. I work with top of the line psychiatrists who teach and do research. They are on the cutting edge of treatment. I am fortunate to see very unusual, difficult cases. Some are genetic (no, neither parent has mental illness but it is along the line of congenital), some are related to other diseases and some are refractory. There is a wonderful outpatient department and not everyone is started on meds. Each and every patient is treated as an individual and medical causes for mental illness are ruled out first (if possible).

    It's a difficult decision to seek treatment and equally a difficult decision to take meds. I honestly haven't come across anyone who is looking for an easy way out. Most depressed people tough it out for a long time before seeking help.
  7. by   asher315
    Count me in the medicated group. Through the years I have been on everything. It's not my profession (but it does add stress!) But heredity that has given me chronic depression for which I now take Paxil and Wellbutin daily. I hate taking medicine but I hate what I become when I don't.
  8. by   hipab4hands
    Quote from earle58
    and yes, there are those psychiatrists that overprescribe, the candyman.
    totally inappropriate meds/dosages.

    but one needs to experiment with diff meds before they find a good fit. and yes, we're talking about people whose lives have been debilitated to the extent that running around the block just will not suffice.

    the right meds along with therapy is the answer for many many people.
    I started taking antidepressants about a year ago for chronic pain-it has been great. I can now sleep and get a full night's sleep. In return, I now have energy to do the things I need to take care of.

    In addition, I know work was contributing to the insomnia, so I made lifestyle changes. I cut back on my work hours, no longer work extra hours on my days off, and when I'm off duty, I'm off duty. I will not accept any work related calls on my off hours.

    Life is good!
  9. by   ARNPsomeday
    [font=Book Antiqua]Thank you for starting and adding to this enlightening thread. It means alot to this student nurse.

    As an abused child, I had depression, but wasn't diagnosed until the age of 34 after I lost my appetite. Was started on prozac and educated myself thoroughly about the medication and the condition. A year later, I decded to wean myself off it. Five months later, I was sad again. This is one of the most horrendous illnesses a person can suffer! Later, a new psychiatrist gradually put me on five different meds. Two for serotonin action (one tricyclic), and three others that did the same exact thing . (That man is no longer practicing psychiatry!) My primary physician then referred me to one who is also a professor and has wonderful credentials. I have been on effexor and clonazepam prn for anxiety and have never, ever in my life been more stable, productive, kind, and able to learn and think more clearly. My problem is a lack of interest in sex. But I'd rather be asexual than depressed. And I gained alot of weight, but have learned to control my impulses.

    Like others, I am an advocate for therapy or counseling. The fit with the therapist has to be a good one. If one does not learn to control one's thoughts (re-write the script) and one's destructive behavior, then drugs can keep you from sinking, but you will probably never change.

    It seems to me that a caregiver who has known depression has a deep and special empathy for the suffering of others.

    [font=Book Antiqua]This is my question to you: as a RN, does one keep one's mental illness to oneself until one is well established in a hospital position? What about a position in psych?
    Last edit by ARNPsomeday on Feb 26, '05
  10. by   medpsychRN
    I've talked about it occasionally with (close) other nurses but the discussion is mainly focused on length of time before the med starts working, side effects etc. I generally don't make it a habit and don't ever discuss it with the docs.

    Although I work in a a very supportive environment, I work in a hospital and like any hospital (or any place of employment I guess), people love to gossip. And some people can be judgemental. I would never discuss it with a patient.

    Recovering from anorexia is really tough and you must have had a fantastic therapist and beyond that did some hard work to get yourself together. Having insight into mental illness is helpful to patients as you can then be more understanding and emphathic.

    I'm sure you'll love psych. One piece of advice, when looking for a job, choose a teaching hospital. It's wonderful!
  11. by   ARNPsomeday
    Thank you, thank you medpsychRN for sharing some of your perspective and experience. I was leaning more toward not discussing it at all because you just never know- whether colleague, patient or doc.

    I will be certain to apply for a position in a teaching hospital. :chuckle

    Quote from medpsychRN
    I've talked about it occasionally with (close) other nurses but the discussion is mainly focused on length of time before the med starts working, side effects etc. I generally don't make it a habit and don't ever discuss it with the docs.

    Although I work in a a very supportive environment, I work in a hospital and like any hospital (or any place of employment I guess), people love to gossip. And some people can be judgemental. I would never discuss it with a patient.

    Recovering from anorexia is really tough and you must have had a fantastic therapist and beyond that did some hard work to get yourself together. Having insight into mental illness is helpful to patients as you can then be more understanding and emphathic.

    I'm sure you'll love psych. One piece of advice, when looking for a job, choose a teaching hospital. It's wonderful!
  12. by   KacyLynnRN
    Literally, every nurse I work with is on an antidepressant...I have personally been on Paxil (was great, but very difficult to quit taking) and am now on Zoloft. We have talked about this issue at work before as well. I have wondered before if taking antidepressants was a nurse thing, or if a large percentage of the rest of the population take antidepressants as well.
  13. by   kar212
    Paxil 20mg daily for long standing anxiety. Not related to my career, though. It works!

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