Nurses with depression - page 6

Are you one of them? What is your story? Me: dysthymic disorder, likely depressive sx from the age of 10-12. Major depressive episodes: 2. Other psychiatric comorbidities: anorexia nervosa... Read More

  1. by   JM3RN
    I just posted on the regular forum about being 58 and not being able to find a job, then I saw this thread. I have had depression, anxiety, and panic attacks most of my adult life. I wasn't diagnosed until my early 30's. I worked med/surg for 13 yrs and was struggling with symptoms and I didn't know what they were. In 1993 I ended up in a psych unit. Ultimately I felt I could no longer tolerate the stress of work and my symptoms. Since then it has been very difficult for me to tolerate the confines of a normal job. I have had jobs since then, but have only tolerated them for about 1-2 yrs at a time. I have worked about everywhere in my small town. I have been teaching CNA classes for 6 yrs, and mostly that works because I can call a lot of my own shots. However, it's not full time, and the classes don't always fill. My mental illnesses have affected my work life and my personal life.
  2. by   ShaBBy23
    [font="comic sans ms"][color="sienna"]hang in there honey. i can totally relate with the same issues. i'm currently on effexor 225mg. the dose was increased because i kept finding myself crying in the linen closet at work for what i felt at the time was no reason.

    whenever i do have to go to work, i think by the grace of god i'm able to peel my body out of bed. it's not before i throw-up in the morning before i find myself ready to work; but it's either that or i wouldn't be able to pay my bills or support my teenagers. in addition, my husband has been unemployed for the longest time now, therefore, i don't have a choice in the matter.

  3. by   JM3RN
    I noticed the saying at the bottom of your post. I think you should be gentle with yourself. I need to apply that to myself as well. Maybe depression and being hard on ourselves go together. I can't imagine going through what you are just to go to work. I used to have to peel myself out of bed to go, but reading that you are throwing up made me feel sad. I understand having to work, which is where I am as a single mom of two adopted children. I am 58 and they are 17 and 18. My daughter is the 18 yr old and she has bipolar and is not functioning well because she's not compliant with the things that help her stay well. My 17 yr old son is a junior in HS. I have to keep pushing on. God is my strength when I am so low I can hardly get out of bed.
    Do what you need to do for yourself.
  4. by   shondaRN
    Looks like it has been over a month since the last reply...This has been a very encouraging post! I've enjoyed it. It would be awesome if it could keep going.
  5. by   shondaRN
    Quote from ms_orion
    But...are we covered by the American with Disabilities Act. Are we covered by FMLA? How do you cope without telling everybody (actually just WHO is it that needs to know?)...I dont want to lose my job. I struggle daily. I am an efficient nurse. But...Migraines r/t depression are threatening my employment. Cant just "Cowboy Up"...true dibilitating migraines. doe smake you feel like a failure when you are a nurse..and cant make it in because , need a nurse yourself. Thanks.
    To answer if FMLA will cover a leave of abscence. The answer is YES! I needed 2 weeks off for anxiety issues and knew I would need to be covered by FMLA to keep my job. I recognized the fact that I needed a medication adjustment to practice safely and took care of myself and continued on. So, yes FMLA will cover, but it is kinda awkward communicating it to the supervisor. But I had to do what I had to do.

    Hope this helps!
  6. by   modnini1
    I'm a recent grad and have dealt with depression/anxiety for a few years. I'm currenty on one med. I'm wondering, when I go through the hiring process, do I have to report this to HR? Is it possible that this could have an impact on my employment? Any advice would be great. Thank you.

    Thank you all for sharing. I admire you all.
  7. by   jmqphd
    No one has ever asked me. If it comes up at all, it would probably be in the process of getting your employer provided health insurance. If information about your pre-existing conditions and the medications you take leaked back to the employer, and they discriminated against you on that basis, they could be found liable for penalties under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    On the one hand, it would be difficult for you to prove that you were the victim of discrimination. On the other hand, the employer could be damaged financially (and in terms of their reputation) to the extent that they probably don't want to risk it.

    Advice is "don't ask, don't tell, don't lie."

    Depression is a chronic and usually manageable illness. You're doing the right thing by recognizing you have the problem taking the right steps to treat it. Rather have you responsible for my care than a nurse who is depressed and ignoring it.
  8. by   modnini1
    There is a form I have to fill out of all the meds, rx or otc, I've taken in the last 30 days. It is listed as part of the preemployment physical. I suppose that counts as asking. Thank you very much for your advice.
  9. by   Rene829
    [font=lucida sans unicode] i am currently a school nurse for a special needs school and this is my first job working as an rn. i was diagnosed with panic disorder (according to dsm) about 3 months ago. in the beginning when it started (could have been caused by a combination of things) i did not know what was going on or what was causing me to feel like this.

    i took off of work to get my bloodwork done and i made an appt. with the gyno to see if its hormone related. i figured i would make all these med appt's while i wait for a psychologist!
    in the meantime i was prescribed buspar 20mg qd...lexapro 5mg qd...then told to try some bc from my gyno. i felt like an experiment. at times the physical symptoms would subside but then i would think of morbid stuff. so yea i still had general anxiety which i still experience on a daily basis.

    anxiety/depression/ocd are def all interrelated from my own experience at least. once i started taking the ssri i was getting just plain disturbing repetitive thoughts that i could not escape, mostly death-related. i believe talk-therapy is very beneficial and i made the decision to start weaning off the lexapro. those of you that are thrown the anti-depressant/ssri just make sure you are seeing an experienced therapist. my family physician was so quick to prescribe me the ssri and it just did not sit well with me. anxiety/panic disorder stems from somewhere and solely taking an anti-depressant to "feel good" will not help in the long run. you have to get to the bottom of it and talk it out.

    i understand what every one here is going through and my heart goes out to you every day is a struggle for me but i still have to function as a nurse and be productive everyday
    ....the thoughts come and go and i wish it would just stop but its so hard

    aside from some deep breathing when your getting an anxiety attack just remember and say to yourself...
    "it's only my anxiety, it cannot harm me, and it always passes"

    i look forward to responding back to every nurse out there going through this.
  10. by   ms_orion
    Renee ... RELAX! If a medication is prescribed for you by your physician and you do not experience any side-effects that may compromise your or a patients safety...THERE IS NO PROBLEM. NO. You do not give this information to Human Resources (or anybody else for that matter). The Employee Health Nurse will interview you. THAT IS THE ONLY PERSON YOU NEED TO TELL. I was concerned as well, when I applied at my first hospital job. I was taking anxiety medication, and Hydrocodone (I had been taking for about 3 years due to spinal injury). It is goes into a seperate record with the Employee Health Nurse. NOW: I was worried. I asked the Nurse if taking these medications were going to disqualify me for the job. She smiled at me and said, "Honey, if taking (prescribed) medications were an issue WE WOULD NOT HAVE ANY EMPLOYEES HERE". It is okay. Relax. My advice is do not discuss any of your personal health issues with anybody except the Employee Health Nurse. Nobody else has the right to know. Some of the (many) gossipers will just take information you provided to them, just in general conversation and the whole unit will know. Then, if you are not in the "clique"..just like Jr High School ... they will try and use the information against you at somepoint. (I also am diagnosed with OCD, PANIC DISORDER, DEPRESSION, and SPINAL STENOSIS). Relax. WE (caregivers) ARE HUMAN TOO. I hope this helps you.
    If you are indeed depressed or have a diagnosis of any psychiatric issue (anxiety, whatever...taking the medication is IN NO WAY a "HAPPY PILL" like some people believe). The problem stems from lowered Serotonine levels. If you are not will not feel any difference. Sort of like taking an aspirin...if you have a headache, it may work...if detrimental effects to your health. My advice to you: Take the medication...get any counseling you need. If the medications somehow make you have unpleasant side-effects, discuss this with your physician. (I have been there too- - A LOT of us have been there). Take care of YOU first...ALWAYS! I had the tendency to work to provide for others and neglect myself and right now, I am on leave...physical and mental exhaustion. So, take care of YOU...then you will be able to take care of everybody else and enjoy doing it. Okay? Good Luck!
    Last edit by ms_orion on May 20, '11 : Reason: additional info:
  11. by   subee
    There's a big difference between taking anti-anxiety drugs (actually they help you think more CLEARLY) and taking narcotics while on the job. Maybe you're only using it at night? If a nurse has such major pain issues that narcotics can be detected on a drug screen while at work, you should find another job in nursing that doesn't aggravate your pain. You can lose you license. Just because a narcotic is prescribed, doesn't mean that you are "covered" to use it on the job.
  12. by   nola1202
    Quote from morte
    everyone should remember that subee is addressing the OP, who has a dx of dythemia, not major depression.
    in that case subee's obs are pretty much on target. and the big girl panties remark, i presumed was aimed at the unwillingness to continue meds.....
    and your point is?
  13. by   nursemarion
    Quote from subee
    There's a big difference between taking anti-anxiety drugs (actually they help you think more CLEARLY) and taking narcotics while on the job. Maybe you're only using it at night? If a nurse has such major pain issues that narcotics can be detected on a drug screen while at work, you should find another job in nursing that doesn't aggravate your pain. You can lose you license. Just because a narcotic is prescribed, doesn't mean that you are "covered" to use it on the job.
    If that were so, which it is not, the anti-anxiety drugs would not be primary drugs of abuse. They are depressants like alcohol, and they certainly do NOT make you think more clearly. If you make a mistake at work while you are on them you will be drawn and quartered, and hung out to dry. Prescribed or not. I understand lots of people need them, but they are supposed to be short-term until you get therapy or some other way of controlling your anxiety.

    Yes, I have suffered from anxiety my whole life. It stinks and I wish I could go around in a anti-anxiety fog too, but I can't because I have to have a life. Not a muted existence. Try calcium with magnesium. Try exercise. Try therapy- talk to someone about your maladaptive coping. Try homeopathic remedies. Drugging yourself up at work is risky for you and your patients.

    Narcotics when used for chronic pain lose the effect of the "high" feeling over time. If you need them to function for physical pain I think that you should be able to take them and work. Understand though, that I sympathize more with physical pain than mental pain which is often self-induced from torturing ourselves with self-doubt and insecurity. Both are equally disturbing, but with mental pain you have options on how to handle it. Sometimes it means changing jobs.

    Antidepressants are an absolute necessity for many people. I have tried them with absolutely no relief from anxiety so I know they do not help me. If they help you then stay on them by all means. When people go off of them I have seen some bizarre reactions. And don't go around telling everyone about it! People never treat you the same after they know about your issues.