Nurses with depression

  1. 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 (currently, in longstanding remission.) Hospitalizations: none. Medications: on and off since 2001...tried just about everything. Currently just restarted a single antidepressant. Therapists I've been through: too many to count.

    I honestly think I went into nursing, in part, because I didn't think I could do any better and I couldn't fathom working in a role where I would actually have to be a boss or make important decisions. I viewed nursing as very subservient and I was totally OK with spending my life in the background and taking orders (that is what I thought nursing was, at the time.) This was over 10 years ago now and I don't see nursing that way anymore, and I do think I have grown into the role to some degree, and I'm not as fearful as I once was.

    It is taking me way longer to complete my graduate education than it should because I struggle with maintaining work/family/life balance. It is incredibly frustrating to know that you are really smart (I'm not going to go into that because you all are probably going to either think I'm A. inflating my intelligence or B. a pompous a#$hole) but you cannot manage to accomplish what you think you should be able to, given a normal mood. I'm not even going to talk about my undergraduate education....lets just say I took more incompletes, part-time semesters, etc. than any human being should. I would have graduated when I was 40 had I not had PSEO credits. Fortunately at work, I have not struggled....I think the nature of shift work allows me to be able to put on a happy face for 8-12 hours.

    I hesitate to post this because I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that aren't sympathetic and don't believe that depression is a real, legitimate problem. I just feel like such a failure right now because I went to the doctor today and got back on Wellbutrin .

  2. Visit grandmawrinkle profile page

    About grandmawrinkle

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 350; Likes: 729
    Specialty: adult ICU


  3. by   NurseLoveJoy88
    I too suffer from depression. Have been hospitalized and have suffered from it since the age of 12. Tried prozac for a little while, went to consueling and etc. Honestly, when I go to work ( at my new job) taking care of others really help me to relieve some of my sx. I get so much joy out of taking care of my residents that I forget I even have depression while at work.
    Just know that you are not alone. Sometimes I feel on top of the world and sometimes all I do is sleep all day. I have days of hopelessnes ( excuse spelling) and sometimes I really don't want to live. I just take each day at a time. Atleast you are seeking help and hopefully the wellbutrin will be effective.
  4. by   cb_rn
    Do you keep going off medication because of lack of effectiveness? Perhaps you could have something added to your therapy. A lot of people are having success with an Abilify added to their med regimen. It helps prevent the irritability an antidepressant can cause, yet is approved for depression tx. I'd recommend bringing it up and getting your provider's opinion. Perhaps you need a little nudge to achieve optimum results.

    Try not to feel defeated. Depression is a medical condition just a much as diabetes.
  5. by   subee
    About 1/4 of the population is (supposedly) depressed. Sounds about right to me - especially for those who live in northern climates. Think of it as a variation on normal, put on your big girl panties and get on with it. It's the way we're wired. We were probably not happy go lucky babies. If we had DA (Depressives Anonymous), I'm sure we'd get the same advice you get in AA. If you're not happy - fake it. Just smiling makes a big difference. You see yourself in your reflection on others. Dance a half hour every day - with yourself or better, with your pet. They'll love it too.
  6. by   dudette10
    Let me guess: you're sick of not feeling "normal," but when you go back on antidepressants to feel normal, you also feel like a failure because you want to be able to feel normal without the help of meds.

    I might be projecting a bit because that's exactly how I felt for four years of my life when I was diagnosed with depression. I was afraid mine would be a chronic, life-long condition because, like you, I had a tendency toward it from the time I was 13 until about age 22 (in hindsight). Then, it "came back" full force for four torturous years in my early 30s.

    I admire you. I really do. I know how depression turns someone into someone they're not, and it becomes a vicious cycle. You hate what you've become, making yourself more depressed. Again, I might be projecting a bit... But, I admire that you're doing something about it, even with all the struggles. Even with what seems like self-loathing, you are still doing what you know you have to do, even if it makes you feel defeated (temporarily).

    Keeping chuggin'; keep searching for your normal.
  7. by   pedsrnjc
    I know many nurses with mental health issues, mine is anxiety and panic attacks (Yes, and I try to avoid the ER...but somtimes the chest pain is too bad, sorry to all the ER nurses out there). I know a nurse with major depression and one with bipolar disease. We manage. Bipolar friend does very well. Depressed friend struggles, calls in often and has some trouble, but is one of the best nurses I've ever met.

    I lost a job R/T panic attacks, I couldn't cope with the pressure, so I quit spontaneously. The irony was that I was often complimented at that job about how calm I was in stressfull situations. People have no idea what goes on inside. I now have a very mellow job (rare, hard to find in LTC), my anxiety still gives me trouble and sometimes I feel like a failure, but I push on.

    You are not alone, get the help you need and know, you are not alone. Hugs.
  8. by   imintrouble
    Do not feel like a failure because you're taking meds. You were brave enough to address a problem, and then do what you could to fix it.
    I'm a firm believer in meds as a tool to assist one in being a better, healthier person.
    There was a thread here a few months ago where posters listed their anti-anxiety, anti-depressant drugs of choice. You are not alone.
    Considering the jobs we do, and the fact that we literally hold people's lives in our hands, is it any wonder some/most of us suffer from a variety of mood disorders.
    I'm not a failure because I take Lexapro for depression and anxiety attacks. And neither are you.
  9. by   mustlovepoodles
    Quote from subee
    Think of it as a variation on normal, put on your big girl panties and get on with it.
    Yeah, cuz that would totally talk me off the cliff.

    I've suffered with depression for about 38 years. It took two serious hospitalizations to get me stabilized. I take my drugs pretty much happily because it keeps me from going all manic on everybody. I also exercise, see my therapist regularly, attend a support group for nurses, and generally monitor my self-talk.
  10. by   Sonjailana
    Yes, getting on my big girl panties is NOT going to get me out of depression. It might help me get through a scary situation at work, but that's about it.

    I find depression is something I'm going to have to deal with my whole life. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse, but if you're still going to school, work, and being a Mommy, you're doing it! Some days my mood is just in the dumps, but I try to accept it and just have a quiet day. It's ok to take a nap and just shut out the world if it is moderation
  11. by   mustlovepoodles
    Quote from Sonjailana
    I find depression is something I'm going to have to deal with my whole life. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse, but if you're still going to school, work, and being a Mommy, you're doing it! Some days my mood is just in the dumps, but I try to accept it and just have a quiet day. It's ok to take a nap and just shut out the world if it is moderation
    Yup. I consider depression a chronic illness, just like any other chronic illness. I have type 2 diabetes too. I put on my big girl panties every morning but I also inject the Byetta. Better living through chemistry.
  12. by   bagladyrn
    I've dealt with depression all of my adult life. I don't see going on meds as a sign of failure but rather that I have learned how to manage my condition sucessfully. In my younger days I would put off dealing with symptoms until it became severe and at times really affected my functioning. Now I recognize the early signs of a "slide" downward and know what meds work for me and am able to get it managed. Usually I am able to wean off after 6-12 months on the med and may go years between episodes.
    to you grandmawrinkle. Hang in there and keep trying - it will improve!
    People such as Sube with remarks about "big girl panties" and "just fake it" truly have no concept of the condition and do others a disservice by feeding into the negative loop of feelings. Would they tell me the same thing regarding my diabetes or thyroid condition? It's just as much a real condition!
  13. by   canigraduate
    Hi, GW!

    I hope you feel better soon. When my mama went on anti-depressants, the doctor explained to her that they were like insulin for Type 2 DM. Her body wasn't producing enough "happy" so she had to have a supplement. That helped her get over the stigma that somehow she was responsible for her depression.

    I really enjoy you, GW, so keep fighting the good fight, OK?

    Last edit by canigraduate on Aug 25, '10 : Reason: fixed smilie
  14. by   nyteshade
    I have just gotten through a new book written by Mark Hyman, MD called The Ultra Mind Solution. In it he talked about depression, ADHD, dementia, and a number of other things. Pretty much, he explained that many of these issues we face are diet related (high frustose corn syrup, high mercury content in fish, etc.) I think it is a wonderful alternative to conventional medical thinking. If your body isn't feeling right how else might that manifest? It's worth a read, and it changed my thinking on a lot of things.