Nursing & Depression - page 15
While visiting in the lounge one day, we discovered that every nurse there was on an anti-depressant. I have had 'Treatment Resistant Depression' for about 20 years--as long as I've been a nurse. ... Read More
Oct 9, '02Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 5,673; Likes: 159Just returning from a 'major meltdown' myself and can really relate to what everyone has said in this very insightful thread.
I got to the point I wasn't sleeping...up pacing all night...yet exhausted (???) My pain and health problems just sent me into a downhill spiral. Also found out I have a chronic Epstein Barr infection which is now easing off..and my thyroid is getting happy again after a lobectomy. So...those who are depressed should have a complete physical workup before taking antidepressants, I feel strongly.
My personal feeling is depression is a chemical imbalance--hereditary---and a 'trigger' (or two or three) sets it off in predisposed folks. I agree that meds and therapy together, (as well as spiritual healing) is the best approach and sure worked to get me through it. I am off all my 'pills' now and seem to be on the mend physically and spiritually. My heart goes out to all who have been or are where I was and I'd be glad to correspond with anyone who needs a friendly ear.
Nurses with depression...I agree with so many comments. I'd like to add one thing: I think 'nice' girls(and boys) are told it is more blessed to give than receive. We are told to 'give' to feel better, and 'help others' to help ourselves. I feel those of us who have given generously of ourselves (and maybe feel used and abused for it) wonder WHY we're not feeling wonderful???? We're doing what we 'should', right? Why are we feeling badly then...must be our heart is not in the right place, we're 'not doing enough, or something is 'wrong' with us or etc... ya'll get the picture. I think we are too hard on ourselves and push ourselves way the healthy limits and boundaries. It's easy for nurses to get sucked into maryrdom and hard for us to admit we're fallible.
Luv ya'll...great thread...hit me right in my heart. :kissLast edit by mattsmom81 on Oct 9, '02
Oct 9, '02Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 8,729; Likes: 8,412Nice thread. It's good to hear from other nurses on this topic.
Hang in there sphinx...
Oct 10, '02Occupation: a just a nurse contemplating the nature of my career..... Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 2,344; Likes: 21l
Hey, all. One day at a time. Do what you gotta do.
A rhetorical question, why does it seem that in "our core" we are down on ourselves, even if we are feeling better?
Chemical imbalance, learned "bad stuff", etc.
:-) micro :-(
Oct 10, '02Occupation: LTC Joined: Feb '02; Posts: 29; Likes: 8Depression is engufing my life. I make myself get up, shower and put on make-up. Sometimes I have to go out. Everything exhausts me. I am trying to walk daily while the fall weather is nice. So many chores await my attention, they will have to keep waiting. My lkife is unmanageable and I fee powerless to change it.
Oct 10, '02Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 1,079; Likes: 53CARPE DE EM-
You can change it, but a symptom of the illness thats gripping you is a feeling of helplessness. There is help available. Its usually not free, but is confidential and effective. Make your
self call the county mental health. You must believe that is not hopeless, that change is possible. Its also often painful at first. It can get better, trust me on this.
Oct 10, '02Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 1,614; Likes: 2Try to imagine with you during times of depression is you but you are a young child. What would that kid say to you? Would the kid make you laugh? Imagine you are that kid and try to make yourself feel new and playful. Certainly that kid wouldn't want you, it's older self, to be sad and gloomy. Right? You are what you are.
Oct 10, '02Occupation: Hospice clinical director Joined: May '02; Posts: 2,873; Likes: 26Originally posted by TheLionessRN
I have lived with depression since I was a teenager. I started taking Prozac in 93 or thereabouts, and was told I had to come off after 9 months. Subsequent rounds of the med were less effective. My new doctor put me on Effexor, but I was not regular with the med, and ended up asking to be admitted when it got too much to bear. I was only in the hospital for a day and a half, and was so intensely uncomfortable with the general population that I begged to be discharged. The doc did increase my Effexor dosage, and gave me the speech about treating depression just like diabetes and to stop being non-compliant. About a year ago, I realized that, if I missed a dose of Effexor, I would go into withdrawal. I want to warn you all that, while it isn't addictive, there is a withdrawal with the med. I got switched over to Celexa a few weeks ago, and only had about 3 days of withdrawal symptoms, luckily. The doc called it a panic attack, or hyperventilation, because I got numb around my mouth, and on the tip of my tongue. I thought I was having a seizure.
I really wonder if others out there have experienced any problems with Effexor.
I was on a different SSRI for an off-label use and developed the same sx. I was diagnosed with "serotonin syndrome"...wound up in ICU for three days.
Happened again with a different SSRI...started doing a little research and found that there are some people who do not tolerate SSRI's and develop serotonin syndrome. It can be very serious, and part of the problem is that it is often misdiagnosed as a panic attack.
It was terrible; I never want to go through anything like that again. Your case sounds almost word for word like my experience. Please be very careful about taking any SSRI's in the future...for some people, it gets worse with each episode (the second time it happened to me, I was in the hospital for a week).
I think it is funny, not in a ha ha way....I read those s/s of depression, and the suggestion to get help immediately if you have a suicide plan. I developed my suicide plan years ago. I haven't ever acted on it, but it is there, like an exit sign, just in case things get bad again.
Oct 10, '02Occupation: Hospice clinical director Joined: May '02; Posts: 2,873; Likes: 26I'm not sure what happened there, my post got buried in the middle of the quote. Anyway, my part is about serotonin syndrome.
Oct 10, '02Occupation: RN and blogger extraordinaire Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych ; From: OR, US ; Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 26,953; Likes: 44,682fab4fan: Please tell us more about seritonin syndrome. I've heard of it, but I honestly don't know much about it, and it sounds scarey. I'm on Paxil and I get weird if I'm out of the stuff for more than a day......feel like I've lost control of both mind and body, my face goes numb & tingly etc. I wish I didn't need to be on meds to be normal, because of the side effects I get when I run out, but I do need it.
Oct 10, '02Occupation: RN IN ER Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 21I just went through a bout of depression that lasted about 3 weeks. I really don't think it was related to work, I have been dealing with depression most of my life off and on. However, I do believe that trying to work nightshift and having a dayshift family and trying to keep up with them on may days off contributes to it.
Oct 11, '02Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 228; Likes: 2Question for the day:
Can there be enabling in the absence of using? Can there be codependency without a very willing dependent?
This question came after a had worked for almost two years with an MD for whom I worked unpaid hours and made some (offered) economic concessions due to financial strains on the budget. The first time I asked for anything that might cost him anything, a one month extension on health coverage as I had not thought ahead to officially resign one day later. Human resources thought it would be no problem, the MD balked at the cost.
At first I felt deeply hurt. I happened to see my psychiatrist that day who said I had no right to ask for anything in return as he had never asked me to do what I did.
"Oh my god, I'm such an enabler" I thought. Look at how I hurt this MD by sheltering him from poor practice management, not making him face up to his mess. "It's all my fault."
But, I wanted the health insurance. I went to human resources with a list of unreimbursed expenses I incurred primarily for the needs of the practice. Admittedly, I had been willing to assume them as I expected to be there a while, so had no legal recourse. Otherwise, I would be forced to seek unemployment as I needed the money. Yes, I resigned, but when your job requires you to perform outside your recognized duties on a regular basis, you have no choice but to resign and are entitled to unemployment. Yes, it is messy and leads to discussion of things people would rather not hear, but I need the money.
I got my health insurance paid. Seemed rather ridiculous I had to play this game but I felt rather strongly about it.
I thought more about my enabling. In many other circumstances, I would have been seen as a nice person, a good employee. I frequently tried to point out problem areas and he just as frequently blew me off. While he never asked for the concessions I made, he certainly enjoyed them and came to see them as his due.
Enabling is very depressing. Nursing is a profession with lots of enabling - because it is so often expected by people and institutions that will take anything a nurse has to give, then feel betrayed when anything is asked in return. A few are able to set limits from the start but whenever I try, I am accused of having a bad attitude. I am prone to depression and frequently nursing has made it worse. I have been in some very depressing places but, so far, have managed to escape before it pulls me all the way down.
Someone said that we have to take care of ourselves first, then our profession. Somehow, I think we have to try to do both at the same time. As individuals, we have to fight the same battle over and over, figure out how to cope with whatever comes along, and figure out the realities as individuals - things like labor laws, FMLA, etc., etc. It takes some loner than others.
As a profession we can do more. We can assert first our professinalism as a group (rather than each individual having to prove his or her own worth), share information, and present a united front. For some reason, the established representatives of the nursing profession seem to have become more concerned with the needs of the hospitals, colleges and universities, than with the strength and health of its members. Yet a stong, healthy profession committed to its own health and well being, is the best for everyone involved: nurses, hospitals, and, most of all, patients.
Sorry for the length and soapbox, once again. The dilemna I face, leave this profession or accept the conditions in which nurses are forced to work in, is a difficult one. I don't think it should be.