Nursing & Depression - page 34

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

  1. by   sphinx
    Oh, don't get me wrong, I think the healthy eat right, drink right and exercise approach is great......and good for you in so many other ways. But when you are severaly depressed it just isn't alwasy realistic. I do try. I need to work on the exercise part, but it has truly been hard for quite some time. I manage to get up and work most days (but it's getting harder).......but I find everything else near impossible. Work takes everything out of me. Once I'm home, my idea of "exercise" is getting up and going to the bathroom, haha. (I hydrate well at least!)I'm hoping that my mood will be better as winter rolls on, and will feel well enough to get out and walk when the temp gets a bit warmer. As it is, if I don't work, I can hardly even shower.....even when I do work, it's a darn chore.
    And sassy, I know what you mean about breaking down and crying at work. It's happened to me at all my nursing jobs at one time or another. My last job it only happened twice, once when a girl refused DC, and I had to give her the papers about insurance, and private pay, and she tweaked........I went in to ask my supervisor what to do (I was barely off of orientation) and burst into tears. I was mortified. The other time I was drawing blood, and she had crummy veins, so I used a syringe, and it was slow and clotted a bit, and like an idiot I tried to needle it into the tube with "gentle pressure" (told you I was an idiot) and splash! it was face/mouth/eyes.......I calmy wiped myself off, excused myself, went into the batroom to was and changed, then started to bawl. They made me get an HIV test, and that scared me to death, even though the pt last test was negative......and I only had a small splash in the eye. Anyway. My first job.....I actually don't remember specifics, but know there were a couple small incidents here and there. My current job I've been at for 2 years, and was pretty much free of depression, or maybe only a low level depression up until early fall/late summer. I'd cry in my car all the time (I do homecare), but could always put on my happy face at my patient's door, and in the office. It was only a month or 2 ago that I lost it in the office. I'd worked on call the previous weekend after working like 50+ hours the week before.....9-10 hours both Sat and Sun. On Sun the weekend supervisor called me with an opening, and I said in my little semi sarcastic voice (which all my teammates know) "thank you!", in quite the joky, haha, sarcastic way. We continued to talk, and she said the pt was OB, and I said great, I'll get to keep her, and that was that. My boss called me in her office a day or 2 later saying the supervisor had "accused" me of saying "f*** you", rather than what I really said. I was in dead shock, as I'd never be so stupid as to say that to ANYONE at work, let alone a supervisor! I ended up bursting into tears, even though my boss et al believed me when I explained my side, etc. I was just floored, and had been so stressed and depressed, I was just a puddle. I finally went out to see aptients. My first patient wasn't home, so I drove to Eckerd and parked. I couldn't stop crying. I cried and cried, and ended up calling my husband. I just couldn't keep working. My husband came to get me, told me to call my boss and tell her I couldn't work the rest of the day. I actually stayed home the next 2 days. I was humiliated, but so depressed I hardly cared.
    Anyway, Mattsmom, sorry to here you're feeling overwhelmed too. Do the holidays ever get you down??
    Oh, and re my talk with my boss Friday. I'd hoped to hear back today......I didn't hear. I couldn't get into the office, cuz initially I had 7 patients, but even though 1 cancelled, I was still out late, and left home early.....she could have called though, she did on Friday........oh well. Probably got the blow off with my luck.

    OH, rambling OFF!!!!!
    Hope you are well this evening!!!!! I must now go do my paperwork!
  2. by   abrenrn
    I'm starting to believe in intuition. If your intuition tells you not to go to work, don't. Sometimes our right brains know what we are supposed to do, our left brains (logic, reason) are behind and tell us to do other things.

    I stopped being depressed when: I got the right meds then quit my nursing job. Since I've stopped being depressed nobody I know likes me. I have realized there were very good reasons why I was depressed; nursing helped keep me there. You get depressed when someone tells you everything is your fault, you sense it isn't but can't get anyone else to believe. What's the saying, "If you can't beat them, join them?" The only way to join is to beat myself as badly as they do.

    Can't do it anymore.
  3. by   Youda
    Originally posted by abrenrn
    I'm starting to believe in intuition. If your intuition tells you not to go to work, don't. Sometimes our right brains know what we are supposed to do, our left brains (logic, reason) are behind and tell us to do other things.
    Wow! You just put something into words that I "knew" but hadn't processed consciously yet! Thank you! I read this and said, YES!

    I had a therapist once who said that everytime I heard myself or anyone else use the word "SHOULD" then I was being judged. I "should" go to work. I "should" be a nurse. I "should" be cleaning my house or going into town to do errands instead of sitting here reading allnurses! Those things are all value judgments that imply that you are "bad" or "wrong" or that what you choose to do right then is WRONG!

    When we get enough of those messages, from ourself or others, we start to judge ourselves, too, by believing that we are "not good" or "not right" or that there is "something wrong with me." We start to dislike ourselves because we (and others) will always have some "should" that we "should" be doing, or some trait we "should" have but don't, or be something we "shouldn't" be, or feel something we "shouldn't" be feeling, etc. The "shoulds" always will make you feel shame and guilty.

    Instead, he said, if you hear "should" from yourself or others, STOP and DECIDE what you'd rather do instead of responding to the "should" and the guilt and shame that you or someone else is putting on you! Invariably, this shame and guilt caused by "shoulds" will cause depression! Who wouldn't be depressed when they always feel wrong, shamed, or guilty, or falling short from what they "should" be or "should" be doing or "should" be feeling?

    Somewhere in our brains, the intuitive side tells us what we NEED to be doing, and that is a much different thing than what we "should" be doing!

    Thanks again, Anne, for reminding me to listen to MYSELF! :kiss
  4. by   mattsmom81
    You guys are right...our 'shoulds' oftten dictate what we do ...when we should be listening to our intuition.....

    Anne, you really said a mouthful..I feel the same way about traditional sets us up for depression doesn't it.

    Today at work: the new owners came in and announced all part time positions would be eliminated. They offered me fulltime. Since I cannot see myself working fulltime anytime soon ever I resigned... so guess I did have a premonition after all...LOL!!!

    Oh well, I will try something more familiar in a month or two after I settle down following Xmas...

    Sphynx, I am 'empty nesting' this Christmas for the first time...also my first without both my I'm sure this will be hard for me. Usually I am full of Christmas cheer as my hubby is a 'humbug' who is unhappy at Christmas because of a turbulent childhood. This year I'll let him be the jolly one...LOL!

    Thanks for caring! :kiss
  5. by   Youda
    OK, I just spent some time reading about Omega-3 fatty acids and depression. I have to understand how or why everything works! (My house looks like a branch of the public library!) After I finished reading several articles from the AMA and some other medical type journals, and reviewing the labwork from the participants in these studies, I felt that the studies are just too convincing NOT to try it! THANK YOU Cargal and Raingrey for mentioning this!
  6. by   sphinx
    The problem with me is, I don't trust my intuition. I wonder if it's just my depression talking....because I feel working is gonna be the end of me, but is it because I am so depressed that I can't handle the stress or is it the other way around? I have no intuition only a mind full of blackness and doubt. I still have not heard word one from my boss. I know I need to approach her, but I haven't been able to get into the office. These past 2 days have been so, so hard, it's unbelieveable. I haven't even had time to drop in to get paperwork/mail, whatever. On top of it all, my phone hasn't been working, so I couldn't synch my computer, so my pateint info isn't up to was bad, I left around 9 (after getting my assigment up to date, as they always change it in the am)to do a BID dressing that was "supposed" to be a simple BID wet to dry.It took 1 1/2 hours, was several dressings actually, way more complicated than reported. I ended up seeing 7 people in all, which is not typical for our RN's, with oasis paperwork and all. I spent extra time with several of the patients for one reason or another. The 7th was an add on to check her PICC, and I couldn't put her on eves, cuz she will only see me, which is strabge, cuz I hadn't seen her before, I took her over from another nurse when I got off disability. I guess she must have talked me up good, this girl is kind of picky I guess. As it is, she didn't totally trust my judegment re her line, so I have to call in her old nurse, her doctor ordered a pump, and I've never used one in the home, and the ones in the home are so different than what they have in hospitals, I had no clue how to use it, set it up. I didn't know it would be there, as my computer (ie orders) was not updated yet. So now I will have to have a covisit so I can learn too. And going out with her always takes forever, she gets very chatty/long winded. Oh lord. Anyway, I didn't get home till 6:30. So I worked straight from 9-6:30, with no bathroom breaks, no lunch breaks. I didn't eat before I left, because I was busy rearranging my schedle to accomadate the daily changes, and was hoping to leave as early as possible. So all day all I had to drink was half a glass of diet 7up I used for my pills, and a glass of water I copped off a patient whose house I deemed clean enough to use a glass out of (and I *never* do that, either). I ate half a granola bar. When I got home I am some spagetti. I still have paperwork for all 7 to complete.....the first 3-4 is partially complete on the computer, but our charting system is so longwinded, that even though I do as much as possible in the home, there's always quite a bit left to do afterwards. My batteries died early on, so the last few patients don't have any of their stuff in the computer at all. One patient isn't even on my computer, because she's new, and I haven't been able to synch, and the phone is STILL broke after more than a day! (stupid phone company). So we're talking several hours of paperwork. I just want to quuit. That's my "instinct". To say screw it, call up and quit right off. But see, I sure can't trust that, that's the wrong way to go. But surely, I can't keep this crap up! I just cannot do it! Anyway, I best go, I had my hour home to eat and chill, now I need to get to work, and will likely be working till bed time. Yes, working from the time I wake up till bedtime with one hour only off. I finally get the nerve to ask for reduced hours, and so far, blown off. I can't do this anymore.
    Thanks for listening. I just needed to rant, and didn't feel like using my cell phone and racking up a bill to call my mom to cry on her shoulder!!! :-)
  7. by   abrenrn
    See, my intuition kept telling me I need to keep coming back to allnurses. I have to figure things out. The depression thread is the best for me because I have had severe "atypical depression" my whole life.

    The way I understand this scientifically is as follows: we have two separate brains (look it up, they are connected by a single nerve bunch called the corpus collosum). They are specialized; like the rest of our bodies. The left brain takes in data, kind of like a computer, it sends it to the right brain to put together into a whole.

    I think problems happen when we get two different messages: note, the right brain gets info directly as well. If the right brain tells us something is wrong and the left brain gets data telling us nothing is wrong, we are stressed. Our body tries to handle by putting out stress hormones/ neurotransmittors. If the mixed info continues, our bodies can't take it anymore, they can't put out enough stress hormones/neurotransmittors and we need to get some from the outside.

    Nursing has become exceptionally stressful. Everyone agrees. So far, all they do is teach us stress reduction techniques. I don't think that's enough anymore. The sources of stress need to be reduced.

    Now, don't take everything I say at face value. A really good reference for my thinking is "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and other neuorlogical tales" by Oliver Wendell Sacks (also wrote awakenings). The first story talks about a man who, when leaving his office, took his wife's hand and tried to put it on his head. He thought it was his hat. He had a trauma that destroyed the visual portion of his right brain. His left visual processing was fine. He couldn't put together what he saw.

    In this guy, the saddest part, maybe, was that he also lost the part of his right visual brain that "knows". He never even thought it was strange that he thought his wife's hand was his hat. He no longer knew what he couldn't see.

    I get the feeling that most of the people here still know. They know something is wrong. If you didn't know there was a problem, you wouldn't be depressed, I wouldn't be depressed.

    I'd rather not be depressed. I still want to know. There's a chance to fix something when you know there is something wrong.

    In the story (true) the guy didn't think he had a problem. Everyone who knew him did. They thought what he was doing was a bit stange.

    And, Sphinx, I think you better start listening to your right brain. You're going to kill yourself (or let someone else do it for you) otherwise. Sorry to be blunt.

    Yes, I will earn money and take care of myself without help - if it doesn't kill me. If it looks like it will kill me then I will get help.
    Last edit by abrenrn on Dec 11, '02
  8. by   sphinx
    I handed in my resignation today. My boss said she respects my wishes. But she says if I want, she may be able to get me into a desk job in the office (compliance nurse). I said I'd think about it. Either way, the 27th is my last day in the field. She also offerred me a job as case assist, but I know that is too stressful, and I won't do that. I'll consider the other, and depending what may be available, I may go for it........but no way will I be doing what I am doing now. She has already started taking away some of the more time consuming cases (what a relief). I still have tons of catch up paperwork to do, but I feel more at ease.
    Can't believe I actually did it.
  9. by   Youda
    Well, Congratulations, sphinx! It's long overdue for you to do something good for yourself! Good for you! When the fright wears off, maybe you can get some of those dopamine levels back in balance!

    I feel like shouting for joy for you! FINALLY! :kiss
  10. by   BellaTerra2002
    All right. NOW I'm scared.

    I'm a 54-year-old woman who is starting her pre-reqs in the fall of 2003. With working FT and all of the classes I need to take AND the 18-month waiting list, I'll be lucky if I started nursing school in 4 years. That will make me 60 when I graduate. IF I graduate. And I've already spent the last five years on a therapeutic dose of an anti-depressant.

    I've already heard that nursing school is very hard (but I'll be retired and not working while I'm in school) -- which is fine. I've heard on other boards also that nursing is very stressful but now you're telling me that it often leads to depression?? Like, I need a job which can lead to depression??

    Come on, Ladies. Tell me that if you had to do it all over, you'd still be nurses. Please!
  11. by   abrenrn
    Bella -

    I can't say I regret becoming a nurse - but, I'm not sure I would recommend it. One thing I do recommend if you want to become a nurse: go for the BSN, not the associates. Why? The associates is harder!! They pack in almost four years of work into two years.

    When I went for my BSN, I went to an upper division BS program in lieu of the associates - for that reason. I already had a BS in math (of all things). Also, believe it or not, it was easier to get in (more apply for the associates). Also, professors were a bit more respectful. They don't treat associate students very nicely.

    If you have to wait 18 months to get in, you might as well look for the BS. If there is an upper division program near you, find out what they need and get the prereqs.

    In the end it was cheaper, easier and no extra time at all to get the BSN instead of the ADN.

    Sphinx, ditto Youda.

    Mattsmom: hang in there.

    I'm like Youda, I try to solve problems, I too have a small library at home - probably with a somewhat dift. selection. Right now I feel good, a lot of problems have been solved. I know, though, every solution has its own set of problems and life keeps happening.

    Reading this thread has helped so far. I'll need your help again soon. Hope I'll be able to ask when I do.
  12. by   mattsmom81
    This thread helps me greatly too and I appreciate all the 'tidbits' of info that we share here.

    Sphynx, you have a whole lota relaxing to catch up with now!! Take lotsa Calgon bubble baths and be GOOD to yourself...and let the healing begin! I'm so glad you've taken this step for yourself!

    Bella, I believe predisposition/family history of depression has lead to my depression, not nursing itself. BUT it is a factor due to the many problems in healthcare today. If your heart tells you you want to be a nurse I believe you should listen....but go in with your eyes wide open determined to take care of yourself FIRST and not let it suck the life out of you. The profession is very demanding and the message we get is 'we never do enough', unfortunately.

    Anne, I love the right and left brain theory you posted!!!
  13. by   Youda
    Bella, there is convincing evidence in studies that prolonged periods of stress can cause depression, or at least contribute to it. I believe that is where nurses get into trouble, because we are often under tremendous stress loads. Go get your nursing degree anyway. There are many nurses, many right here at allnurses, who love their jobs! There are so many opportunities for nurses that you do not HAVE to put yourself in jobs that "suck the life out of you" as Mattsmon said. If you already have problems with depression, you're just going to have to be sure that whatever job you have/take doesn't make it worse, and again, I echo MattsMom: be good to yourself! I think, in nursing, we tend to put our own needs last. When jobs become overwhelming, we can't seem to say "I quit" (a milestone for sphinx to finally decide enough is enough!) For me, stress in nursing did not cause the depression! I was depressed long before I became a nurse, too! The long periods of stress didn't do it, either. For me, the depression got worse when I constantly needed to choose between the interests of my employer and the well-being of my patients. Taking good care of your patients does not necessarily make you a "good" employee, ironically. I am learning, as most on this thread, how to take better care of myself. But, nursing? The actually doing it? I love it! I love bedside nursing! I love being able to use my skills and brain to figure out problems (the "helping people" isn't as important to me as the most "scientific" application of my skills). Anyway, to answer your question, don't rule-out the profession and your plans. Be excited about the future! Look forward to growing and learning! And, GO FOR IT!