Nursing & Depression - page 46

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   mattsmom81
    Originally posted by yms yms rn
    Just wanted to say thanks to all the posters out there who shared their experience, strength and hope. I, too, have depression.I agree that only someone who suffers from depression can fully understand the hopelessness and fear that comes with being unable to "pull oneself up by ones bootstraps" and just get on with life.
    I've probably gone on too long and have repeated many of the same things that others have said, but I hope that if there is anyone out there who is hesitating about getting help, they will seek it out

    yms yms rn
    Welcome and thanks for sharing. I don't think we can say it enough...that we NEED to reach out for help with this disease. And by sharing where we're at in our recovery, hopefully we can encourage and validate others at a different stage. :kiss
  2. by   micro
    ditto to mattsmom well said response

    and to yms yms.......welcome here.........

    e.s. & h.

    simply micro
  3. by   mario_ragucci
    Mattsmom - i'm happy for you in that your prayers are answered. It's a good feeling :-)

    I have had mild panic and anxiety attacks this week. It's because my brain chemistry has been altered as I "go through" nursing school. No more exercise, despite what people say, and total dependence on automobile for transportation because of time.

    truely, there is a panic that goes through me now at certain situations. Even though I am okay, and doing really good, I still get hit with panic and anxiety. It's because of the chemicals produced thoughout the body when you exercise are absent now. Whatever those chemicals are, they are missed by me, and I shrug the panic and anxiety off, for the first time I experience it from a seeming unknown origin.

    The panic attacks last for 20-30 minutes, and I had them at school. No self esteem, afraid that I am not good enough, doubt. But I know if I had the time to ride bike and exercise, I'd feel power. Power is not infinate. I'm sorry :-(
  4. by   mattsmom81
    (((HUGS))) to you Mario...nursing school is indeed rough..I remember...there's competition, bytchy women, and nasty instructors to deal with....and the never ending assignments don't help.

    Panic attacks can be treated many times with therapy and mind exercises...we have support groups in my area for panic/anxiety prone folks to work out the problems. Maybe you can find a good therapist or support group in your area to help if they continue.

    The panic attacks were the worst and last symptoms I had before I finally began to heal....and they are what drove me finally to see a psychiatrist. I thought I was going nuts. One night I was sure I was having an MI...had all the sx.

    His statement to me that I was NOT going nuts, just responding to all the pain and stress in my life...helped me greatly. I needed the professional reassurance. Sometimes we have these underlying fears that need to be put to rest in therapy..and a gentle nudge to start addressing the stresses in our life appropriately.

    Mario I hope you find resolution to your symptoms. If exercise works for you (it works for me too) make the time...even 10 minutes a day running on the treadmill helps. Best wishes always!!
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Jan 31, '03
  5. by   sphinx
    I'm afraid I feel very "behind".......welcome to yms yms.....and mattsmom, I'm glad to hear things are going your way, and hope things continue along this track. Mario, do you live somewhere where the weather is decent? If so, do you ever take even 10 minutes to run/walk/whatever in the am or whenever? I know your exercise regime is way more, but even 10 minutes here and there helps. It's VERY hard to fit in with school and work, but I worry that it is already affecting your mood, then if your mood is lowered, and you will find it hard to get back to exercising when you are actually able to (if things get too bad emotionally). Ever thought of taping lectures and listening to them playback when you exercise as a way to study? Just an idea.

    As for me, I'm reminding myself that yes, I am doing better, and that a few bad days does not mean I am falling into another deep depression again. I am up to 6 lamictal, and think that is helpful, along with the others. But last week at work was hard, as we were very short staffed (RN's in classes, days off, etc). Then this weekend, well Saturday I was so upset over the shuttle, I basically cried all day on the couch. I made myself do other things besides watch the news as much as possible, because the news was really upsetting me. Sunday wasn't much better. Still upset over the shuttle, plus unhappy re something related to my husband and his son, then something involving my mother and my was a hideous day at work. My boss was back from her 2 week vacation in Hawaii, and I'd hoped to be more organized, etc....but we had over 20 referrals from the weekend that either needed revisits today or to be opened. All our nurses are already loaded, and I am forced to give them more and more patients, which I just hate. I talk to my boss about it, and of course, we simply need to hire a new nurse. We have an ad, but no applicants. We are desparate. Our team is so stressed, I imagine before long someone else will quit. I was the 3rd to leave the field in the past couple months r/t stress. All day I was behind, disorganized, etc. I was so ashamed because I felt like such a fool in front of my boss, since I feel I should have been better by this point in time. In truth, it's been hard, but I've been managing way better than today......I felt like such an idiot, incompetent, etc. So......I feel depressed, and I need to remind myself it is just for now, I have real reasons, and it does not have to last. People all over get depressed, not just people who have "clinical" depression, and get through it. I have to too. Right? I hope I will, soon.
  6. by   mario_ragucci
    Thank you for your responses and it's so good to talk about. I don't want to be depressed, darn it. And I don't want to loose hold of myself during this intense nursing program. I already mourned myself, in advance, of the part of my free time that is now dead. I got a 70 on my midterm today. I did exercise like normal today, after almost 2 weeks zero erercise. I lost 35% of my normal performance in the stairmaster. I'm declining.

    But it is my sworn duty to myself to achieve RN for the people I will help in the future. they count on us. I'll slug out everyday for the next month and accept loosing, perhaps, 65% after a month of this. Maybe cut out coffee, but it's my only friend when I have to keep studying. Now I have the black cloud of a 70 test score over my head. I'm not crazy, and never went to a shrink. i just have to wait until I get my life back so I can be clean and flexible.
  7. by   mattsmom81
    The shuttle accident is heavy on my mind too, Sphynx. Be glad you aren't in Texas where the debris and body parts is not a fun place to be right now...we approach every foreign object on the roof/ground with a feeling of dread.

    I don't think you're crazy either Mario...just relating how I felt when the depression and anxiety attacks were at their worst. Remember there is no shame in reaching out for help when you need it. Keeping the feelings in to fester is the start of worse problems in our lives.

    Hang in there guys! Yes we all will have a few bad days but we will learn how to talk to ourselves, and what to do to help lift the bad feeling off a soggy wet blanket to be discarded.

    Thinking of you all and sending good thoughts.
  8. by   sphinx
    Mario, I'm glad you were able to exercise, try not to focus on the performence you lost, but on what you are able to do. As for the 70, well first, lower your expectations, and don't expect perfection (then, if you excell, you are pleasantly surprised). Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it, and one grade can be averaged with good grades and even out just fine! Honest! As for coffee.....well, if you are drinking a lot (caffeine, right?), maybe consider just using 1/2 caffeine coffee, 1/2 decaf mixed in the pot. Or for every cup of coffee have a glass of water sometime during the day. You're not crazy, and a shrink is likely not needed at this point, don't worry about reaching out for help, though! Remember, we here all know what it's like (I've suspected for a while, that things were getting rough on ya).
    Be well.

    Mattsmom, Gosh, I'd forgotten you were right in Texas (duh, it's written right there)......must be espescially rough. I feel for ya, being right there, in the midst of all that.

    To all, hope you are all doing ok, (((hugs)))!!!!
  9. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Originally posted by eldernurse
    How many of you know nurses that have committed suicide? It is higher than the national average.
    Survivor here! I attempted in 1985 -- a very serious attempt. I was in ICU nursing, only a few years experience, and they suddenly made me charge nurse one night with my only coworker an orientee who'd never done ICU! We had two patients on vents, one of them attempting to pull his ETT, and I was suddenly unable to function! I had been gradually having more and more anxiety (you know how they treat us, stress us out, overwork us, understaff us), but this situation just put it over the top. I know too that my addiction to alcohol (never drank on the job) interfered with my judgement, performance, and sense of well being.

    That night was the final straw. I took a leave of absence and attempted to "get my act together", started counseling, etc. But when my return- to -work date approached, I just knew I could not do it. And if I could not work as a nurse, I thought I was just nothing. So I tried suicide by razor blades and nearly succeed.

    I was sure after all that that I would never return to nursing, but apparently God had other ideas. I've since learned that tho' I'm a nurse that is NOT all I am, and that there are other areas of nursing that I can work in. It took me 17 years to finally dare to take a permanent job in a hospital setting, and a long strange trip it's been.

    The biggest problem was that I could not be honest with myself and others about how I was REALLY feeling inside. I was having suicidal thoughts at the time but I COULD NOT TELL ANYONE. And when I did do it I covered my tracks very well.

    The funny thing? The help I got after my suicide attempt was something I could have had WITHOUT going to those lengths! If only I had told ONE person what I was thinking! A very brave thing to do, but if anyone here is experiencing that, get that help! Your life will thank you!

    Just ONE benefit, I had a child two years after that suicide attempt who would not have happened if I'd succeeded.

    Today he is 16 years old.
  10. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Originally posted by adrienurse

    Never, never want to relive that nightmare again.:stone
    As Marty McFly in "Back to the Future" says:


    One of my employers said my difficulties were NOT chemical in nature but due to POOR WORK HABITS!

    B... doesn't know how many of those stupid monthly progress notes I did for all the staff to lighten their load. Never heard me when I said the way they prepare the monthly med sheets did not allow time for checking against orders or double checking each others' work and that THAT was what made my completion of them take so long.


    I am glad that you took care of yourself
  11. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Originally posted by adrienurse
    Depression is a major stigma.
    I was VERY worried when I took this job I have now regarding my pre-employment physical. I called disability rights to see if I had to disclose my mental illness/alcoholism. They said yes because if it was found out later I could be fired for lying about it.

    I also think, "What if?" What if I need services in the future? Most would be provided thru my current employer! I don't know how well they would understand...

    BUT. I don't plan on losing it...

    YET. Is it something I can, entirely, control?

    One day at a time, one day at a time, one day at a time ...
  12. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Originally posted by mario_ragucci
    Awwww, no worries mate! :-) I'm just trying to get to know things. People I love are depressed, and I understand a little. I'm not depressed! Me just tryng to understand. :-) Drama is okay. For me, the drill instructor I imagine is my friend in the end.
    Love, Mario
    Mario, I am happy that you are trying to understand. Your biggest job is helping yourself to cope with the people around you.

    In my personal opinion and experience shaming (which you suggested in your visualization) is the last thing a depressed person needs; often their depression is partly the RESULT OF too much shaming from well meaning friends, family, associates, from themselves, and from self interested parties such as employers and (sometimes) spouses!

    This happy-happy-joy-joy is great! if it helps you. But "talking yourself out of" depression is, like someone else said, like trying to talk someone out of another physical ailment. My depression was because I kept LYING to myself, trying to pretend I was happy (hence, no one KNEW I was depressed. My dad even reinforced this: "Smile no matter WHAT you are feeling inside. Don't let anyone know!")

    The best thing you can do for the depressed person is pray for them (if you do that), let them know you care, but don't harrass them and don't give them advice. Invite them to join you for an activity now and then but being the drill sargent "YOU'LL FEEL BETTERRRR if you go out, don't be a lump, snap yourself out of it!!" will only get you at least a dirty look and at most a punch in the nose (WELL now, a punch in the nose, THERE is a theraputic exercise!)

    The other thing you can do is take care of your own problems that you have with these people. Many friends and family members of mine also suffer from depression. I know a lot of my caregiver traits, trying to change others, comes from my OWN discomfort! ie if he/she would change then I would feel better! Remember, nobody can drag you down without your consent. Sometimes you need to not spend so much time with people if they drag you down and make you weary. I give what I can but I do not INVEST in their response to it. I move on. Someday they will NEED me and if I'm burnt out on caring for them I will have nothing left when the time comes. BALANCE.

    You are a good soul, Mario. Shine forth! But it really hurts when you shine a flashlight in someone's eyes, LOL!
  13. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Originally posted by sphinx
    More and more and no end in sight...........
    Ok, darlin, list of priorities.


    That is all that matters right now, right?

    I had to go so far as to go on welfare for a spell so I could take care of this, and you may have to too. It was the best thing I ever did to say NOTHING else matters! Family, no, work, no, money, no. Just ME.

    It IS selfish. You will not always be! But right now, you you you you are the ONLY thing! Don't go back to work! Hey if you could see my resume you would understand! Maybe you will never nurse again, wouldn't that be ok if you could feel your flat feet under you again?

    So, what you do is ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen? Well, ok, suicide maybe. Let's work on that. Suicide and/or extra pills are NOT AN OPTION for you! What if you take "just a few" and in your incoherence take "just a few" more?

    So, outside of suicide which is not an option anymore remember? is you could lose your marriage, never work again, never have any money, lose your car, go thru bankruptcy ---

    All VERY UNLIKELY but it is helpful to know that HEY, I could survive ANY of those things! It would suck but I COULD!

    I did all those things. I lost them all, everything I said up there.

    And gradually got them all back! But better than they were! And I am a







    HAPPY (usually)

    SPIRITUAL (huh? how did THAT happen??)



    Reread that last word. PERSON. When was the last time you felt like a human being?

    If you do this thing for you, with no regard to your other priorities, you too can be real.

    Re read "The Velveteen Rabbit" hon.

    You too can be real.