Nursing & Depression - page 53

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   Okami_CCRN
    I just wanted to say thank you to all of the wonderful people who posted on this thread.

    I have been working in nursing for the past few years. In 2007 I had my first panic tack and never had one again until August of this year. Circumstances in my life changed rather quickly in that month and I had to leave school, developed severe gastritis and began suffering from anxiety attacks. My friend and co-worker said she was worried and talked to me about therapy. I have been seeing my therapist faithfully and I believe I now have anxiety and slight depression.

    This thread has helped me realize that it is okay to be on medication, I was always afraid of the stigma associated. Now I understand that sometimes it is necessary and no one should be ashamed. So once again thank you all for helping me understand that I am not alone.
  2. by   SuchIsLife
    Ever struggled tirelessly for weeks, years even, only you be told you're not good enough? Ever been offered a dream job you couldn't take because someone above you decided you weren't ready yet? Ever battled with depression and shyness, been misunderstood, gossiped about and watched, closely, by people just waiting for a slip up, a reason, any reason to fail you and not to see you make it through, but to mess with your life. That's what I'm going through right now. That has been my experience in my Bachelor of Nursing degree.

    I had a new grad position in my dream hospital. I had just 6 weeks left of clinical. But my depression, it just got in the way. I started ruminating on clinical, losing my focus, underperforming. I started making mistakes, stupid mistakes like trying to transfer patients without supervision, I almost took an arterial line out without being supervised. I should know better but I just lost the plot.

    Today I had what could be called a nervous breakdown on clinical when I was informed I was very likely not going to be able to pass. I went semi-catatonic, stopped functioning and later tried to harm myself. I ended up in Psych ED. I have been through a lot in my life, but this was a first.

    I just feel picked on, misunderstood. I'm a quiet, sensitive, mild person. People tend to think I just don't care, am lazy or unfriendly. I was told by my RN mentor that when I was good, I was great. But when I was bad, I was terrible. It's true... I'm fully competent. I KNOW I am no less competent than any other student. But this illness... it's just killing me.

    I had a job lined up, a new grad position that I fought hard for, interviewed for and rightly won. Now it's up in smoke because I won't be registering for another 6 months. I am devastated, but I haven't even told my girlfriend yet, who has waiting so very long for me to finish, as have I.

    I had problems like this in the past. I was taken out of a previous clinical because of my performance, which was also the result of depression and insomnia. I fought with the Nursing faculty to get them to organise a makeup. You wouldn't believe what I went through and the opposition I had to face. They probably thought I was being disingenuous and kept going on about me not meeting the "3rd year standard". No doubt, I've got "the problem student" label now. Is it fair?

    I am lost. I was so close to making it out. So close... and you know what, I'm glad this happened. I don't think I want to be a nurse any more. For my own health and wellbeing. I just don't think this kind of organisational culture is for me. I don't feel like I fit in, and the treatment I have suffered just brings the point home. My experience with the profession has been horribly tainted and I just don't want to subject myself to it anymore. I will finish my degree but I will be looking for a more suitable career in the meantime (suggestions welcome).
    Last edit by SuchIsLife on Nov 4, '11
  3. by   Gratefulprn
    SuchIsLife...much of what you and others on here wrote I too have experienced...the dream job offer only to screw it up because of anxiety, depression, rumination...I have tried, for YEARS, to control my thoughts, "think happy", taking over the counter herbs, exercise, eat right - you name it. The fact is, for some of us, the TRUE clinical depression is not something we can think, pray, eat or exercise our way out of. I know the stats on meds, I also personally know people who have gone on them and their lives have been returned to them. For me, this weekend, was it. I am 2 months behind on my mortgage, I shower but that's it - no hair done, no make-up, I wear the same clothes over and over again though I do wash them, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is an effort - to get up, to bathe, to get to the store so there is something in the house to eat, I care about almost nothing...I have basically ruined more opportunities professionally that I can recall, have job hopped to the point there is no hopping anymore, I have no friends and like some on here don't have much to do w/family - for no reason than just the thought of getting in the car to do somewhere exhausts me. I can't sleep, I stay anxious but I stay exhausted - like you I feel isolated and like an outcast. I wasn't always like this...lots of "life" happened in the past 8-9 years and while I always struggle w/anxiety and depression these events - especially one in 2009 - increased the downward slide. It's not like one day you are ok and the next you aren't - clinical depression is an insidious disease, it robs you of everything - self esteem included - in a way that you don't really notice at first - like a GI bleed.
    For me, there is no other option but medication. I know that now. I have a BSN, have been a nurse for 22 yrs and am a few classes shy of a Masters...and where will I be working? Part time at a flu clinic just to have money coming in. My depression had effected my marriage, every single part of my existence - which is no way to live. Monday I am calling my primary doc because I know I can get in fast to see him and get on something...I am calling a psych and a therapist too - these people, the therapy and the medication, are for me, the last hope before I simply STOP functioning at all. Depression/anxiety runs in my family so I know there is a genetic component. I realize nothing - not my personal or professional life - is going to turn around until I get stable or at least enough self esteem and worth to value myself enough to try to save myself from falling. My spouse can't help me - be has tried - it's up to me - just as it's up to you. I don't care what anyone thinks about medication, like I said, I've seen first hand what it can do for people - side effects? I'm sure there are going to be some but can the side effects be any worse than foreclosure? Lying in bed all day feeling overwhelmed by blackness? I don't think so. I hope you are able to find some relief. I really do. Good luck friend.