The Stranger Within: Living With Mental Illness - page 3

The alarm jolts you awake as it does every morning after yet another restless, short night's sleep, throwing your systems into fight-or-flight mode as you groan inwardly: "Oh, lord....not again".... Read More

  1. by   VivaLasViejas
    to you, country mom! You've summed up the "game face" extremely well---it's the one I think most people with mood disorders show the world if they have any control over things at all. Even in my psychiatrist's office, which is the last place I should display false bravado, I tend to make light of the times when life is really sucky and I'm not coping well, so I know whereof you speak. Thank you for your feedback.
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Mar 10, '12
  2. by   Psychtrish39
    Thank you Viva. I know now I am not alone... I have suffered with depression most of my life and try to cope its hard sometimes but I keep on going.. being a nurse actually helps and for me exercise just walking helps more than my SSRI. God bless all of us on this journey but we still are being great nurses thats the important thing.
  3. by   tntrn
    ((((((Viva Las Vegas))))))))))
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    (((((Psychtrish))))) You are SO not alone......glad my story helped you in some small way.

    I must confess, sometimes I'm not sure how great I am at being a nurse when I'm depressed and/or manic (these mixed episodes are a BEAR), but if even if what I have to give is limited, my residents and my family get the best of it. After all, it's not their fault I have a mood disorder, and I refuse to let myself get away with using it as an excuse for bad behavior. (By the same token, I also refuse to be marginalized by it---I don't permit anybody to blow me off or dismiss my legitimate concerns with "Oh, stop it, you're just being bipolar".)

    I'm looking forward to a time when exercise will sound even vaguely like something I want to do. I just got done shoveling snow at the top of my driveway and I'm ready for a nap! Maybe when I get to therapeutic levels with my new meds and stop feeling so sleepy in the middle of the day, I'll step into my Sketchers and take the fur-kid for a little some around the house when nobody's looking.

    Thanks for your feedback, and take care.
  5. by   mom35
    Thanks so much for this! I struggled all my life, even as a child, with severe major depression. Before I went to college, at the age of 35, I was hospitalized, and requested and received ect's for the unrelenting depression. After that, I began reading books on self help and started to change my whole way of thinking and seeing the world. Also I stay on an anti-depressant at all times. I changed my life and the way I process the world around me, I know others with other forms of disease may not be so easily helped by just applying a different mindset but for me,plus staying on my anti-depressant, I made it through college and nursing school and am now an RN-For about four months now in my first RN medsurge position. My passion is psychiatric nursing because I can connect so well with it and I find the mind so fascinating! Our coping mechanisms are astounding and wouldn't it be awesome if we could find a way to cure mental illness... I am so glad to know that I am not the only one out here that has suffered through and is now conquering such an illness as an RN. I always felt that I had some secret to hide about myself, but no I dont. The board knows about it and received letter from my psychiatrist saying how far I have come. Again, thankyou for this and to all that continue conquering mental illness on a daily basis-keep on keeping on!!
  6. by   QwerkeeNurse
    This article is eerily parallel to what I experience. Thanks for sharing
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    You are very welcome. It wasn't an easy piece to write, but if it helps even one single reader, it was worth doing.

    And by the way, WELCOME to Allnurses!!! On behalf of the staff, guides, and membership, let me say that we are glad you've joined us, and we hope that your association with us is a long and satisfying one.

    If you're interested in mental health, you may also want to check out the Nurses With Disabilities and Nurses and Recovery forums for more discussions on how nurses cope with depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol and drug addiction, and many other challenging conditions.

    Once again, we welcome you and hope you'll enjoy the site and all it has to offer.

  8. by   Kimpen9
    Well said! Thank you!
  9. by   Goosefahbah
    Brilliant article. Thank you so much. I was beginning to think I was going totally & completely crazy. I can relate to everything. Depression is a soul destroying illness. It makes you feel helpless & hopeless & SO full of guilt. Guilt for not being able to 'snap out of it' of 'not pulling myself together'. Guilt for how it affects family & friends. Guilt for trying & failing to explain it to loved ones. Guilt for having to return again & again to the doctors to try & get help. Nobody can understand how this horrendous illness affects people unless they suffer from it themselves. It can be a daily battle just to 'put on a brave face' & get through the day.
  10. by   OncRN49
    I wonder if we get depressed from all the pressure and stress we go through since we start nursing school all the way until we graduate and become RNs.
    I wonder if we are depressed because of how much is required from us in order to do our job.
    I wonder if "normal" people could be nurses!!!
  11. by   VivaLasViejas
    Three new members! Hello and Welcome to Allnurses! Glad you're here. I hope you all enjoy the site and get to know other members.

    Thank you for your comments.