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Hitting the metaphorical wall, wondering if I should hit it with a sledgehammer.

Prisnur04 Prisnur04 (New) New

Specializes in Prison healthcare. Has 10 years experience.

I don't know if I'm in the right category, and I have never done anything like this before, so bear with me. I normally shy away from any social networking, but unfortunately, I also shy away from real people. I have worked as an LVN for 10 years now in a correctional facility here in Texas. I never wanted to be a nurse, though my family always said I should be, but when I was younger I made very poor decisions for myself and ended up in a small town with a nursing school and went for it.

I used to love my job. I have a gift for accepting people as they are, which is pretty much required in order to be an effective nurse for inmates. I have struggled with severe anxiety and depression for a long time now, but no one believes that either of these disorders are a hinderance and I have been told to "just get over it". I cannot get over it. I have decided to seek psychiatric care at an inpatient facility and I am now terrified of losing my job do to the work I have missed and will miss if I go to inpatient therapy. I have had 2 true breakdowns at work (and believe me, where I work, it REALLY gets noticed) and I don't know what else to do. It's pretty sad when the inmates are more concerned than my co-workers and superiors...

I feel like such a cry baby and complainer, but I have no support from family. I have very few friends (2 to be exact). I just needed to vent...to exhale...and to know if anyone out there feels the same.


Specializes in hospice.

Take care of yourself first. You can't be an effective nurse anywhere with uncontrolled mental health problems. If you lose your job, maybe it was meant to be and it's time for you to move on. Get yourself healthy, then worry about employment.

Can't you take medical leave from your job? I thought there were federal laws in place to allow you to do so.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

You are NOT a crybaby or a complainer. And no one "just gets over" anxiety and depression---it's not like the flu! If you had cancer or diabetes, nobody would be telling you to "get over it".....well, mental illness is no different, no matter what people say.

I think you're right to consider inpatient. Your pain is almost palpable and sometimes IP is what's needed to get you stabilized on medications and back on the right track to health. Yes, you may lose your job due to excessive absences (the Americans with Disabilities Act is basically toothless), but you can't take care of others if you're not taking care of yourself first.

If you can, try to take a few months off to get your anxiety and depression under good control. Nursing is tough under the best of circumstances, but for someone with a mental illness, it can be brutal. I wound up having to leave nursing last year because I couldn't get my bipolar 1 under control even with meds and therapy; now I'm fine for the most part. Don't wait until your illness breaks you---you can still salvage your career if you deal with these problems now.

It does get better, but you have to give yourself a break and do what you need to in order to regain your health. Go IP, get the care you need. Wishing you the very best, Viva.