Nurse with anxiety/depression

  1. Hi, I have been a nurse since 2008. I wanted to be an L&D nurse, but hospitals stopped hiring right before I graduated. Since then, I have worked in LTC, SNF, Wound Care and now Home Health. I have had anxiety since nursing school, and have been going through a lot of personal issues. I am now so depressed and anxious that I have taken a LOA. I am depressed that I didn't get the job I wanted, although I love nursing and helping people, I don't really like my job. I feel almost paralyzed by the way I feel, heart palpitations, and I cry every day. I feel so let down in so many ways, not just job. I feel like I have had a nervous breakdown. will this affect my chances of ever getting the job I really want? I started taking an antidepressant and anti anxiety (which only last a couple hours). Any advice from anyone? I live in Cali which I know is not the best place to get a nursing job. My husband and I have thought about moving out of state, but I am so mentally out of it right now, there is no way I can muster up the ability to move. I really need help, advice. Has anyone else gone through this and how did you get past it...if you Have?
  2. Visit nursepenelope profile page

    About nursepenelope, BSN

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 88; Likes: 37
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience


  3. by   EMSnut45
    It sounds like you are having a rough time right now. If you look around here on Allnurses and over in the Breakroom, you will find that many of us on this site have depression, anxiety, bipolar, and the list goes on. Having the diagnosis in and of itself will not hinder your ability to be a successful nurse, but you certainly cannot be successful unless you take care of yourself first, and this will take some work from several key players-- you, your husband, and your physician. It is a strong first step to creep out from the darkness and ask for help. I urge you to speak with your physician again about how you are feeling. Another great option is your employers EAP. It is a free benefit that usually offers several free therapy sessions and is totally confidential. If I could give a hug through the computer screen, I would! Hang in there and know that you are not alone!!
  4. by   FieryGingerRN
    Like EMSnut45 said, there are many of us out there battling with depression, anxiety, etc. It will not affect your chances of getting the job you want, and the great thing about nursing is you can change to a different field of nursing if the one you're in is not a good fit for you. Go to, in my area I found a lot of openings and you can set up options to be emailed with new job opportunities. You should discuss your medication with your doctor if you feel it isn't working, he/she could change it or up your dosage. Hang in there, hopefully you find your dream job soon. Nursing is a rewarding career. Best of luck to you!
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Hi, nursepenelope! So sorry to hear you're feeling down. While we cannot offer you any sort of medical advice, you have more companions here than you know who suffer from anxiety and depression, and we know how hard it is to try to work with those conditions.

    A few words of non-medical advice: Whatever you do, DON'T make major life decisions, such as moving out of state, when you're in the middle of a major mood episode. Leaving everything and everyone you know when you're feeling unstable is one of the most common mistakes people make, and it's also one of the worst! You need your family, your friends, and your doctor more than ever right now.....this isn't the time to add more stress by having to find a new place to live, new jobs, new medical providers, and so on.

    It does sound like your medication regimen isn't quite doing the job. Are you in therapy? If not, please ask your doctor to help you find a therapist, as this kind of help can be at least as effective as medication at controlling symptoms. Also, you may wish to consider asking for a referral to a psychiatrist if you don't have one; I know the prospect of seeing such a doctor can be rather intimidating, but the right one is worth his/her weight in gold. (You can trust me on that score!)

    I used to recommend using the Employee Assistance Program many employers make available to employees with personal and/or professional issues, but regrettably, some are not as confidential as they should be and you don't want your mental health to be the topic of anyone's conversation unless YOU choose to make it so. You're better off seeking help away from the workplace whenever possible.

    Also, if there is any way you can afford not to work until you've got a better handle on your life, DON'T. I know what it's like to have a meltdown and then try to go back to work too soon; I fell apart again literally within hours and wound up losing my job because I couldn't deal with the stress anymore. I'm still not over it. I'm working in a very reduced capacity as an admitting nurse in LTC because that's all I can handle. But I am also in the twilight of my career and I don't want to work long hours anymore; your situation is very different, and with the right kind of help I think you can beat this.

    Please, please get into therapy ASAP. If you can, try to find a psychiatrist who can manage your medications AND do therapy; they're rare, but they are out there (mine is one). Meds only help straighten out brain chemistry; in the right doses, they make it possible for us to do the work and gain the coping skills we need to get better. But they aren't a cure, and we have to look at depression and anxiety as chronic conditions to be managed; most of us do relapse from time to time, and we have to plan for that.

    Just know that you are FAR from alone. I wish you the very best!
  6. by   lmccrn62
    I am sorry but understand what your going through. I too always have had anxiety and because of a very stressful situation at work I went off the deep end. I broke! I took a 3 month medical leave, prescribed medication and got counseling. I never felt like I was going to come out of that deep hole though I did. There is hope and help you need to reach out and ask. Good luck!
  7. by   SuesquatchRN
    You must see your PCP and discuss your feelings. Depression and anxiety are medical conditions that can be managed. Ask me how I know.
  8. by   caliotter3
    Look at it this way. You have the conditions and you are dealing with them. You will have to deal with them no matter what line of work you pursue. It is up to you to try to make your life what you want it to be. Not every nurse gets to work in the nursing specialty they would prefer, but that does not mean you should just give up on getting the job that you want. Work on improving your health and the rest will follow. Best wishes.
  9. by   nursepenelope
    Thsnks for sll the adice....I still fer l likevi sm going crazy with the almost constant anxiety and crying everyday I feel likevim going crazy. I hate this...I can barely eat. My pcp is unsympathetic and I don't want to be labeled. If I loose my job I won't have insurance buti can't imagine going back to work like this..
  10. by   caliotter3
    It sounds to me like you need to find a PCP who will address your concerns. You are justified in finding a doctor that does not dismiss your problems.
  11. by   BabaLouRN
    DON' T stop!!! I have been though this twice and IT IS FIXABLE!!!! Meds all need adjusting and TIME!
    Get RID of your doctor. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what you are going through. Maybe print off this discussion and ask a GOOD Doctor to read it before you talk.
  12. by   BabaLouRN
    Are there any Home Health nurses NOT on SSRI'a??
  13. by   nursepenelope
    I have been on 20 mg prozac for a month. And buspar for a cpl weeks. I am still crying every day, am anxious and having a very difficult time getting up to do anything. The thought of going back to my job on 1/7 nakes my anxiety even worse but I need the insurance. My house is a disaster which also makes me crazy...but I don't have any energy and its hard for me to eat. I'm so tired of this. I also have pain issues and on meds for that. I am really struggling with taking more meds. I hate this...I really want to feel normal again...and I wish I had a job I love. all of this sucks so bad. ..
  14. by   nursepenelope
    PS...its nice to have some place to vent and vocalize how I am feeling without feeling judged. Thank you everyone for your comments and advice.