Introduction, and have few questions about depression

  1. hello everyone, just signed up for the forum, though i have been lurking for some time. i have a few questions about depression, and how they can affect your nursing license, if that's possible?

    a short recap of my story. i was molested for five years by a family member, had therapy, then stopped. went to nursing school immediately following high school, graduated, got married, moved across country. had two children, three miscarriages. was raped by my ex husbands best friend, which really brought back all the feelings/baggage i felt after being molested. was diagnosed with severe sle, also have many episodes of severe allergic reactions (my body is hypersensitive to many foods/meds). now the latest is two herniated discs, for which i am receiving steroid injections, but i am in constant pain. add to this that i am almost divorced, though i am in a relationship with another woman.

    my questions are, with the constant pain, and multiple health issues i have been facing lately, i have become very depressed, at times suicidal. i have tried two courses of anti depressants already, and i am going to see a psychiatrist wednesday. can my depression affect my ability to hold a nursing license? and can they involuntarily admit me for observation if i am suicidal? i don't know much about psych, i am a rehab nurse, with a new appreciation for those who suffer with severe pain and become suicidal. i am on medical leave, which also compounds my depression.

    thanks to anyone who read this, if you can answer my questions, or give me some advice, i would be most appreciative. thanks...

    rehab nurse
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    About rehab nurse

    Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 595; Likes: 118
    healing from cancer and spinal injury, unable to work :(; from US
    Specialty: rehab; med/surg; l&d; peds/home care


  3. by   susanna
    Hi, I also have severe depression so I stopped in on this post. I'm not a nurse yet so I'm sorry that I don't have any answers for you. But I was moved by how upsetting and difficult your life has been up to and including now. I'm sure that people here will be able to answer your questions and provide some support. I hope you get to feeling better.
  4. by   LesJenRN
    Hi there,

    Been there, done that......
    If you are seeking help and are able to function safetly on the job, there should be no problem. I know that when I was in the deepest stages there was no way I could focus on patients, I missed some work at that time. I did not share with my employer what was up at the time, but they did know it was a medical issue.
    Please focus on yourself and getting well above anything else. It is possible to feel better, even though that is hard to believe when you are so down. Depression at its worst is the blackest, most painful & loneliest place to be. Be honest with your psychiatrist about your thoughts of suicide, you wont get locked away involuntarily. A good doctor will work with various meds until something works....there are MANY options. A PCP isnt equiped to handle such things on this kind of level.
    Hang in there, you are dealing with HUGE things. Dont give up, go day by day. It is so scary to feel the way you do, but with help you CAN get through it.
    I will be thinking of you.
    Let us know how you are doing okay?
  5. by   elkpark
    A history of depression has nothing to do with holding a nursing license, as long as you are able to practice safely and competently. You would be amazed how many nurses have struggled with serious depression. In the larger sense, if you're not able to practice safely or competently, it doesn't really matter what the reason is, you need to not be practicing until the situation is improved ...

    The law in every state does allow for people who are suicidal and a danger to themselves or others to be hospitalized involuntarily for evaluation, but that applies to everyone equally and has nothing to do with whether or not you're a nurse.

    Please be honest with your psychiatrist about how you're feeling, as another poster noted, and follow her/his treatment recommendations. Best wishes --
  6. by   Energizer Bunny
    Firstly, I wanted to welcome you here. I have a history of depression and many of the same issues that you described. When I first decided to go to school, I worried as you are right now. There are so many different meds. out there that there WILL be one for you that will work. Keep the faith and as others have said, be extremely, brutally honest with your dr!!!! Good luck to you!
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    I have a history of depression as well, which has been managed quite nicely with medication for the past three years. I don't feel it's any of the nursing board's business as long as it doesn't make me unsafe to practice, hence I've never seen any need to inform them of the fact that I have the disorder......any more than the fact that I also have asthma, flat feet, IBS, and a bad gallbladder. (If I'd been hospitalized, needed intensive psychotherapy, and especially multiple meds that made me prone to drowsiness, forgetfulness, seizures etc., that would be something else entirely.) JMHO.