New grad debilitating anxiety is causing me to not work

Posted
by Faithful2 Faithful2, ADN (New) New Nurse

I’m a new grad nurse who graduated in March but severe debilitating anxiety is stopping me from working . I see a therapist regularly, however therapy is not helping. I was also prescribed meds which I REFUSE to take due to possible side effects. At this point I gave up on the idea of being a nurse because I don’t like the feeling of my heart jumping out of my chest when I am around patients. I actually worked for a VERY short period of time and quit!That feeling truly SUCKS!! I am a very routine person and I do not like the idea of things happening out of the blue, which is why nursing won’t work for me. It really sucks that all my schooling is going down the drain. ! I’m not sure what advice I’m looking for. It’s just a very unfortunate situation! ?

londonflo

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 2,182 Posts

You are not alone. Individuals who do not like the stress of nursing have been encouraged to pursue nursing because of job security and pay. Nursing is not a job that suits every one. How were you on clinicals?

With regard to medications, how about you start with one so that you can monitor any side effects that result? Please talk to your MD/NP to create a plan that works for you. 

I taught nursing for over 40 years and found out several students were in nursing school because of future job security, pay, family pressure not because they wanted to be a nurse. Many did not take a nursing position but learned from their nursing education how to interview for a job, clarify what they wanted in life and most of all how to communicate with others. Your education is NOT wasted.   

Faithful2

Faithful2, ADN

9 Posts

Londonflo Clinicals was horrible for me. I loved the learning aspect of the classroom setting but once I had to go to Clinicals I felt like I was literally having a heart attack. Just to setting up a simple IV pump sets my anxiety through the roof. I really want to work as a nurse but I can’t shake my anxiety at all. The reality is that I know it’s not the right fit for me. I had doubts in second semester of school but kept on pushing through. I wish it ended differently. 

Im constantly overthinking and im just too scared of taking meds. I read up on the side effects and that alone spikes my anxiety about taking the meds.  

Zapi791

Zapi791, BSN, LVN, RN

Specializes in Primary Care Clinics. Has 26 years experience. 40 Posts

1 hour ago, Faithful2 said:

severe debilitating anxiety is stopping me from working . I see a therapist regularly, however therapy is not helping. I was also prescribed meds which I REFUSE to take due to possible side effects. At this point I gave up on the idea of being a nurse because I don’t like the feeling of my heart jumping out of my chest when I am around patients.

Hello Faithful,

Since the only thing holding you back from nursing is a "treatable" medical condition, I find it strange that you "refuse to treat" it because of "possible" side effects.  If you feel like your heart is jumping out of your chest then this is severe anxiety that can also effect your concentration and ability to make decisions, because severe anxieties usually fixate on fears etc.  Since your anxiety is not mild, but severe and debilitating, you may find that the side effects of the medications would work in your benefit if you decide to try it.  Nurses can be the worst patients sometimes when it comes to their own health.

If you chose to change your career path instead, I think that is fine too.  Nursing is not the only job in the world.  Many people are successful in other career paths.  However, this would only be a good solution if your anxiety is only related to nursing.

Faithful2

Faithful2, ADN

9 Posts

Zapi791

I was diagnosed with GAD but nursing really made my anxiety worst. I was able to cope in other fields before nursing school, but for some reason I cannot handle the stress pertaining to nursing. I think I really need to consider taking the meds.

JKL33

6,381 Posts

@Faithful2,

Sorry to hear of your struggles.

None of us here are your medical provider nor can we offer medical advice.

I am going to say, though, that if I were talking with a friend who described debilitating anxiety, I would encourage him/her to seriously consider the treatment options and pretty much to give them a try.

One of the terrible things about anxiety is that it is difficult to see beyond it or to imagine anything else. And anxiety itself can interfere with your ability to process your treatment options.

For the most part all medications and substances and supplements, etc.,  pose at least some small degree of risk. The question is whether the benefit is outweighed by the risk. You are describing such a sad situation that very likely could be helped with medication and especially with medication + continued therapy. It is really okay to utilize medical therapy for your illness.

You could discuss with your provider if it would be possible for you to begin taking the smallest acceptable dose of the recommended medication. Let them know how anxious you feel about starting it.

I don't know you, but I have seen this situation quite a few times. I do believe there's a very good chance life can be much better for you than you can even imagine right now.

Please consider trying the treatment plan your provider is suggesting.

?

 

 

JKL33

6,381 Posts

Also putting in a plug for CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. I have not experienced it myself but I know many patients have found it very helpful with anxiety.

sleepwalker

sleepwalker, MSN, NP

Specializes in Occupational Health. Has 18 years experience. 336 Posts

On 9/19/2021 at 7:08 PM, JKL33 said:

Also putting in a plug for CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. I have not experienced it myself but I know many patients have found it very helpful with anxiety.

this plus a medication treatment plan would be optimal

Faithful2

Faithful2, ADN

9 Posts

Sleepwalker  I’ve been staring at the bottle I need to just take it!! I’m suffering for anxiety and now deep depression because I don’t know what else to do. I have a degree but fear and anxiety is holding me back. I can’t remember much from school and I was not so great at Clinicals , all these things make me doubt myself and feel like I’m inadequate to care for patients. Plus COVID robbed me of clinical exposure because we were online for 1 1/2 ( that’s no excuse because all my peers are working)!! I just wish I was in a better space because I always wanted to be a nurse ? I just got an offer for a non nursing job which does not pay much but I have to work. Wish this was all a dream! My family just don’t understand! 

Faithful2

Faithful2, ADN

9 Posts

Jkl33 I plan on starting my meds today. I just wise I would stop thinking so negatively! Always thinking of the worst case senecio!

JKL33

6,381 Posts

@Faithful2

Many people have been where you are.

As a former ED nurse I want to tell you that you would be shocked at the type and amount of truly dangerous substances and dangerous combinations of substances people put into their bodies without a second thought. Beginning a prescribed medication chosen for you after a proper assessment which is expected to improve your health absolutely pales in comparison. ?

Your healthcare provider has made a plan with you that they believe is going to help you. Remember that the negative thinking, the fear and anxiety, the uncertainty and all the unlikely "what-ifs" are effects of the condition that the medication is meant to treat. Feeling empowered enough to take the medication while being held back by the condition itself is a hump to get over, but you can do it.

I'm glad you have a positive plan for today. ??

Zapi791

Zapi791, BSN, LVN, RN

Specializes in Primary Care Clinics. Has 26 years experience. 40 Posts

11 minutes ago, Faithful2 said:

I have a degree but fear and anxiety is holding me back.

@Faithful2,

Mild anxiety is actually very healthy and can promote achieving goals if channeled correctly.  Severe anxiety on the other hand, is not healthy or useful. Everyone has mild anxiety under certain situations like testing or learning something new ect.

I had mild anxiety throughout nursing school and also when preparing to sit for boards.  My personal treatment for mild anxiety in nursing is usually to study a lot and spend time preparing myself for whatever new task I am learning.  I found that I was over prepared for my boards and passed without issues despite my anxiety.  I am now finding that I am less anxious in during my RN training since I am going home to reflect and study after each shift.  Preparation and knowledge may give you more confidence you need in the future to decrease your severe anxiety, but until then the medication "may" help you to "start somewhere", since it is not likely that you can prepare or learn new things with the "severe" anxiety.

Good luck to you with your treatment and whatever career path you chose.