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New to site, Newly Diagnosed with BP I, and supposed to start Nursing School???

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by joannlmt83 joannlmt83 (New Member) New Member

1,275 Visitors; 8 Posts

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Hi all,

I'm hoping to get positive feedback or honest feedback whichever. In february of 2011, I was Diagnosed with BP I and still healing from the aftermath of what my extreme mania made me do and the deep dark depression that followed.

I applied to take the Nursing program in January 2012 and am terrified due to my own insecurities along with what everyone tells me about the program.

I applied to the program and got in about 5 years ago but with the death of my grandfather and the fact that the teachers scared the crap out of me I dropped out after a week. The teachers told us that only 25% of the class will graduate, our lives are over, and basically, "welcome to hell." There was no warmth or positive feedback whatsoever. I do not respond well to negativity and harsh personalities.

I'm currently a massage therapist looking for a career change as I can not retire doing this work not to mention the monotany of the career. I do love to help people and feel better about myself when I do. Massage school even though was a lot of studying, wasn't hard, just lots of work. I only worked 2 days while going to school which helped tremendously. I think I wasn't scared bc its not like I can screw anything up while working and I don't have to remember minute details.

Nursing on the other hand can be deadly if you make even the smallest mistake. When I'm put on the spot or asked to respond in seconds with an answer I get flustered and don't live up to my full potential. I know this career is a lot of thinking quick on your feet along with being able to multitask.

I'm just wondering if my personality type along with my disorder will compromise my progess and success?

What can I do during school to make me more successful? If anyone else has BP, how did you handle school, what did you do to get through it? How did you handle your depressive episodes and were you able to pull out of it? How many espisodes did you go through while going to school? What medications did you take? I currently take Lamictal and Tegretol. Should I even go to school????? I want to be part of the medical profession, make a difference, as well as have the ability to be able to support myself in every aspect, especially financially.

Does anyone have suggestions or feedback? Please help me....

Thanks Jo'Ann

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2 Followers; 46,542 Visitors; 8,863 Posts

I applied to the program and got in about 5 years ago but with the death of my grandfather and the fact that the teachers scared the crap out of me I dropped out after a week. The teachers told us that only 25% of the class will graduate, our lives are over, and basically, "welcome to hell." There was no warmth or positive feedback whatsoever. I do not respond well to negativity and harsh personalities.

How do you feel about this scenario now 5 years later? Maybe some schools are different but mine both LPN and RN were about the least nurturing environments I could imagine. It is what it is. If you feel you are ready and this is really what you want to do I would try it however I have to say the tone of your post sounds very fragile to me and I'm not sure that is congruent with nursing school. Wishing you the best with whatever you decide.

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1,275 Visitors; 8 Posts

Thanks for the honesty Jules A. I'm scared of anything that is hard and am my own worst enemy. I was actually more upbeat about the program 5 years ago b/c I didn't ask anyone their opinions. However had a harsh dose of reality my first day which killed my confidence.

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Karl Farmer has 25 years experience and specializes in LTC, MDS, plasmapheresis.

3,823 Visitors; 308 Posts

Nursing schools are all hateful places. 52 started in my class, 30 graduated. They especially tore up single mothers. The nursing profession is the same, there are no kindred spirits, and no camaraderie, whatsoever. And BTW- the latest bent is asking if you have any mental illness, or take any meds- that way you can be put in an impaired nurse program right off the bat. Might want to learn to relax, and find that massage is a better diamond in the rough than you thought it could be. And also might want to keep a lid on anything that may ever end up online, meaning available to anyone. It's not a nice place this country is heading towards. Ohm~

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22,139 Visitors; 4,266 Posts

hi all,

i'm hoping to get positive feedback or honest feedback whichever. in february of 2011, i was diagnosed with bp i and still healing from the aftermath of what my extreme mania made me do and the deep dark depression that followed.

i applied to take the nursing program in january 2012 and am terrified due to my own insecurities along with what everyone tells me about the program.

i applied to the program and got in about 5 years ago but with the death of my grandfather and the fact that the teachers scared the crap out of me i dropped out after a week. the teachers told us that only 25% of the class will graduate, our lives are over, and basically, "welcome to hell." there was no warmth or positive feedback whatsoever. i do not respond well to negativity and harsh personalities.

[color=rgb(46, 139, 87)]nursing is full of harsh/negative personalities (surgeons, nurses, anybody in the hospital can be negative/harsh)

i'm currently a massage therapist looking for a career change as i can not retire doing this work not to mention the monotany of the career. i do love to help people and feel better about myself when i do. massage school even though was a lot of studying, wasn't hard, just lots of work. i only worked 2 days while going to school which helped tremendously. i think i wasn't scared bc its not like i can screw anything up while working and i don't have to remember minute details.

nursing on the other hand can be deadly if you make even the smallest mistake. when i'm put on the spot or asked to respond in seconds with an answer i get flustered and don't live up to my full potential. [color=rgb(46, 139, 87)] this is a problem for a potential nurse.

i know this career is a lot of thinking quick on your feet along with being able to multitask.

i'm just wondering if my personality type along with my disorder will compromise my progess and success?

it's not ideal- but a career counselor may have some really good ideas :)

what can i do during school to make me more successful? if anyone else has bp, how did you handle school, what did you do to get through it? how did you handle your depressive episodes and were you able to pull out of it? how many espisodes did you go through while going to school? what medications did you take? i currently take lamictal and tegretol.

should i even go to school????? my opinion is that you need to find something that will fit for you- there are a lot of medical jobs - look into what is in demand- new nurses are having a terrible time finding jobs. but i don't think that bp1 is an automatic deal breaker for school :)

i want to be part of the medical profession, make a difference, as well as have the ability to be able to support myself in every aspect, especially financially.

does anyone have suggestions or feedback? please help me....

thanks jo'ann

you would have to have good follow up and ongoing care with your md/therapist. and taking meds as prescribed has to be as important as breathing- minimizing the ups and downs is incredibly important. attendance issues are also a consideration. i'd really recommend talking to a career counselor at a community college- sometimes they have surveys/tests that help people narrow down what would be a good fit for them- even if it's not in the medical field, you could possibly volunteer in a hospital to get some contact.

best of luck :)

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1,275 Visitors; 8 Posts

Don't you all have mental illness, how do you have jobs then?? So why such discouraging words?? Honesty is nice but it seems like you hate your jobs.... trust me being a massage therapist isn't its all cracked up to be. I think nurses that are hateful and not happy bc they don't like what they do and shouldn't be doing it if you're so miserable.

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brandy1017 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

37,321 Visitors; 2,271 Posts

The problem is the intense stress and poor working conditions most of us deal with and I don't think its going to get better in this time of cost cutting! I would not advise you to go into nursing as the stress and work environment will probably exacerbate your BP! But its up to you!

I would think you would seek out a calm, stable work environment to help keep your emotions on level. If your bipolar flares and you make a mistake at work or do something even in your personal life that could get you in trouble with the BON! Something to think about. Even your off the job problems can be held against you say if you go manic and do something you regret.

A coworker struggles with BP and it has been very difficult for her, struggling as a single mother to care for her kids, frequent flare ups of mania that had her out of work for a prolonged time, then the depression. She is a long time employee and management has been very understanding to her so she is lucky to be able to keep her job and care for her children. But if you read so many posts here, many of us are not so lucky, some have been harassed by bullies (coworkers) and fired on a dime as a recent post noted.

On a different note, perhaps you should consider PT or OT as you are already good at working with your hands in massage therapy and these are both very hands on jobs that pay well. PT would complement and enhance your massage therapy skills I would look into that. You can even get a PT assistant training, think associates degree, believe PT requires a masters at this point. Perhaps you would be more suited to that. You've got nothing to lose to check it out. Also US tech pays well on par with nursing, work with your hands, believe you can get a 2 year degree and be off and running. I don't hear of US techs or PT/OT being mandated and forced to work a double shift 16 hrs!

Edited by brandy1017

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8,604 Visitors; 238 Posts

I'd like to second the PT/OT idea. If you think you'd really like something like nursing, these fields are pretty good; in fact, I wish I had known about them long ago in the Dark Ages when I first decided to be a nurse ;p Also, X-ray, ultrasound, physician's assistant are all boom fields in my town. Think about not just what you'd like now, but what you might need in 20 years. What is it that you like and don't like about massage? That might help you to make some more choices open up.

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368 Visitors; 1 Post

Hi all,

I'm hoping to get positive feedback or honest feedback whichever. In february of 2011, I was Diagnosed with BP I and still healing from the aftermath of what my extreme mania made me do and the deep dark depression that followed.

I applied to take the Nursing program in January 2012 and am terrified due to my own insecurities along with what everyone tells me about the program.

I applied to the program and got in about 5 years ago but with the death of my grandfather and the fact that the teachers scared the crap out of me I dropped out after a week. The teachers told us that only 25% of the class will graduate, our lives are over, and basically, "welcome to hell." There was no warmth or positive feedback whatsoever. I do not respond well to negativity and harsh personalities.

I'm currently a massage therapist looking for a career change as I can not retire doing this work not to mention the monotany of the career. I do love to help people and feel better about myself when I do. Massage school even though was a lot of studying, wasn't hard, just lots of work. I only worked 2 days while going to school which helped tremendously. I think I wasn't scared bc its not like I can screw anything up while working and I don't have to remember minute details.

Nursing on the other hand can be deadly if you make even the smallest mistake. When I'm put on the spot or asked to respond in seconds with an answer I get flustered and don't live up to my full potential. I know this career is a lot of thinking quick on your feet along with being able to multitask.

I'm just wondering if my personality type along with my disorder will compromise my progess and success?

What can I do during school to make me more successful? If anyone else has BP, how did you handle school, what did you do to get through it? How did you handle your depressive episodes and were you able to pull out of it? How many espisodes did you go through while going to school? What medications did you take? I currently take Lamictal and Tegretol. Should I even go to school????? I want to be part of the medical profession, make a difference, as well as have the ability to be able to support myself in every aspect, especially financially.

Does anyone have suggestions or feedback? Please help me....

Thanks Jo'Ann

Let's not be negative. Having Bipolar and going through nursing school is possible. I have bipolar and some learning disabilities as well and im not afraid to admit that. It's hard for me to go to school because I have a hard time concentrating and sometimes my depression does get the best of me. But you can do it. I have never missed a day of school although i had a rough time passing my gen eds and i am still trying to pass them but it takes patience. I was diagnosed by my school's psychiatrist so they knew about my disorder and they treated me like everyone else like i wanted. Your disorder will get the best of you sometimes but you just have to communicate with your psychiatrist to get your meds right. fortunatley for me i was diagnosed early and found the right meds early i am taking lamictal and abilify you can do it...if i can you can :heartbeat don't let people get you down. It will be hard and i have been rejected by two schools and im only 19 but i am taking it slow like you should too i am in a CNA course right now and I just got a 92% on my first exam. study harder than you have before and try to keep positive and you will be ok and take deep breaths often:yawn:

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Rob72 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Infectious Disease, Neuro, Research.

9,373 Visitors; 685 Posts

breezy has good advice. Everyone is different. The main thing to remember is- it isn't personal, your grades aren't you. In any given semester, you can bomb 1, maybe 2 exams, but as long as you do your assignments, and (for most schools) your exam average is %75, you can pass with a high 'B' average.

Pain is transitory, so is nursing school.;)

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2 Followers; 46,542 Visitors; 8,863 Posts

Don't you all have mental illness, how do you have jobs then?? So why such discouraging words?? Honesty is nice but it seems like you hate your jobs.... trust me being a massage therapist isn't its all cracked up to be. I think nurses that are hateful and not happy bc they don't like what they do and shouldn't be doing it if you're so miserable.

To answer your question at least for myself no, although I have my fair share of issues, I haven't been diagnosed with mental illness. I'm a psych nurse who has gone through the horror of nursing school so that is why I decided to answer your post. In all fairness I don't think you got really discouraging answers and the beauty of an open forum is getting a variety of opinions. I happen to love nursing but it isn't an easy profession, imo. Wishing you the best with whatever you decide to do.

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22,139 Visitors; 4,266 Posts

Don't you all have mental illness, how do you have jobs then?? So why such discouraging words?? Honesty is nice but it seems like you hate your jobs.... trust me being a massage therapist isn't its all cracked up to be. I think nurses that are hateful and not happy bc they don't like what they do and shouldn't be doing it if you're so miserable.

No, we don't all have mental illness- but it's pretty safe to say the majority of us have worked with folks who do, or have family/friends/co-workers with mental illness. The "discouraging words" are a response to your asking for opinions :) That's all. It's going to be tough- that does not mean it's impossible. You have a point about people not being nurses if they are miserable- but all jobs have negative aspects :) I found the nutty stuff and wild days worth it for all of the ones that went ok. Nursing is NOT a job where you will get a lot of positive feedback about your work. You have to get that from within yourself. That can be hard, especially the first few years when you're building the foundation of your career....after school, you still have a LOT to learn- and any nurse that is worth anything keeps learning for the rest of his/her life :)

You wanted opinions. This bunch isn't prone to sugar coating anything , because it doesn't help to lie to you - you wanted honest feedback (sometimes that's positive, and sometimes it's a bit hard to hear).

I never hated nursing. I'm disabled now, but keep my license. I'm proud of being a nurse :nurse: If you can keep stable on your meds, and keep in contact with your doc and/or therapist, you might do great. But compliance with treatment for BP1 will be the key to any chance with nursing school.... I've known nurses with depression and other mental illnesses- and while there were times that were hard, they made it :)

But nursing and the medical profession is loaded with negative things and people...if you really have a problem with those , it's good to figure out if you can handle it (on a daily basis in some form- and realize it's not personal- it's about whatever situation is going on. It's hard to separate that when you're in the middle of it :heartbeat

Talk with your therapist - see what their input is- they know you better. You bring up VERY good questions about your situation- if your cycles are stable with meds, there may be some areas of nursing that work well for you.... hospital nursing might be too overstimulating and trigger either mania or depressive episodes.... lots to consider with your doc/therapist :)

Hang in there :)

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