nurses and psy problems

Specialties Psychiatric



I'm a nursing student and my teachers used to say that it is impossible to help others if you have a depression or any psychatric trouble.

I have a it possible to be a nurse even if you have a bipolar dissorder (II)?

Wanted to know........please be frank with me ;)


66 Posts

Of course!! Assuming you are on medications that will control your highs and lows. Trust me, there are many nurses who have psych problems and are excellent nurses. It all depends on how well your symptoms are controlled and if you can give quality care to your patients. I am sure if the truth was out there for everyone, you would discover that there are many nurses who have been diagnosed with psych problems, are excellent nurses and you would NEVER guess they had ANY problems!!


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

Check out the thread: "Is it possible for a Bipolar person to become a psych nurse?" on this same forum, where this was recently discussed.


66 Posts

Specializes in Rural Hospital (we do it all).

I can't speak for "allnurses" but in our graduating class of 30 BSN nurses, 37% admitted to having been diagnosed with at least one DSM-IV disorder. Four were taking SSRI's for depression, two had prn anti-anxiety meds for panic disorders, two had ADHD and took prescribed amphetamines, one was bulimic, one was an alcoholic, and one also had a bipolar disorder and was currently on lithium. Our Psych instructor said that these findings were within the normal range.

Needless to say, these individuals possessed indepth knowledge and personal experiences related to their disorders which enhanced their understanding of many issues involving psychiatric nursing.

"We often learn best through our own experiences"

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I have a good male friend RN who has his MSN and he is bipoloar. He takes his meds as prescribed. He did have days when as a supervisor I would have to sit on him so to speak on his up days and bring him up on his down days.



There are many in the nursing profession that have or will have within some time of thier career some type of depression , and some of those will progress into other Psychiatric disorders. Out of my class alone there were only 6 of us out of a class of 30 that were not on anything. Out of the 6 there is only 2 remaining free of some type of medication. For an instructor to say that it is impossible to help others if you have some psychiatric disorders of your own , well thats just stupid , no other words discribe my thoughts at this moment. You know your limits better than anyone else, and if you are stringent of your medications and your levels remain within limits I dont see why you cant be as helpful as the rest of us.

I think its about time that sterotypes are removed and the abilities of one be accounted for as merits.

Just my thoughts


canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Is it impossible to help a cancer patient when you are being treated, or have had cancer??

It's the same thing. So long as you are not actively ill you will make an effective and empathetic nurse.


59 Posts


thanks for the encouraged me a lot because at the beginning of this term I told my teacher I was on medication for a depression and since that moment she had been looking at me all the time searching some kind of comments to tell me about my personnality and that psychiatry is not a good place for me to work.

To be frank, as an aux. nurse I worked in a psy unit and never had problem. In my trainning I did a good job too...but this teacher made me fail by 0.6% I feel like I've been too frank... She has no right to do that and the nurses on the unit think the same. I asked a review of my file and I'll see what will happen.

thanks everyone it made me feel good to see you (nurses) think it is possible to do it!

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