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Nurses struggling with mental illness

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by Severina Severina (New Member) New Member

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Liddle Noodnik has 30 years experience and specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep..

4 Articles; 3,789 Posts; 42,497 Profile Views

Those of you who are dealing are a great inspiration to me. Thanks for posting, you've really touched my heart today. :)

Glad to see you are still hanging in there :)

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Liddle Noodnik has 30 years experience and specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep..

4 Articles; 3,789 Posts; 42,497 Profile Views

Dealing with PTSD, due to several life events.

I manage by reading books, writing in a journal, and meditation with aromatherapy.

Hey Marie, glad to hear from you! Hope things continue to go well!

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throughout my teen years i was very depressed but unlike most people with depression instead of being mopey and sad, i became angry and violent. when i finally was ready to face up to the fact that i had a problem i was put on prozac and i thought that was that. but what i didn't know was that i wasn't just depressed i was bipolar, it turns out many, many people are misdiagnosed because most only go get help for the depressive side and don't explain the whole picture to their doctor. also being only on a drug like prozac can make you cycle more rapidly. :angryfire

in aug of this year i was finally properly diagnosed by a psyciatrist and was put on lithium and prozac. they help alot and i am almost normal, the only thing is i still have anxiety problems and a very hard time sleeping. i stay up for days sometimes and then i sleep for days as well. i am hopfully going to acheive my dream of becoming a midwife, before i'm 30. i have basically flunked out of school twice due to the fact that i start my classes and do well but then i get depressed and loose momentum. do any of you have any ideas on how i can make the third time a charm?

i have just moved home to stay with my mom so that i can get my life together and hopefully learn to control my mi if not overcome it completly. also as i am still young and hope to have kids someday in the near future. do any of you know of a bipolar medication that is safe for during pregnancy. my step mother stayed on her meds while she was pregnant with my half brother and now he is having alot of developmental problems that could be atributed to the lithium and all her other meds. :uhoh21:

one more question and then i'll give it a rest. have anyof you heard of meetup.com it is a site where people who share the same interests and.or problems can get together and chat and even meet in person. i was wondering if any of you would be interested in starting an group for people in the medical profession with mental illnesses? anywho let me know and i can set it up as i belong to a few other groups in my home town. :p

celtic bombshell

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Jo Dirt has 9 years experience.

3,270 Posts; 17,116 Profile Views

I was just wondering if there are any other nurses who struggle with mental illness. It seems to be one disability that is met with little tolerance and support in the medical field. I do have major co-morbid mental illness, Major depression/PTSD/DID, and have had many problems in my career. I have been in therapy and on meds for a long time and have worked very hard to be functional, and I have suprised myself by what I have been able to achieve. Currently, I am a hospice nurse in a residential setting and it seems that I have found my niche. It doesn't aggravate my illness too much. I am very busy at times and most of my job revolves in much cognitive thinking and decision making about the best ways to respond to a patient's emerging or existing symptoms, and in assessing patients to see where they are in the dying process, plus lots of educating to patients and families. My extensive personal trauma background has made me able to have a different perspective on death and don't see it as the scary thing that is SO SAD, that a lot of people do. Plus, because of the things that I have been through, I am more able to be compassionate and understanding of patients and their fears. I especially do well with patients with existing mental illness or lots of anxiety. I notice that a lot of nurses have little tolerance for a patients anxiety and are not willing to take the extra time to walk them through things and provide the extra reassurance that they need.

Yes, there are some nursing jobs that I don't think I would be able to do because of the fast on the spot life and death action necessary. ER and Trauma/Burn are pretty much out for me. But thats OK. A lot of nurses couldn't handle doing what I do either for their own reasons. We are all suited to certain things.

Having mental illness doesn't automatically make you unsuited for the nursing profession. Even though I have heard many times, "what are you doing here?" "Shouldn't you be doing something else, less stressful?"

I am here and am doing the thing I am suited for. Yes sometimes I have to take time off due to my illness, but its no different than somone who has flare ups of a chronic physical illness like lupus, chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia.

I would like to know how other nurses have coped with their own illness and their nursing careers.

Severina

I suffer from severe depression and a touch of bipolar. It used to be hard for me to hold down the same job for more than a few months. I started taking Lexapro a year ago and I feel like it has saved my life. However, I do not feel like it is working as well as it used to for me. I am scheduled to see a psychologist (who works with an MD) Feb. 21 and we will see what he suggests.

Just know you are not alone. I feel for you. Mental illness is about the worst kind of illness anyone can have, and unbeknownst to people who have never been there who flippantly tell us to "get over it" depression is as painful as any physical ailment one can have.

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Hi! I'm trulie.julie and in the summer I will start taking my prerequisites for nursing school, hoping to attend next year. I'm glad I found this place and I have a very serious question. I have struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life and have been medicated for the last 20 years. The meds I'm on are Wellbutrin, Effexor, Klonopin .5 and Ambien. When I go to take my drug test are these going to show up and disqualify me from even trying to become a nurse and if I tell the testing nurse what I am on, will that also disqualify me? If necessary I would get off the klonopin and Ambien but they have literally been life savers for me and I'm at the most "normal" I've ever been in my whole life. No one in my life even would have a clue I'm on psych drugs. Sorry this post is so long..I was just wondering if anyone here has any advice. Thank you so much in advance

Hi, Trulie.julie!

Please don't stop taking your meds! At most schools you need to let them know what meds you are on for safety reasons (your own, mostly, ie; if something should happen to you they need to know your med history so they know how to help you/what not to give you in the case of an emergency).

As far as drug tests, I'd like to tell you that these things won't turn up in your urine, but it really depends on what your school tests for. I have NEVER heard of drug screening so comprehensive as to look for antidepressants.I can't imagine how expensive that would be for the school and students. Drug tests are usually 5 panel; they look for marijuana, cocaine/amphetamines, opiods, PCP, and barbiturates. If you aren't doing any of these, I wouldn't worry about the drug test. Some of the tests DO test for benzos...frankly, I'm not sure Ativan would show up, but if it does, you have a script for it, so no problem.

I took my drug screen test for nursing school 2 days after taking Xanax and Vicoden. Apparently they didn't show up, but they also weren't high doses, and I did have prescriptions for both.

We are supposed to inform our school of meds we are taking, but I have not had the balls to tell them I take Xanax. It is probably not a big deal to tell them, but unfortunately Xanax is so demonized nowadays. I just don't want to call attention to myself...I'm sure I wouldn't be the only person in our class to be taking Xanax, but I just can't bring myself to let the school know. I figure if I take it and I'm fine, then why tell them? I know that contradicts a lot of what I wrote earlier. Apparently, I am better at giving advice than taking it. :o It is sad that only some health conditions are "acceptable" and that others remain hidden for fear of persecution. Everyone working in health care should know better, but for some reason mental illness is still judged so harshly even in the health care industry.

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Liddle Noodnik has 30 years experience and specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep..

4 Articles; 3,789 Posts; 42,497 Profile Views

throughout my teen years i was very depressed but unlike most people with depression instead of being mopey and sad, i 30. . i have basically flunked out of school twice due to the fact that i start my classes

celtic bombshell

hi cb!

i have lost more good jobs due to my illness, it's pitiful! i got through nursing school ok but at 25 the bottom fell out (alcoholism and bipolar, great combo...)

i wish you success. maybe your school could adapt your learning process as they would for someone with learning disability or physical illness (americans with disability act).

sorry i am already on a whole bunch of message boards, but feel free to email me!

god bless!

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124 Posts; 2,330 Profile Views

icusleep says: "drug tests are usually 5 panel; they look for marijuana, cocaine/amphetamines, opiods, pcp, and barbiturates."

don't make the dumb mistake i did! do not eat anything, for instance a muffin, that my have poppy seeds in it! i think it would appear you took an opioid.

they never told me why i was not hired after the drug screening. but they really wanted me with them before the urinalysis, and then suddenly, i couldn't be hired.

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692 Posts; 5,605 Profile Views

I think screening for benzos is common also. For nursing students: the common benzos are Valium, Ativan, Versed, Klonopin, Xanax. They should all show up.

If you have a script for a med that shows up in your urine, then you're covered. It's legal prescription medication. But if you took your sister's Vicodin for a pulled muscle, you're screwed.

I live in an area where drug testing is uncommon, I don't know why. I don't think I've ever done it. If I did, I wish I didn't have to show them my Ativan bottle, but I'd rather have a job than keep my issues a secret.

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614 Posts; 4,746 Profile Views

icusleep says: "drug tests are usually 5 panel; they look for marijuana, cocaine/amphetamines, opiods, pcp, and barbiturates."

don't make the dumb mistake i did! do not eat anything, for instance a muffin, that my have poppy seeds in it!i think it would appear you took an opioid.

they never told me why i was not hired after the drug screening. but they really wanted me with them before the urinalysis, and then suddenly, i couldn't be hired.

that wellbutrin, being close to amphetamine, might show up on amphetamine tests. don't know for sure; haven't had any drug tests--but nursing school knows what i am on.

nursefirst

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Hi, Trulie.julie!

Please don't stop taking your meds! At most schools you need to let them know what meds you are on for safety reasons (your own, mostly, ie; if something should happen to you they need to know your med history so they know how to help you/what not to give you in the case of an emergency).

As far as drug tests, I'd like to tell you that these things won't turn up in your urine, but it really depends on what your school tests for. I have NEVER heard of drug screening so comprehensive as to look for antidepressants.I can't imagine how expensive that would be for the school and students. Drug tests are usually 5 panel; they look for marijuana, cocaine/amphetamines, opiods, PCP, and barbiturates. If you aren't doing any of these, I wouldn't worry about the drug test. Some of the tests DO test for benzos...frankly, I'm not sure Ativan would show up, but if it does, you have a script for it, so no problem.

I took my drug screen test for nursing school 2 days after taking Xanax and Vicoden. Apparently they didn't show up, but they also weren't high doses, and I did have prescriptions for both.

We are supposed to inform our school of meds we are taking, but I have not had the balls to tell them I take Xanax. It is probably not a big deal to tell them, but unfortunately Xanax is so demonized nowadays. I just don't want to call attention to myself...I'm sure I wouldn't be the only person in our class to be taking Xanax, but I just can't bring myself to let the school know. I figure if I take it and I'm fine, then why tell them? I know that contradicts a lot of what I wrote earlier. Apparently, I am better at giving advice than taking it. :o It is sad that only some health conditions are "acceptable" and that others remain hidden for fear of persecution. Everyone working in health care should know better, but for some reason mental illness is still judged so harshly even in the health care industry.

I didn't know they were drug testing for nursing school! geez. I wouldn't worry too much about it though. When I got my hospice job, I had to be drug tested. I didn't tell them what meds I was on, I don't think. I was taking wellbutrin, zoloft, klonapin, and zyprexa, and I never heard a thing.

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23 Posts; 1,368 Profile Views

Just need to plunk down my 2 cents here :) Any and every person who is breathing meets the DSM-IV criteria for SOMETHING-- night terrors, various forms of insomnia, nicotine addiction, caffeine addiction/ abuse, dyslexia, dysgraphia, sibling rilvary, phobias, fetishes (I admit to a serious pen fetish!! Also veins. I do stop to admire a total stranger's veins-- never stooped to actually palpating yet, just coveting them for my next lab draw orders LOL). Some of us just have more visible "issues" than others and quite frankly, I'd rather work with someone who's been labeled and treated than someone who has the symptoms but is in denial (I'm sure we can all conjure up the OCD or Narcisstic Personality supervisors we've had). I'm adult ADHD (at least the adult status has come thru age alone :D other people I know would debate use of that title when referring to me).

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370 Posts; 8,214 Profile Views

I live with bipolar, PTSD, and temporal lobe epilespy. I have even been involuntarily committed to the state hospital for two months (long story). I work hard to keep my demons at bay by taking my medications, going to therapy, and trying to remain grounded in my career and personal life. Mental illness is much like diabetes, asthma, and allergies, it really cannot be cured but it can be managed. I take paxil, lamictal, and neurontin. I also have klonopin, ativan, seraquil, and sonata that I take PRN. Some days (any more very few) life is bad but for me life is wonderful most days.

There is no reason to let mental illness chase you away from your dreams. With the right med./therapy/life combo people can live a very wonderful life.

Fuzzy

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