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Severina Severina (New Member)

Nurses struggling with mental illness

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I'm new to this particular board. I've been depressed for about 37 years and only recently got bad enough to be hospitalized(I was suicidal.) Turns out I have bipolar. Greaaaaat. Just what I wanted to hear. They put me on a slew of meds and I was out for about 6wks--I'm a school nurse. It's a high-stress job, we have about 900 students. anyway, since my hospitalization I find that i'm on the edge of exploding nearly all the time. I can't get my psych to consider my meds--I was not like this last year! I'm just about to totally alienate my family and i get anxious every time I think about going to work.

I guess my question would be: How do you all manage your moods when you're not well-controlled? I have an appt with a new psych, but not until January. In the meantime, I thrash on.

I hope I can make it to the end of the school year. I've already decided to change schools, if I don't quit school nursing altogether. My big problem is, I HAVE to work. My DH is disabled and my 13yo son is disabled. But I hate working full-time. I feel like I have lost my footing at home. I no longer know where things are in the kitchen(DH is a SAHD), we're eating weird things for supper (Asparagus Lasagna, I kid you not:icon_roll) and our laundry is going to turn pink any day now. I used to work part time and I loved the home-making part of my life. Now it's all work, all caregiving, all the time. No fun, all mad, all manic all the time.

Sheesh. I haven't had more that 3 okay days since September.

Welcome to the forum! Wow you are so not at a fun stage right now. ((((((((mustlovepoodles ))))))))

For me having support is one of the most important pieces. DH and DD are mine. Both have their own problems but always help when I tell them I need help. There are in person support groups for people with MI. This forum is also a huge help to me.

When I was diagnosed I hated the label. Now I am glad I can hang a handle on what causes me to be the way I am. I still hate that I have MI, I can feel sorry for myself, if I want to. It is hard work to spend the effort with a psych that is willing to work with you. It is far easier to spend time worrying about pink underwear that has not happened yet. Keep laughing about DH efforts. He really is trying. My DH efforts are sometimes trying to me.

Finding the right combo of drugs is tricky. Just check out some of the posts from many of us. Hang in there Jan. will be here soon.

In the mean time- Is DH open to suggestions? Can you use that excess energy to write menus with him? Does he understand, accept your diagnosis?

Keep coming back here. It helps to connect with the rest of us.

GREAT feedback

Newly diagnosed, and your psych won't see you until January? You should be being seen every week to two weeks, and getting your meds tweaked based on how you're feeling. Have you considered changing? I personally love psychiatriac ARNPs--I've been with mine for 6 years. It's not necessary to feel crappy with the right care, I think.

For me, transparency has been really important. My co-workers know I have bipolar disorder, and I'll just flat out tell them I'm having a weird day, when I am. Having someone know about it, not sucking it up, and having someone care about how I feel is important to my stability.

Also, have you given any thought to taking a leave of absence from work (you have 12 weeks FMLA), and getting into a partial hosptialization program that can help you get some of the "how am I going to live with this" solved. Worked for me a few years ago.

Working with this disease sucks. I run a 120 bed short term rehab SNF and some days I wish I could just bag it and be disabled. But ultimately, what I am is a nurse, and I would be lost without that, and my job. I expect that eventually, I'll have to find something less stressful, but I'm not living that far in the future...

If you have any questions, feel free to email me

Take care.

You too. how awesome.

I have just returned to nursing (Sept) after a 5 year hiatus taking care of my illness and finding out what is REALLY important. Lately it is very hard, I get over tired and cranky and I think, WHAT was I THINKING to come back to it! But I love it! And I am just working extry hard to stay healthy. Sounds like you have a lot of experience - good experience - and advice!

I don't feel all that comfortable being "out" at work. Just really concerned they would not be supportive! So many who just do not understand...

Thanks!

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Thank you all for the support. I'm not at all comfortable outting myself at work. I work in a middle school--most of our teachers and parents would not understand or even feel comfortable knowing that the school nurse, while very competent, has a serious mental illness. My admins know, but no one else.

I have a psychiatrist(I hate even saying that!) who has seen me 3 times since I got out of the hospital in October. Even my psychologist is fed up with my doctor. She has not increased my meds since Nov.3 and really doesn't seem to listen to me. That's why I'm going to see a new pdoc in January. The new doc also has an ARNP with her.

My hubby would not be unhappy if I took a LOA to get this all under control. I thought that taking 6wks off would be enough, but apparently not. It doesn't help that I had an absolutley awful Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season. I have put my foot down about going anywhere during Christmas.

Would it be completely awful if I just quit my job in the middle of the year? I kinda hate to do that, if I ever hope to work as a school nurse again. but truly, I'm just getting through my days.

If I could have it my way I'd like to be able to stay home

during the day & spend quality time with my husband so that I could really feel refreshed when my 13yo comes home in the evening. He's a big boy with the mind of a 1yo, so he requires complete assistance. With my fulltime paying job and my fulltime family requirements I'm just spent. I feel like no one is getting the best part of me. And then I just get all undone and want to run away. Thank God for Klonopin. When the going gets too rough I pop 1/2 to 1 and things get better for awhile.

My hubby has been so good through all this. He has not said one word against me, even when I've been a snot. He has a severe progressive lung disease (stage4 sarcoidosis) and is fully disabled. DH has enough on his plate.

My family deserves better than this

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My family deserves better than this

AND YOU DO TOO!

It all sounds so overwhelming! and not just work but hubby and son too, and being the main breadwinner, I am so sorry you are going thru so much...

As to LOA versus quitting the job, I think LOA is better than ending up inpatient for a month or two! nip it in the bud right now! If you then decide you need to leave the job, you can decide in time. Don't make any quick or rash, desperate decisions if you can help it!

You will benefit so much from a day treatment program which is basically a re-training in the self-care measures you can take to get and stay healthy! and the counselors/case mgrs. will help make sure you have the resources you need for when you finish it.

I don't know what your local programs offer, but w/ mine, I had full time treatment during the day, like 9-3, for two weeks; then the next week it was part time. So you could (possibly) take off 2 wks, then work part time the next week, til you were ready to go back full time.

If you were getting chemotherapy what would be the difference? Sick is sick, need is need, whether it is physical or emotional illness! And, you know what, your taxes did pay for welfare benefits, or even social security if it got that bad - you paid for it! It IS there for those who do need! I have had to take advantage of ALL those things! And of course help (financial, emotional, and time-wise, like caring for your son) from friends and family.

And bottom line for me is that this is a SPIRITUAL illness - so I hope you have explored that area too. I go to a Baptist church and they gave me once a week pastoral counseling for a couple years that was so so helpful, more so than all the secular counseling I had had for 20 yrs!

I have to qualify that this is my opinion (this is my belief) but "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philipians 4:13. And yes the Lord does use people and medicines and other treatment tools to help us ;)

go to http://www.bipolarhappens.com also, and check out her health cards system. You can also subscribe to her newsletter.

Forgive me if I am at all off-putting but I am sooooo exhausted - just know that I care a great deal about you and anyone else who suffers from mental illness - and have found that God is the best healer of them all!

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Take the time off. Be selfish, or self-caring if that suits you better. Get your meds right, so you can be the other things in their time. After I was diagnosed, I took almost a year off to get everything squared away. I'm glad I did. This recent hospitilization (4 years since the last), was much easier to come back from, after having that year.

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Well I'm not fairing well on the geodon. I've been having some really strange dreams along with some really strange feelings. What's worse is that the therapist I was seeing quit and didn't tell anyone until the last moment. (ididn't know about it until I showed up to my appointment and she wasn't there) The nurse practicioner that I see is out of town until after the first of the year. So I'm stuck. I feel like I'm on a sinking island. I don't know whether to stand up and shout or sit down and cry. Either way I want this to stop.

Fuzzy

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Well I'm not fairing well on the geodon. I've been having some really strange dreams along with some really strange feelings. What's worse is that the therapist I was seeing quit and didn't tell anyone until the last moment. (ididn't know about it until I showed up to my appointment and she wasn't there) The nurse practicioner that I see is out of town until after the first of the year. So I'm stuck. I feel like I'm on a sinking island. I don't know whether to stand up and shout or sit down and cry. Either way I want this to stop.

Fuzzy

FUZZY that is horrid!

Try your local crisis hotline # and see if there is a clinic you can go to for urgent care in the meantime. You really need to be monitored. How cruel that no on notified you until you showed up!!! GRR...

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Well, I want to say thanks for letting me "talk". It did help for me to get things down in print and look at my feelings more objectively. I realized that my priorities have been upside-down. I have been putting all my energy into my work (I'm a middle school nurse). My DH and DS13 require more & more assistance. And nothing is left for me. I'm All Caregiving, All The Time.

In the past week my husband became very ill and spent 6 days in CCU with pericarditis--he came home late Christmas Day. He had two "events" while he was there and I realized all over again just how fragile is his health. It's like the frog in the stewpot--you swim around in the water adjusting to the warmth and by the time you realize the danger it's too late!

I came to the conclusion that I need to take leave of absence. I'll go in and clean out my desk when school opens. I plan to take LOA initially, but my real intention is to not go back at all. I'm still not regulated on my meds and I find myself just falling more and more behind. I'm still struggling with depression and concentration. And I've had to admit out loud that I simply cannot "do it all". Very hard for me. I've been able to power through any obstacle I've ever had, but I cannot seem to work through this. DH is going to be chronically ill and disabled for the remainder of his life. DS13 will be severely mentally disabled for the remainder of his life. I will always have bipolar disorder. And while all these things are managable, I have to admit that the combination is overwhelming to me now. So I think perhaps some time at home will be therapeutic for us all.

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Well, I want to say thanks for letting me "talk". It did help for me to get things down in print and look at my feelings more objectively. I realized that my priorities have been upside-down. I have been putting all my energy into my work (I'm a middle school nurse). My DH and DS13 require more & more assistance. And nothing is left for me. I'm All Caregiving, All The Time.

Sounds like in the end it was not a hard decision to make! God bless you hon, I am sorry you are going thru hard times, but so glad that you came by, what is it, joy shared is doubled, trouble shared is halved?

Let us know how things are going! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

xo

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I haven't been able to read the whole thread (its 68 pages long!) but I am a nursing student with a mental illness. I have major depression, PTSD, and an eating disorder. I'm doing fairly well with the depression and PTSD, and the eating disorder is off and on, but becoming a nurse is one thing that motivates me, I know I have to be healthy to be a good nurse, and to survive nursing school. I have been hospitalized many times, and I have to say it was the nurses that helped me the most, whether it be the psych or med nurses. That's part of the reason I decided to be a nurse.

Some people think I can't do it, but I know I can. Has anyone else dealt with this?

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mustlovepoodles-

sounds like it was a hard decision, but congrats on taking care of you, i know that can be hard.

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I haven't been able to read the whole thread (its 68 pages long!) but I am a nursing student with a mental illness. I have major depression, PTSD, and an eating disorder. I'm doing fairly well with the depression and PTSD, and the eating disorder is off and on, but becoming a nurse is one thing that motivates me, I know I have to be healthy to be a good nurse, and to survive nursing school. I have been hospitalized many times, and I have to say it was the nurses that helped me the most, whether it be the psych or med nurses. That's part of the reason I decided to be a nurse.

Some people think I can't do it, but I know I can. Has anyone else dealt with this?

Nice to meet you, I love your positive attitude! Stick around :) And good luck w/ school! xo

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Hi,

I just want to say that now I know I'm not alone. I went to see a therapist, and cried when she brought up the possibility of meds. And I used to be a Psych nurse! I never judged anyone else for being on them.

And I agree that I would never put that information where any employer could find it either, physicals etc.

Best wishes for a healthy new year to all.

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