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Nurses struggling with mental illness

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by Severina Severina (Member) Member

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johnst10 has 25 years experience and specializes in Pain mgmt, PCU.

122 Posts; 4,331 Profile Views

I am working as a subcontractor doing health physicals for ins co. I like the work. I need daily contact and reasons to go somewhere to keep myself going. Right after I got out of the Hospital I was feeling great. That was before the LTC. dh is trying so hard to understand but even after 25 years is having difficulty knowing how to respond.

Keep hanging in there and I will too!

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Babs0512 has 20 years experience and specializes in Med surg, Critical Care, LTC.

4 Articles; 846 Posts; 12,684 Profile Views

I'm feeling pretty low myself. I injured my back Nov 7, 2008. I've been on light duty since. Long story short, my job says as of May 15th, they can "no longer accommodate my restrictions" - so I will be out of a job after 17 years there. Don't know what I'm going to do to pay bills. I basically have to find a desk job. Workmans comp will give me a whopping 150.00 week, plus I'll get some unemployment. Not enough to pay my 1200.00 mortgage, much less all the other bills. Not to mention losing my insurance, and that means not being able to pay for my psyc meds among others.

So, how are you all doing?? Life sucks, then you die. That's my opinion.

Applied to teach a health class at a local college - they wanted "someone with a Masters OR Life experience. I qualified for the latter - soooo, I received my first "rejection" letter today.

Gotta tell ya, having a hard time getting up in the morning.

later all

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johnst10 has 25 years experience and specializes in Pain mgmt, PCU.

122 Posts; 4,331 Profile Views

i'm feeling pretty low myself. i injured my back nov 7, 2008. i've been on light duty since. long story short, my job says as of may 15th, they can "no longer accommodate my restrictions" - so i will be out of a job after 17 years there. don't know what i'm going to do to pay bills. i basically have to find a desk job. workmans comp will give me a whopping 150.00 week, plus i'll get some unemployment. not enough to pay my 1200.00 mortgage, much less all the other bills. not to mention losing my insurance, and that means not being able to pay for my psyc meds among others.

so, how are you all doing?? life sucks, then you die. that's my opinion.

applied to teach a health class at a local college - they wanted "someone with a masters or life experience. i qualified for the latter - soooo, i received my first "rejection" letter today.

the last time i was out of a job i looked for 3 months before i finally stumbled onto one. i really believe god has gelped me through these difficult times. this time i found a very part time job working for a subcontractor for ins companies to do physicals. the company is apps. they are online. it does require some driving, but not a lot of heavy work. that may be an option.

gotta tell ya, having a hard time getting up in the morning.

getting up w/o a spp goal is difficult. my gol today is to vac the kitchen floor. i found spider webs under the china hutch! i think it's time to make that a spp task.

later all

rejection letters just mean that they don't realize how wonderful you really are.

Edited by johnst10
need to change color

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Lorie P. specializes in Med/Surge, Private Duty Peds.

754 Posts; 7,338 Profile Views

i'm feeling pretty low myself. i injured my back nov 7, 2008. i've been on light duty since. long story short, my job says as of may 15th, they can "no longer accommodate my restrictions" - so i will be out of a job after 17 years there. don't know what i'm going to do to pay bills. i basically have to find a desk job. workmans comp will give me a whopping 150.00 week, plus i'll get some unemployment. not enough to pay my 1200.00 mortgage, much less all the other bills. not to mention losing my insurance, and that means not being able to pay for my psyc meds among others.

i know all to well how this effects one. my mortage isn't that much but enough to worry about. also with no insurance how are expected to get better when there is nothing to help with the daily meds that are required?

so, how are you all doing?? life sucks, then you die. that's my opinion.

pretty much how i see things too.

applied to teach a health class at a local college - they wanted "someone with a masters or life experience. i qualified for the latter - soooo, i received my first "rejection" letter today.

i interviewed for 2 prn positions last week and never heard a thing! their loss!

gotta tell ya, having a hard time getting up in the morning.

later all

i don't have a hard time getting up( sometimes i do) but it is after i take my morning cocktail that whipes me out for a good 4 hours or more.

all i can do is keep taking it one day at a time!!

hoping tomorrow is a better day!!!

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

4 Articles; 3,789 Posts; 42,697 Profile Views

babs, you need yo talk with an atty

Yeah I agree. There must be SOME thing you can do there. ((((((((((Babs ))))))))))) ((((((((((((All ))))))))))))'

sorry I didn't see these posts til now! I am not getting the nofiications like I was !

xo

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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

All this being said, as a tech, and not yet nurse, I salute you for coming to terms with your illness. i believe everyone is in recovery from something. if you're not feeding your recovery, you're feeding your illness/addiction. A great truism. Sounds like you're doing great and that's awesome. If you have not had a lot of exposure to the nursing environment, I would be fairly cautious about who you shared the information with as people you thought you could trust can turn quite vicious, if you are the target of any politicking or cattiness. I have overheard staff plotting to "grief" someone a little bit at a time, and ramp it up slowly until the person finally "snaps". if it's essential to your recovery, go for it. you can make some fantastic friends, as most of the folks around you are probably taking something, or have the same recovery issues. if your condition is well managed, you'll be fine. Accountability is a huge topic in recovery literature. If something goes south, backstabbers may try to make you accountable and/or responsible for something that you're not, simply by sharing this information with someone at a convenient moment. The good news, is that most of the time people have short memories, I would say no more, and press on. Good luck.

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

4 Articles; 3,789 Posts; 42,697 Profile Views

Anybody home? I posted on the "Anybody here with bipolar?" thread with little response, just seeing if anyone is home (knock knock). To update, I started an outpatient hospital program (day treatment) - which has helped tremendously ...

what I had posted:

Well as some of you might have figured I am back on bipolar meds. It has been a year and a half and last summer I was hypomanic and barely made it through. I had to use a LOT of behavioral and non-medication techniques to stay grounded. It was pretty stressful and tiring. You KNOW that hypomania is not always unpleasant, so it was very tough. I have friends who tell me NOW that they were concerned at the time, sigh. I had asked them to tell me AT the time - but maybe they tried.

 

Anyway this fall I have been super depressed, yes it seems situational too but the bottom line is the anxiety and depression are such that I haven't been able to work since December 9. Pardon me God but DAMN I had hoped I would not be in this position. Part of me feels I have failed spiritually. Anyway - I am back on meds and will be doing a partial hospital program. I am not as bad off as I was, I was having a lot of suicidal thoughts a couple months ago but so dang stubborn... and did not share that.

 

So now that I am better but NOT functional I did decide to go back on meds. I don't know how far down I will go or actually am, I decided to get back on social security, take care of my neck after I get the insurance started again (was supposed to see a chiropractor for neck pain since last summer, the MRI was negative...), and then figure out where I am at vocationally. I know I can do SOMEthing once I get better, but I have to quit reaching so far ahead of what my "system" can take, stress wise. Nursing ALWAYS kills me. I would like to re-train to be able to do MDS's, get away from the clinical aspect, maybe I could do that. Hard to get a job in that w/o experience unfortunately. Sigh...

 

I wish I was able to just "jump back on" but I know I need to take this step by step and not jump in over my head AGAIN... I need a Mommy...

 

Hope all are fine...

 

xo

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mustlovepoodles is a RN and specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

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I'm here. I know how hard it is to live with an illness that waxes and wanes and makes you believe you are over it when you're feeling good and then dashes you against a wall when you take your eyes off your recovery.

I haven't worked since Feb '09 after I crashed and burned. It has been a long slow recovery and I have had two hypomanic episodes in the meantime. Like you, my hypomania is NOT the fun type. I become extremely irritable, start taking risks and running away from home. And the bad thing is, I don't see myself as others see me when I'm in this mania. I was high enough that my small group that I attend had to perform an intervention--we meet at a local psych hospital and they gave me two options: call my pdoc RIGHT THEN or they were going to call security and have me escorted over to Intake. :eek: I made the call. Later I looked back and realized that what probably started it all was that i had not been taking my meds as ordered. So, duh! I've been almost 100% compliant since then.

Baby steps, my friend. Bipolar and other mental illnesses can be managed but they'll never go away. I have learned that I HAVE TO take my meds. I have to. If I don't I quickly spiral down and I don't want to go there again if I can help it. I has been very helpful to me to not work this year, to spend my time working on improving my mental and physical health and maintain my recovery. It hasnt' been easy on any of us, but I am so much more stable now than I have been any time in the last 10 years that it has been worth the loss of income and the embarrassment of being diagnosed with a mental illness and being hospitalized.

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

4 Articles; 3,789 Posts; 42,697 Profile Views

I'm here. I know how hard it is to live with an illness that waxes and wanes and makes you believe you are over it when you're feeling good and then dashes you against a wall when you take your eyes off your recovery.

I haven't worked since Feb '09 after I crashed and burned. It has been a long slow recovery and I have had two hypomanic episodes in the meantime. Like you, my hypomania is NOT the fun type. I become extremely irritable, start taking risks and running away from home. And the bad thing is, I don't see myself as others see me when I'm in this mania. I was high enough that my small group that I attend had to perform an intervention--we meet at a local psych hospital and they gave me two options: call my pdoc RIGHT THEN or they were going to call security and have me escorted over to Intake. :eek: I made the call. Later I looked back and realized that what probably started it all was that i had not been taking my meds as ordered. So, duh! I've been almost 100% compliant since then.

Baby steps, my friend. Bipolar and other mental illnesses can be managed but they'll never go away. I have learned that I HAVE TO take my meds. I have to. If I don't I quickly spiral down and I don't want to go there again if I can help it. I has been very helpful to me to not work this year, to spend my time working on improving my mental and physical health and maintain my recovery. It hasnt' been easy on any of us, but I am so much more stable now than I have been any time in the last 10 years that it has been worth the loss of income and the embarrassment of being diagnosed with a mental illness and being hospitalized.

Thank God for friends and the fact that you have forgiven them :) My brother STILL has not forgiven his friends who had to have him committed one time when he was severely manic.

What I said actually was my hypomania IS fun and productive, to me, at first (which made me postpone treatment), but then yes sometimes it does get out of hand and very disorganized. What gets me is I have friends who know me quite well who were concerned at the time this summer but never said anything! And I have asked them to! :( Not that they are RESPONSIBLE for me but ... welll I'm sure they would have if I had gotten any worse. It was just (JUST) barely manageable.

The depression of course is nowhere NEAR fun. :( I am so glad I decided to enter treatment. I am not thrilled about the meds but coming to accept that yes, I need them. I decided too I am going to go back to going to a support group once a week, it was my PRIDE probably that kept me from doing that. I'm also taking time from work to make some decisions and to get a solid program under my belt.

Thank you SO MUCH for replying, you don't know how much it means to me!

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mustlovepoodles is a RN and specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

1,041 Posts; 9,710 Profile Views

Thank God for friends and the fact that you have forgiven them :) My brother STILL has not forgiven his friends who had to have him committed one time when he was severely manic.

What I said actually was my hypomania IS fun and productive, to me, at first (which made me postpone treatment), but then yes sometimes it does get out of hand and very disorganized. What gets me is I have friends who know me quite well who were concerned at the time this summer but never said anything! And I have asked them to! :( Not that they are RESPONSIBLE for me but ... welll I'm sure they would have if I had gotten any worse. It was just (JUST) barely manageable.

I kind of understand where your friends are coming from, though. My DH is a little bit like that. He sees me drifting upward or downward and it's like he doesn't want to tip the boat. so he hopes I'll come around on my own, but I don't easily see what's going on. I get really irritable and then he really doesn't want to say anything because he knows I'm going to bite his head off. So things get worse, and pretty soon I'm running away from home, crossing state lines, everything. Off the hook.

My support group is really different--for one thing, it's not a friend or family relationship. It's professionals who have in common their various mental disorders. Most of us have anxiety, depression or bipolar, no substance abuse. We are very comfortable speaking out with one another, I think, because we do have so much in common, professionally. But its not a relationship where we have to like each other or maintain friendships, although we do have that. Anyway, for some reason it is easier to hear "I think you're acting manic and you need to call the doctor NOW" from this group rather than my husband or sisters. From them, it feels like "Uh-oh, she's crazy again!" They really don't say it that way, but my family is very concerned that I might go backward and plunge off the cliff again. I think they're just plain scared and they don't want to do anything they think might push me the wrong way.

So, yeah, I was mad at my group for about 3-4 days,until my Seroquel caught up with me. Afterward i could see how high I was getting, once I started coming back down to earth.:rolleyes:

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

4 Articles; 3,789 Posts; 42,697 Profile Views

I kind of understand where your friends are coming from, though. My DH is a little bit like that. He sees me drifting upward or downward and it's like he doesn't want to tip the boat. so he hopes I'll come around on my own, but I don't easily see what's going on. I get really irritable and then he really doesn't want to say anything because he knows I'm going to bite his head off. So things get worse, and pretty soon I'm running away from home, crossing state lines, everything. Off the hook.

My support group is really different--for one thing, it's not a friend or family relationship. It's professionals who have in common their various mental disorders. Most of us have anxiety, depression or bipolar, no substance abuse. We are very comfortable speaking out with one another, I think, because we do have so much in common, professionally. But its not a relationship where we have to like each other or maintain friendships, although we do have that. Anyway, for some reason it is easier to hear "I think you're acting manic and you need to call the doctor NOW" from this group rather than my husband or sisters. From them, it feels like "Uh-oh, she's crazy again!" They really don't say it that way, but my family is very concerned that I might go backward and plunge off the cliff again. I think they're just plain scared and they don't want to do anything they think might push me the wrong way.

So, yeah, I was mad at my group for about 3-4 days,until my Seroquel caught up with me. Afterward i could see how high I was getting, once I started coming back down to earth.:rolleyes:

wow that sounds hard... the running away and crossing state lines (altho this time I really was tempted, thought about CA, thought about FL, just so I could start over, just so nobody knew what I was "supposed" to be. silly I know)

Sounds like a good group! esp that you are all professionals! I have thought often it must be tough for social workers and counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc, to reach out - and they don't seem to hang out in support groups. Hopefully they have SOME thing... (I know they have "supervision" but surely that can't meet all their needs...)

Anyway, I imagine I do hear things better from support group than from family, I imagine my friends tried to hint around and tell me, but I rejected even that little bit of feedback lol... I was SO determined to stay off meds that I was minimizing or not even talking about some stuff I was feeling and doing...

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