Can a Bipolar/physically disabled man be a nurse? - page 2

I am 40 years old. I have a measured I.Q. of roughly 140+, but very little 'common sense' :) I have a fairly rare sort of crossbreed diagnosis of Bipolar disorder, major depression, and... Read More

  1. by   syckRN
    Hi, I am a bipolar nurse. I am also a mother, wife...and recovering addict who MADE IT through a Diversion program. I have succeeded in working as a nurse for 15 years, though I will not tell you that my illnesses haven't gotten in the way. I am not practicing right now. I am in a PhD program studying how nurses and doctors deal with mentally ill patients. I love what I do. Whatever 'isms I have...I am a nurse to my core.

    I am posting a page from my blog here that exemplifies what it is like to be diagnosed with a stigmatized illness.

    Psychiatry consult? No thanks. I am just your garden variety junkie. Besides, I really want to keep my abnormalities to a minimum. I want to look my best for the N-Stamping ceremony in 2 years.
    What's that you say? It's in the contract? Well thank you then, I'd be most...grateful, for a psychiatric evaluation. Sounds like a good time.
    (I already know I don't have any psychiatric illnesses though. I am a nurse, after all, and just because I am an addict doesn't mean don't have any insight.)
    Well...tah dah!! Look who got lucky on the bonus spin!
    Bipolar disorder would explain a lot Chuck, but I think I will go ahead and keep the prize I already won.
    Yep, I'm happy with good old Addiction. Besides, I only have a one-car garage, and I wouldn't know where to park a big old Bipolar Disorder diagnosis; So just tell me where to make my co-payment and me and my addiction, we'll just be on our way.
    Weight gain?
    Cognitive impairment?
    But that's not fair! I didn't even want to spin again!
    I will not take medications!
    What's that? I signed a release and you have to tell the BRN about this wonderful new diagnosis, about your recommendation for medications?
    You say I have no choice...that I'll be removed from clinical duties? Well...okay...I guess then, that I would be...grateful...
    As long as it's for my own good and all.
    My quest for "normality" has just experienced a major setback.

    The Medication Go-Round

    Medication non-compliance is not unique to addicts. Add a psychiatric diagnosis, the initials RN next to your name, and a fierce determination not to have another stigmatized illness and you have a serious problem. It is called the medication-go-round and it goes like take your meds...feel better...surmise you are well...maybe the psychiatrist was wrong...maybe it was sheer coincidence that you felt better at the exact same time you started taking the you stop the meds (or decrease one or two and raise another or whatever combination makes the most sense at the time)...and you feel good for a week or two...but you begin to notice some adjust the meds (the RN makes it possible to rationalize these changes to your psychiatrist)...some things get worse...and it begins to dawn on are sick after all aren't you? You need those medications after all don't you? ...but now you can't reach for the magic pills or the bottle for the quick fix can you?... and calling your sponsor and going to a meeting definitely helps but not enough, so guess have to call your psychiatrist...get new scripts...and maybe you are functioning at baseline again in a week or two. Unfortunately, as with the other aspects of your fail to learn from this month of lost living and you will do it again...and again...because you want to be Normal. But you are not Normal. You are insane...and each time this happens, you lose a little bit of the strength that used to get you through the bad times you didn't even recognize as depression. Boy, life at the carnival is just one fun ride after another.
    Even during extended periods of high functioning, there are several-day stretches that defy you to even pretend for one second that you can function like other people. You can't go to work. You can't go to class. You are running out of lame excuses, but the truth is too frightening a thing to tell. You try it aloud in front of the mirror. "I have a chronic mental illness that occasionally leaves me unable to function for days at a time" No, no...It comes out sounding like, "I am a loser. I am a procrastinator. You should just write me off" Yep that sounds about right. And the are telling these excuses more often than not to fellow nurses: charge nurses, nurse managers, academic advisors, nursing professors...and if they are anything like you use to be (and they may not even know that they are) are definitely not going to risk telling the truth. So you stick with the worn out excuses that no one believes anymore anyway. As always, the sweet nurturing inner voice you have carefully cultivated is there to cheer you on, "You need to just SUCK it up and deal with it like everyone else Stephanie!" "It's not that BAD Stephanie!" "Why can't you JUST...BE... NORMAL... Stephanie!" (Watch out Steph, it's a trick question.)
  2. by   Leelee2
    Quote from Elanthil
    My main concern is how to juggle school, shrink appts and Dr. appts without harming my GPA, but I'm sure some accomodation can be made.

    Use that ADHD hyper focus in school! It worked wonders for me, I think if you are interested in nursing and the learning material that can be a huge positive in school. Nursing always has me thinking, so i tended to use that hyper focus trait a lot. It worked, I graduated with honors. You can do this. Go for it.
  3. by   justashooter
    Quote from Mike A. Fungin RN
    One of my classmates in nursing school had borderline personality disorder. These things aren't unheard of. What's important is what is your baseline when you are compliant with treatment, and can you do the job with reasonable accommodations.
    maybe you could get into psych nursing? nothing is more fun than "out borderlining a borderline".
  4. by   frankrn
    short answer:

    no, no no what part of no dont you understand

    i went threw an rn program and they tried to get rid of all us iq is 165..i have a ms in another technical field and a bsn

    the nurses out there will kill you when you first start!!!!!!
    if you get experience they will accept you and then abuse you to lift and move patients
    you cannot carry a 300 # person without hurting yourself...dont even try to tell me that **..i am a man

    people with psych diagnoses have no business being a nurse.. it is a very hard job with incredible stress. any cracks you have already will turn into will become disabled and all the trouble you went to will be for nothing
    i am bothered by the amount of dysfunctional people that become nurses. there should be away to tell before we go to school.

    these nurse here may tell you to do it. i know there are many dysfunctional nurses already out there, if i can stop another one from happening then that is great.
    i worked psych...lots of crazy dysfunctional people....the staff have the keys..
    icu had less crazys but lots of type a's (good)...some slackers that put the job on the others..smokers are the worst abusers

    be real brother- you do not want to do will common sense...that is why you are thinking about nursing

    heterosexual me too but no one cares..male..extra will not think you are caring enough..nurses will think that you are on your way up the ladder and resent you...

    this is just my opinion..but remember i told will be sorry
    frank rn, bsn
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Feb 19, '12 : Reason: changed to **
  5. by   royhanosn
    if you chose to patronize an illness, it will bite you in the ass! like the gay people in the military of the USA, dont tell. But some people are smart enough to get the drift of your problem, then this will go through the group your working with like wildfire.
  6. by   royhanosn
    admin: not insulting the member. stating a fact & reality. BiPol will not harm the gentleman/nurse in question, as long as the meds are good. Just dont patronize it. Sometimes, less, if not, nothing said to others, the better.
  7. by   AMN74
    jan 16, '11 by frankrn
    jan 16, '11 by frankrn a member since jan '11. posts: 1

    short answer:

    no, no no what part of no dont you understand

    dear frankrn:
    you have a lot to learn. you are very ignorant to a very important medical/psychiatric disorder. people who do not understand bipolar, while being in the health care field, are just plain ignorant.

    bipolar people, while they have challenges, if they are on top of their disease, stay medicated, follow through with all their mental health appointments, and are aware of their symptoms most certainly can do anything in life that they set their minds to. it may take a bit more effort, but just making it through every day with bipolar takes effort.

    i hope you never get an ailment....because if you do, maybe you should not practice nursing. you probably would not be safe to do so!