One in Five

  1. That's the number of Americans said to be living with one or more mental illnesses, according to some statistics. Of course, that's just the number who have an actual diagnosis, or who admit to having some sort of psychological distress; if one were to factor in everybody who is undiagnosed or in denial, the number would probably rise to one in four or even one in three.

    As we all know, nurses are not any less prone to the development of these maladies, as a large segment of our cohort suffers from depression, anxiety, and other mood/personality disorders. Here at AN, there is an open dialogue between members about this topic, which flowered in the days following the Newtown, CT school shootings and continues to be a lively discussion in several threads today. And what that dialogue is showing is that nurses reflect societal trends, in this as well as in other aspects of life, and that we are becoming more willing to admit to our own problems even in the face of the stigma that still exists in our culture.

    A growing number of AN members have stepped forward with their stories; now it would be interesting to see the breakdown of which of the more common disorders affects the most people. This poll is NOT scientific, nor will any member's anonymity be compromised by checking a box. You can add your own experiences if you choose; but don't feel obligated to share if you don't wish to.
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Feb 10, '13 : Reason: messed up poll
  2. Poll: Have you been diagnosed with any of the following? Check all that apply.

    • Major Depressive Disorder

      37.84% 14
    • Anxiety

      48.65% 18
    • Bipolar Disorder I/II/NOS

      21.62% 8
    • Schizophrenia

      5.41% 2
    • Borderline Personality Disorder

      8.11% 3
    • Eating Disorders

      13.51% 5
    • Other

      24.32% 9
    37 Votes / Multiple Choice
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    About VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN Guide

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 26,888; Likes: 44,312
    RN and blogger extraordinaire; from OR , US
    Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych


  4. by   jayknight
    Being crazy makes me a better person!!!!!
  5. by   Altra
    I'm curious if the poll is an attempt to correlate the "1 in 5" statistic ... because there is no poll option for "none".
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    You make a good point there, Altra. Didn't think about it when I was creating this poll at 2330 last night. Which, of course, I shouldn't have been doing......sleep hygiene being so important to staying sane!
  7. by   SunshineDaisy
    Just PPD here. I am on happy pills, and can't wait to get off of them! But, my NP and I decided it was best to wait till my famly was whole again. 4 more months!
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    Oh, please don't ever think it's "just" PPD. ((((SunshineDaisy)))) Like many women, I went through it, but I went through it five times, and it got worse with each successive birth until the last. That episode turned into postpartum psychosis. Fortunately, that is extremely rare, and of course most women don't have five kids either.

    Thank God we can talk about this now....back then, it was something shameful and secret. I never even told my own husband until about five years ago. But I carried the guilt of it for a long, long time.
  9. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    Substance abuse is another big one that affects posters here.
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    'Tis true. Even though I'm an alcoholic with 21 years' sobriety, I've never really seen substance abuse as a mental illness. But of course it originates in the brain. And NOBODY chooses to have it.
  11. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    ^you could equally make the argument that personality disorders aren't truly a mental illness, either. And EDs get lumped in with substance abuse all the time.
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    Also good points. Wonder if the so-called experts in human psychology ever sit around and debate that one? I'd like to be a fly on the wall during that discussion.....
  13. by   mariebailey
    Quote from dirtyhippiegirl
    ^you could equally make the argument that personality disorders aren't truly a mental illness, either. And EDs get lumped in with substance abuse all the time.
    dirtyhippiegirl, do you mean that personality disorders aren't necessarily brain/biological disorders?

    My understanding is that Axis I diagnoses are considered to have a brain/biological component (e.g., bipolar, depression, anxiety, etc.). Personality disorders, however, fall under Axis II and are thought to have more of a developmental origin.

    I think it will be interesting to see the changes when the DSM-5 comes out later this year, not that I have a book on reserve.
  14. by   SunshineDaisy
    I would love to get my hands on a DSM V when it comes out!

    And I understand, it's not JUST PPD, it's serious and needs to be taken care of. I waited so long to get help (about 5 months after my first and almost 2 yeas after my 2nd) because I felt like SUCH a failure. I had these beautiful little blessing, and my mind wasn't really there. My marriage suffered, but thank God he stayed with me and helped me pull through this. I swear I owe that man my life. Honestly, I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for him. I suffered, I guess a form of severe PPD? 10 years ago we lost a baby (#3 out of 4 we lost, 3 m/c, 1 still born) and I was absolutely crushed. My whole life had been planned around that baby, and all my hopes and dreams just blown away in an instant. I was numb to the world for weeks. I was so young and innocent. 25 years old, planning a funeral for my son. Nothing "bad" had ever happened to me. Nothing! My parents were still married, I was never abused, I was never neglected, the only people I had lost were grandparents. And then that. Away from family and friends (Army life) in a brand new town(been there 2 months), not knowing hardly anyone, not knowing what to do. I crawled into a deep depression and all I wanted was to die. All I wanted was to be with my baby, but I knew I couldn't. I couldn't leave my husband. I couldn't break his heart any more than it had already been broken, so together we got better. We moved on. We survived. I felt a TON of pressure on me when I had my last 2. They were blessings, I know, but I felt like I had failed because I wasn't happy like I should have been. But, with my hunny's help, and the help of a counselor and my Dr, I got on the right track again and am 100% better, YAY!
  15. by   SunshineDaisy
    And I'm sorry for the long post!