Nursing & Depression

Nurses Stress 101


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  1. Nurses and Depression/Anxiety

    • 401
      I think the incidence of depression/anxiety is higher in nursing than other professions.
    • 264
      I feel depression/anxiety has interfered with my job performance.
    • 260
      I feel nursing has played a part in my depression
    • 23
      I feel administration is as supportive to nurses w/ depression/anxiety as w/ other diseases

460 members have participated


26 Posts


It seems from some of the replies that even professional lack understanding about those who live with depression. I've fought it for 20 years. That is not just one long really bad mood. My psyhiatric history reads like a grade B movie. I am a positive person, not into organized religion, but very spiritual. For my anxiety attacks I meditate, and pray something to the effect of "Lord, I don't want this, and I wish you would take it away, but if you choose not to, them just keep me from doing something stupid!" I know when I am extreemly depressed to try various things such as exercise, calling a friend, etc.. But you cant tell me this is "so called or alldged" depression. I would not choose to live this way for 20 years. Haven't you heard that is is caused by a chemical imbalance? There is also a heredity factor. Although my mother and fater never dealt with it, my Grandmother was very depressd. My sister has a long term history of it too.

Judge not, that ye be not judged.


346 Posts

Specializes in burn, geriatric, rehab, wound care, ER.

worry not carpe-de-em, there are none so blind as those who will not see. It seems like teeituptom has his own mental health issues - obsessive-compulsive-golf-disorder!


212 Posts

Specializes in cardiac ICU.

I don't think I can be as nice as carpe de em.

Wow, Tom. How did someone so obviously proud of his own ignorance ever get to be a nurse?

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Tom, I will be down in TX next week and would like you to demonstrate the effectiveness of all of the above coping skills. :kiss

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Howdy yall

from deep in the heat of texas

Seems like I hit some sore feelings about depression here. Im sorry if my alledged flippancy has hurt some feelings. Wasnt meant to. I didnt criticise people. I did criticise the Media. Try watching TV and see how many ads there are for trying this drug or try that drug and your life will be better. Go see you doctor today and your life will be better once you are on drugs. Yes I criticise the media. And I will continue to criticise the media and how it plays to foster these beliefs.

Now I was going to respond to this at length. But I choose not to launch a personal attacks as directed at me. And carpe de em I wasnt launching anything personal at you but suggesting alternatives. And there are alternatives to drug usage.

And UKRN, I like that obsessive compulsive golf disorder, that cool

And canoehead, come on down to texas, and I will show the merits in a good round of golf. Solves a lot of problems.

ddoo wah ditty


107 Posts

How many of you know nurses that have committed suicide? It is higher than the national average.


1 Article; 2,394 Posts

Specializes in Everything except surgery.

That's pretty shocking news..:o I'm totally aware...that no one asks to be depressed...and that many's genetic..and happens thru no fault of their own to many people. I just thought that I see a lot of nurses on meds...and felt they were more disposed to seek tx, than others....but I guess not..:o

nightingale, RN

2,404 Posts

There are many ways to cope. Whatever works... It is, to me, wonderful that we have this forum in which to share our ideas, coping strategies, and pose our thoughts. Some of us take enormous amounts of time (not here but I have on other threads)to research topics. Ex: researchrabbit on the definition of depression (thank you it is always good to be clear about the topic at hand).

I do not see Toms' explanation as flip on his coping strategy. I am rather envious that it is that easy for you Tom. I do not think he is snubbing the topic either.

Nursing is a challenging field. In particular it can be emotionally draining to be so responsible for such ill people. On top of that, we get those family's like Kikumari speaks of who try to "dump" their inadequacies on you. Go figure.

Priamary to this topic is the ability for us to speak in a supportive mannar. The key is dialogue. When we start to take sides that our interpretation is ascue then somehow it all gets muddled.

The topic is depression. What I found difficult to follow on the pole is that it had three choices that I felt I could say yest to. I guess, much like NCLEX, I chose my best answer; although more then one was right for me.

I strongly agree that depression appears to be higher in nursing then other fields. I believe this is based on the fact that we, as health care professionals, seekassistance or advice more then say a secretary of a law firm (God know they get depressed too) or a laborer.

I also agree, but many of my non-health care friends grew up in pretty disfunctional surroundings, that nurses come from very disfunctional backrounds. My coping startegies are very positive and very healthy. I now choose really good people in my life to support me in a positive mannar; did I do that when I was younger? nah...

What is important, to me, is that we support each other instead of biting each others head off. If meds are needed then so be it. But there are many ways to deal with depression. We should consider and rejoice in the fact that there are alternatives.




835 Posts

I think Brownie and some others hit on a crucial point: By nature of us being nurses, some are more prone to depression than others. I don't think anyone would disagree that a certain proportion of us give 110% to others leaving nothing for ourselves. I know I have felt that I have given more of myself to the point of being tapped dry. After all the giving that has been done, I've nothing left to give to myself. I think a LOT of us have been and are that way! To a fault! I also believe that is why a lot of us got into this profession to begin with.

I don't believe I came from a dysfunctional background, but I do believe a great number of us have. Still, a lot of us, from whatever backgrounds or basic feelings we've stemmed, are 110% givers. If we weren't, we'd all be accountants (not saying they are cold unfeeling people - that would be lawyers :chuckle).

The good thing is, those of us who ARE on anti-depressants are getting help instead of walking around in a cloud of despair. I have no guilt over that. Why? Because I know I am one who gave 110% and had nothing left over for myself. NOW I am building up the reserve that I always gave away to KEEP for myself.

nightingale, RN

2,404 Posts

Oh yeah Vegas...

The good thing is, those of us who ARE on anti-depressants are getting help instead of walking around in a cloud of despair. I have no guilt over that. Why? Because I know I am one who gave 110% and had nothing left over for myself. NOW I am building up the reserve that I always gave away to KEEP for myself.

Sums it up for me...



104 Posts

Speaking of that reserve, I'm gonna tap into MY reserve in a couple weeks and go to VEGAS and see those CHIIPPENDALES that VegasRN has been hoarding to herself! See?? Those antidepressants have been working, I'm now looking forward to going out and having fun again. A few months ago, I never would have dreamed of such a trip, now I can't wait!


1 Article; 2,394 Posts

Specializes in Everything except surgery.

CHIPPENDALES....WHOOOHOOOO Hmm...5hrs to Vegas...Hmmmm..naaawwww. Get out there in that place with LVRN, and get myself in trouble...:chuckle

ooooh wait I was doing the new math...dang it's 8hrs to Vegas..:o

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