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Nursing & Depression

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Nurses and Depression/Anxiety

  1. 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.
    • 259
      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

459 members have participated

Brownms46

Specializes in Everything except surgery. Has 27 years experience.

That's pretty shocking news..:o I'm totally aware...that no one asks to be depressed...and that many times...it'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

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.

JMHO

B.

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.

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...

B.:)

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!

Brownms46

Specializes in Everything except surgery. Has 27 years experience.

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

Jen - er, uh, you'll be needing a chaperone to Chippendales, I'll check my schedule but I'm quite sure I'll be able to assist you. (Hush, Brownie!) :D

Brownms46

Specializes in Everything except surgery. Has 27 years experience.

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Come on over, Vegas! We're either going to see the Chips on the 6th or the 7th... gotta go out and vent some nursing frustrations, you know :)

Originally posted by Jen911

Come on over, Vegas! We're either going to see the Chips on the 6th or the 7th... gotta go out and vent some nursing frustrations, you know :)

Of course, it's quite therapeutic, actually. :chuckle

*ahem* yes, I'm sure it will be! oops! :chair:

Brownms46

Specializes in Everything except surgery. Has 27 years experience.

:rotfl:..Lord...:roll Yeah...right:rotfl:

Originally posted by nightngale1998

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.

While I would like to take credit for research, I work in psych, have many depressed patients, and have the criteria for depression posted in a sticky note on my computer to have it handy when people call (don't have to look at it much anymore :)).

Latest thinking on depression is that it's a chemical imbalance. It may a response to excessive or long-term stress (and, incidendentally, may show up as anxiety disorders instead of depression, depending on the person). It may be genetic.

I don't think Tom is intentionally snubbing the topic, but I'm betting he's not a psych nurse...no offense Tom...If you can get the positive endorphins going, this will be enough for some people...exercise, music, laughter, sex; all are activities which can re-balance the neurotransmitters.

But if you have no energy because you are in the sink of depression, with no light at the end of the tunnel, and intense mental anguish, it is VERY HARD to believe that any of these will help, thus it is almost impossible to implement these changes. And most people in the environment of the depressed person tend to say "Well, just stop it!" :) And I am guessing this is how most people are responding to Tom's post (because those who have been there have all heard that from someone they love). But that's not what he said...he said that what HE does.

Medications can fill in to start the balancing act. But lifestyle changes are necessary in addition to medications in order to effect a true change. Most people -- providing they add therapy or lessen their stress or make those positive endorphin activities an essential part of life (or maybe all three! :)) -- can stop the medication(s) after a while, some a very short while. But some (perhaps those with a genetic component?) may need long term medication -- OR repeat bouts of medciation -- no matter what they do.

You have to remember, Prozac and other SSRIs really haven't been with us all that long (Paxil was the 2nd SSRI approved by FDA and it came out in the early 90s) and it is SOOOO much better than the other meds we used to have. In the 70s, my poor depressed best friend was put on (UGH) Thorazine...

Sorry this post is so long! Guess my teacher persona kicked in today! :)

originally posted by researchrabbit

...if you can get the positive endorphins going, this will be enough for some people...exercise, music, laughter, sex; all are activities which can re-balance the neurotransmitters...

now see? i've been saying this all along and you guys have been laughing at me. i just need the one activity to re-balance my neurotransmitters and....:D :p :devil:

researchrabbit, you are just way too cool, girl. :)

Brownms46

Specializes in Everything except surgery. Has 27 years experience.

Originally posted by LasVegasRN

Now see? I've been saying this all along and you guys have been laughing at me. I just need the one activity to re-balance my neurotransmitters and....:D :p :devil:

researchrabbit, you are just way too cool, girl. :)

LV...:) Well...if that is what it takes....more power to ya! Just don't kill em on the first nite...ya hear..:D!

Originally posted by LasVegasRN

researchrabbit, you are just way too cool, girl. :)

ooooo, THANKS! I can run on a good compliment for at LEAST a week! :)

What came first, the chicken of the egg? Does working in the field of nursing contribute to major depressive episodes? On the other hand, are the people drawn to nursing, just depressive by nature? Maybe nurses are just especially sensitive people who are less able to resist being affected by depression? Nature vs nurture.

I do know a lot of nurses, myself included, that suffer from depression and are on antidepressants. I also know a lot of nurses who I think can benefit from being on antidepressants. Do you know the type?: Run around reacting to everything as if it's a crisis, zero stress tolerance, unable to prioritize patient care, call you up constantly asking for you to rescue them.

I had to take a month long leave of absence (unpaid) during the spring of 01. I was burnt out to the point that I was suicidal couldn't even take care of myself. Knowing well how ill I was, I was still treated in a very cold and abusive manner by my boss and administration. I had used up all my sick time (for a very authentic reason) and was forced to go on unemployment to pay my bills. I was forced to go in on three separate occasions (on the unit where all the nosey people wanted to know what was wrong) in order to get paperwork filled out so that I could get some money to live on. Wouldn't let me do anything by mail. Wouldn't let me come back to work gradually. "Either you're sick or you're not -- don't come back till you're well", I was told. Dignity means nothing to these people.

Never, never want to relive that nightmare again.:stone

Originally posted by adrienurse

I was burnt out to the point that I was suicidal couldn't even take care of myself. Knowing well how ill I was, I was still treated in a very cold and abusive manner by my boss and administration

I will never understand administrators...they whine about nursing shortages but don't make the workplace a healthy one. I am so sorry that happened to you. ((((((((((adrienne))))))))))))

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