is nursing supposed to be sad?

Nurses General Nursing


Hello everyone,

I just wanted to get your advice and thought this was the perfect place to go.

My friend is in her first year of nursing school and has become really depressed and sad. She has been crying a lot and has never acted this way before and doesn't want to go out anywhere or do anything fun. She has seen a psychiatrist and therapist and is even taking pills to treat her depression. She seems like she doesnt really know what to do with her life. I was just wondering what I can do to help her and if this is normal? Are nurses out there actually taking pills for depression? And if my friend is depressed in just her first year, isn't nursing supposed to get harder? so what then?

Specializes in Med/Surg, DSU, Ortho, Onc, Psych.

If she is young, nursing can be very hard, as u don't have that age experience, life philosophy and maturity to cope with life. See if she can talk to you about what is really bothering her - maybe she needs to look at another career path? Or is there a school/university counsellor, trusted older Aunt she can speak with? Perhaps something else awful has happened, but she doesn't want to admit this to anyone.

Perhaps she could take a semester off to treat her depression first. It is very hard when ur young 2 decide what to do with ur life. Have a good heart to heart with her and don't be judgemental - maybe u can go to the psychiatrist's appointment with her. Just listen and be supportive, but she really needs time off. No point struggling through study when ur this depressed.

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.
Are nurses out there actually taking pills for depression?
To answer this specific question, yes, there are numerous nurses in society who take antidepressant medications. In fact, there are numerous people in society as a whole who have been prescribed antidepressant medications.

Depression is a very common condition that afflicts an estimated 20 percent of Americans. Nurses are not immune.

She is gonna be 22 next year. Thanks for all the advice :)

Specializes in neurotrauma ICU.
She is gonna be 22 next year. Thanks for all the advice :)

I don't want to start another age war, but I honestly think this may have a lot to do with her depression.

At 21 I did not have the life experience to deal with many of the sad things I have seen in nursing. With age comes experience, and you are better able to put things in the proper perspective as you gain experience.

Specializes in neurotrauma ICU.

oh, I missed that she is just in nursing school. Good grief, YES it is common to be depressed in nursing school! lol! those were the worst/hardest years of my life!

Good luck to her, you are a good friend for being so concerned. Now, just don't be one of those friends who whines and complains when she can't to anything with you. Girlfriend is BUSY and will be grumpy! take it easy on her :)

Specializes in ER, Tele, Cardiac Cath Lab.

I would recommend another career to her ASAP!!!

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management.

Your friend may very well be in "brain overload" since she is merely in her first year of school. Nursing school can be boot camp. You are learning so much material, and you are expected to not only comprehend what is being taught, but you are expected to EXCEL in your comprehension. This takes quite a bit of self confidence. Your instructors are looking at you under a microscope, and are trained to criticize every mistake the student makes. This can leave even the strongest student filled with doubt and wondering if nursing is the right choice.

It sounds like your friend may have some core issues with self esteem and self confidence. I only say this because I myself have had to deal with these issues. It can knock you down, and if she does not have family and supportive friends like you, she will be apt to not get back up and dust herself off. I am happy to see that she is seeking advice from a counselor. This will help, but will take some time. I encourage her to continue with this plan.

If she can get through the next few semesters, she will look back with immense pride on her accomplishments. I wish her well, and I commend you for coming to this forum for advice! Send her some flowers or periodically send her a hand written card to help her through it. It won't solve the depression issue, but it will be a ray of light for her.

try to investigate further, she's probably suffering from some serious problem other than taking the nursing course itself.. perhaps its just one of the factors which aggravates her depression but its not the root cause of the problem...

Specializes in LTC.

Honestly nursing school made my mild depression go crazy. The stress just makes things hard.

Specializes in student nurse.

When the going get's tough the tough get going. Nursing is a challenge even though i havent had the pleasure of working in a hospital yet, i know what i went through in nursing school. Every situation we were handed had us with our backs against the wall and we had to rise to the occasion, similar to life. If she feels like this now can u imagine when she gets into the hospital. My advice if that she should research what she is getting herself into and the beauty of nursing is that you have the ability to be much more than a nurse with your degree, u can continue to so many other areas.

I am a nursing student myself in an acclerated program. It is tough and very stressful but you friend shoud not be crying and depressed all the time just because she is in nursing school. I'm glad she is seeing professionals because it would seem that her problems run deeper than nursing school. I am young too and while I agree I don't have the life experience others do, I can handle sad situations with some perspective and balance. I think her age is a moot point in this case. I am glad she has a friend who is so concerned. Be supporative and listen to what she has to say. There is nothing wrong with taking time off from school to do some self-care! I hope everything works out for your friend!

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