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Please Help: Should I Pursue My Passion? Being a Nurse With Bad Anxiety/Depression and more....

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by Amanda J Amanda J (New Member) New Member Student

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Hi, everyone. I am in desperate need of some input, advice or support. 

I am making a career change, but struggling a little with some feedback I received from my primary care doctor. I had mentioned that I was nervous about seeing a psychiatrist because I was afraid of the results and how that might impact my future goals (my primary care doctor recently directed me to see a psychiatrist so that I could get diagnosed and put on a treatment plan). Her medication, Lexapro and Paxil, and other medications in the past, Zoloft, Prozac and Wellbutrin have not worked. She responded to my concern basically saying that it isn't about what I want, it is more so that I simply can't be in those jobs (with a history of mental health). So backstory, I am currently taking prereqs in hopes of applying to nursing school in a couple of years once those requirements are met. My initial bachelors was not very science heavy, so I am taking my time as to not overwhelm myself. It is no surprise to me that I have struggled with mental illness for most of my life and I know I need to get myself healthy before I embark on this new journey. I'm not sure she meant harm by it, but it really discouraged me and made me upset. I had mentioned that I thought I was Bipolar (she doesn't believe I am since antidepressants usually heightens Bipolar symptoms) and that I watched a show that mentioned Intermittent Explosive Disorder and how I believed I had something similar. I told her that I sometimes get angry at my husband for a chore that isn't done properly, but never indicated any sign of domestic abuse or anything like that. Again, I haven't been diagnosed and this was a Netflix show, nothing serious. I was simply confiding in her and felt comfortable opening up. 

Basically, I am required to see a psychiatrist and nervous for the results. I am sure there are plenty of nurses with severe depression and anxiety, but what if I find out I have something more severe in addition to those two? Borderline Personality Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder? Something involving anger management?

I want to add I have no criminal record whatsoever, I have never been terminated from a job or had behavioral issues at school or work. I have never suffered from substance abuse issues and I rarely drink alcohol. My coping mechanism is food. 

Honestly, if you didn't know me that well, you would think I was healthy and happy. I have no hallucinations, I know I'm not schizophrenic or a narcissist, I'm just afraid of Borderline. 

 

Sooo...if I take these steps to get treated by a psychiatrist and spend the next couple of years finishing my prereqs and getting healthy, will the BON in my state (I know it varies, but VA and CA are most feasible) deny me? I will be honest, I don't want to go through with schooling another 4+ years and accumulate more student debt if this isn't an option for me. It is a passion of mine and I believe it would help my overall well being, a purpose. I know I've had this calling for a while, but never pursued it because I wasn't confident in my abilities. Please, any help appreciated! 

Edited by Amanda J

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Stay awake from nursing! So to be so Frank. Nursing is a mentally draining job. I started at 21 with LPN when me I had recently been diagnosed as bipolar and told the Dr he was the one that was crazy. I will say I made it through and did will for years but as the years went on my mental health got worse. I also went back and got my RN which absolutely broke me mentally. The stress of school and passing was atrocious. 5 years later I had a mental breakdown and was backeracted for let's say way longer than the normal 3 days......I've pretty much walked away from nursing, especially since I am having to deal with the DOH and BON over my breakdown......I finally got a Dr and once again diagnosed Bipolar. This time getting treatment. 

All I can say is school is hella competitive and stress. Lots of long days and sleepless nights. Then work is abusive from coworkers, Drs, administrators, patients, and family, and anyone else who feels like bullying you.

20 years ago this career was amazing. The world has changed and so has it! 

And you will not make the money you think you will

 

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. But this  is career has ruined me

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

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I support PP Nitenurse's response. And I refer to your last sentences in your post.

Nursing SHOULD NOT be a passion to help you improve your overall well being. Nor is it a calling to bolster your confidence in your abilities.

Again, not to be another Debbie D, but I sincerely doubt those reasons  will support you in nursing - as a student or working nurse. Nursing school and working can be brutal (for many).

That's not to say that healthcare is totally out of the picture. Other related ancillary professions may be better suited. You don't say what your current career involves. So that may make a big difference.

You are already identifying yourself with problematic anxiety and depression. I would hate to see you subjecting yourself to a real possibility of becoming even MORE anxious and MORE depressed and (?) because of disappointment and dissatisfaction.

Go slowly with your future plans.

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40 minutes ago, amoLucia said:

I support PP Nitenurse's response. And I refer to your last sentences in your post.

Nursing SHOULD NOT be a passion to help you improve your overall well being. Nor is it a calling to bolster your confidence in your abilities.

Again, not to be another Debbie D, but I sincerely doubt those reasons  will support you in nursing - as a student or working nurse. Nursing school and working can be brutal (for many).

That's not to say that healthcare is totally out of the picture. Other related ancillary professions may be better suited. You don't say what your current career involves. So that may make a big difference.

You are already identifying yourself with problematic anxiety and depression. I would hate to see you subjecting yourself to a real possibility of becoming even MORE anxious and MORE depressed and (?) because of disappointment and dissatisfaction.

Go slowly with your future plans.

Can I try to explain my post? Although you probably question why I have to justify myself. I did ask this question in hopes people would give me honest answers, which you did and I appreciate it. But, this is what happens when I give too much detail, but don't explain myself correctly at the same time, and that is my fault. I feel like my wording worked against me and after reading my post over again, it looks sketchy. I know nursing is a selfless job and you have to be in it for the right reasons, but like I said, now that I've read over that part I can see how it was perceived that way. I stated that it is a passion of mine (has been for a while) AND it might indirectly boost my overall well being...people say they love the way it feels to help other people...I hear my nurse friends/relatives say it all the time...is that a sin in nursing? It might come off as selfish, but obviously that person loves helping others at the same time. Also, I wasn't confident in my abilities when it came to math and science and now I feel confident enough to actually pursue my passion because I am sick of my insecurities keeping me from a profession I really love. I'm not trying to pursue nursing to prove anything to anyone or myself. I have always wanted to pursue nursing and wanted to help other people, but decided to major in something that wouldn't involve a lot of math and science, so I picked a "soft science" major and my original career for two years was basically rehabilitate people, but it wasn't the right environment for me. I would explain more, but I don't want to get into too much detail. 

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2 minutes ago, Amanda J said:

Can I try to explain my post? Although you probably question why I have to justify myself. I did ask this question in hopes people would give me honest answers, which you did and I appreciate it. But, this is what happens when I give too much detail, but don't explain myself correctly at the same time, and that is my fault. I feel like my wording worked against me and after reading my post over again, it looks sketchy. I know nursing is a selfless job and you have to be in it for the right reasons, but like I said, now that I've read over that part I can see how it was perceived that way. I stated that it is a passion of mine (has been for a while) AND it might indirectly boost my overall well being...people say they love the way it feels to help other people...I hear my nurse friends/relatives say it all the time...is that a sin in nursing? It might come off as selfish, but obviously that person loves helping others at the same time. Also, I wasn't confident in my abilities when it came to math and science and now I feel confident enough to actually pursue my passion because I am sick of my insecurities keeping me from a profession I really love. I'm not trying to pursue nursing to prove anything to anyone or myself. I have always wanted to pursue nursing and wanted to help other people, but decided to major in something that wouldn't involve a lot of math and science, so I picked a "soft science" major and my original career for two years was basically counseling/overseeing people, but it wasn't the right environment for me for many reasons. I want to explain, but I won't. I don't want to put myself in the same position. 

 

Edited by Amanda J

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12 hours ago, Nitenurse03 said:

Stay awake from nursing! So to be so Frank. Nursing is a mentally draining job. I started at 21 with LPN when me I had recently been diagnosed as bipolar and told the Dr he was the one that was crazy. I will say I made it through and did will for years but as the years went on my mental health got worse. I also went back and got my RN which absolutely broke me mentally. The stress of school and passing was atrocious. 5 years later I had a mental breakdown and was backeracted for let's say way longer than the normal 3 days......I've pretty much walked away from nursing, especially since I am having to deal with the DOH and BON over my breakdown......I finally got a Dr and once again diagnosed Bipolar. This time getting treatment. 

All I can say is school is hella competitive and stress. Lots of long days and sleepless nights. Then work is abusive from coworkers, Drs, administrators, patients, and family, and anyone else who feels like bullying you.

20 years ago this career was amazing. The world has changed and so has it! 

And you will not make the money you think you will

 

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. But this  is career has ruined me

Thank you for your advice. I'm sorry that you experienced that. Honestly, that is a fear of mine (what you just told me), but that is why I am trying to get healthy before starting all of this and I am going very slowly. I hope that doesn't happen to me, a mental breakdown years after, but if I get healthy and get my mental illness under control...why should I let these currently roadblocks keep me from something I want to pursue. I know I asked for opinions, but I wanted to mainly know if BON would automatically deny me and I'm getting responses from people telling me not to go forward is kind of disheartening. I'm trying to better myself and get the necessary treatment. I'm not in it to make money, to be honest, my current job probably makes equivalent to what I would make as a nurse. But I've been sitting here for a couple of years wondering why I never pursued my passion.

Edited by Amanda J

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

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Nursing school, as with nursing itself, is very hard on a "normal" person, to say nothing of people with mental illness. You need to be in tip-top shape, both physically and mentally, to succeed in school and at work. IF you can get (and stay) stable, and IF you commit to this course of action for the foreseeable future, you can do it. I believe that.

Here's a little of my story. I managed 17 years of an active career, plus five more as a mentor and elder statesman so to speak, even with poorly-controlled bipolar I. And while my illness eventually destroyed my working life, I've never regretted a minute of it. I might have made better choices in jobs, and I might have done better at handling my bipolar. But when I was working, I was 100% dedicated to it, and I was good at it. I loved taking care of people and helping them solve their problems. Unfortunately, the world of healthcare grew more and more money-driven and less compassionate, and I didn't fit in well anymore. It ruined me...but it doesn't have to ruin you.

A word of caution: I would advise you not to disclose anything about your mental health history to your school, the board of nursing, or your future employer. Some will argue with me on this, but it's been my experience that no good comes from oversharing. If you really need accommodations, you may have to disclose, but if I were you, I'd do everything I could not to place myself in such a position that would require it. 

I wish you the very best in whatever you decide to do. Viva

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Snatchedwig has 11 years experience as a ADN, CNA, LPN, RN and specializes in Medsurg.

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Nursing school itself is quite an emotional experience. I felt like every day was the worst day of my life....every single day. You would stay for weeks studying intensely only to walk out of an exam with like a 70. I graduated nursing school two times, for practical nursing and later professional nursing. 

I felt like I lost my mind every semester. Do you have a good support system? That would be a source of stability for you.

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4 minutes ago, Snatchedwig said:

Nursing school itself is quite an emotional experience. I felt like every day was the worst day of my life....every single day. You would stay for weeks studying intensely only to walk out of an exam with like a 70. I graduated nursing school two times, for practical nursing and later professional nursing. 

I felt like I lost my mind every semester. Do you have a good support system? That would be a source of stability for you.

Girl! I quit every day, well that's what I would tell myself and be sitting in class like I never quit the next day. I hated it but loved it at the same time. I was too stubborn to give up. Wouldn't change it for the world though and never regretted it.

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10 hours ago, VivaLasViejas said:

A word of caution: I would advise you not to disclose anything about your mental health history to your school, the board of nursing, or your future employer. Some will argue with me on this, but it's been my experience that no good comes from oversharing. If you really need accommodations, you may have to disclose, but if I were you, I'd do everything I could not to place myself in such a position that would require it. 

 

If you take nothing else from this thread, listen to this sage advice.

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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15 hours ago, Amanda J said:

Can I try to explain my post? Although you probably question why I have to justify myself. I did ask this question in hopes people would give me honest answers, which you did and I appreciate it. But, this is what happens when I give too much detail, but don't explain myself correctly at the same time, and that is my fault. I feel like my wording worked against me and after reading my post over again, it looks sketchy. I know nursing is a selfless job and you have to be in it for the right reasons, but like I said, now that I've read over that part I can see how it was perceived that way. I stated that it is a passion of mine (has been for a while) AND it might indirectly boost my overall well being...people say they love the way it feels to help other people...I hear my nurse friends/relatives say it all the time...is that a sin in nursing? It might come off as selfish, but obviously that person loves helping others at the same time. Also, I wasn't confident in my abilities when it came to math and science and now I feel confident enough to actually pursue my passion because I am sick of my insecurities keeping me from a profession I really love. I'm not trying to pursue nursing to prove anything to anyone or myself. I have always wanted to pursue nursing and wanted to help other people, but decided to major in something that wouldn't involve a lot of math and science, so I picked a "soft science" major and my original career for two years was basically rehabilitate people, but it wasn't the right environment for me. I would explain more, but I don't want to get into too much detail. 

In this post, it tells me that you didn't get the answer you wanted, so now you want to change your perspective. Something this important doesn't work that way. I suggest that when you get in tip top shape both mentally and physically that you shadow.  How do you know it's your passion? It's easy to listen to someone else's story and try to run with that.  But your story will vary by where you're hired, shift etc.  You say that you're selfish but care?  You can't be selfish in the nursing profession, or you won't make it-your coworkers will throw you under the bus for fun.  Weekends, holidays, stable hours? Nope, not so much in nursing. Just throwing some realistic expectations out there. I wish you the best, whatever you decide

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39 minutes ago, Hoosier_RN said:

In this post, it tells me that you didn't get the answer you wanted, so now you want to change your perspective. Something this important doesn't work that way. I suggest that when you get in tip top shape both mentally and physically that you shadow.  How do you know it's your passion? It's easy to listen to someone else's story and try to run with that.  But your story will vary by where you're hired, shift etc.  You say that you're selfish but care?  You can't be selfish in the nursing profession, or you won't make it-your coworkers will throw you under the bus for fun.  Weekends, holidays, stable hours? Nope, not so much in nursing. Just throwing some realistic expectations out there. I wish you the best, whatever you decide

Nope, not changing my perspective, just correcting someone who got the wrong impression from my post. I should have just asked the simple question, "Will BON deny me with a past of mental illness? Possible Borderline, etc." but I decided to over explain myself and then I get responses from people who believe my reasons for wanting to become a nurse are not valid, but never explained what their reasons were. I worked in a correctional facility for 2 years and worked similar shifts, 12 hours+++, worked holidays, weekends, overtime and didn't have a set schedule. I had to leave because of the military, so I couldn't really stay if I wanted to. I was essential personnel, so I had to be there during natural disasters, hurricanes, snow storms, etc. Similar to that of a nurse. I'm not ignorant, I know how demanding the job is and I know the type of schedule they work....Like I mentioned in a previous post, I mentored people. SO, why did YOU want to be a nurse if my reasons aren't valid enough? But, I guess I have to realize none of you really know my life and don't know what truly is in my heart, so I'm not going to take what everyone has told me to heart. You are going off a post I wrote late at night when I was upset, so I can't blame you, but instead of picking at every word I wrote and using it all against me, maybe you should take the overall picture. I know I can do whatever I put my heart into and was just simply asking if a history of mental illness was an automatic dismissal. Thank you. 

Edited by Amanda J

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