I'm a nursing student and am considering a voluntary inpatient psych stay for major bipolar depression. Other than lack of insurance, my primary obstacle to making this decision is whether having a hospitalization "on my record" would preclude RN licensure or employment.
I'm 36, have a BA in a non-nursing field and have been working toward a BSN off and on since '04. At that time, I lived in Los Angeles, had a great job, took pre-req classes at night (and carried a 4.0 GPA) and - mostly importantly - had an excellent psychiatrist who did both med management and talk therapy. I saw her for 60-minute sessions as often as needed, and she was quick to adjust dosages or meds as my situation warranted.
In late '06, I left Los Angeles and returned to my hometown of Columbia, SC, to assist my aging parents with their mounting health issues. For a variety of reasons, I've been unable to secure consistent psych care here, and I now find myself heading into month 13 of the most crippling depression I've ever experienced (I've had DSM diagnoses since age 21). I haven't worked in about 14 months and am in no shape to attend school. I have, quite literally, been in bed since last January. I've never spent a day in a hospital as a patient for any reason, but I'm coming to believe that inpatient treatment may be my only hope to stabilize my mind and restart my life. My diagnoses are BP II, OCD and ADD (inattentive), but when I am properly medicated and working with a simpatico pdoc, I'm pretty formidable.
So, I have questions. I'm not looking for diagnostic info specific to my situation (I understand that is not the purpose of this board), but rather for insight. I don't have a clear grasp of what inpatient treatment involves; what does it look like in your professional experience? I'm scared of being treated like a criminal, of not being taken seriously, of giving up any agency I have over my life, and most especially, of making a decision that will prevent me from entering into what I firmly believe will be a rewarding career path.
Thank you for reading this, and any feedback you can provide is most appreciated.