As a mental health nurse, how have you dealt with a family member who is mentally ill?
Have your colleagues been supportive?
Sep 7, '17
I'm a Mental Health Aide at a state psych hospital, and a nursing (ADN) student. Several members of my family (biological and married/step) have or had mental diagnoses: major depression with suicidal ideation, bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorder, sleep disorders (symptom of the other issues?), and several ADD and/or Autism Spectrum. I have an adult step-daughter who may never be able to fully function in society or hold employment (Autistic, severe anxiety.)
I leave all that at home when I come to work. Other than mentioning that my dad (deceased) was bi-polar when I interviewed, and once having to take a call in the middle of shift report because a teen child was threatening harm, I've never discussed any of it with workmates. I think the fact that my patients may have the same diagnoses and associated struggles as members of my family helps me be more empathetic; but in a way dealing with it at work is almost like a break from dealing with it at home because there's not the emotional involvement.