Psychiatric patients and nurses have similar issues?


Have you heard similar remarks from medical nurses? Are they just insults or is there any truth to these beliefs?


142 Posts

Has 12 years experience.

I'm not sure what you mean

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38,333 Posts

I had an instructor in nursing school that was a psych nurse. Definitely showed behaviors that indicated something was not right, unless that was nothing more than plain evil.


468 Posts

I think he means that it's often said that people that are interested in psych tend to have their own slew of mental problems. It's a joke often made about psych students.

I would think it would apply a bit less to nurses as they generally don't have a lot of control over their treatment, and a lot of nurses kind of fall into psych. Personally I have some mental diagnoses and have always been interested in psych, but that doesn't really reflect upon my willingness to take a job in psych.

There may be some truth to it, but overall it's pretty insensitive since it implies people with mental illness are lesser people.


38,333 Posts

There are mental illnesses that are of the "personality disorder" type that people tend to have more of a negative reaction to. Difficult for the layperson to distinguish between someone with a personality disorder and someone who is just plain nasty.

Has 6 years experience.

I often hear things like that said ...but in a light-hearted, non-offensive manner.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

Many moons ago I worked as a caregiver at a group home for developmentally disabled adults. Back in those days my mother used to joke that the longer a person works around certain populations, the more they begin to resemble those populations.

For instance, many correctional officers become shady over time, similar to the inmate populations they watch.

I briefly worked in psych as a medication nurse and loved it. I also have some 'issues' (PTSD, dysthymia, overuse of certain defense mechanisms).

Specializes in Psych. Has 2 years experience.

Heck, the patients think half the staff needs help as much as they do. When they say it to me ( and I do have some underlying issues) I just say... see what effective coping skills can do to help.


3,413 Posts

Has 38 years experience.

I hate to admit it, but if I meet someone in the medical/nursing field, and get to know them and start to realize they are a little odd.....then I find out they work in some area of mental health...."Oh yeah, that explains it!" is my immediate reaction.

However I don't think, I hope, when I know ahead of time, someone works in mental health, I don't go in expecting them to be odd!

My husband worked in the mental health field 25 years. Still no excuse for my prejudice!


3,413 Posts

Has 38 years experience.

PS....the stories my husband tells me about psychiatrists he has worked with would curl your toes!

Thanks for the replies, I've heard it said both ways, with light heartedness and with horizontal violence. Insults reveal more than anything the insulter's own lack of self worth.

Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

I think many nurses go into psych nursing because they love someone who has psych issues, including themselves. I think those nurses have a better understanding of what psych patients go through, and can be better at their job than others.

I think remarks like those given here can be joking (but joking has some belief behind it, doesn't it?), or nasty. I hope sometimes those remarks are intended to be compliments too...