Published Jul 30, 2009
Hello everyone!Is there any nurses who have SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) and if so, did you have problems geting through the nursing program, not so much the academic part, but being scare and uncomfortable to go to clinical site esp. hospitals. Also, did you let your instructor or DON know you had the problem. If you were able to succeed with this (SAD) how did you do it, what meds helped you cope. I don't have problems with the classroom work, it can be tuff, but I manage to get through it, I have to study longer and more detailed and use friends and study partners. Its having to go do something, I have no idea of whats its like or what to expect that gets me, and I feel inferior to the already RN's and doctors and other hospital staff.So please, if anyone had not succeed or has succeed in being a nurse, who has this problem, please tell me how, or I welcome any advice on the matter.Thank You, Msjam54
BabyCatchr, ADN, ASN, RN
I have ADHD and PTSD from severe childhood abuse. It took me many years to get my act together, be able to study, and graduate from college (at age 36), but eventually I learned that this world goes on regardless of what I am doing, and nobody is going to hold my hand or do it for me. So I found ways to make it work and now am going back again at 40. I feel that people do not understand what it takes to concentrate or get through daily tasks without flashbacks, so I work on my own to find ways to cope with my disabilities.
Thank You babyCatcher, You got you act together before me it seem, I will soon be 55. Do you feel overwhelmed to mess up or do something wrong, and did you or do you feel inferior to people in high professional statis, and were you very self-consicious. I feel uneasy doing somethings in front of people especialy if ther're unfarmiliar to me, I know this sounds just like most people at first, but for me it is escalated to a higher degree. Can you tell me some things you do to scope, and be a bit specific what your functioning issues are or where.I would appreciate it greatly. I feel I would be a good compassionate, caring, and consider LVN or RN, if these issues were not in the way.P.S. Are you currently a nurse or whats is your title.Thanks again,Msjam54
I am not yet an RN. I started my premed program in college, only to veer off on another path and change majors and colleges a few times. I am now heading back to finish my medical training, only now I will go for an RN rather than an MD. I feel an RN offers more career flexibility, among other things. I know now that I will have good study habits. I do worry that I will not be able to memorize so much material. I am very visual and must see things drawn out to understand, but my peers always tell me I am smart and learn fast (if only they knew!!). So for memorizing things, it takes me longer until I fully understand it. I can't just memorize for the sake of memorizing. I have to use my system. I cannot learn a thing from listening. It all sounds like, "blah blah blah blah." Not a word makes sense. I don't usually feel overwhelmed, but that is because I am so systematic. I will get overwhelmed and confused if someone moves my notes around or I don't have room to lay my stuff out. I also take a minute to locate information in the Rolodex of my brain. It gets pretty full up there sometimes. So yes, I worry about nursing school. That is why I am taking several of the classes ahead of time and will go during the summer, so I will have fewer classes during the regular semester. But I am also a single mom of 2 children, so I need some time every evening to help them with their homework and cook them dinner. I don't really have confidence issues. However, biofeedback has been an essential part of my learning plan. I would definately look into it. You can even train your mind to control video games just by hooking your brain up to electrodes (I did it). I used this technology both for my ADHD as well as for my carpal tunnel syndrome at my physical therapist's office.
Hi babyCatcher,You do sound very educated and in charge of your situation. You sound like you are very structured, organized, and dedicated to your way of learning and dealing with things, good for you. I see you really don't have the issue that I suffer from, you have confidence, and you have not spoke of anxiety. If your first goal was to be an MD, you are pretty much together I would say, I'm not saying with your positive abilities you don't have your issues. You have your issues by the tail it sounds like, rather that your issues having you by the tell.What exactly is biofeedback?I wish you much success in what your persue and happiness.Msjam
I have SAD. I did not tell anyone at work about it, at least not at first. If it comes out now as part of a casual conversation, I don't worry about it.
My first winter as a nurse was rough. I don't know how much of that was due to the SAD and how much was just the stress of the job (being new, my floor closing, floating all over the hospital on my own when I still didn't know what I was doing, etc), but I did promise myself that, if next winter is as bad, I would get out of hospital nursing and find something that didn't have me driving to and from work in the dark (I work 12-hour shifts).
I was fortunate, though, to start out on days. Night shift would have been suicide for me: sleeping during the day and staying up at night are absolutely counterproductive for treating SAD and will only make the symptoms much worse.
I feel somewhat better now that the days are longer, but I'm still stressed. (I also have chronic depression.) I do everything I can to feel well: I eat healthfully, exercise, practice yoga and deep breathing, use aromatherapy, and drink lots of water, go to bed early and get up early, and sit in front of a light therapy box every morning (my SAD is severe; I need to use the light box year-round). Maybe I need medication as well, but the drug my doctor started me on made me feel like a zombie and horribly nauseated. I couldn't work like that. I've just started a cognitive therapy book to see if that can help me get a handle on the anxiety. If not, I'll call the Dr and ask to try a different med.
My advice? Start by talking to your doctor to see if you need meds. Get a light therapy box and use it faithfully. Exercise, avoid junk foods and caffeine, and see how it goes. If 12-hour shifts don't work for you, get your experience and move on.
Hello MissninaRN,Thank you so much for responding. I'm happy for for you that you're able to work in spite of SAD. I just cant' shake the uneasy feelings I have about being around people and feel inadquate and akward about doing things in the presence of other people.Did you have feeling of inferiorness of professionals. Have you worked most of you life despite that fact you have SAD. Did you ever have crying spells and overwhelming feelings of sadness why in nursing school where other students and instructors knew you were dealing with something.Can you tell me what feelings you experince or what problem you have or had functioning with Sad while during school and working as a nures. If you like you cam email back.I will be looking forward for your reply. I Thank You and applaud you for being able to push pass and forward with SAD, to still accomplish your dreams as hard as it must have been. Maybe I'm just a coward with no confidence or to fragile by the life circumstances I've been through, But I would love to be able to push through it and succeed.Msjam54
I do have confidence now, but for many years suffered with severe depression and could barely function. I spent many days in bed all day, and once took so many Flexeril I did not wake up for 3 days. I lived with my mother, grandparents, and sister, and nobody even came looking for me in my bedroom. I have overdosed on a couple of occasions where I was taken by ambulance to the hospital, stomach pumped, and involuntarily checked into a mental institution. I was once on Prozac, but it made me get down to 89 pounds so the doctor would not give me any more. I suffered from bulemia and anorexia for 15 years and my mother refused to help in any way or to put me in a hospital program that I had looked into. It has been a long road, but I was able to overcome, and am now fully recovered, organized, and structured. I just want you to know that it CAN be done, but I believe in a complete program to include spiritual development, possibly medication, proper diet, proper sleep schedule and light therapy, biofeedback, avoidance of alcohol abuse, and exercise.
I really appreciate hearin from you and about your experiences. If I may say it sounds like you didn't have alot of support from family either. From what I read about your hardships and experiences, It was God plan for you to be where you are now. He wanted to turn your sorrows into success. Yes, spirituality, is the biggest part that is need for best outcome. You are a inspiration to me andwhom ever else you share your story with.
I pray that God will turn my situation around and give me the courage to do my part in what I need to do aswell.
I hope it okay for me to drop a line in on you periodically to get strength from your success and see how you are doing.
Please do keep in touch, Msjam. No, I have never had family around to support me except the 1 1/2 years I lived with my grandparents from 18-19 to care for them. I was on my own since the age of 6 - got my own ears pierced, got myself to school, went to live with a friend at age 11, started work when I was 15, had my own apartment at age 17. I hope to be able to understand how my future patients are feeling based on my previous experiences in the hospital (and home life). I do believe God has put me where I am for a reason. I have to draw strength from my past, otherwise, I would just curl into a ball and...well, it was no picnic, but I have no choice but to keep going! It sure beats the alternative!!
Most people who may have went thtough what you went through, would say that is the reason they were not strong enough to succeed in life. It sounds life what you experienced is what made you strong enough to persever. I almost want to say I'm sorry for what you endured, but then again, for the amazine strides and accomplishments youv'e made in spite of them, it don't seem appropiate( hope you understand what I mean) by that.
Are you currently working?
> I was laid off from my teaching job because it was a religious school and my son did not hold the same religious beliefs as the school. High school children of teachers are required to pass a religious interview in order for the teacher to work there. I was also laid off from my loan officer job 2 years ago when the industry tumbled, all our lenders filed bankruptcy, and the company closed. That industry is still not doing well so it has been impossible for me to get hired by another company. Teaching jobs are also flooded with applicants and laying off teachers. Pretty discouraging. It is still very hard for me to keep my chin up!! And that makes it hard to have friends, which in turn makes me feel more hopeless. But I am my own counselor and so I am going to go back into the medical profession (I used to teach childbirth classes and assist deliveries - you would be surprised what the OBs in the hospitals have let me do!! Assisted with homebirths as well.) and try to be optimistic! Like I said, I have no choice - I've got to keep moving. I think my children motivate me.
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