severe anxiety


I have been off work for a few months for severe anxiety and depression, I thought I had worked through the problem but I went to report for new job today and had panic attack. I have been an RN for 14 years, I worked homecare and OR. In the last few years I have lost my mom to alzheimers disease, I was primary caregiver, I have been married and divorced and had 3 major surgeries, physically I am ok but I just got burned out and now I am lacking the confidence to deal with anything. I am a good nurse, I have good skills I just do not know how to get past all this anxiety, I have been to therapy and I know and understand everything they teach but I cannot seem to get past this. I thought I have dealt with the death of my mom and divorce etc. but I keep coming back to this and cannot seem to move forward, everything seems to remind me of this. I have had severe depression to the point of not wanting to be awake, not wanting to kill myself, just not knowing how to go forward and deal with everything. I am almost broke and I still am not able to get past the panic attacks. Part of me thinks I need to move to another area or to maybe travel nurse I just am so confused as to what to do. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks for letting me rant.

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

2 Articles; 6,840 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 12 years experience.

My suggestion would be to see a specialist on anxiety, depression, grief, maybe PTSD. Unfortunately due to TOS we can't really give you advice on how to treat, deal with or compensate for your anxiety. I hope seeking appropriate treatment will find you ready to get back to work soon. I am so sorry for all of your challenges and hope you get to feeling much better.:nurse:

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

geography does not change things. The issues will go with you and you will add the stress of moving. Seek professional help. I wish you peace

Specializes in LTC and School Health.

Just wanted to send :hug: your way. I hope it gets better. You have been through a lot. Just take one day at a time. You may not ever get over the death of your mother and your divorce. That is okay. You have have to learn how to cope. You lost 2 major people in your life. Divorce is like death. You are mourning the lost of your parent and your marriage. I'm praying for you and I pray that God gives you peace that surpasses all understanding.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

(((((((HUGS)))))))) Sounds like you are in a really dark and lonely place right now. PP's are right - get the professional help you need to recover.

Work with your physician to obtain disability certification - the income is not great, but will help you through this rough patch. You are experiencing an illness that prevents you from working and therefore, you are entitled to this benefit that you have been paying for (FICA) for years.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,982 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

A visit to your primary care provider is very much in order here, if you haven't done so already. S/he may or may not have the expertise to treat your depression and anxiety, but s/he can refer you elsewhere if not. And please don't be afraid to see a psychiatrist if your doctor feels it's necessary; you'll probably have to anyway if you file for SSDI, and honestly, there is no shame in doing so. Depression and anxiety are medical conditions that happen to affect the brain, and that's what these specialists are trained to treat.

Many :hug: to you and good thoughts for your recovery. Remember, "this too shall pass" won't always be in this 'dark and lonely' place. I promise. :hug:

Specializes in Dialysis. OR, cardiac tell, homecare case managem. Has 25 years experience.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I have been seeing a psychiatrist and thought I had improved, maybe it is time for a new md or therapist. I know I can work as an rn I do not really want to go on disability but I have been dealing with this for so long you are all right I feel alone. I know others have gone through rough times and I know I will be ok at some point, it is just so frustrating when I have sought help and feel I am in a darker place then I was before. I am not seeking diagnostic advice etc. I am just wondering how others have dealt with times like this. How did you get through? Like I said I have sought professional help and still cannot deal with all this and I thought i had. I lost my biggest support network when I lost several family members my mom and 3 aunts within a year. I just feel like I have noone . I trust my therapist but it is not the same. I have been feeling like I need to do something different not outside of nursing but a different type of nursing. I think the poster that said PTSD hit it right. MY biggest issue seems to be when I think of working with some of the same people I worked with when my mom passed. I was working in an OR and I have never worked with a colder bunch of people in my life, I cannot seem to get a position outside this arena and that is the most frustrating part. I know nursing is dog eat dog but the OR is ruthless and I do not want to go back there. How can I work with a bunch of hypacrites? All I can say is what goes around comes around and those people will have to deal with situations in their lives at some point, I would not wish the pain I have experienced on anyone but I would wish that they may grow to understand how much pain some people experience and not treat people like dirt because they choose to be with there family who is dying rather than be with a bunch of mean ruthless people. Enough said I just have to keep trying and moving forward. Thanks for all the reponses.

Specializes in Dialysis. OR, cardiac tell, homecare case managem. Has 25 years experience.

My employer has threatened to voluntarily terminate me , I am so frustrated, I think I need to get a lawyer and fight this b/s, I have a legitimate illness I have tried over and over to perform my job, it is not so much the job as to whom I work with. I am so ready to give up but they are doing me wrong and I will not take it. I need a new fresh start and just to move on but they cannot do this to me. Has anyone ever been through this? It makes me feel worthless and like I will never get past this stupid situation. I know nursing jobs are hard to come by and I don"t want to burn bridges but at this point I feel I have no choice.

Specializes in Dialysis. OR, cardiac tell, homecare case managem. Has 25 years experience.

Why is nursing such a cruel profession? We are supposed to have compassion for everyone but the big machine hospital systems treat their employees worse than the patients. Nevermind that I am also a patient! I have just about had it with healthcare, maybe it is time to look elsewhere, sad since nursing school was challenging enough as I was caring for my mom with alzheimers as well as going to school and working almost full time. What a joke! I hope I can get past this anger and find a place in nursing that is somewhat understanding. Right now it does not look good. I have no problem suing the pants off them at this point. It is all about money and new grads, experience counts for nothing anymore! Good riddens nursing as I know it I am going to fight back soon I will be one of the users, if you can"t beat them join them!

Specializes in Dialysis. OR, cardiac tell, homecare case managem. Has 25 years experience.

Lets just say that the hospital systems in the midwest are ruining healthcare for patients and staff. I will encourage everyone i know to not use the current system i am in, their care is subpar and they practive dangerous policies. Never again will i go thru this type of treatment.


2 Articles; 159 Posts

Specializes in Paediatrics. Has 5 years experience.

It sounds like you're under a lot of stress in work, without all the past major life changes you've just had. I too suggest you to keep seeing your health practitioner.

Just try to remember things 'will' get better one day. That this horrible period is just a painful flash in your life and you'll feel happy and relaxed again, although that might feel to be so far away right now. It's the idea that you're stuck in that 'zone' that makes it worse, I think anyway.

Right now I think you need to try to take out some big stressors in your life, if you really don't enjoy your job, hunt for a new one in your time off . Put off things like study/moving etc for a while and concentrate more on relaxation and hobbies. Give yourself a break, piling up more and more things onto yourself to do, will increase your stress levels and that will coincide with these panic attacks.

Wishing you all the best in the future and hope you feel better soon!


Specializes in Dialysis. OR, cardiac tell, homecare case managem. Has 25 years experience.

Thank you I will try your suggestions