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Stressed? Burnout? Depressed? Passively Suicidal? I don't know anymore.

Stress 101   (673 Views 8 Comments)

377 Profile Views; 9 Posts

So I've been off of residency since June of last year. Simultaneously while starting my full-time nursing career, I also immediately jumped into getting my BSN done as a full-time student. I've been finished with that since June this year.

You would think that after these accomplishments, I would be proud and excelling in my career (and many of my co-workers, family, and friends say they don't know how I did it), but I just feel empty inside. 

I have been having intermittent suicidal thoughts since I started my prerequisites. It used to be so intermittent that I could brush it off and continue with my day but, over the years, these thoughts have become more and more crippling. They were especially bad during my programs, but I assumed that it was the stress of it all.

Yet here I am, trying to better myself and do well by my patients but barely getting by without being distracted by these relentless thoughts. On really bad days, I have to tell them to stop out loud to myself to dim their volume in my head. I feel like its a constant struggle to keep my nursing knowledge in my head because these thoughts try to take so much room. On my days off, I used to go days without talking to people and stay in my room in the dark binge eating and listening to things at a high volume to drown out the thoughts. It's better now that I try to stay busy, go to the gym and socialize despite my introverted nature. 

I am interested in going further in my education trying new nursing fields and just appreciating life, but these intruding thoughts are holding me back. I feel trapped inside my head. The most frustrating thing is that I have no idea what is making me feel this way. I am a bit of a perfectionist, but I've always been that way, so why haven't I always had these thoughts?

I think that my family has begun to notice the changes in me. I have tried to take to my mother about it, but I think she fails to grasp just how bad it is. She is always like, "You have a lot of things on your plate. Just remember that everyone is experiencing stress. It's not just you. Things could be worse." I know that and hearing that then makes me feel ashamed and worsens the intrusive thoughts.

I have been considering talking to my NP about it, but I'm afraid of having these thoughts being more real, official and in my record. Additionally, I'm afraid of it reaching my work management and while I like many of my co-workers, I don't feel the same trust and warmth for my managers.

Any thoughts?

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7 Followers; 3,266 Posts; 21,965 Profile Views

5 hours ago, LinBel said:

Additionally, I'm afraid of it reaching my work management and while I like many of my co-workers, I don't feel the same trust and warmth for my managers.

First and foremost call this number now!

 1-800-273-8255

It is the national suicide hotline number and they can assist you in getting the help you need. Your city or county should also have some sort of community mental health services that are easily reached. If you have a spiritual leader of some sort they can also be of help. Last resort would be your employer's EAP program. I'm not sure I trust them. 

Do not discuss this with your co-workers or manager until you have started getting help and even then be very careful. Oversharing has a habit of coming back to bite people in the butts. 

Lastly, we are all pulling for you. Many of us have been where you are and it is a dark and scary place but there is so much joy in life. It's just hard to find sometimes but it's there, I promise.

 

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BeatsPerMinute has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiac.

136 Posts; 4,834 Profile Views

OP.... HUGS!!!

I feel for you...

You are not alone. I have called 1-800-273-8255 before... had similar thoughts/feelings... I also called someone I trusted to be with me as I was brought to the ED and admitted to the psych unit. Felt afraid, guilt, shame, anxiety during the whole process and was worried that I would lose my job... however, it all worked out, and it was so worth it. 

Be proud of your accomplishments. You worked hard to get where you are. Allow yourself permission to rest... Take care of yourself first. 

EAP was helpful for me. EAP is often a third party resource so nothing should come back to your work place (it is generally in the best interest of the employee and employer to keep EAP a third party thing...idk if this is how all places provide EAP, but from what I hear, it is generally the norm in any business). 

My thoughts are that you should see your PCP and then inquire about FMLA. HR can provide FMLA info & resources. They also usually kept with all other work related policies if you are not comfortable going to HR. 

Your supervisor & co-workers do not need to know details. Even HR does not need to know "everything." Medical records are shared to health insurance companies for decision making in eligibility for FMLA, however your workplace only receives notification that a claim was made and whether or not you are approved. People take leave for medical reasons / personal illness / mental health / personal reasons (caring for family member), etc all of the time... Obtain and keep a copy of your workplace leave rules, FMLA, STD, internal request for time off (whatever is offered / available) protocols and policies for your reference , call the insurance company your job utilizes for these things, and inquire if and what you would be eligible for (this process generally goes more smoothly if you see a medical provider first)... follow the instructions carefully... Take the steps that you feel you should take. 

I hope this is helpful... pulling for you! 

Edited by BeatsPerMinute

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9 Posts; 377 Profile Views

Thank you both for your responses. I suppose I never felt that I deserved to call the suicide hotline because I don't display "urgent" enough symptoms. Reflecting back though, it makes sense to get this handled before they start getting urgent.

I did call the hotline, as you both recommended. It felt nice to have someone listen to me and not dismiss my feeling as part of a "normal" life. I know that everyone has downtimes, but the constant emotional pressure and thoughts are so exhausting and I am beginning to feel like I am losing the fight more and more. Anyways, they recommended that I contact HR and ask for a referral, to an FMLA (like you mentioned BeatsPerMinute). I haven't done that quite yet. I still feel paranoid bringing my issue close to work, but I did schedule an appointment with my NP and will ask her for a referral. 

I also spoke to my Mom about it again. I may not have been fair and didn't go into quite as much detail about the symptoms as I did here or with the hotline. She was a lot more receptive this time and apologized if her pushes to get me back into school contributed to my stress (she wants me to start my Masters soon too). I don't blame her (it is my lack of communication after all), but having her understand how bad I'm feeling, sympathizing and promising to lay off a bit helps so much too. I don't want to disappoint people, but I feel so tired.

Anyway, thanks again for the support and hopefully this is the beginning to a better path in life for me.

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7 Followers; 3,266 Posts; 21,965 Profile Views

I'm really proud of you that you made the call. It's very difficult to do. It's scary and not a little embarrassing but hopefully this will start you down the path of wellness in mind, body and soul. Please keep us updated. we may be strangers on the internet but we care.

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2 Posts; 33 Profile Views

That is very sad to hear. 
 

I was just relieved to know the Board offers Approved Psychologist Evaluations. 
 

I ended up having sever thoughts of awful things. And I needed my Bipolar medication. 
 

I would just just power your mind through it if that makes sense. I learned to watch tv and music. 
 

it takes so long with the Board office if there is any signs of diminished capacity. Fortunately I can remember nearly everything that happens to me. My situation with the Texas Board is different. However I feel much better knowing the solution I was needed this whole time was at my mental health state provider facility. So I’m fine with waiting for this office and how they choose to proceed with me. I just try to stay out of trouble. 
 

when I first became licensed I ended up being dumped out in the street with nothing but that license. It was very terrible and scary very scary. As time went on I learned to not worry so much about things that happen and try to rest and restart with the Board every day.  
 

sorry you have such bad thoughts however I ended with very awful thoughts also

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3 Posts; 14 Profile Views

First, quit talking yourself into the corner where failure means a slow tortured death. That's what I found out when talking to someone after leaving another profession and pursuing the one I longed for terrified me. 

Then talk honestly with someone about what it would mean to get the degree, or graduate, or practice at whatever your education level and decide you hate it, can't do it, or can't make the grade. 

Learn where your own monsters under the bed are, those intense fears that creep up on us, get a flashlight and discover they're not real. 

And please, take action before you actually consider harming yourself. 

You can do it, become who you want to be, do what you WANT to do. Take some pressure off. Godspeed. 

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1 Follower; 934 Posts; 6,552 Profile Views

Get help, know your limitations and chose yourself over a nursing career if it comes down to it.

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