Update to mental breakdowns

Update to previous posts about my depression, anxiety, si, etc. Small recap: worked in LTC 4.5 years, quit and took 2-3 months off before going to hospital, worked 4-5 months and took LOA before quitting due to mental health. Nurses General Nursing


So it's been a while since my last post, but here it goes. As stated above, this is an update to past posts but basically I ended up quitting my last nursing job I think mid-December 2021. I was having unbelievable stress, anxiety, panic attacks, depression and si. It has been an ongoing issues for years, since teenage years really. Anytime any stressful event appears in my life or fears of failure appear I feel like I lose control of myself. I hid it very well for years from my family, my BF was the only one to figure things out and seem to understand and try to support me as much as he can. However after working in LTC for 4.5 years I decided to quit and look for hospital position due to pressure from people around me (family, other nurse colleagues) saying that's the only job worth having. I wasn't necessarily happy in my LTC position, but I was familiar and having less "episodes" there than when I moved to hospital position 2-3 months after quitting LTC, though the amount of episodes even then was still quite a few and quite heavy. Before accepting the hospital position my BF's mother was dx with cancer, literally the day she got the dx about 2 minutes later I got the call for the job offer and told them I would need to call them back as I was dealing with an emergency. I think it was a Friday so I had the weekend to consider it. Even before accepting the position I was torn because now here I was in a somewhat already known but hidden terrible state, and here my BF's family was in a new terrible state (just him, mom and few siblings but the siblings were not in good standing with her for personal reasons and lived somewhat further away though not out of state). I would visit my BF in MD as much as I could since I lived in NJ, but I knew with the new dx things would be much harder now and I was torn as to what I should do. I wanted to stay and support them and help take care of her as I knew she would possibly decline quickly and need a lot of help. My BF and I both discussed it but he wanted me to do what he and I both thought was best for me at the time and take the hospital position so I did. That ended up being a huge mistake as the job alone brought me to a state in my depression and mental health that I had never been in, and then the added stress of increasing my visits to MD to not only be with my BF but also help him and his mother with the new dx and just day to day care and handling of medical aspects (appointments, emergency visits if I was there, picc dressings, foley maintenance, etc). It was like I was never having any break. Finally I ended up taking LOA from the hospital position due to my mental health concerns but also to continue to be in MD as much as I could to help my BF even though he was so worried for me and insisted I take care of me. I did try initially to see a general practitioner to get things going for my depression and anxiety, but when it came to seeing psych I still just had so many fears like what if whatever I say isn't really private and gets back to the BON and I have complications with my license? I know I left nursing for now but I always thought I'd maybe hopefully eventually come back mostly because it is the only education I have and was so hard and financially draining to obtain. So I focused on MD to keep my mind off me and it seemed to work for a time. I was focused on my BF and his mother, until finally his siblings made their peace with their mother and started to pitch in as well. I felt some relief and thought OK now I can spend some more time with my BF and perhaps even muster up the courage to seek real professional help for my issues. That was about a year in already at that point and unfortunately that's when my mom in NJ had a fall from a step stool and broke her elbow pretty badly. Next thing I knew I was back and forth from MD to NJ heavily again (prior to this I was spending most of my time in MD to help my BF and his family) to help my family with now my moms broken elbow and radius. She was so depressed feeling like suddenly there was so much she could not do and even after surgery she struggled emotionally with not seeing instant progress. So here I was again putting my mental health on hold to help my family. As things finally started to get better with my moms condition and settle down, suddenly my dad went for a general checkup (his first in many many years) and shortly thereafter was himself dx with cancer about 5-6 months after my mom's broken elbow incident. So here I am about 2 years 2 months later after quitting my nursing job having made little to no progress with my mental health I feel, though I will say the episodes have been very few with longer spans between episodes and shorter durations of the episodes. Luckily my brother has been a little help with my parents, but he is very busy with work he always says so not much. Though I now find myself spending most of my time again in MD as my mom is doing almost 100% again and is willing to help my dad as he is still in good shape as well despite the cancer (though he has lost a considerable amount of weight and is himself depressed now too it seems). My BF wants me to make the move to MD official since I spend almost all of my time here with him and his family. I want to, but am very afraid of what that means for my career which is now causing my anxiety and panic attacks to start up again. It's not that I do not want to make the move official; I've actually wanted to do this for a long time so I can be where I've always wanted to be since about my 2nd year in the LTC facility but just so many things always seemed to get in the way including career and my mental health. But so anyways here I am preparing myself for the move, but on the list of things causing me anxiety are: how do I endorse my NJ nursing license to MD nursing license as this can be confusing due to compact and non compact states it just all confuses me; how do I account for the 2 year (perhaps by the time I start applying to positions here in MD 3 years) lapse in time on my resume with no work (or do I just fill in these years with "family care obligations”); will any other nursing facility even give me a second glance after seeing I have been out of the field for 3 years or am I just kidding myself and have essentially thrown my career in the toilet; do I even want to go back to nursing to give it another shot maybe at another LTC in MD (definitely not hospital) or will this just cause me to have even more panic attacks again and just bring me to my knees once more making me feel like a failure all over again; how do I find an LTC position here when there are no jobs posted on their sites other than CNA/GNA positions (do I just go in person and ask for an application and hand in a resume that may not be adequate due to the 2-3 year hiatus from nursing and work in general other than taking care of my family); do I wait to even consider nursing again until I finally muster up the courage and actually try to see psych for my mental health complications; just so many things causing my anxiety level to hit the roof and me to have panic attacks again. Last night I had an episode, largest and longest I've had since quitting my last nursing job 2 years ago. My head was pounding, stomach aching and burning and causing vomiting until there was nothing left, I tried so hard to keep my hands still but I was shaking uncontrollably and I was also trying to prevent my hands from potentially hurting myself (hair pulling or scratching etc) which I was able to avoid with the help of my BF holding me until I cried myself to sleep for a while. I know I want to be in MD, but I am concerned about my career. What happens if I take even more time off to first try to address my psych issues finally and how much more time off can I really afford? These are all things weighing on me, causing distress. My BF insists I can take time off still if I need to and he can handle the burden of providing for now especially since I still have a decent amount in savings and can help up every now and then if things come up short. My BF wants me to finally take the time to focus on myself since my previous "focus on me" time just kept getting interrupted by mishaps of life. I am so afraid though that by the time I get myself sorted out with psych (if I can even really ever be sorted out and "better", who know) will it be too late to try to jump back into nursing. So yeah, that's where I am at in my story, still full of anxieties, still capable of having such heavy panic attacks it seems, maybe depressed at the idea of where my life goes from here, and apparently occasional si still from time to time though that has lessened tremendously since spending most of my time in MD. I want help, I am afraid to get it and afraid how much time it will take for me to get better if ever and by then it will be too late to return to nursing if that's what I choose to do.

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years).

Overwhelming, Izzy.

We have expectations of ourselves, and if we cannot meet those expectations due to a fragile mental status which symptoms are exacerbated due to multiple life crises, the situation is compounded.

To commiserate, around 2000, I had multiple major life crises for which I sought professional help, attended Emotions Anonymous meetings, lived a healthy lifestyle, exercised out the ying yang, wrote down- not typed- all my thoughts and feelings, used art to express my pain, did a lot of spiritual & self-help readings, and made it through a really rough five-year period.

I made it through utilizing these methods, for there are no magic pills or quick fixes.

The very best to you.


Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life).

What Davey wrote!

Izzy your narative could well have described me a time except I was abusing Alcohol and I did end up in front of my BON did a rigourous 5 year program and slowly got well. Some times it felt like two steps forward, one step back but I journed on. I am much better these daysthough still bear many emotional scars. I have just learned not to pick at them. If you ever want to communicate privately send me a PM. 


Did you re- read this post?  You require  psychiatric care,  You are not able to provide nursing care at this time.

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life).

Have you ever traveled anywhere by plane? "In case of a loss in cabin pressure please place the oxygen mask on your face first." You are useless to others if you are not safe yourself. 

+ Add a Comment