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What is wrong with me!?

Specializes in Taking one day at a time....

My first nursing class was three days ago.... And everyday for the past three days I have been crying at night.. Its not for long periods of time, but its deep desperate sobs.. And i cant help myself! Of course the first day was overwhelming, but even the next day after I felt better and studied productively all day long.. I ended up crying that night. I dont know whats wrong with me. I KNEW nursing would be a lot of work..a lot of time..a lot of studying..just a lot of everything. But i did not expect to burst into tears like this. I feel like how on earth am i possibly going to learn all of this?!...And this is only semester ONE. I usually end up crying after I study for a while....and even while im studying, i can feel my anxiety build up..mostly because I'll be like "OH damn, why cant i remember that!?"..or "WOW we have to remember ALL of this? How will i remember this forever???" or..if im in class i'll feel a knot in the pit of my stomach when my professor is telling us how we'll have to do all of these skills tests and if we dont pass them we basically fail the class. I get nervous just thinking about these things, let alone doing them.

Please please tell me that this will get easier to handle (Because i know the work only gets harder...). So far, i feel like my entire world is upside down.. And even as im sitting here typing this i am getting tears in my eyes.

I have ALWAYS been an anxious person and have told myself that I will get anxiety medication if nursing school is too stressful....(Ive been on it in the past for other reasons)... I KNOW that i want to be a nurse. But i also know that right now i feel like crawling under a rock. The tears & everything else is just making me doubt my ability to succeed.:cry:

Is this normal?... Are other people in my class going home & crying and i just dont know about it?....:stone

VICEDRN, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in ER.

Sweet Jesus!! You are gonna burn out quick if you keep going down this path...

I started nursing school last week. I understand that feeling of panic that sets in. What I have been doing is focusing on the tasks that are immediately in front of me. I don't pay any attention to the check off in October, I worry about reading for Friday and memorizing medical term for Tuesday. Then I move on to the practice nursing diagnosis for next week.

I haven't spent a second thinking about the health assessment due next week. I am doing this one step at a time and I refuse to get too far ahead of myself. I think its the only way to avoid panic attacks!!

If you need a buddy, email me. We can get through this together!

Hugs from Georgia,

Victoria

Each nursing school is different, but I think all of them to one extent or another try to generate some degree of anxiety in new students. This is not to be cruel (though there are probably exceptions) but just to insure that priority is given to nursing school and serious effort is put forth to do well.

It's simply not true that 'it only get's harder'. First, what might be hard for you may not be hard for someone else and vice versa. Second, as you learn more and get into a groove of studying it will get easier because everything won't be new and unfamiliar.

You've identified the source of your anxiety already: you're projecting your present state of mind into the future and placing the whole burden of nursing school on your present self. That's neither valid nor fair. You don't have to do it all at once, and you won't be the same person you are now as you go through school. You'll learn, gain knowledge and skill, and be in a better position to deal with what you have to learn in the future.

Your anxiety shows that you're eager to learn, but you don't have to do it all at once. Do today's portion well and do the same thing tomorrow and then you won't have to worry about the future because it will take care of itself, you'll have seen to that.

whiteoleander5

Specializes in Taking one day at a time....

Sweet Jesus!! You are gonna burn out quick if you keep going down this path...

I started nursing school last week. I understand that feeling of panic that sets in. What I have been doing is focusing on the tasks that are immediately in front of me. I don't pay any attention to the check off in October, I worry about reading for Friday and memorizing medical term for Tuesday. Then I move on to the practice nursing diagnosis for next week.

I haven't spent a second thinking about the health assessment due next week. I am doing this one step at a time and I refuse to get too far ahead of myself. I think its the only way to avoid panic attacks!!

If you need a buddy, email me. We can get through this together!

Hugs from Georgia,

Victoria

I know, i really cant believe I am acting like this... I really think its just the whole combination of this new environment, new people, new professors explaining what we will be doing for the ENTIRE semester (Ah!), Many assignments/readings... Its just a lot thrown at me all at once. But im really hoping that soon i'll fall into a comfortable routine.

I am definately getting antianxiety meds soon... I knew i would have to eventually, i just didnt think it would be THIS soon.

But i really will try to take your advice and not think about whats due next week. Thats the reason why studying would get to me...because i'll be doing fine, and then i'll eventually think of what I have to read for next week...About the test..About how am im going to remember this all for the test..About how many more times I will be nervous before i finish this week.-- This is the last time i will mention that. I promise.:bow:

Thanks for the response... It is much appreciated. And i will gladly email you soon so we can share moral support.:rolleyes:

whiteoleander5

Specializes in Taking one day at a time....

Each nursing school is different, but I think all of them to one extent or another try to generate some degree of anxiety in new students. This is not to be cruel (though there are probably exceptions) but just to insure that priority is given to nursing school and serious effort is put forth to do well.

It's simply not true that 'it only get's harder'. First, what might be hard for you may not be hard for someone else and vice versa. Second, as you learn more and get into a groove of studying it will get easier because everything won't be new and unfamiliar.

You've identified the source of your anxiety already: you're projecting your present state of mind into the future and placing the whole burden of nursing school on your present self. That's neither valid nor fair. You don't have to do it all at once, and you won't be the same person you are now as you go through school. You'll learn, gain knowledge and skill, and be in a better position to deal with what you have to learn in the future.

Your anxiety shows that you're eager to learn, but you don't have to do it all at once. Do today's portion well and do the same thing tomorrow and then you won't have to worry about the future because it will take care of itself, you'll have seen to that.

I read your response at least 3 times because it makes SO much sense & is very comforting...Thank you! You are absolutely right. For a brief moment, I considered my anxiety/tears to indicate that I'm not meant for this. But really, I think its because I know I am meant for this but so terrified (resulting in the tears...) of not learning what i need to learn. But i am definately eager to learn, as you already stated...which is definately a good thing. And you're also right about it not getting harder... I am only feeling this way now because everything is so new and I have no idea what im doing yet.. lol. Thanks again. :rolleyes:

VICEDRN, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in ER.

White-

I know how crazy it makes me when people start ASKING about stuff like the test on September 24th and then the professor starts droning on and on about it. I literally start having a panic attack right there! Like you, this is very important to me but I focus on mastering things at my own pace. I believe I am a good student and I believe that my belief is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Don't be so hard on yourself about panicking, its normal I think.

Victoria, a native of Oyster Bay, NY

ErinJane

Has 2 years experience. Specializes in Neuro.

Nothing is wrong with you, whatsoever.

I am currently in my 3rd semester and for the first couple of weeks of each semester I am a mess. I question my choice of nursing school, I cry, I get upset and I am emotionally exhausted. I was actually excited to read your post to know I am not the only one. All I can say is that it always passes. I know that offers little consolation right now. Just wait until you fall into the rhythm of school and things become more natural and less of a culture shock.

Good luck.

A fellow emotional wreck

Erin :w00t:

intuition

Specializes in E.R..

Hi,

I just wanted you to know that I am starting my 3rd semester in the beginning of September, that is while I work part time and have a 3 yr old and 19 month old. The reason I tell you this, is that I wanted to show you that it is possible to get through, even though it feels so overwhelming right now. I also wanted to say that I have cried one time each semester, and after I do that I seem to feel a little better.

There were times when if I sat and dwelled on the fact that I had so much to learn for a test coming up or thought about all the stuff that was due in the next five days, I too would start to freak out. I learned to not dwell, and like previous posters have said, just focus on the now. It sounds like you are studying and that means you are off to a great start. Just keep it up.

We have all been there, and you can do it:heartbeat! The thing that has helped me survive thus far: is to only concentrate on the moment your in, don't look to the future, and don't dwell on the past. Good luck, and I hope this helps.

Whenever I begin to feel overwhelmed by school, family stresses, whatever, I say to myself, "Just put one foot in front of the other and KEEP MOVING". By focusing just on the next tiny step, it keeps me sane and makes things seem more manageable. Others have been saying the same thing in this thread. One day, one hour, one minute at a time! :)

whiteoleander5

Specializes in Taking one day at a time....

Thank you all so very much for your replies..You guys have really calmed me down quite a bit.:yeah:

Ive realized that this is a universal feeling among nursing students,

(Although, i am still heading to the doctor to get some antianxiety meds!).. And everyone believes that just worrying about today & not next week is the way to keep on getting through this. So far today, I have done just that...and guess what? No tears...

I appreciate all the responses more than this reply can show!...

Natkat, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 8 years experience. Specializes in dialysis.

Awww, don't despair. It is a huge shock to the system to start nursing school. But remember when you were learning to ride a bike, how you kept tipping over and you just thought you'd never learn? Then one day you did it and it seemed so natural after that.

It does seem like a lot in front of you and, well, it is. Over time you somehow learn to deal with it. you sort of build up stamina or something.

As everyone else said, the best thing to do is to just focus on what is in front of you. Don't think about what will happen down the road. Just do what you have to do for right now. You will also learn to prioritize and stuff that you SWORE to yourself that you would keep doing in nursing school, you will quickly learn to let them drop. Clean house, exercise, scrapbooking, etc. Just let things go and make school your priority.

Hang in there. You'll be okay. I promise.

bekindtokittens

Specializes in Psych..

When I start freaking out, I tell myself that the "freak out" is not helping me learn new skills, keep up on my reading, or study for tests. It's only hindering me. If this doesn't help, I put some of my nervous energy to work getting organized. Writing down all my assignment and test due dates in my calendar so I will never be surprised. Making bookmarks for each chapter's reading assignment and the date I need it read by, for the whole semester if it makes me feel better. For me, it's all about control.

I hope you start feeling better about it. First semester is hard because things are much different than your regular college classes. At least, it was certainly different for me.

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

I used to have a wonderful nursing instructor who could sense when we were getting freaked out and at those times, she would say:

"You can eat an elephant if you just take it one bite at a time."

mb1949

Has 2 years experience. Specializes in med surg home care PEDS.

You are perfectly nornal, I am going into my 3rd semester of clinicals, one more to go and after a chilled out summer, I back to school one day and am overwhelmed, clenching my teeth and trying to get a grip on what to do next. Just keep you eye on the prize and keep going, one step at a time. Seriously, if you need it get a little med help from your primary maybe a little tranquilizer till you feel more in control.

or how about some yoga, This is the nature of the beast, nursing school is hard

Funny to come across this post...I've had a similar beginning to school this week. My anxiety/depression were not as intense as you describe yours to be but I felt pretty rough until yesterday. I, too, am anxiety prone and that awareness on your part is your greatest ally. It's all in the management:

1)Find a way to get out and exercise! I took a vigorous walk and did 10 minutes of yoga and felt so much better. Exercise is essential to anxiety prone people.

2) Every semester for me starts with a feeling of stress,anxiety,depression and I forget that until I'm in it. It took me till Wednesday to "remember" that this is part of my pattern and that usually within a week or two I have my sea legs and am just fine. Know your pattern!

3) I heartily agree with the posts that say "One day at a time." Get done what you need to get done for today and don't page ahead to what you have to have done by four weeks from now.

4) Watch your inner dialogue and switch those "This is more than I can handle" thoughts to "I will be able to handle this."

5) I know it can stink to be prone to anxiety but anxiety has its gifts: Anxiety prone people also tend to be more sensitive and creative than most....These are great qualities for anyone going into Nursing!

BEST OF LUCK!

You are venting your stress and fear of a new situation, which has to be better than keeping it all inside. Nursing school is scary and you are under a lot of pressure.

You did say you have anxiety and it is an excellent idea to go to the doctor. See you already are thinking in terms of assessment, diagnosis, planning, intervention and evaluation.

Just don't beat yourself up for reacting that way, because there are many out there in the same situation. You will get through it and once you get past the newness of nursing school you will begin to feel less anxious.

Best of luck to you and many hugs,

Sister nursing student, Jean

mybrowneyedgirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Room.

I totally agree with what the others have said. I'm glad you're feeling better about things. It is overwhelming if you look too far ahead.

My motto is "One day at a time".

Best of luck to you! :wink2:

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