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Who the Heck Am I Now??

Nurses Article   (5,202 Views 21 Comments 964 Words)

VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and works as a Retired/Disabled Nurse and Blogger.

347 Likes; 8 Followers; 141 Articles; 247,063 Visitors; 9,530 Posts

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No one ever forgets the day he or she is diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. The experience is forever burned into the brain, leaving an indelible mark on the psyche. But hearing someone pronounce the words that will change your life forever is only the beginning; now the real work begins as you come to terms with the loss of the person you thought you were, and face an uncertain and unknowable future. You are reading page 2 of Who the Heck Am I Now??. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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Ah!, and might this be a partial explanation for the ETOH issues??

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and works as a Retired/Disabled Nurse and Blogger.

347 Likes; 8 Followers; 141 Articles; 247,063 Visitors; 9,530 Posts

Statistics have shown that somewhere between 60% and 80% of patients with BP have substance abuse issues. IOW, we tend to self-medicate with ETOH, drugs, even food. So yes, I think there could be a connection between the alcohol problems and the BP; I've been abstinent for two decades, but even sobriety didn't fix the original problem. Hmmmm....no wonder I can't stay out of the ice cream!

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7 Likes; 1 Follower; 32,049 Visitors; 6,945 Posts

...and there has been some thought expressed about dysglycemia and ETOH abuse as well...

Statistics have shown that somewhere between 60% and 80% of patients with BP have substance abuse issues. IOW, we tend to self-medicate with ETOH, drugs, even food. So yes, I think there could be a connection between the alcohol problems and the BP; I've been abstinent for two decades, but even sobriety didn't fix the original problem. Hmmmm....no wonder I can't stay out of the ice cream!

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CheesePotato works as a OR circulating/scrub nurse.

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Good morning, my lovely--

I could babble endlessly personal experiences and other useless dribble, but I find that in light of lack of coffee, economy of words will have to suffice for today.

You = the awesomeness.

Think about it. You have survived, battled, used, upheld, and built a life...a wonderful, successful life...with an unknown shadow dogging your heels. And now....now you know the bastard's name.

In the words of someone far more ancient and wise than I:

"Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster." ~~Sun Tzu~~

 

 

In the broad scheme of things, I am not much: a faceless stranger (in more ways than one) at a keyboard with an addiction to caffeine and a strange desire to hoard cheese.

 

But if you ever need a sounding board, a word, a moment--I am here.

 

Kindest regards,

 

~~CP~~

 

P.S.

 

Forgive any spelling errors. I am the victim of smart phones and the rage.

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and works as a Retired/Disabled Nurse and Blogger.

347 Likes; 8 Followers; 141 Articles; 247,063 Visitors; 9,530 Posts

Now THAT is a magnificent post! Thank you :bow: But you'd better watch out, because I just may take you up on your offer :D

BTW, you are quite a writer yourself......and I am SO stealing that quote. You ROCK!!!

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5,772 Visitors; 233 Posts

Thank you so much for writing this Viva. I am at an earlier stage in my life, having been diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses (one of which is bipolar) and two medications to boot. And why am I here on this forum? Because I'm starting nursing school in August. My goal as of now is to be a psych nurse and hopefully be one as good as a few that have helped me thru when I was at rock bottom, in patient.

It's been a couple years since I found myself in a psych ward, but even with meds, its a daily struggle to keep from going back. I have huge amounts of enthusiasm and want to conquer great things in my life, it just feels like I'm my own worst enemy most days.

Sorry for the ramble, but thank you so much for inspiring me. It's nice to know that life can become a success when one is caught behind the 8 ball.

Sincerely and with respect,

sandanRNstudent

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and works as a Retired/Disabled Nurse and Blogger.

347 Likes; 8 Followers; 141 Articles; 247,063 Visitors; 9,530 Posts

Thank you, very much! :bow:

There's a thread in the Nurses with Disabilities forum called "Just Us and Others: The Mood Disorders Support Thread" that you might find interesting. Over time it seems to have evolved into more of a bipolar support group than anything else, but I still encourage folks with any kind of mood disorder to stop by and post......we all need a place to vent!

Now, about your career goals: I think it's admirable to aspire to a career in which you can help other people with mental illnesses, because you've walked that road and you can empathize with what they're going through. :yeah: Some of the most awesome psych nurses (and nurses-to-be) I've ever met have battled depression, bipolar, OCD, ADHD, you name it! I even have a friend who's becoming a occupational therapist, and he was just dx'd with bipolar II. Guess where HE wants to work when he graduates?

The only caveat here is that you'll have to work very, very hard to maintain equilibrium, and be very, very disciplined with your meds, sleep hygiene, therapies/psych visits and so on. Nursing school is challenging enough without having a mental illness, and nursing itself is fraught with triggers that can spell disaster if you're not in control. But obviously, it CAN be done, because an awful lot of us have one (or more) of them!

You'll do fine. :) And with the combination of compassion, self-awareness, and knowledge that you already have, you'll be great!

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Thank you for the wonderful post. It is inspirational.

But don't fuss and fret over the label of a "diagnosis". You are still the light you have always been, before and after the labeling.

I don't except the stimatism of "Psychiatric Illness." There is only biologically based illness, which may in your case manifest as signs and symptoms of a cognitive-behavioral nature. The cause of your illness may be a result of factors beyond your control (I don't know...perhaps the stress of nursing???). Modern life moves SO MUCH FASTER, than in previous generations, but we as human beings are not that far evolved from previous gens. My grandfather came west in a covered wagon during the dustbowl, taking a year to cross from Arkansas to California by way of Texas (with stops to work in the fields). Last year, I flew that route in around 9 hours. With no stops to pick cotton:)

As a nurse, my life moves at warp speed compared to Grandpa's. But I'm not any smarter, stronger, or tougher than he was. But I face more stress in a day than he saw in a month of toil in the fields. My life just moves at a much faster pace. That's reality

Perhaps yours does too. It's only natural for a few stress fractures to show up when life pushes you hard.

So give yourself a break, take your medicine, follow the course of treatment, and you'll be fine :)

Cheers

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and works as a Retired/Disabled Nurse and Blogger.

347 Likes; 8 Followers; 141 Articles; 247,063 Visitors; 9,530 Posts

I just saw this post tonight, Dana1969, and wanted to say Thank You for your wise words. :) I especially loved the line about getting a few stress fractures when life pushes a person too hard :D

Honestly, nursing didn't do this to me, although it hasn't exactly made things better. I've probably been BP for most, if not all of my life; I just didn't catch on to it until recently. And I've been successful in my both my nursing and my writing careers in spite (or because?) of it. But there's really no describing the feeling of knowing that I have an incurable psychiatric illness that's always waiting to pounce when I'm distracted, when life isn't going well, when I let my guard down even briefly.

I'm sure a time will come when weeks, months, maybe even years will pass between episodes.....I'm still in the guinea-pig stage, where we're throwing everything at my illness but the kitchen sink. I'm a long way from there right now, and that's why I've become religious about medications---it's much easier to stay motivated when I dread relapsing the way I do with this.

You rock, Dana! And WELCOME to Allnurses.com! :wavey:

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