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As implied by the topic title, I'm in nursing school. I graduate in December. This semester we are taking "Mental Health Concepts" which covers things like depression. Part of me wants to stand up and shout, "I have schizoaffective disorder. I can tell you what depression is like. I can tell you what schizophrenia is like." And yet, my state asks all nurse applicants to declare if they've been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition within the past five years. I was diagnosed with "major depressive disorder, severe and recurrent with features of psychosis" eight years ago. Having taken an interest in health since then, I can confidently say that my diagnosis is Schizoaffective disorder (depressive type). But the treatment is about the same, and the prognosis is slightly worse for schizoaffective disorder than for depression with psychosis. I don't think it would benefit me to seek a new diagnosis, especially with my boards coming up.

On the other hand, my parents are generally pretty supportive of me. I moved back in with them after my divorce and again when I started nursing school. I get the impression that Mom resents supporting me as much as she does. If she knew I was closer to schizophrenia than depression though, well, I think she'd resent my reliance on her less. Until I can make enough money to hire someone to clean my house, I will rely on my parents though. I've thought things over and over and there's no way around that. 

There is a part of me that thinks I should speak up more in class. Last week, we went over schizophrenia. Our professor was talking about catatonic states and someone asked if a person in a catatonic state remembers what's going on around them. Our professor wasn't really sure, and I almost answered (short version: more or less, it's kinda like a dream). But my state's board of nursing looks at mental health history, and I don't want to jeopardize myself. But this class is also making me want to talk to people who have been where I have been. I almost wonder if I'm short-changing my classmates' future patients by keeping mum. 

 

Any nurses around here who have been through similar tribulations? I'd love to hear from you. 

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The truth is it's best to keep it to yourself in this world.  I was honest about my schizophrenia symptoms when I was trying to get into the military and that ruined everything.  There is no benefit to being honest about it in this world sadly.  How we really are in life compared to what people think we are isn't even close.

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I'm sorry you have to conceal a part of you. I think I'd have trouble keeping quiet because I am a sharer and I like helping people. And probably because I like attention too.

How do you manage symptoms and manage anxiety that someone may catch on? Medication or cognitive tools and strategies?

Nursing school is quite an undertaking. I wish I had some practical advice to share about how to endure the program. I am friends with a few nurses, I remember their lives shrunk during their time at school.

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/19/2019 at 7:40 AM, Crazycatlover said:

As implied by the topic title, I'm in nursing school. I graduate in December. This semester we are taking "Mental Health Concepts" which covers things like depression. Part of me wants to stand up and shout, "I have schizoaffective disorder. I can tell you what depression is like. I can tell you what schizophrenia is like." And yet, my state asks all nurse applicants to declare if they've been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition within the past five years. I was diagnosed with "major depressive disorder, severe and recurrent with features of psychosis" eight years ago. Having taken an interest in health since then, I can confidently say that my diagnosis is Schizoaffective disorder (depressive type). But the treatment is about the same, and the prognosis is slightly worse for schizoaffective disorder than for depression with psychosis. I don't think it would benefit me to seek a new diagnosis, especially with my boards coming up.

On the other hand, my parents are generally pretty supportive of me. I moved back in with them after my divorce and again when I started nursing school. I get the impression that Mom resents supporting me as much as she does. If she knew I was closer to schizophrenia than depression though, well, I think she'd resent my reliance on her less. Until I can make enough money to hire someone to clean my house, I will rely on my parents though. I've thought things over and over and there's no way around that. 

There is a part of me that thinks I should speak up more in class. Last week, we went over schizophrenia. Our professor was talking about catatonic states and someone asked if a person in a catatonic state remembers what's going on around them. Our professor wasn't really sure, and I almost answered (short version: more or less, it's kinda like a dream). But my state's board of nursing looks at mental health history, and I don't want to jeopardize myself. But this class is also making me want to talk to people who have been where I have been. I almost wonder if I'm short-changing my classmates' future patients by keeping mum. 

 

Any nurses around here who have been through similar tribulations? I'd love to hear from you. 

Hi, pleased to meet you Crazycatlover! First, let me say that it's amazing that you're in nursing school! I think that nurses are some of the most valuable members of society when they're passionate like you are, and I hope it is going well for you.

In regard to your thoughts, I really see how you're concerned about your classmates missing out on important information and education. I think that's very commendable. The problem is that I'm worried that if you're honest, it will be used against you.

People tend to turn on the mentally ill. I don't know why it's in human nature to hate what is different so much, but it is there. Now, I don't know where in the world you're practicing, (and I don't expect you to tell us!!! Privacy is important here online.) But I know that in the U.S.A., as it stands right now, even if you were able to give your classmates incredible and valuable insights, if your insights do not coincide with the DSM-5 and other established psychiatric practices, your contribution will not be valued in the long run when they have to choose between what you told them and established procedure.

Basically, whatever you tell them won't be valued by teachers and 'experts', (or even, possibly, genuine experts,) because unfortunately, in mental health, whatever they are teaching you is the established standard understanding of each mental condition as set down in the DSM-5. If you try and give them the inside scoop, (which they really should value, in my opinion), what might happen is if you're seen to be disagreeing with their established practices or not agreeing with everything they say, they may use your condition to label you 'delusional', try to claim you have 'delusions of grandeur' (because they'll feel that you're talking 'above your place' by not agreeing with 'years of expert study' or whatever they usually say), or say that you're unfit to be a nurse. This will be partly because they don't handle dissent well in the industry, and partly personal; most people want a scapegoat, and the mentally ill are a great one, because we can't fight back.

I know this well. I have worked in medical environments. I was not a registered nurse, but I know enough to know they do not care about your experiences. (Heck, when I trained to work with geriatric patients, they kept reinforcing that generally it's important not to give any of them antipsychotics as they're dangerous for non-psychotic geriatric patients, but sort of looked the other way every time the meds came round and the old folk got their injections of Haldol. It's all a matter of convenience and money.)

I'm not trying to put you off nursing, and I believe that you, as a person, must be strong and insightful to be so willing to help others. However, you must protect yourself, and you will find stigma if you reveal your condition, even though, in my opinion, this does not make you less of a person, and could be said to make you even more of a person. The best thing you can do is finish your training and use it to help others living experiences like yours with that added level of understanding and wisdom, without letting people who don't care tell you that you're not capable.

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Having schizophrenia there is no way I could be a nurse because I see how people like me are treated in hospital settings.  The medication is for everyone around someone like me.  People with schizophrenia rarely like medication because all it does for us is it makes us sleep all day and we're so doped we can't function so it's a lifetime of fighting with family because all family cares about is how much calmer you are as if that's all life is about.  I'm doped to the point I'm slobbering in the corner in some facility watching life pass me by but I have to do it because it's the standard of care for someone like me.  It's the standard of care for many people like geriatric patients too as you are talking about.  They are just doped and held hostage somewhere while they drain all of there medicare days and then kick them out on the street unless you have medicaid and then your life is over.  You're never going home again.

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50 minutes ago, sober4life said:

Having schizophrenia there is no way I could be a nurse because I see how people like me are treated in hospital settings.  The medication is for everyone around someone like me.  People with schizophrenia rarely like medication because all it does for us is it makes us sleep all day and we're so doped we can't function so it's a lifetime of fighting with family because all family cares about is how much calmer you are as if that's all life is about.  I'm doped to the point I'm slobbering in the corner in some facility watching life pass me by but I have to do it because it's the standard of care for someone like me.  It's the standard of care for many people like geriatric patients too as you are talking about.  They are just doped and held hostage somewhere while they drain all of there medicare days and then kick them out on the street unless you have medicaid and then your life is over.  You're never going home again.

That's definitely my concern. Of the people I know or know of with schizophrenia, only a small handful could confidently say they wanted to use these drugs because the drugs actively helped (but it should be noted, did not stop) their hallucinations, and even they didn't like the injections because of the lack of dosage control. Mostly, I think the only thing the stuff does is cause sedation to keep the individual quiet so everybody else can congratulate themselves on how much better the individual is doing while not having to actively bother about the individual. It also makes individuals easier to manipulate if the folk around them want something, (although if what they want is a productive worker or earner, they won't be getting that if they're drugging said individual with a high dose! Naturally this doesn't mean that nobody benefits from the drugs, and if they were genuinely pleased with the results I wouldn't tell them to stop. However, it seems dubious to push something as 'standard treatment' if it isn't actually working. It strikes me as something that wouldn't work in a hard medical field.

The lack of care for the elderly is a huge concern to me because many of the elderly have worked so hard all their lives, often for their families, and then even if a family wants to care for their parents, the parents can be ripped away and taken to a faciility, where the decision of whether to treat them properly or to try and k**l them by proxy or negligence is completely based on which choice yields the most monetarily.  There's been a skyrocket over the last ten years in the number of guardianship abuse cases for the elderly and disabled, and it makes me very angry.

Edited by MargotMontage
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No it doesn't stop hallucinations.  Sadly doctors don't even expect to stop hallucinations.  Their goal is for less of them.  The long term injections are awful because if you don't like how they make you feel you have to wait for a long time for the effects to wear off.  I had the invega injections for a while and they made me feel drunk.  I could barely walk and I could barely get out a sentence.  From my experience there is a wide spectrum with schizophrenia.  Some of us can actually be very high functioning people in society like the guy from Perception.  I have found out I have to keep people in my life that hold me accountable and keep me on track.  If I hide away for a few days I get lost so I force myself to be around friends and family so they keep me on track.  My mom was in a nursing home at the end of her life and she started out in skilled care and I quickly found out skilled care is the insurance company paying extra to over exercise people that shouldn't be exercising at all trying to **** them off.  Once they figure out the patient isn't going to get better and they aren't going to die from over exercise they are put in the long term section of the nursing home where it's over.

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9 hours ago, sober4life said:

No it doesn't stop hallucinations.  Sadly doctors don't even expect to stop hallucinations.  Their goal is for less of them.  The long term injections are awful because if you don't like how they make you feel you have to wait for a long time for the effects to wear off.  I had the invega injections for a while and they made me feel drunk.  I could barely walk and I could barely get out a sentence.  From my experience there is a wide spectrum with schizophrenia.  Some of us can actually be very high functioning people in society like the guy from Perception.  I have found out I have to keep people in my life that hold me accountable and keep me on track.  If I hide away for a few days I get lost so I force myself to be around friends and family so they keep me on track.  My mom was in a nursing home at the end of her life and she started out in skilled care and I quickly found out skilled care is the insurance company paying extra to over exercise people that shouldn't be exercising at all trying to **** them off.  Once they figure out the patient isn't going to get better and they aren't going to die from over exercise they are put in the long term section of the nursing home where it's over.

You've definitely confirmed what folk on antipsychotics have told me in the past, and it really shocks me when you hear of the occasional doctor who really actually believes they do stop hallucinations.

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  • 3 years later...

A diploma in practical nursing (PN) is often considered the quickest way to start a nursing career. This degree is ideal for those who want to learn the full professional scope of nursing as a career choice.

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On 7/9/2022 at 10:48 AM, ElenaBaldwin said:

A diploma in practical nursing (PN) is often considered the quickest way to start a nursing career. This degree is ideal for those who want to learn the full professional scope of nursing as a career choice.

There may be additional job and salary opportunities at this level as well. Earning your diploma is one of the steps on the road to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN. You can find a good job as a nurse at assisted living properties in California  They provide high-level medical support to patients needing acute and emergent care.

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On 7/9/2022 at 10:48 AM, ElenaBaldwin said:

A diploma in practical nursing (PN) is often considered the quickest way to start a nursing career. This degree is ideal for those who want to learn the full professional scope of nursing as a career choice. There may be additional job and salary opportunities at this level as well. Earning your diploma is one of the steps on the road to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN. You can find a good job as a nurse at assisted living properties in California 

They provide high-level medical support to patients needing acute and emergent care.

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