Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
I would like to help you with your question.
I am sorry that you are feeling burned out at work and now are facing a return! This sounds like a whole lot of pressure. I am glad that you are seeing a counselor - that's a very good step in trying to manage your feelings and gain emotional strength.
Have you been prescribed any medication for the anxiety? or the pain?
Will you be put on a light duty status when you return to work? Or...what expectations will they have?
What is the part about work that causes the most "burn-out"?
Is the binge eating because of the anxiety?
I like your reaching out to a fellow employee to stay up to date on the workplace! That was very wise and will help with your return to work.
The breathing techniques are very great too!
And how are you feeling about the "no restrictions"?
Will you wear a brace of some kind to help stabilize your back? Are you fearful about that?
I am imagining the crying is about the burnout - right?
Yes...I understand. Nursing is a very, very difficult job. The demands are extreme. The hours are long and tiring.
The pressure some days is enormous.
Do you feel that you have gotten any break from this pressure while you have been out with your injury?
Yes...it is a big deal.
The demands are there. The responsibility is there.
It is a tough environment.
Things go wrong.
Also...your sleep cycle is backward!
It is time to consider another job? A career move of some kind?
What about working in a clinic?
Have you considered that some of your emotional symptoms might be related to peri-menopause?
Have you had your hormones checked lately?
I know that may sound like a strange thing to ask...but at 52 that is very possible.
Yes...hormones...a check of your hormone levels may show that you are decreasing in estrogen...that might explain some of the crying and the burnout.
I know you are believing that it is all job related...and that may be true...but there also may be an effect from peri-menopause.
What do you think about that possibility?
Okay. I encourage you to get that checked out. It may provide another answer...
Let's look at work for a moment...
You say you have a wonderful work team! Awesome...
What is it that you find so difficult about work...
Yes...you could have low estrogen for a number of reasons..
You also have been trying to lose weight and it sounds like you feel somewhat defeated that you are not doing better. The dieting could also be another impact on your emotions.
Are you attempting to follow a strict diet? Or are you doing Weight Watchers..or some other program? I am imagining the binge eating was a stress response.
I am not a physician so I am sorry but I don't know that well enough to comment. However, I do know that age is one factor.
Okay...so you are getting some supervision during the exercise to make sure you are hydrated and not over-extending yourself. That's good!
Here is a brief statement about low estrogen. I encourage you to go to www.mayoclinic.com to read more about this.Causes of low estrogen in women are usually related to the pituitary gland. Not eating correctly (such as with eating disorders), excessive exercise, and pituitary diseases and disorders can all contribute to low estrogen levels. When these issues occur, the pituitary gland does not communicate properly with the ovaries. Without the pituitary gland telling the ovaries to produce estrogen, not enough of the hormone will be produced.
It sounds like the diet plan is reasonable...but tough.
And...the binging...because you feel sad? upset? defeated?
I am sorry.
It sounds like the level of emotional and physical pain is so very high.
Wanting to have a major stroke is a scary thought.
I wouldn't worry about what others thing...the most important thing is what you think!
Do you feel that the counselor is helping you in any way?
Yes...it would seem only natural to feel unsure of yourself and even anxious.
You have a stressful job and feel burned out. You had an injury to your back that was extremely painful.
You don't want to return to work...but you must...
You see no way out.
All of that adds up to being anxious and unsure...
Then the doctor said you could go back to work with no restrictions! Oh brother!
When you think about going back to work...is there any pleasant thought there at all?
Maybe about seeing your co-workers? Maybe about a favorite patient?
Yes...that is the sad part. You form relationships with them...but it is often so brief.
Yes...I can understand that you feel you don't have the strength to cheer them up when you need cheering up too!
Have you - or do you - see the honor you have in assisting the residents in the last days of their life?
In giving them last memories and experiences that are compassionate, caring, and respectful?
Do you - or have you - known how very much family members trust and rely on you to be that message bearer that says that they can go in peace knowing that they are surrounded by love?
As a care provider we often lose sight of the role we have in people's lives.
There are so many unspoken things...I imagine that some no longer communicate and so they cannot share their delight in having you in their life. Family members are so torn...they likely don't say much either. So there is a sense of thanklessness.
Yes! And these are moments in life when you own heart speaks out! When your own heart says...I can make a difference in someone's life. That is an honor! And..you are a wonderful, caring woman for doing those things!
Yes...and because you don't interact with family members you do not see the pain in their eyes of having to see their parents or family members shrivel away...and their gratitude to care providers for stepping in for them...for being there when they cannot.
And...in the end...that is what it is all about! Bringing dignity and respect to these individuals when they have lost so very much of their life.
And why do you feel like a kid? Because you are in pain? Because you feel tired of your job? Why...
Do you remember why you became an RN? Why you went to school and worked and read and learned? What was your goal? What drove you?
What happened in your life when you were that age? Tell me about yourself then...
So becoming a nurse was not your heart's desire...but because of a friend. Okay.
I am so sorry. That was very hurtful and inappropriate.
And did you feel shamed?
What you father did was very hurtful.
I can only imagine how that made you feel about your body...especially at age 16.
I am glad you have talked to your counselor about this. It is a very important topic to bring up and get healing around.
I am sorry about your Mom. And ... yes...I can understand wanting her to be happy and proud.
You sound like a very compassionate person...good to co-workers, residents and your mom.
Do you see your own goodness?
Do you see how hard you have striven to be a wonderful, caring individual?
I know we often lose sight of our own accomplishments and as a Catholic...there is that "Catholic Guilt"...but
you seem to have risen above many disappointments in life and have given your heart to others..
I can understand the experimenting...that's what we do when we are looking for love and not knowing exactly how to go about it.
Yes...mother's want their daughters - and their son's - to accomplish certain things in life...
And it is hard to give our mother's exactly what they want. Let go of the sexual experimenting....it happens to most everyone....regardless of what is said in public. It is part of growing up.
You see death more than most people. Do you really think that God is that hard on people?
So...let go of that notion. From what you have written...you have led a good life. You have a job that most people would never...and I mean never...even consider! Watching someone die is painful ... it is life changing.
That you are there to help them at that point in their journey is an honor...it really is.
It is a gift of tremendous importance.
And why can't you do it anymore?
Tell me more about the emptiness....
What do you mean...nothing more to give?
Have you seen more death then you can now handle/
Do you feel physically weak?
Do you feel emotionally weak?
I want to understand so that I can advise you...
I want you to understand more fully so that you can decide what you will do..how you will go forward...
Yes...for these people death is sometimes a welcome relief...
Finished with the work you set out to accomplish in life?
Or finished in the sense that you are just so tired of working and being strong?
Strong for others...
You do seem to have alot on your shoulders.
Okay! Yes...you have no one watching your back - so to speak...
People depend on you. And you are tired of carrying the burden.
You may not have set out to accomplish anything...but you have! You have walked where others cannot or will not.
So...flying by the seat of your pants or not...you have done well.
What does that mean...doing my share for Mom's happiness...
Your mother loves you unconditionally...
You don't have to "earn" her happiness...
That sounds like a message you got a long time ago that has more to do with the church...
If your knees are bad and you can't hardly walk...do you think your mother sees that? Do you think she does not have compassion for the pain you must be in and for the immobility you suffer?
There are times in our life when others must carry us....it seems you may be at that point where you put down the apron and let someone else pick it up!
What stops you from saying...I need help!
Okay...so you need to work on being more forthcoming and communicating in an open and honest manner.
I can see where this might make it uncomfortable to go back to work.
So when you go back you can say, "It's a new day. I have thought about my style of communication while I have been out on sick leave and I will be making some changes. That means that from now on, I will be more straightforward in pointing out issues on the job."
But you also give.
So..perhaps you need to apologize and say how sorry you are for not being the kind of supervisor they wanted or expected. Ask for a clean slate...ask them to forgive you and to work more collaboratively with you.
Yes...and you can do that.
You can be more transparent..but still keep the confidences you need to.
Do you think they give because they care about you? Because of their own pride in their work? Because of how they feel about the residents?
You cannot control someone else's feelings...
You have to let them make the choices they want about how much they give.
You cannot control that...you really can't.
Yes...I understand the breathing. I like the way you put that...pause/edit button! I've never heard it put that way. I usually refer to the gas and brake...that breathing is the brake.
Yes...I thought was maybe where you were headed there.
But...you cannot control them. If they want to give...well they want to give.
Is the hate because you feel inferior or weak or less than when they give?
I am going to share a very important lesson with you:
We give away what we want most.
Do you understand this?
So...when we want to be loved...we give love to others.
When we want to be fed...we feed others.
When we want to be understood...we understand others.
's look at what is going on with your brother and mother...
What do they want most?
And...what do you want most?
But remember what you told me earlier...about the residents? That you care for them and in return you get what???
Your heart gets filled too!
So...your mother and brother are getting something when they care for you...it is not a one-way street...even though that is how you have seen it....
By allowing them to take give to you...they are getting their needs met....
It is a reciprocal relationship...
It's a very good thought! It is what you do every day on the job...you give and you get in return...
Your mother and brother are doing the same thing...
And why you do it is likely because of what you learned from your mother...that is your family "blueprint"
In a way...it is no wonder that you ended up in the career that you did....not a conscious decision but an unconscious one...
Is this making sense?
Well...your brother needs to "get a life"....
He needs to make some new friends. Maybe he needs some therapy to understand is life choices.
Yes...I can understand that.
But it might be more healthy if he were to join a club, take up a new hobby other than gambling, do some volunteer work...
That's likely some anxiety...
Have you taught him the breathing? What about therapy...is that something he would consider?
Yup..that's "giving away what we want most" piece...
And that is the blueprint....
You can continue with that blueprint or make some adjustments.
The therapy you are getting will help make some changes in that blueprint...make it more functional and healthy.
That is very disappointing and unethical!
How sad and upsetting.
Wow! Yes..you are somebody...you have an important job and many, many people know who you are ... or know of you. It comes with the territory!
Well..we have covered many aspects of your life here. Is there any more I can help you with today?
I do encourage you to have your hormones checked. See the MayoClinic website for more information.
Confidentiality is confidentiality. That it is broken is terrible!
That should never ever happen.
I do not think you are malingering at work. I think there are some legitimate fears about your physical health. I also think that your not communicating more openly and more transparently with staff is weighing on your shoulders.
Going back to work may be a way to clear the air on that and to apologize to staff for any hurt you may have caused them.
I think people will respect an attitude of humbleness and forgiveness.
As to your mother and brother...please try to see why they help...it is the family blueprint. Please see that they are being helped by helping you...it is not a one way street...
Yes...I understand about gossip!!! Maybe there is a way to do this. You might ask your therapist to help you think about this.
So...maybe it is an air of confidence that you have had time to think and want to institute some changes.
And...maybe it is their problem to figure out how they will interact with you...
I get that been there done that...sometimes it backfires when you are too "soft"...
But I do think this little issue is weighing on your mind and that the air will have to be cleared one way or the other...
I am worried about your knees. While you were cleared for work duty..I am assuming that was only about your back.
And maybe a 2nd opinion is what is needed here. I trust you know how to take care of this.
As to the apologizing and so forth...yes...you know how to do it...and perhaps it is like the binge eating...you stay on track until a point..and then you sabatoge yourself!
LOL as to the personality transplant.
I'm glad you have some humor in you....we all need it!!!
The thing is...we are all learning and growing...we never quite stop.
So..you can learn some new ways of being and make some changes in that blueprint of yours.
Aha...yes....right you are about getting new.
Well...today is Canada Day...it's an important holiday and may be you could see this as an important day for you too...a day in which you learned a whole lot more about yourself and why you have seen the world the way you have. Maybe from today on you can accept that you are giver and so is your mother and brother...and you can be okay with that. Maybe you can accept that you need that trip to the walk in clinic. Maybe you can accept that work will have its up and downs and you need to be more transparent.
There can be a lot of new possibilities in this new Canada Day...
How about that?
We all have blueprints...and none of them is perfect.
I will say goodbye now. If you should ever want to chat again, please ask for me by name and I will be notified.
It has been a pleasure - and privilege - to work with you today!
You are very welcome!
Have an enjoyable BBQ!