“Good morning, my name is Amy and I’ll be your nurse for the day”
I hold a unique prospective: I am an axillary nurse and a mental health patient. Nurses with mental health illness is a grey area. After all nurses, doctors and care givers have super hero status. You place your life in their hands, and trust that they have your best interests at heart.
Mental health illness amongst nurses is actually very wide spread. It just isn’t talk about as often as it should be. I have seen nurses in tears with anxiety, spoken to doctors with depression, and met carers who struggle to get out of bed in the morning. The one thing that keeps them going, is their job.
I have been nursing for 7 years. For the first time in my life I am taking a break to focus on my own mental health recovery. I feel as though my identity has been stripped away from me. After all I’ve spent so long looking after others, its difficult to put that aside and look after myself. I believe that my own struggle with mental health illness has helped me to connect and empathise with my patients better. They feel as though they can confine in me, and trust that when I am saying I understand, I understand.
When I was depressed, going to my job was the only thing that kept me going. I have a huge hole in my heart, which only being a nurse can fill. I love looking after other people, and making them feel safe and well. I enjoy watching them grow with good health and confidence. When I am nursing I become someone different; confident, chatty, bubbly and able to cope with anything thrown my way. How is it that I can remain calm when someone is having a heart attack yet worry about walking into my local shop?
Mental health illness does not discriminate against age, gender, religion or occupation. The more we talk about mental illness the more we can understand it and help prevent the miserable suffering of millions of people.
I feel a little selfish for saying it, but I need to fix myself before I can fix someone else. Then I can be an even better nurse.
DON’T GIVE UP!
(Nurse) Amy Belle x