Working for this family doctor’s practice was what I thought that would be the perfect job, especially with my anxiety and bipolar disorder. It would be more peaceful and comforting to my spirit. That would have been so if I wasn’t taking the job of a beloved Registered Nurse who had worked there for twenty years and had recently passed away. I was this younger nurse that was trying to take her place.
“What does she know. She cannot be any type of replacement for…”
I had to fill the shoes of a loving and caring triage nurse that frankly (could not be replaced). The competition and comparison were greater than I could handle. My anxiety moved in which also allowed my depression to rise and spiral out of control.
One day I had left a message for my psychiatrist to call me so that I could ask him to possibly raise my anxiety medication. Well, he called me back and I huddled into the break room. The physician of the practice happened to come into the room as I was finishing my conversation with my psychiatrist. Instead of any form of compassion and understanding, he immediately told me that what he heard about my mental illness was not within doctor/patient confidentiality, so he felt that he had the right to let other people know. I was not only suffering with my own problems, but now I had to worry about him spreading my medical and emotional information throughout the practice. It was within a few days of that conversation that my anxiety blew up into full-blown panic and I was unable to return to work again.
I tried so hard but ultimately this “peaceful, comforting atmosphere” was the ending of my nursing career. My anxiety and bipolar were too much of a burden for me. And the fear of being “called out on it” caused great distress. I never allowed my mental health conditions to affect my work and judgement. I was masterful at hiding my emotions, which was part of the issue. Keeping everything held in for so long would end up causing me to have periods of great emotional release and uncontrolled crying and distress. And to think that I had to “hide” my mental health condition was absurd.
So although this physician was supposed to reflect compassion and caring along with an attitude of good healthful advise and concern (I would think). I believe that his attitude toward mental health or (stigma) caused unnecessary reaction on his part. Instead of advocating for a healthy aspect and environment in the workplace, I was threatened with my own “medical” problems. Kind of ironic if you think about it. Because actually mental and physical health are all medical in nature.
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