My journey started after my brain anruesym in 2002.The first year after surgery I did okay then the mental problems started.My then husband and I went back to brain surgeon and asked for help to which his reply was I’m sorry I only do brain surgery you need to see your primary care giver..From there I had so much trouble trying to find a reputable psychologist because even though I had worked for 38 years most of that an LPN I tried to go back only to find my mental state was not good..and so because I then missed one year I was put on ssi instead of ssi.,that’s where the nightmare began..I cryed everyday.I couldn’t go outside,didn’t want to see anyone..We had to drive 35 miles to get to a psychiatrist and the anti depressants made me so much worse..He then sent us to the ER and we stayed there 8 hours to which they wouldn’t give me a room because of my insurance so they sent us to a little place in Nashville another 40 miles.
I am a registered nurse. I also live with bipolar disorder. The stigma that surrounds mental illness is so pervasive, even in the medical community, that I hid my diagnosis from my colleagues for years. I am respected at work. I am caring, compassionate and competent. I am outwardly calm in emergencies and a good problem solver. As I worked to hide my illness from my friends, I also hid in denial of how serious my illness was.
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