#MyNameIs a healthcare professional with mental health issues. #MyNameIs mental illness.
My new campaign is all about healthcare professionals who experience mental health issues. To kick off the campaign I have asked other health care professionals to write about their experiences as guest posts.
#Myname is Bipolar Disorder
I am a student children’s nurse
My Favourite animal is a cat
I live in England
I am currently a second-year student at university and along with the daily struggle of assignments and placement, I struggle a lot with my mental health.
Studying affects my mental health greatly, the constant stress of the assignments while working full time on placement and trying to juggle a social life sometimes proves impossible, but I always get through it, and am always proud of myself for doing so.
Motivation is something that gets me through the most of it, because I can’t imagine myself doing another career and that’s mostly the kick that I need to get me through the ups and downs and everything in between.
My tutor and my lecturers are also a massive motivation for me. I am extremely lucky in that my tutor is one of the most supportive people I have at university and she is always someone that I will go to first if I’m not feeling well or if I am having any issues. I’m really comfortable talking to her and she always will put me at ease and into perspective and make me see things might not actually be as bad as I think they are, which is almost impossible when my brain is erratic and going 100mph.
The mentors I’ve had while on placement have also been extremely helpful to do all they can to help me pass the placement, especially if I have time off they’re very understanding.
The course does affect my mental health, however this makes me more determined to complete the course, so I can have a career doing what I’m passionate about, because I don’t want to do anything else. I find it really difficult working full time on my placements, doing my assignments and still trying to have a social life. Tiredness and lack of sleep are also massive triggers for my bipolar and can leave me feeling very unwell. I have to manage my time effectively and tailor my shifts accordingly to what I can do, to keep me feeling as well as I can, and placement are always accommodating when this is the case.
For me personally, being a student nurse does not stop me seeking health for my mental illness, however sometimes I can be in denial about how I’m feeling and not notice it, because I feel like so much is expected of you. Most of the time though it makes me more inclined to seek help,
because I know if I’m not feeling my best then how am I supposed to look after someone else?
I know if I get help sooner when I recognise a change in my mental health, then the sooner this can be managed, and it gives me reassurance that things might not actually be as bad as they seem and that I am strong enough to get through it.
Mental health is becoming more prominent and more talked about in society and there is now slightly more help available, especially in university. I feel like I am receiving all the help and support I need from everyone around me to succeed in the course, which is a good, positive motivation.
The advice I would give to any future healthcare professionals with a mental health condition is to not be afraid to ask for help. It’s so easy to brush it under the carpet because you think you need to adhere to being the perfect nurse, however it’s much more important to look after yourself so you can do your job to the best of your ability and care for the people that need it.
“It’s not a failure to ask for help or take time out, and you can then effectively manage your illness, to be able to do what you love.”
I hope you all enjoyed this insightful post. If anyone reading this needs support below are some helplines and websites. Thank you for reading and a massive thank you to contributors of this series.
Look after yourself,
The Mix (up to 25)-020 7009 2500
Papyrus-0800 068 41 41