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Nursing and OCD

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(votes: 7)


Hi All..so on a somewhat embarrassing and personal note I've been dealing with obsessive compulsive disorder for probably most of my 29 years. Very typical and textbook symptoms..a lot of cleaning/organizing/counting/checking behaviors. Which is inconvenient enough in my personal life but lately has been creeping into my job. Checking and rechecking orders, compulsively looking back at my own notes, constant worrying about anything/everything.. I know being careful is important but I also know I'm out of control. It's starting to affect my overtime after my shift because I spend a lot of time doing things that probably are not as urgent or necessary as they feel. I'm wondering if any other nurses are dealing with this. I'm very frustrated (been in and out of therapy..tried the medication thing..I'm starting to accept that I am always going to have this). I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else out there deals with ocd and how it affects your work. It would be nice to not feel so alone in this. Thank you for listening..
This is a stressful time for you, and the OCD symptom usually worsen. I would advise you to seek assistance, if you are not already in counseling or consulted a psychiatrist.

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My OCD started when I was in the 3rd grade with the handwashing, having to do the same things everyday etc. At the time no one knew what was going on (I don't think OCD was even a real medical diagnosis yet), my parents didn't even question my odd behavior. I learned to deal with it on my own. It is usually very helpful to me now. I am very organized, on time, detail oriented etc. I am sure I wash my hands more than the average person, but not obsessively, and hey thats what nurses do so it works. As a new nurse I also had trouble dealing with it at work. I would be going along just fine, and then I would be in the middle of doing something and BOOM. I would have a thought "Are you sure you didn't get the Kardexes mixed up when you gave the last meds", "Are you sure you did this or that". The thought hit me with an OMG shocked feeling. I have since slowed down. I write everything down. When I am getting meds ready I look at the name on the mar and say it out loud, the name on the bin say it out loud, then say the name of the med, and amount as I verify it againt the mar. If others are in the med room I can just say it under my breath. It works!!!! its like my brain has now registered that I did it, and I don't have those OMG thoughts. I was a little concerned other nurses might hear my talking to myself and think I was wierd, but everyone is ok with it. The other day I caught another nurse talking to herself, and she said it helped her think...I told her I totally understood. LOL

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I hate the 'Are you sure...' voice in your head when you have OCD. Even when I'm sure I've done it I still have to go back and check it again. I'm hoping it will work for me when I start working as a nurse rather than against me.I think mine is pretty mild though. I can control it with anti-depressants, but it cna be annoying to be on them for so long.Stress definately makes it worse. Mine's also the counting (3's), checking (doors and locks mostly) and doing things in a certain routine.

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Thank you so much for your replies. I definitely see myself in both your descriptions and I really appreciate it..it is good to know I'm not the only one struggling with this. It does seem to get worse during periods of stress..and working on a heavy floor seems to provoke the symptoms, depending on how rough the night is. I do talk out loud to myself in the morning when I am putting all my charts away and also when writing down orders..I always have to look at the patient's label on the chart and make sure I'm putting orders in for the right patient, and other things like that.. I think my co workers must think I'm very detail oriented but the problem is it's less than productive most of the time. I hate second guessing myself and I hate feeling like no matter how many times I repeat something it will never be just right (and why always in 3's? that seems to be my number too- but in sets- 6, 9, 18). I think the problem I have is that even with therapy and med.s I can't let go of it and I think it's cause I dont want to. As inconveneint and time consuming as it is I get a lot of comfort from the rituals/routines and can't imagine being without it. I do wish I could leave it at home tho.. I find myself going back into patient's rooms to make sure I hung the right fluid or antibiotic, digging med wrappers out of the bin to make sure I didnt just make my patient swallow something fatal, and rechecking narcotic orders over and over. Anyway like I said I appreciate the support. I dont like feeling like there is something wrong with my brain or that this weird voice in my head controls most of my behaviors but it feels much better to know I am not the only one with this.

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Hi Jessie,It is a horrible feeling to feel like your brain is against you. I have to say though that I am glad to at least have a name for it and know I'm not a crazy person (well maybe I am but you know what I mean). It's also comforting to know that other people are out there with the same/similar thing. I hope it does get better for you.I haven't tried the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - simply because my doctor said she found that it simply did not work.Please feel free to message me, because I believe that just having a support network with similar people can be extremely beneficial.

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I rotate day/night, and during the night shift there's more down time so I find dealing with it much more manageable. I clean out every pt's room, organize everything, throw away every ounce of clutter, make sure all their supplies are brand new and labeled/dated...down to the thermometers. I spend time making everything symmetrical. Once I get through the medical tasks I clean and organize, and I can't relax until it's done...once everything is organized I feel prepared to take on anything the shift might bring with that feeling like no matter what it'll be okay. It's hard to explain. Day shifts are MUCH busier and I struggle a little bit but always manage to get through. I'm so busy I sometimes even forget about counting steps. I'm very careful to document everything as I go, because otherwise I get hit with a panicked feeling that I didn't give a med or didn't give a feed, even though I KNOW I did...but it helps so much to look back at my scut sheet and the computer and see it's written down that it was already done.

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I just read your post about 3s, that's my magic number too. I always thought it was weird since much of what I read about OCD has stories about people liking things in pairs or even numbers. I also empathize regarding the narcs, I check them over and over and over before I give them, even memorize the lot # and then go back to the MAR to make sure I did give them.

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What do you mean by 3's etc ?

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Quote from coolpeachWhat do you mean by 3's etc ?

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I guess I am a 3 girl then. Once to make sure, Two in case I was wrong, and one last time just to put my mind at ease.

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Quote from coolpeachI guess I am a 3 girl then. Once to make sure, Two in case I was wrong, and one last time just to put my mind at ease.

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Quote from coolpeachWhat do you mean by 3's etc ?
Author: peter  3-06-2015, 16:48   Views: 1225   
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