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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Ask Nurse Jenn - Our Resident Mental Health Nurse!

Topic: Ask Nurse Jenn - Our Resident Mental Health Nurse!

  1. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Nurse Jenn avatar
    414 posts
    4 April 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Hi Sleepy21,

    Thanks for your request for information. Unlike TripAdvisor, we don't have a main stream platform that is a public place to see reviews about peoples experience with health practitioners. This is becoming popular in America however in Australia there is no specific site that I can recommend personally (however they may out there). You might post on the main forum and find out from others if there is a place where they seek this information?

    For a list of health professionals (there are few sites but don't offer reviews) you can go to this page on the Beyond Blue website which lists databases to help you find a health professional.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/find-a-professional

    Nurse Jenn

  2. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    1189 posts
    7 April 2020 in reply to Nurse Jenn
    Hi Jenn,

    Thanks the webpage was helpful and I got a lot of info from the databases. Cheers!
  3. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    96 posts
    10 April 2020

    Hi Nurse Jenn,

    just wanting advice in regards to psychiatric hospitals.

    I've been struggling with my depression & after a recent incident the psychologist was really pushing for me to go to hospital.

    However this terrifies me because I am type 1 diabetic & have an insulin pump attached to me 24/7. It’s causing me great distress as I really need help but I am so scared they will make me remove the insulin pump. I also have to count the carbs in everything I eat but not sure I will be able to do this accurately with the meals provided. If they make me remove the pump, my whole insulin regime would need to change as I would need to go back to using needles & both long acting & rapid acting insulin. The pump only uses short acting but delivers a basal rate throughout the day/night.

    I would need access to my glucose testing kit & food in case of low blood sugar. Would I have access to my meds or would these be kept under lock & key?

    Is this something that can be catered for? I dread having my medication & self management being taken away from me as I hear horror stories of people’s stay in hospital & their nurses not treating their diabetes as accurately as the individual had been.

    I've been type 1 diabetic for 35 years & honestly have a fear of someone not managing me correctly, not understanding the difference between type 1 & 2, not understanding I need access to fast acting carbs at all times in case of hypoglycaemia, not understanding I need access to my insulin if hyperglycaemic etc etc.

    its making me so anxious & unable to make a decision. I might be over reacting but I fear for my health in such a place.

    Any advise on where I can find out more information?

    Thanks

  4. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Nurse Jenn avatar
    414 posts
    13 April 2020 in reply to TheBigBlue

    Hi The Big Blue,

    Thanks for your question. I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing so much worry. It is really positive for me to hear you advocating for your physical health so strongly. This indicates to me that you will be assertive in getting what you need to manage your diabetes if you go for a hospital admission.

    Every hospital and state would have a different policy on safety. The best way would be to connect with the admitting team or doctor and negotiate this prior to your admission. You may need your psychologists support to start this conversation. In private hospitals you may generally have more autonomy is managing your own medications (under a protocol) where as in public facilities, the ground rules may be a bit more strict.

    I have seen people have IVs in some mental health wards and other devices. Sometimes a person may have to go on a higher level of observation due to having ‘special equipment’.

    As far as meals are concerned, they can cater to a diabetic diet certainly however the food would not be what you are used to. It can be an adjustment but generally they will try to work with you. You can also request a specific consult with the Clinical Nurse Specialist who works specifically with Diabetes who can support the mental health nurses to write a plan while your in the hospital. This depends what hospital you are attending.

    Being assertive and proactive is generally really helpful and I am sure the ward will try to work with you however it really does depend on the ward policy.

    You could request a discussion with someone from the inpatient team (like the Nurse Manager) and your psychologist prior to admission where you may be able to get some answers to your questions specifically. If it is a private facility you are considering, you could probably call them yourself.

    I wish you the best in finding the right care that supports both your ongoing management of diabetes and of your depression. You sound like you know exactly what you need to keep your self balanced. I recommend you write this all down and all your questions too as it can help when you are having these discussions.

    Wishing you the best possible outcome,

    Nurse Jenn

  5. ReeCar123
    ReeCar123 avatar
    22 posts
    13 April 2020

    Dear Nurse Jenn,

    thank

    you so much for your advice and help the other day. If it is ok, I would have another question. I am continuing to look after myself while trying to be an understanding support to my partner. We have talked well again and had a beautiful day yesterday.

    A big problem for him is that he feels exhausted and appears constantly stressed out. His psychologist suggested a book to him about how to build healthy habits and he is getting a lot out of the book. So much so, he is following suggestions in the book to build his "ideal days" by structuring and planning his dsys and weeks a little better. He seems to go well whenever he has structure and I assume it is because it gives him a sense of control while he is still coming to terms with the end of his marriage (he separated but he struggles with the change). Although the structure seems to help him get better slowly, whenever he does not tick everything off his plan for the day, he starts stressing and becomes really tense inside. He is aware of it, but like me, he struggles with cutting himself some slack.

    So my questions are...

    1. Is it normal to feel so stressed out and that you need to gain back structure and control and if so, why?

    2. How can a person learn effectively to let things slide without worrying so much and stressing?

    Will this go away eventually and if so, what does it take to see life as normal again? He doesn't want to be with his wife anymore, so it's not the emotional connection. It's more that he is an avoidant attachment style due to childhood experiences and so he really seems to struggle with letting go. At the moment, he can't even stay over at my place because he gets this strong urge to get back home where it is "safe".

    I would like to understand his stress better because it would probably make it easier for me. At the moment, I feel lost and confused about why he is so tense and worried about not getting all his planned work done. This morning, we met for a walk and while it was nice, I could sense that he stressed because this was not in his plan and so his timeframes would be out for all the other work. We talked about it and I gave him comfort saying it is totally ok and we will get there, but I feel so helpless when he apologises and says it is his "stupid head". I don't want him to think ill of himself, I wish I could take this away from him or at least make him more comfortable when he tenses up.

    Thank you, I would much appreciate your help.


  6. Lois0792
    Lois0792 avatar
    1 posts
    15 April 2020
    Hi nurse Jenn, do mental health keep you anonymous when you report someone to the cat team?
  7. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Nurse Jenn avatar
    414 posts
    16 April 2020 in reply to ReeCar123

    hi ReeCar123,

    Great to see that you have reconnected with your partner and that he is working on building healthy habits. Gaining structure and control in your life is something many of us strive to do.

    When someone is working a mental health issue, the journey in healing can go through many of these steps including rest, therapy, doing exercises (or practicing new skills), and then regaining strength and confidence. This healing can take time.

    The journey that your partner is on may have some areas where he has to do some of these steps in his own time, and in his own way. You being there cheering him on and supporting him is a really important role.

    As far as your questions:

    1. Is it normal to feel so stressed out and that you need to gain back structure and control and if so, why?

    This experience is different for every person but feeling out of control and not having structure can make some people feel vulnerable. Working on regaining a sense of control and having goals and structure in your life can take time and persistence. Every person has a different level of which they need control and structure in their life.

    2. How can a person learn effectively to let things slide without worrying so much and stressing?

    As I mentioned before, it can take time to learn strategies on how to manage worry and stress. It comes with support, skill, and practice. Some people have experiences that occurred long ago and these experiences can resurface which can interfere with this process. Sometimes people work with a therapist to unravel these past experiences which can offer self reflection and help move forward in healing.

    It is normal to want to take away pain from a person you love. Gaining an understanding of someone who is learning to understand themselves can take time and patience. Like I said in my previous post to you, often focusing on your own resilience and strength can be one of the most helpful things to do.

    Wishing you the best possible outcome,

    Nurse Jenn

  8. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Nurse Jenn avatar
    414 posts
    16 April 2020 in reply to Lois0792

    Hi Lois0792,

    In my experience, this can occur but you must request it to the person you are speaking to. When you call the CAT team - tell them your worries around confidentiality and they will advise you on what their process is on keeping your report confidential.

    It can be tough calling mental health professionals on a person you are worried about. Sometimes talking about this can help. You could call the Beyond Blue Support Line on 1300 22 4636 and talk through your concerns.

    Wishing you the best possible outcome,

    Nurse Jenn

  9. calmseeker
    calmseeker avatar
    333 posts
    16 April 2020 in reply to Nurse Jenn

    Hi Nurse Jenn,

    I thought it might be nice to pop in and let you know what has occurred regarding the issues in my post to you from 23 March. Oh, and to say thank you for your response to that message and the advice you gave.

    So my daughters GP didn't seem overly concerned with her menstrual situation. Like you mentioned, GP thought it may have been due to some really big changes in her life recently. She had changed up her work hours, enrolled in uni, moved back home to live with me, to name a few changes. Basically GP wanted to wait and see if things went back to normal and said if problem continued, he would carry out an ultra sound and some bloodwork. Thankfully things HAVE gone back to normal, YAY!

    The HealthDirect website that you recommended was really helpful. It highlighted that there could be a variety of reasons as to why a person could experience spotting and irregular cycles. It helped me to point out to my daughter the reason didn't have to be a sinister one.

    My daughter was convinced she had cancer! The anxiety was awful to witness and you could feel an uncomfortable vibe in the household as she was so stressed about it. , it was truly awful to see her struggling. I struggle with anxiety myself and it made me sick to my stomach to see similar problems in my daughter. I tried to give her some advice and some strategies, things that had helped me in the past, but I seemed to be not able to help her get any relief. That's when I decided to try and find some advice here.

    Thank you for you time Nurse Jenn. I hope you are doing ok in these strange times we find ourselves living through. Have an awesome day.

    CS :)

  10. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Nurse Jenn avatar
    414 posts
    17 April 2020 in reply to calmseeker

    Hi calmseeker,

    It is really great to hear back from you and that all has gone okay with your daughter. The anxiety that can sit around any physical health issue can make everything feel even worse. I know this from my own experience of anxiety. My mum used to refer to me as 'What-If-er' rather than 'Jennifer' as I used spend a lot of time saying but 'what if...what if?' and worrying myself into a tizzy.

    Finding strategies that work for you to manage anxiety takes time and persistence. Learning to ground yourself in the here and now and not in the unpredictable future or the unchangeable past is not an easy task but with the right support and loads of practice, it can be achieved (most of the time).

    Thanks for the report back,

    Cheers
    Nurse Jenn

  11. shucks46
    shucks46 avatar
    19 posts
    22 June 2020

    Hi nurse Jenn

    I’m looking at a electrodes therapy for depression as a long time sufferer, due to my profession and the side effects of a few different medications I have given up on the meds, the treatment I’m looking at now is called sooma https://soomamedical.com/en/products/ which comes from Finland but available world wide and can be monitored by a treating professional remotely.

    I’m wondering if you’ve heard of it and if so is it difficult to get here australia please?

    Thank you

  12. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Nurse Jenn avatar
    414 posts
    23 June 2020 in reply to shucks46

    Hi there shucks46,

    Thank you for your question.

    Unfortunately I haven’t heard about this treatment type. I found a bit more about it by doing a google search but I don’t have any experience with it nor do I know where to find it in Australia.

    I will do a search to see if I can find any evidence or research about Sooma Therapy and report back here if I do.

    Sending you strength,

    Nurse Jenn

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Shebs
    Shebs avatar
    6 posts
    29 June 2020 in reply to shucks46
    Me too
  14. Shebs
    Shebs avatar
    6 posts
    29 June 2020 in reply to shucks46
    TMS AUSTRALIA
    1 person found this helpful
  15. shucks46
    shucks46 avatar
    19 posts
    15 July 2020 in reply to Nurse Jenn

    G’day

    After contacting the people in Finland regarding to sooma treatment I was informed it’s not available here in South Australia, and was referd to see a DR in north Adelaide.

    Thanks for that Shebs I just sent a email off to them but i’m Not liking the chances as it says coming soon to SA.

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