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Fatigue and depression
Jun 30, 2008

Hello, Dr. Robert, how's going?

I'm a 24 years old male from Brazil, poz for almost 3 years, and have started my meds approximately 55 days ago, with a CD4 count of 340 and VL of nearly 7.000. I'm currently on Sustiva, Viread and Epivir, once a day, before going to bed.

I was taking Zoloft, and before that, Zyprexa, for 2 years and a half, as I supposedly have Bipolar Disorder, which I don't agree at all.

Zoloft made me lose 12 kilos, made me feel harming to myself and others, and Zyprexa left me like a zombie.

I am at the last semester in the university and work as a journalist. Though, I don't feel like doing anything. I cut my credits in the uni to the minimun allowed and don't feel like working. I quit yoga, stopped seen my analist and don't want to go see my family in Europe on summer holidays.

I have no normal appetite anymore. Feel bloated with 2 light meals a day. My sleeping has an odd pattern (I sleep for 5 hours at night, them wake up, eat, sleep again, have some work, sleep again, and so on...)

I have lost interest in dating and sex, even while having two nice guys interested on me. I feel nauseated when thinking in sex.

I just can't stand my place, my dad (who is the only relative living with me), can't stand listening to music, support groups, my cat, my cousins, anything or anyone.

Though, I don't feel suicidal. I just feel like laying quietly or sleeping.

What can I do to get better?

Grazie mille e aspetto la tua risposta!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your history reads like a chapter out of a psychiatry textbook describing clinical depression: fatigue, lack of motivation, anhedonia (absence of pleasure or the ability to experience it), anorexia, irregular sleep patterns, decreased libido, etc., etc., etc.

I have no doubt you are in need of psychiatric help. I would also question the use of Sustiva in light of your clinical depression. I'd suggest you talk to your HIV specialist about an alternative regimen that avoids Sustiva. I would also strongly encourage you to seek psychiatric consultation. It's the next step on your road back to both mental and physical health.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

HIV+ for 12 years

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