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Lost interest
Apr 25, 2009

Hello Doctors, I'm a 29 year old women, It's been 8 months on my diagnoses and on treatment. I come from Lebanon. where HIV is a huge taboo. first I was doing great handling the news of being a positive although it was non expected, but thank to my exboyfriend for this. however, I;m really going throough a tough stage where whenever thinking of the me being a positive I simply not eccepting it anymore. the more days pass I feel weaker and weaker to handle it. I feel there is no meaning of life anymore, scared to continue my life alone because i know for sure it's very hard to get acceptance by this society i live in and definitly not by a partner. I'm still pushing my self to take meds on time, but i realy lost urge on being healthy and carefull over my health situation. I am blocking my self from meeting anyone or hanging out with friends. I know it's not right but can't help it. Please tell me what to do. I'm trying to find a reason to live but simply non. how all of u got over it, how did u succeed in finding the bright light in life, coz mine is turning into darkness. whenever i feel down I ignore my feelings but i'm becomming workoholic not to sit alone and think. but not facing my reality is a bigger issue too. please help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Lebanon-gal,

Certainly a period of adjustment is to be expected following an HIV diagnosis. However, your post suggests you have become clinically depressed. Folks with clinical depression feel sad, empty, hollow, hopeless and isolated. Activities that people once enjoyed no longer bring happiness or pleasure. Sound familiar??? Let me quote some of the phrases from your post to illustrate my point: ". . . I feel there is no meaning of life anymore . . . "I feel weaker and weaker to handle it . . . I really lost urge on being healthy . . . I am blocking myself from meeting anyone or hanging out with friends . . . my life is turning into darkness . . . ."

I strongly advise you seek the help of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. Hopefully your HIV specialist can recommend someone who is HIV knowledgeable and compassionate. You also need a much stronger support network. Once again, hopefully your HIV specialist can help you access support organizations in your area. I can assure you that you are not alone. There are 34,000,000 of us, each with our own unique set of challenges. Societal acceptance is indeed a problem in many parts of the world. But slowly (too slowly) attitudes are changing. Perhaps you could even become part of that change in your local community. The first step, however, is to have your depression treated.

Good luck. I'm here if you need me. Let's get through this together, OK?

Dr. Bob


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