|Struggling to keep a grip.
Jan 10, 2002
Hi. I am 26 and I lost my fiance to and AIDS related illness back in 1994. Since then all of my friends who have been + have died and I am feeling like I am the only one in the whole world left. I was originally diagnosed when my partner died and then told 2 years later I was in fact negative. Now, after an incident I have been diagnosed + again, and they are saying that it may have been that i have been + all along...
I have been a mental health service user for 6 years anyway (depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, self-harm and dissociative problems) and am now struggling to keep a grip. My psychiatrist knows nothing about HIV and I have no support from people who do. The nearest support group is an hour and a half away and i can't afford to get there.
I don't know what to do... I feel like I am losing my grip and I just want to curl up and die. I don't think I can do this on my own....
| Response from Mr. Shernoff
It is urgent that you find a mental health professional who is experienced in working with people with HIV and begin working with him or her on a regular basis. I suggest that you begin discussing this idea with your current therapist and ask him or her to try and locate a colleague who is skilled in this area so that you can transition from the person you are currently working with to someone who can be even more helpful to you in focusing in on the issues that are overwhelming you now.
Obviously a three hour round trip commute just to go to a support group is very difficult, but it may just be worth it for you if it means improving your quality of life. Perhaps you can explore not attending every week, but every other week. If there is an AIDS service organization that hosts this group, I suggest that you do schedule an intake appointemnt there and explain the entire situation.
Perhaps there are other people living with HIV who in fact do live near to you who go there for the support gorup who you can be put in touch with to car pool. This is just one idea, but if you don't make the effort to get in contact with the organization and explore options to recieve support you will never discover what options exist that may work for you. None of them may be perfect, but one or more of them may just be good enough to be really helpful to you in a way that is affordable and time efficient.
Please call to schedule an initial appointment today. Best of luck.
Michael Shernoff, MSW
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