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I am scared and confused
Mar 6, 2002

I am a 42 year old male, I have had HIV for about 14 years. I have not had any major problems with my body yet. But about 2 years ago I got really deppressed and paniky when I awoke. My symptoms are deppression and then a hyper feeling. It also feels like I have lost my all my feelings except for my feelings of deppression and the up feeling. My feelings of love and doing things have dwindled. Is this a normal HIV illness of the brain? Is there any hope?

Response from Mr. Shernoff

While some people who have HIV do have symptoms that include a change in feelings, it is not a very common thing to happen especially if you are taking combination antiretroviral therapy. Your depression and hyper feelings may in part be due to your living with all of the uncertainties that acompany having a life threatening illness. Or else they may in fact have nothing to do with your being HIV positive.

But it is virtually impossible for me to diagnose what is going on via an e mail. That is why I urge you to ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a good mental health professional hwo has alot of experience in working with people who have HIV. SInce you are obviously troubled by how you are feeling you need to seek professional help to get what is going on assessed and treated. Please call for a referral today. Michael Shernoff, MSW



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