May 8, 2002
Dear Dr, In the last couple of years as my illness has progressed I have noticed that I can't think straight. It is as if my thoughts are flying around and not organized. Just a simple task becomes jumbled in my head. I think about doing something ie going to the shops, and it's as if my body can't respond to the thought - like I'm going stiff. Even when I'm sitting quietly my thoughts seem to be flying around. I believe I may have some of the symptoms of Parkinsons in that I have to think hard about everything I do. Iam very fatigued but have a rapid heartbeat, I have chronic anemia and diabetes. Can you help with the mental problems. I keep a lot of notes every day so I don't forget things. I really don't want to have tests or go on psych meds, I an too fatigued and don't leave the house much. Is there any literature on mental problems during the last stages of AIDS? I find that I don't have much peace of mind, there are so many things I feel guilty about and I constantly wake up with a sense of urgency. I don't want to see someone about it, could you please give some info on how to help myself?
Response from Mr. Shernoff
If you do not want to have a medical consultation in order to have the problem diagnosed then there is not anything I can say or do to help you. You may be experiencing symptoms of HIV related neuropsychiatric disorder. Even your tiredness can be a symptom of this. But without your seeing a neurologist and undergoing whatever examinations and tests that he or she feels is necessary there is no way to diagnose what is causing the problem and thus there is no way to treat it. If you really want help then ask your primary care doctor to refer you to a neurologist who specializes in working with people with HIV.
Michael Shernoff, MSW
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