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Unchanged view towards life, future and self.
Nov 28, 2003

My diagnosis went along very rapidly and unnoticed actually. I have no depression, no fear, no stress. Is this normal? Or is there something wrong with me? I do seem to have this idea sometimes when i see all the questions and facts about people who suffer mentally after being diagnosed with HIV.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

There is no normal when it comes to adjusting to learning that one has HIV. As long as you are not in denial about the seriousness of the condition, I would not worry.I am concerned that you report NO adverse emotional reactions to learning that you are now living with a potentially life threatening illness. If the way you have always lived your life was not to experience strong feelings about important life events, then this is consistent for how you cope with life's adversities. I would suggest that it is far richer to have access to the deep wells of emotions that course thorugh most people, but that may just not be your way. Not everyone has to become depressed or anxious in response to beocming HIV positive, but unless you are totally shut down to your feelings I would think that you must have some feelings aobut this enormous change in your health status.

Michael Shernoff, MSW



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