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HIV positive and stressed out

Jul 6, 2004

Since my diagnosis, (over ten years now) any little bit of stress seems to push me over the edge and I seem to come down with flu like symptoms; body aches, diarrhea, headaches, insomnia, anxiety attacks etc.

Im forty one years old and have always been a strong willed character and in the past have always been able to shrug off the simplest negative comment or action, but now I seem to just absorb and internalize things and end up making myself sick. Is this a normal for people who are HIV and/or are the medications/virus effecting my emotional processing? Maybe Im just being what my Mom calls a "sensitive special boy"? (grin).

I am taking Celexa for depression, Metoprolol for high blood pressure as well as seeing a Therapist. My current HIV regimen is Fuzeon, Atazanavir and Zerit. My viral is undetectable and CD count is 280.

Thanks for your input.

Response from Dr. Horwath

Yes, it does sound like you are suffering from anxiety, although headaches, insomnia, body aches and diarrhea have all been associated with HIV or some of the antiretrovirals.

When you have an illness of any kind, you may become more sensitive to emotional and physical stresses. You may need to see if you arrange your life to reduce some unnecessary stresses or re-evaluate priorities.

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