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Frustrated and depressed
Oct 30, 2004

I have tried three different counselors, one psychiatric nurse practitioner, and two PhD Psychologists. I have tried three different antidepressants but they caused me to have seizures. I have participated in a HIV social group for about a year. I have returned to the gym and work out regularly. None of this seems to get me out of this rut of being depressed, unmotivated, and just frustrated with life. What am I missing here? Are there counselors out there that do more than just sit and take notes, and don't offer much advise other than "of course you're scared" or "get a hobby" ? Because that certainly doesn't do it.

Is this as good as it gets?

Response from Dr. Horwath

You didn't mention visiting a psychiatrist for a careful diagnostic interview. First, you need an opinion from someone with expertise in depression to determine exactly what the problem is. If medications are indicated, then there are a variety of antidepressants that you may be able to safely take without adverse neurological effects like seizures. Perhaps you need a neurological exam to determine why you are so sensitive to developing seizures. Some HIV-related conditions may cause this.

If neurological and psychiatric evaluation don't clarify the problem, then you may need to look at the type of therapy you have been getting. For depression, cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy have both been shown to be helpful when practiced by properly trained professionals. If what you described is being called therapy ("sitting and taking notes" or advising "get a hobby"), then it is no wonder you weren't helped.

Don't give up. If you get a good quality evaluation and appropriate treatment from a well-trained professional, you should benefit.



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