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Can't recover from leaving a positive man
May 3, 2005

Hello,

This past summer I met someone who absolutely made my heart soar. He was my first partner, and I quickly fell for him. 3 weeks into the relationship he found out he was HIV+, at this time I was trying to deal with coming out and the added stress of suddenly having to deal with HIV hit hard. I couldn't continue, and a week later I ended our relationship. I have felt so empty ever since. I feel so guilty for leaving him and I can't stop thinking about him. I also feel so discouraged from dating again, it's been almost 9 months, and I'm scared to even look at another gay man. I also have this deep sense that it's only a matter of time before I too become infected, I know it's irrational, but I just can't shake the fear. I feel like I could have fallen in love with him, and that we could have had a wonderful time together. I just don't feel much of anything anymore, besdies sorrow. I started talking to a counsillor recently, but I don't know if it's helping. I just feel so hollow, I miss him so much. Any thoughts..?

Response from Dr. Horwath

You acted out of fear, but it is completely understandable. You are now suffering from grief at the loss of the relationship. If your counseling does not help, you may have developed a depression, which needs more active treatment than you have had so far.

The likelihood of depression is increased if you're having symptoms like insomnia, loss of interest, difficulty enjoying anything, and loss of appetite. If you have these symptoms and they persist, then get an evaluation from a psychiatrist or psychologist.



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