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Partner Depression before Doctor visits

Jul 13, 2005

My Partner and I have both been positive for nearly 4 years now. My partner found out he had converted during a regular physical exam so I was tested and found to be positive also. I have been on meds since I tested positive with great results and going for regular labs and doctor follow up visits have become just another part of my life. My partner's labs are always good and to date our doctor has not put him on meds because he has not progressed rapidly in his disease. The problem is he gets very depressed and worried just before he goes for his labs and then for his follow up visit. He is worried that he will have to start taking meds and will have terrible side effects. I try to encourage him by telling him to just take it one lab and visit at a time and when the time comes that he has to go on meds we will cross that bridge together. He is very support of me and has been a great help in keeping me at nearly 100% compliant since the beginning. How can I help him to have a more positive outlook on his disease progression instead of going through a 90 day cycle of depression and worry? Thanks for you help.

Response from Dr. Horwath

Your advice to him is right on target. The best approach is to take a day at a time, and solve problems as they occur. However, your partner is having trouble with anxiety. He is too apprehensive about what might happen, and apparently this overwhelms him prior to anticipated medical visits. He might benefit from some psychotherapy or anti-anxiety medications to help him through these difficult periods. Help him to bring this up with his doctor. Perhaps there are some resources in his office or another local facility to help you.

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