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Can't shake the depression and suicidal thoughts--is there any hope?

Nov 16, 2005

I've been HIV positive since 2001. Ever since around that time, I've been severely depressed and full of anxiety. I think it partly stems from the shock that my first sexual experience was a rape and that same guy (who was my first serious boyfriend) abused me mentally, physically, and sexually. I've also never had a great image of myself. I'm out of that relationship, but my problems remain--I still have anxiety attacks and depression and have also had problems with self injury and suicidal ideation. What makes it worse is that I go into work (my coworkers do not know my status) and they say such horrible things about the HIV positive people.

This Sunday I spent much of the day wondering how I could commit suicide yet make it look like an accident so my family could collect life insurance. Will this ever end? I have been on so many antidepressant, antipsychotics, anti anxiety pills (alone and in various combinations), but nothing ever works long term. I have had inpatient hospital stays in the past, but it always returns. I have been diagnosed by different doctors with bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD--you name it. Is there any treatment that will work for me or am I destined to keep suffering with this and possibly not live to see my 25th birthday?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Most people with depression can be helped with the current treatments. However, it does often require some time to find the appropriate treatment combination for your particular illness.

In your case, the traumatic experiences you had are undoubtedly a huge contributor to how badly you feel. If you can find a clinic or group that focuses on helping women with histories of abuse such as yours, then your are more likely to be helped.

Most importantly, don't give up hope. The people at work who say horrible things are ignorant, judgmental and not worthy of even a second thought. Try to focus on you and building on what is positive in you, rather than allow such negative people to drag you down.

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