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where to get mental help, HIV

Jul 29, 2006

Hi Dr.Horwath, I was gust diagnosed with HIV and HCV 2 months ago. I was later diagnosed with Syphilis and had to have a spinal tap. I had to start on HIV meds immediately and my HCV Dr. said that my viral levels were high (genotype 1a) and that as soon as I get my HIV under control I need to start HCV treatment but with Genotype 1a and the coinfection of HIV, the chances of it working were slim. I also have had to quit drinking. This is all alot to take in ,in a 2 month period. I think that I am going crazy. The new HIV meds or the HCV is causing me to have no energy and headaches and then to add the depression on top of that,well it's all too much.I have only worked 2 days in the past 2 months and I don't want to be around friends because what ever their conversation is, I think it is all irrelevant and stupid! I have only chosen to tell my partner and one friend at this time. I do not want anyone else to know. I have read about the importance of getting mental help time and time again on this web page, however when I went to the "find mental health help in your area section" it only came up with the American Red cross. Do they help with things like this? I have checked with my insurance and mental health is not covered. What can I do??? Thank you for any help that you can give.

Response from Dr. Horwath

The help you need is mainly support at this time. You need to be able to go somewhere to meet other people who are HIV positive and have already gone through some of the experiences that you are facing now. Hearing from others in a similar situation and some who have already gone through these experiences will help you to feel more hopeful that you can get through this.

It seems overwhelming right now, but the fact that you are in treatment and getting the help you need is the most important and most hopeful factor. See if your doctor or clinic has knowledge of a local organization that sponsors support groups, or try to find a local mental health agency that runs group therapy programs.

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