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Chronically Depressed

Oct 15, 2006

I was diagnosed HIV+ 8 months ago. Since then, my depression has worsened to the point where it's practically debilitating. I often can't get out of bed for days. I just spent the last 2 days in bed contemplating suicide. I was so depressed I didn't even call into work yesterday and never made it to my first appointment with a mental health group. I feel hopeless most times and can't seem to punch through these morbid feelings. I've been self-medicating with alcohol. This seems to make things even worse. Intellectually I know that I need help, but I freeze when it comes time to face the issues. I fear that my job may be in jeopardy because of the time I have taken off - usually to collapse in the bed for days. I haven't told my 19 year old son yet about my diagnosis. I don't know how to tell him. I just need some advice. Please help me.

Thanks. NYC

Response from Dr. Horwath

You need to seek help immediately. You have a very serious depression and you need treatment. If necessary, take a medical leave from work. You cannot continue in this way because you will not improve and your chance of losing your job permanently will only increase. Getting treatment, on the other hand, can help you to recover, and will provide the necessary documentation you need to take a leave from work. If you have a documental illness, your employer is required to make reasonable accomodations for your treatment and recovery.

Since you are in NYC, you should have no trouble finding a psychiatrist. Get a referral from your HIV doctor.

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