HIV and Mental health
Jul 5, 2008
what is the link between HIV and Mental health
Response from Dr. Horwath
Many different mental health issues arise in the course of HIV infection. Depression is the most common mental disorder, but there are others, including cognitive disorders (problems with memory and thinking), anxiety disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and other less common disorders.
In a person with HIV infection, a mental disorder can be caused by situational stressors, HIV-related illnesses, medical problems unrelated to HIV, alcohol or drugs (illicit, prescribed, herbal, over the counter), drug interactions, pre-existing psychiatric disorders, or the direct effects of HIV on the brain.
Whenever serious psychiatric symptoms occur, especially depression, anxiety or cognitive problems (like memory impairment), it's best to speak to your doctor or a mental health specialist to be evaluated and treated.
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