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Falling apart - smells and stress
Jan 21, 2011

I know this may not belong in this forum under mental health but I feel like I'm rotting away...is this possible? I smell a foul smell on me most of the time like rotting flesh...seriously I'm not joking. I was diagnosed in 05 with Crypto meningitis and I do take my meds...my doc said I'm doing fine but I feel like my body is rotting away....it's always smelling and I notice changes that are not normal...I try and work out at the gym and I had someone say wow u r in good shape....but...looks are deceiving.....I know what's happening but nobody else does....I haven't worked a traditional job in 3.5 yrs and I probably won't again...my wife says it's fine, she has stuck by me...I'm also in the bible belt where stigma is high. I let this town get to me as well as the HIV/Aids and see nothing but a casket down the road. I just lost my house...my clothes are ragged yet I still get ssdi....barely enough to keep a roof over my head.....I'm just wondering should I start getting my affairs in order.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

There is a phenomenon that is relatively rare called phantosmia, an olfactory hallucination, in which a person smells odors (usually foul) that other people do not smell. These are usually associated with neurological conditions, so your meningitis may be relevant. You should speak to your physician about this symptom and your concerns. I commend you for working out and doing what you can to take care of yourself it does make a difference both mentally and emotionally. Stigma, compounded by the struggles of daily life, can contribute to feeling hopeless at times. Seek out a support group and speak to your doctor about this as well. A combination of antidepressants and talk therapy has been shown to be very effective in helping individuals find relief from these powerful feelings.



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