Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
   
Ask the Experts About

Mental Health and HIVMental Health and HIV
          
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary


Is this normal - has my HIV diagnosis really sunk in?
Feb 5, 2011

I got diagnosed with HIV three weeks ago, after experiencing swollen lymph glands - my husband is negative. My initial shock lasted like 5 -10 min. We both took a week free from work and studies. Now we are back to our daily lives. I live in a country with very advanced medical care which is all free. My husband is very, very supportive. We are reading a lot about HIV and discussing so much. I just took blood test to check out my cd4 count and have 3 doctors to my disposal. I take comfort in all that and I am a very optimistic person in life who only focuses on the positive energies. My main concern though is do you think that my diagnosis has not really sunk in and I might crumble later?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

First let me say how fortunate you are to have easy access to advanced medical care as well as a partner who is very supportive. Both are really important in staying healthy. Something as significant as hearing you are HIV+ requires a long process of adaptation and acceptance. Your initial shock may have only lasted a few minutes, but that is just the beginning. You will find yourself experiencing a variety of thoughts and emotions over time. I encourage you to feel them and express them and avoid stuffing them down where they can do real damage. The best-known model for this process is that of Kubler-Ross, who identified five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance). There are many other models, as well. The key to all of them is that this is a process ultimately leading to acceptance. Along the way you will experience a variety of feelings. Many people mistakenly believe this is a linear process (for example, moving from denial through anger through bargaining, etc). It's not -- you will find yourself shifting back and forth between various stages, hopefully moving generally toward acceptance. I believe our minds (well, at least mine) can only absorb huge news at a certain pace. That protects us from being overwhelmed or, as you fear, crumbling. Get involved with a therapist, if needed, and support groups. If you use these and remain conscious of your body, thoughts, feelings, I expect that you will have no problem continuing to adapt and adjust. Good luck!



Previous
Vaccinations for negative partner in serodiscordant relationship
Next
HIV prevention commercials

  
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS


 
Advertisement



Q&A TERMS OF USE

This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint

Advertisement