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Verbal disinhibition following TB Meningitis

Jan 12, 2012

I have been healthy, living with HIV for 12 years, and maintaining a CD4 count of 600-900. I contracted tuberculous meningitis. The impact of the illness on my personality is that it has flipped 180 degrees.

Prior to this, I was seen as very sensible, considered, polite. Now I can and will have no reservations about speaking to a person I have just met. I will go on without reading the body language that may be telling me that I am going too long/too far. My attention span has also been slashed to a very short time. Prior to diagnosis, I devoured books and have only read one in the four years following.

Can you suggest any areas for me to look into or is this what I am now left with?

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Tuberculous meningitis is an infection of the membrane covering the brain and can indeed cause mental status changes. Prognosis is difficult to determine because it is based on disease stage at diagnosis, the long course of treatment, immune system status, and various other factors. You may be able to utilize your awareness (impulsivity, for example) to consciously make behavioral corrections or employ cognitive strategies for problems such as concentration. Speak with your physician about concerns and ask about any rehabilitation opportunities that may be available, including occupational therapy to help with those cognitive strategies.

Good luck,


How do I tell loved ones?
New panic about taking my meds

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