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Nov 26, 2013

Fourteen years ago I was fired from a multi-national oil company a month after I was diagnosed with full blown AIDS. In the surprise termination interview I became suicidal (what would I do - no med insurance, no job). I bolted from the office and very nearly did suicide. Out of nowhere an old friend appeared and stopped me on a bridge - divine intervention.

Problem is 14 years later I still get strong suicidal impulses when I am triggered by anything that feels like getting fired (ie end of a relationship, being wrongly accused, feeling bullied etc). I have had some very close calls with serious attempts.

I have seen several therapists but nothing seems to help. They all seem to say "get over it ... grow up ... you have self-righteous indignation ... your just playing the victim etc". I feel worse after - like I am an inferior person and a hopeless case.

Is this PTSD or what? Where/how do I get help? It is more threatening to my life than my HIV. Thanks in advance

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thank you for writing. Many times present-day events can trigger feelings from old events causing a cascade of feelings that can indeed be overwhelming. Telling a client to "get over it" is not only ineffective, it can cause further pain and even desperate measures, as you indicate.

Find a therapist who can complete a thorough assessment, particularly one who specializes in trauma resolution. Your feelings may very well be connected to older events, the feelings of which are being triggered. Therapeutic modalities that are proven to be effective include EMDR and hypnotherapy.

In the meantime, if you feel in any way suicidal don't wait for divine intervention seek professional help or dial 911 immediately.

Best wishes,


My brother's death is haunting me
Suppressed Depression and Living with HIV

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