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Depressed AIDS widow
Jul 17, 1997

I lost my lover 2 years ago. I have AIDS too and even though the new medications are working splendidly I really don't feel like surviving. I mean I thought I would just die like my lover. And now having to deal with the realities. Having to look for another lover...etc. I don't have the energy and I really can't get used to the idea that I will survive long enough for it to matter. Any suggestions?

Response from Mr. Shernoff

You sound very depressed. Have you ever consulted with a therapist to have your level of depression evaluated and treated? The hopelessness, helplessness and powerlessness you describe are classic symptoms of depression which can respond to both psychotherapy and anti-depressant medication.

Are you in a support group with other people with AIDS where you can talk about your fears and loneliness? If not I would suggest that you seek one out. Also, have you ever been in a bereavement group for people who have lost a loved one to AIDS? This might also provide you with some help in working through your grief.

Why do you feel that you now have to look for another lover? That is putting an enormous amount of pressure on yourself to do something you just may not be ready to handle now... or ever. If you are able to spend time with friends and family with whom you feel close, are they a comfort at all?

Losing a lover to AIDS, especially when you are sick yourself is tremendously complex and difficult. Remember, this is certainly not a period of your life to be isolated from needed supports.

Good luck.

-- Michael Shernoff, MSW



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