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Re: Feeling Useless
Mar 17, 1999

Hello Dr. Shernoff:

I felt compelled to write a short note after reading the letter of "Feeling Useless". He complains of a "constant confusion feeling in my head..I take a b-12 injection once a week, and 50mg of zoloft a day, but I still feel the same, down & out, with no purpose or use." Your advice to him was perfect, and your concern rang out loud and clear.

I am not familiar with (nor have I experienced them myself) the side effects of drug therapies for people with HIV or AIDS. However, seven years ago I was prescribed Zoloft for depression by a psychiatrist who basically spoke to me for 45 minutes, handed me the prescription, then "monitored" me every six weeks or so.

Although I told him, almost in the same words as "Feeling Useless" described his feelings, that I felt more depressed, and dead and confused, he kept me on the drugs. I insisted that I needed to discuss unresolved issues that had been plaguing me for years, but the doctor angrily insisted upon the drugs. Finally, I chose to stop taking Zoloft when I found myself walking out in front of cars or falling down stairs all the time. I then sought out some REAL THERAPY. I have never had to take meds for depression since.

I'm feeling very, very concerned for "Feeling Useless", and which I could be there to help him find the right therapist and a compassionate general practitioner. I know how difficult it is to facilitate this search on your own, especially if you're suffering from depression.

Yours,

S.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

Dear S,

Thanks so much for writing. You are so correct that when a person is feeling depressed, needing to confront an insensitve doctor or search out a new one or a therapist can be daunting. I hope that the man who sent the original letter reads your response and gets some support and hope from it. Agian thanks.

Michael Shernoff, MSW



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