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relate to previous blog

Jun 5, 2012

newly diagnosed 1/12... have wife and 2 grown sons,...49 yo, on long term disability applying for ssdi... Question is Is it normal to feel so hopeless and emotional... my income has been cut by 50%, bills have increased astronomically. Some days i just want this to all be over. try to get out evryday and do something, go to gym 2 times week, but will never be able to go back to nursing , just don't have the endurance and stregth any more

Response from Mr. Vergel

It is normal to feel anxious, hopeless and emotional during the first weeks after finding out an HIV diagnosis, but it is not normal to keep feeling this way after that.

I would seek therapy and possibly antidepressants for a while. Most AIDS service organizations around the country have free or subsidized counseling for people with HIV, so call your local agency.

HIV is an stressor. But being financially broke is probably a worse one. Most people who apply for disability have to cut down on a lot of their expenses to make ends meet. Fortunately, disability does not have to be long term and permanent. This time off work can help you seek help to improve your mental state and your health in general. When you feel better, you can try Medicare's back to work program. You are able to keep Medicare coverage for 5 years after you start working again.

After you address your depression, you can start focusing on how to increase your strength and energy levels. Have your hormone blood levels checked, sleep at least 8 hours a day, eat well, exercise and get out of the house daily. When I was hopeless, books like "The New Earth" by Eckard Tolle helped me to increase my awareness to my negative and hopeless self talk before it would take over me. Exercise was also by vent and salvation even when my energy was low.

By the way, some states have programs that pay for tuition for people on disability who want to go back to school. That could be an option for you so that you feel useful and get ready for a long life.

Keep reaching out for help here and also in organizations in your area that may have programs for people on disability that want to learn how to deal with financial strain and the mental impact of losing a job that validated your self-worth. I am here to help, so do not hesitate to email me again if you have any more questions.

More information:

Your Ticket To Work


United States HIV/AIDS Organizations


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