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Getting back on track
Nov 25, 2007

Dear Dr. Bob, I have been emailing this site for the last two years since I found out I was positive. It has been a big help to me in getting over the initial shock, despair and sadness. I feel the best I have felt in two years but I seem to still have lingering motivation issues. I used to be a very motived guy who did alot of yard work, projects and exercise. That aspect of me hasnt seemed to rebound since my diagnosis. I am on anti depressants and I have talked to a counselor but it doesnt seem to be working. Is this normal after only 2 years? My counts are excellent and I really want to get back to feeling like my old self. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I'm delighted the information you found here was helpful in resolving your "initial shock, despair and sadness" that resulted as a consequence of your HIV-positive diagnosis. I certainly understand your desire to feel like your "old self" once again. However, in some ways you'll never be exactly like that "old self," because your old self was not cohabitating with HIV! I would suggest you focus on your "new self!" That you (and 33,200,000 others worldwide, including yours truly) are "virally enhanced" must become your new reality.

You report at present you "feel the best I have in two years . . . ." That's excellent and bodes well for further improvement. You are presently on antidepressants and have "talked to a counselor," but continue to have "motivation issues". My advice is that you discuss this concern with your HIV specialist and ask for a referral to an HIV-knowledgeable therapist. Support groups may also help. I'm also a strong proponent of exercise both aerobic and resistance weight training. You might also consider yoga. Exercise increases our endorphin levels, which are natural mood elevators. Besides, there is also the wonderful exercise side effect of helping us look better naked! Get a gym partner or, if necessary, a personal trainer to make sure you get your butt back to the gym! My guess is that with counseling and a more regular workout schedule your energy level will once again rebound.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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