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will donate. Please help me deal with my wife's unreasonable concerns
Nov 18, 2009

My wife has been dealing with anxiety,stress,and the fear of getting HIV for the past year. I am limited on how I can help her. She takes medication for anxiety, however it doesnt seem to help. She is obsessed with searching about HIV. She is depressed. This is why she is concerned:

She is afraid that somehow someone's blood has gotten into a cuticle tear, a paper cut, or a cat scratch. I tell her that her job is simply casual contact but she doesnt believe me. She doesnt provide direct patient care. Just clerical work in the medical field. She does talk with patients, gets forms signed by patients, does admissions and copies IDs and Insurance cards, occasionally puts arm bands on the patient's with the personal information. She sees blood, and can not recall ever touching a person's cut or getting blood on her. I called the CDC and they told me it is highly unlikely she would be at risk through these ways and that it would need to be a significant cut to really be at a higher risk for HIV, but she thinks I am lying to her to make her feel better. We dont engage in high risk activities. We both have been tested twice previously all test negative. But she is still afraid. It consumes her life and is ruining our marriage. I want to be with my wife forever but I am afraid I cant deal with this irrational fear much longer. I want my wife back.

Are her fears warranted, or does she need to go and seek medical treatment for her anxiety?

Thank you for everything that you do. I read your post and the forum and I appreciate the knowledge.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Your wife has written to me (several times) and I have advised her that her fears are unwarranted and irrational. I would strongly advise she see a psychiatrist to help her confront and conquer these irrational worries. Psychotherapy (counseling) plus anti-anxiety medication can generally significantly help folks with severe phobias.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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