Irrational fear of HIV 2010
Feb 12, 2010
Dr. Bob, is it possible for irrational fear of HIV to go away without the help a psychiatrist? I know I don't have HIV (been tested way too many times) and I'm still worried. Because of this fear, I've stopped having any sexual contacts (not even kissing). Will this ever go away? I'm reluctant to visit a psychiatrist; this is bound to be too expensive, and besides, I don't feel comfortable discussing personal matters with a stranger. Except for this HIV fear, I don't fear other illnesses, and I don't have OCD. Thank you, Dan
Response from Dr. Frascino
It's possible, but unlikely. You've been tested "way too many times," and you've "stopped having any sexual contacts (even kissing)"!!! If those aren't indications that your irrational fears are severe and hampering your physical and emotional well-being, I don't' know what is! Yes, psychiatrists can be expensive. Sometimes a psychologist (less expensive) or counselor (even less expensive) might be able to help with psychotherapy to help you confront and conquer your paranoid fears; however, only the psychiatrist (MD) is licensed to prescribe medications if needed. If you don't feel comfortable discussing personal matters with a stranger, just show the therapist this post and my response. He will know how best to approach the issue and your lack of comfort discussing it.
Good luck Dan.
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