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HIV Life >> Living With HIV

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New User

Reged: 11/11/09
Posts: 4
From Social Butterfly to Party Pooper
      #248392 - 11/12/09 08:46 PM

I am into the second week of knowing my diagnosis. It has been tough. My best friend knows as do the guy that I am dating. My ex suspects it probably since I have attempted to reach out to him. Lately I have had a lot of anxiety about changing how I interact with people. I am a pretty social guy and I just haven't had the desire to be around my other friends. They are beginning to notice I think because I am pretty a happy-go-lucky person who is always down for a social moment. I am sad and I am not good at hiding my feelings. I hate lying to my friends which is making me feel guilty. I know I need time to process and get my arms around this thing. It is just so tough trying to put on a different face when I feel so devastated inside.....

Can anyone relate? Please share.....

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Reged: 05/06/05
Posts: 924
Loc: Los Angeles
Re: From Social Butterfly to Party Pooper new
      #248402 - 11/13/09 03:43 PM

Dear Preston,

What you are feeling is part of the process of adjusting to your new life as an HIV+ person. Since you are sad, I assume you have moved beyond denial of your diagnosis. In the future you may feel angry, or try to bargain with the virus and god by adopting a new llifestyle. In the end, if you are lucky, you will be at peace with being HIV+. Sadly, most people get stuck in the angry phase ruining the chance that they can attain happiness and peace in their lives.

You must work on moving through sadness to anger to acceptance. If you cannot talk to someone about your new status, keep a daily journal to write down your thoughts on being HIV+. Continue to post in these pages what you are going through. You should also talk to a good friend who can listen wihtout advice or judgement.

A big caution ---- depression is a serious disease that may be caused by the effect of HIV on the brain, particularly the hippocampus the part of the brain that regulates mood and behaviour. If you begin to think of suicide, gain or lose a significant amount of weight, experience a lack of concentration that effects your work, or begin to avoid your friends or favourite activites, you may be clinically depressed. Clinical depression should be treated by a psychiatrist. There are many anto-depressants to choose from and your psychiatrist should work with you on choosing a regimen that fits you lifestyle.

I was worried when I began treatment for my depression that I would become too drowsy to carry on my life as I want. The trick is that whatever meds you take should make you feel "normal" and not sleepy.

I began with 50mgs of Imipramine and have slowly added an additional 100 mg of Imipramine, Devaloprex, Resperidone, Seroquel, Lyrica (for neuropathy), Provigil and Lexapro. I am alert and able to get about the business of my day without trouble, so long as I get my afternoon nap (I am retired on disability due to AIDS complications).

One final point, you hve been given a great gift in your HIV+ status. HIV quickens life, which is to say that you realize the short but precious span of your life and awaken to a new zest for living. The most important thing you must do with your quickened life is to find your bliss and live it.

Your bliss can be anything from being a file clerk to a cardiac surgeon, or from tending a garden to political activism. Your bliss is what makes your time on this earth meaningful. This quickening of life caused by an HIV+ diagnosis is what I mean when I say that HIV is a gift.

Life is a river.
Carpe diem.

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New User

Reged: 11/29/09
Posts: 2
Re: From Social Butterfly to Party Pooper new
      #248626 - 11/29/09 04:38 PM

I know how you feel. I have been diagnosed for about six months now. I have always been a happy, positve person who was always down for whatever. Ever since I have been diagnosed I have been sad, depressed, and angry all the time. I have no energy to even been social and everyone around me sees the change in me. It has really affected me with work, friends and my current relationship. All I can say is take one day at a time. The storm will soon pass once you learn how to cope with your diagnoses. You dont owe anyone any type of explanation.

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