This is closer to where I sit on the mental side of HIV (&AIDs) I've developed an interesting social anxiety over the last few years.
I've known about my HIV status since 1990. As a mother, a wife, I'm expected to tend to certain social details in life. Up until recently I've flit & fluttered around obliviously, living a normal life. As normal as can be anyway.
Lately I drag my heels to avoid ANY AND ALL larger public gatherings. Those I can successfully avoid altogether make me a happy camper. I echo the sentiments of valuing quality time, maintaining a de-stress zone whether in my home or away. All of those self-preservation tactics we tend to incorporate into our lifestyles. KWIM?
I expect the anxiety is related to the number of years I've maintained my good health and paranoia over all the little "bugs" (germs) "out there". I don't want to wreck the system. Some of it is also frustration due to social stigmas living in a smaller community.
My concentration level is decreased. But I thought it was because I have kids and a husband who enjoy driving me nuts (j/k), and maybe a family history of ADD. (undiagnosed, but speculated)
I've tried to self-medicate my mental/emotional/hormonal basket case self with coffee, music, relaxation-breathing techniques, sleep. I also (attempt to) keep my mind healthy(ier) with online games - or games with the family. Word, number, stategy, etc. Reading helps too.
Hi Btony. Interesting what you, and ScotCharles, say about reacting differently now to crowds. I'm a bit the same, not greatly, but a bit. With me I think it may not be an effect of the ART drugs but to do with feeling the need to cosset myself, protect myself, look after myself. I used to be very social too and I would be found in all the crowded places, but now I feel the preciousness of time much more and so I want quality environments. Quality environments are environments which also don't impose stress upon me. I find that with carrying this burden of HIV, attending to the daily dosing with rigid discipline, dealing with the continual side-effects, is stress enough. It eats up a lot of the energy that used to allow me to cope with crowded places.
Bloom Where You're Planted