Find Your Purpose
Do what excites you. Rediscover your gifts and talents -- or take the time to develop new ones. Find time to serve others. These are among half a dozen critical pieces of advice our mental health expert David Fawcett, Ph.D., suggests can help you gain and maintain a sense of personal control -- which, in turn, can improve your general health.
Whether it happens on the day of their diagnosis or evolves slowly over time, people living with HIV often rethink their sense of self. "Having a sense of purpose is correlated with lower stress, better health outcomes and an improved overall sense of well-being," Fawcett says. Shock, shame and stigma can throw all of that off balance -- but those same obstacles make it all the more important that you find your center and gain confidence in it.