back again - more scared than ever (ANOTHER I'M POSITIVE I'M POSITIVE)

Question

Dr Bob, so sorry to bother you again, but I'm so scared right now and always turn to you when I get this way. You said that I'm a looney tunes fluffernutter, but I think you'll have to agree that something is very wrong with me. Last time I listed my symptoms, which are very troubling, and you said it was related to my anxiety. BUT, now the bottoms of my feet are burning and of course when I looked this up, it is caused by HIV/Aids. Of course, why would I think it could be anything else?

Combine that with the sores in my nose and mouth, the red place on my tongue, the night sweats, the weight loss, the swollen nodes, the weird bumps and spots on my skin...

It can't just be anxiety Dr. You tell me its anxiety because I took an oral fluid test that came back negative (my husband and I both did) but the fact is, that test was wrong. A year later I'm falling completely apart.

With all these symptoms, I know that means I'm developing Aids. How much longer do you think I have before I contract a deadly opportunistic infection? A year? Less? More? I know it must be different for everyone, and I know I should go get my diagnosis, but a part of me wants to believe I'm wrong, in spite of all these symptoms.

I'm living my life as if I were positive, it's all I think about. I can't believe it happened to me, which must be a common thought, but it's one I can't get past. Nor can I get past my fear to go and get tested.

I'm allowing myself to die slowly Dr. Bob and I've never been so scared in my life.

Please respond even though you must be tired of me. These symptoms do point to HIV. I'm not just having anxiety.

Answer

Hello,

Yes, you are indeed back again and more scared than ever. And yes, I do agree something is indeed very wrong with you. But it's not what you think! What is wrong with you is that you continue to be an anxious wreck; a totally looney tunes fluffernutter maximus who refuses to believe irrefutable evidence that she is not HIV infected. That you are "living (your) life as if you were HIV positive" speaks volumes about the depth of your psychopathology (nuttiness).

I'm not tired of you (or any of the other fluffernutters). It's just that I am not a psychiatrist and your problem is psychiatric. I'm an HIV specialist and your problem's definitely not HIV. Consequently, I don't have much to offer, other than reassurance and repeated advice that you see a psychiatrist to address your totally irrational fears.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob