Question

Hey doc xxxxx from coffs in australia here. Havent spoken to ya in ages would like to say everythings going good but dont wanna lie. I Feel like I dont know who i am anymore got real sick when i was first diagnosed got better but have been heaps stressed and stoped caring bout anything just when i thought things couldnt get worse they have my girlfriend xxxxxx who also positive has left me and im about to go to jail i could never have dreamt my life would turn out like this and i dont know where to start. I feel like im not living just waiting to die. Depressed i guess but noone understands or takes the time to know why. Anyways all the best just thought id say hi.

Answer

Hey XXXX,

Sorry to hear your news. Stress and depression are common complaints of HIVers. The girlfriend problem may be related to your current psychological problems and state of mind. It's difficult to be around really depressed people, even when you care for them very much. The jail issue is particularly worrisome. Is there any way you can get out of doing jail time? Will your HIV physician intercede on your behalf for some type of reduced sentence based on your health issues? It may be worth a try.

For your anxiety and depression, you need an HIV-knowledgeable psychiatrist. Psychotherapy (counseling) and antidepressant medications can be remarkably effective in improving both your psychological and physical well-being.

I would urge you not to give up and just wait to die. I can assure you I never dreamed my life would turn out like it did either. None of us have any control over the cards we are dealt in this game of life. However how we choose to play those cards is totally up to us. Why fold now when you are still very much in the game? Just because your luck is currently down doesn't mean you can't turn things around. You mentioned you got really sick when you were first diagnosed, but then got better. The getting better part can happen again.

Don't give up. Fight back! You've always got a friend here, OK?

Dr. Bob