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Living With HIV

Watch for depression. Depression, and all other side effects, can be treated.

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Learn the signs of depression such as being in a funk for an extended period of time or not being interested in activities you love.

Depression is generally treatable.

If you get stuck in a down mode:

  • Tell your HIV specialist or your primary care doctor. He or she may prescribe anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications. 
  • Consider seeking professional counseling such as a Consultation-Liaison Psychiatrist (a psychiatrist who specializes in helping people with life changing conditions), a psychologist or a social worker. Counseling is for anyone who wants to sort out what they're feeling. Counseling is usually done in person. If that is not possible, you can arrange for therapy on the telephone, or even on line. If your insurance doesn't pay for counseling, many therapists work on a sliding scale and charge according to your means. 

Do what you can to relieve stress. For example, start doing things to make you feel in control or that help you feel centered. For instance, think of a small project you can start and finish quickly. During stressful periods, eat foods that are comfort food for you, even if they’re not the healthiest.

Side effects which can accompany HIV disease such as fatigue or neuropathy are also treatable. Speak with your doctor.

NOTE: You do not have to live in pain. People tend to think that if they have a health condition, they have to have pain. That is not the case. Speak with your doctor. 

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