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Author Topic: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES  (Read 2782 times)

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Offline Cliff

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Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« on: July 03, 2006, 08:25:31 AM »
PN’s five minute guide to lifting spirits

http://www.positivenation.co.uk/issue116/treatment/treatment1/treatment1.htm

By: Patrick James

1 Be good to yourself

Society puts so many negative connotations on HIV, it’s easy to develop guilt and self-loathing. Remind yourself HIV is only a virus, not a moral judgment. Some of us may have been a bit daft in catching it but we are not to blame. There is no logical reason why we have to give ourselves a hard time. In the UK we now have the drugs to keep the virus under control compared with 30+ million who don’t. Learning to love and like yourself again and enjoy life is an important lesson.

2 Get professional help

When we see someone with a broken leg, we all know they need help and support, so why does society offer so little to people with depression? HIV clinics are now beginning to address mental health problems and offer referrals to psychologists and psychiatrists. It takes a brave soul to admit there’s a problem and ask for help, but it’s not as scary as you would imagine. Self-medicating with recreational drugs and drink is no substitute and can make you feel worse.

3 Seek support

Psychological and emotional support from others with HIV, who have lived through similar experiences, makes you realise you’re not alone. Your positive brothers and sisters can give practical tips to safely navigate through living with this illness that doctors, family or negative friends would never understand. Most local HIV charities have safe, non-judgmental peer support groups for people with HIV. They are an invaluable starting point on the road to recovery and feeling better about yourself.

4 Get out more

Isolation is a common cause of depression and mental distress in people living with HIV. Staying at home mulling over your problems can make them seem even more insurmountable. Humans are social animals and we need each other for health as well as happiness. Even walking around the local park can lift a negative mood. Better still, start an exercise programme, sport or hobby which makes the brain release natural endorphins, so-called ‘feel good’ chemicals. As well as making you feel instantly better, you’ll become fitter and more confident about your body, too.

5 Treat yourself

Having something to look forward to, be it a night out, a trip away or a holiday, will lift your depressed mood. And giving yourself a treat you know you deserve will make you happier and more optimistic. So why not have that trip to the sales or even that week in the Spanish sun this winter?

6 Talk to friends

Most of us find out who our real friends are when we tell them we are HIV positive. Some surprise us with their empathy and understanding while others run a mile. Don’t blame yourself; ignorance about HIV is rife in our so-called ‘enlightened’ society. If you’re isolated and depressed, getting out of the house and visiting friends can lift your mood and make you see your problems in context. The band of brothers or sisters living with HIV can become your most supportive friends and allies. Community activism has made a major difference for people with HIV and is now being copied in other disease areas.

7 Look after both your body and mind

Learning to cook with fresh ingredients, rather than throwing a frozen meal in the microwave, will improve your nutritional health and provide a sense of self-worth. Developing pride in how you look and giving time to your appearance will not only cheer you up but also make you more attractive
to others. Feeding the mind and soul is also important. Don’t just rely on easy media, like TV, but listen to soothing or uplifting music to raise your spirits. And don’t be afraid of reading books, for pleasure and relaxation as well as expanding the mind.

8 Get creative

Writing out your feelings or expressing them through painting or the arts is a wonderful way to release pain, give feedback to the mind and move on from the quagmire of depression. Many of history’s greatest writers and artists were manic depressives and used their artistic skills not just to tell a story but to express their fears and hopes as well as their dark secrets. Try it. You’ll be surprised how good you actually are and how interesting your story can be.

9 Get a pet

Research has shown that people with pets have lower blood pressure and are more relaxed and focused. Pets actually work as therapy and giving unrestricted love to a dog, cat, or even to a goldfish will give you a friend, a focus and a sense of proportion. Make sure you’re not allergic to them, though.

10 Get a life!

Many people with a major illness like HIV can become so obsessed with coping with their disease they seem to put the rest of their lives on hold and stop functioning. Every waking hour is spent thinking about their plight when the best solution is to move on. It can sometimes seem impossible to get on but medical advances in HIV medicine mean most of us will not die of something associated with the virus but with some disease related to old age. Building a future, saving for retirement and trying to enjoy life and be happy must be major priorities for us all. It’s an old cliché, but we only have one life and it’s up to us to make the most of it. People with HIV are often risk-takers, otherwise we wouldn’t have ended up with this condition. So don’t be afraid to move on. Remember: the greatest risk in life is to take no risk at all.

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2006, 08:31:35 AM »
Building a future, saving for retirement and trying to enjoy life and be happy must be major priorities for us all. It’s an old cliché, but we only have one life and it’s up to us to make the most of it. People with HIV are often risk-takers, otherwise we wouldn’t have ended up with this condition.

Saving for retirement... "ending up" with hiv... is the author poz or neg?? ??? i will try to re-read this later today, w/ a better frame of mind

Offline Cliff

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Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2006, 09:01:59 AM »
I personally don't know his status, but would assume he's positive.  You don't think saving for retirement is a good thing for people living with HIV?  Admittedly it's not a one-size fit all list, as many people are unable to save for retirement, but where possible one should don't you think?

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2006, 09:11:57 AM »
11. Save the lists for Dr. Phil

These kinds of lists are so Oprah to me...and frankly a little patronizing.


ps. I am using the money that I would normally put into retirement to pay for my shrink, fresh food, and my pet. He's right, I am daft.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2006, 09:38:19 AM by Dachshund »

Offline Life

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Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2006, 10:06:36 AM »
Is an Oprah an OI I have to worry about?  Is Dr. Phil an ID Doc?

Offline Cliff

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Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2006, 10:40:08 AM »
ps. I am using the money that I would normally put into retirement to pay for my shrink, fresh food, and my pet. He's right, I am daft.
Ok, so unlike the rest of the world, you, Hal, have limited funds with unlimited needs.   ::)  I take it the list isn't for you.  That's okay, we are all free to take or better still, IGNORE advice.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2006, 10:48:56 AM »


Don't worry about me...this daft, little risk taker will be soaking up the winter sun in Ibiza.

Hal :P

Offline Robert

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Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2006, 11:00:04 AM »
I like lists.  Things on there keep me ticking.

Right now I'm finishing up breakfast (see #7), then I'm going outside, behind the pump house, and row for an hour (#7), then to Home Depot to buy paint(#4, 8,) with Michael (#6) and the "kids" (#9) and flirt with the cashier(#'s 4,5,6). We're painting both the inside and the outside, (#10) "building for the future" and getting ready for Michael's mother, sister and boyfriend who are coming to visit in the fall. (#10)

I do all this so I can be (#1) "good to myself".

robert
..........

Offline penguin

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Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2006, 11:03:03 AM »
as with most things self-help, s'a bit simplistic, patronising even to some...but i think the general idea is in the right place. Perhaps more of a pep talk for the newly diagnosed?

and hal, i now have visions of you " 'aving it large" (as they say over here) in the party capitol of the baleariacs...good plan, mr dachshund  8)

Kate

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2006, 11:13:00 AM »


  Cliff,

  Good list...   Robert that was friggin awesome!

Thomas
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Steven

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    • A Place To Start
Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2006, 11:18:04 AM »
I saw nothing wrong with the list.
Now if your going to tear into something and just pick it apart well the
intention is good and needs being told to many people especially those who are just finding out their status.


Offline ademas

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Re: Top Ten tips for banishing HIV WOES
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2006, 12:16:48 PM »
I think sage advice is usually fairly simple, much like an old adage.
The list was a good reminder of things I already know and still need to work on.

 


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