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Author Topic: "Shrink Time"  (Read 4132 times)

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Offline Life

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"Shrink Time"
« on: July 04, 2006, 08:03:54 PM »
I have thought about it, but never acted on seeing a shrink..  I don't think I am falling off a cliff or anything, I just wana feel better.   Do I need to find a shrink that deals with HIV/AIDS and understands a "gay brain"..   Has others had any positive experience with this that was benificial.  My only fear is once they have you, they have you for LIFE... :o

Love

Offline RapidRod

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2006, 08:25:41 PM »
Eric, I needed help at one time and went to see a shrink. I don't know who helped who the most. She had just lost her husband to a man and she was having more of a difficult time than I was. But one thing I got out of all the sessions, was a good friend. I don't think that you have to necessarily look for shrink that deals with HIV/AIDS, gay or straight. More so, is finding one that is a good listener.

Offline kiki06

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2006, 10:51:53 PM »
I've went to a counselor off and on throughtout my years dealing with HIV, I'm actually currently seeing one that's helping me tremedously. I can say that having one at least knowledgable in HIV has helped me, I've had one that wasn't and one that only saw HIV patients and she seemed to understand my fears/anxieties more.

The key is finding someone you trust and sticking with it. Good luck!
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.
           Mother Teresa

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2006, 11:01:47 PM »
Dear Eric,

I have had a few shrinks in my life.  It goes with living in L.A., a chicken in every pot, Prozac in every nightstand and a drive through plastic surgery clinic called "Jiffy Boob."

A shrink does not get you for life, they get you by the hour and can be fired just like the grounds keeper or the maid.  When they start saying, "What I hear you saying is..."  It is time to find another because they are not listening.  Have the best day
Michael

www.Commission-on-AIDS.org
 

Offline AC_72

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  • Life is what you make it!
Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2006, 11:20:51 PM »
  My only fear is once they have you, they have you for LIFE...

Eric

I saw a therapists and was on meds for 2 years.  (All pre-HIV, so I can't speak to that aspect.)

As Kiki mentioned, it is key to find someone you can trust and completely open up to.  The comfort zone allows you to really get down and explore the core issues are and work to resolve them yourself.  I was initially on a VERY high dosage of meds daily, needed to keep it together.  After I started working things through, the meetings became fewer and fewer and I eventually weened myself off of the meds.  Haven't gone back since....and learned quite a few lessons that are helping me deal with my new "status" currently.

Therapy & meds don't have to be a forever thing, but in my opinion, they are a good support when needed.  I'm a firm believer.

You seem to have a great deal working in your favor.  If/When the time comes, you'll know if you should quit all together, gradually, or simply for the time being - leaving the door open for the future.

Caring Support!  :)
Infected:  Feb 2006
Diagnosed:  May 2006
05/02/06:  332,  >500,000 VL
06/22/06:  338,  >500,000 VL
--------><-------
12/01/07:  w/meds <75 VL

Offline otherplaces

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2006, 11:27:05 PM »
Eric,

I started seeing my therapist about a month before I was diagnosed. It was strange synchronicity. I actually went to him to deal with TG issues...and the next thing I knew I was diagnosed with HIV. He use to work in an AIDS clinic pre-HAART doing therapy. HIV is a big part of his practice. So, out of the worst luck I was magically in really great care. And he definitely was pretty much the only person that I feel really helped me through such a dark time. I would suggest you see someone who knows HIV because my experience is that you need someone that you can discuss your lab results and their various meanings with. It can be complicated and the last thing you need is to try and explain what your VL trend means to your therapist.

I haven't seen my therapist in about two months mainly because of money, but there's no reason you're going to get trapped seeing a therapist. Just feel it out. I'd still like to see him, but it's nowhere near as important as it once was...so I guess he did his job.

brian

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2006, 12:00:11 AM »
I can safely say A Shrink saved my life. In 1984, I was so freakin lost and scared it was not funny. I saw Elnora, and older lady in her late 60's. It was the best thing I had ever done for myself. Without A doubt. So if you are thinking about it, well go for it man. Like anything else you need to find some one you feel comfy with and trust, but it is well worth it if you find a good one. Let's face it:Life ain't easy, even without HIV/Aids.  I would not be writting this post had I not seen Elnora. ...To this day I'll never forget what she told me when I asked her (in 1984) "How Long do I have to live, Elnora?"...She paused and looked me square in the eyes: "Jeff ole buddy, expect to live forever." For some reason those words were very comforting at the time.
Positive since 1985

Online Andy Velez

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2006, 09:19:40 AM »
Hi Eric,

I think the most important thing for you is to find someone you feel you can work with -- whom you can talk with. That person can be a man or a woman, gay or straight. The important thing is feeling "this is someone I can talk to." Use your instinct about that, and also about whether you prefer a man or a woman. I know that some feel if they're gay it has to be a gay therapist. And if that's what you want, then by all means go that way. In my experience it's more important that the therapist is someone you feel you can connect with, whatever their gender or sexual orientation.   

Don't over-analyze about it when you meet someone. If you just listen to your inner voice you will know pretty quickly if it's the right person for you. And though this is difficult to do sometimes, if you have reservations about the person you see, speak to them about that. Otherwise your unexpressed doubts (and resentments) will become a barrier to a successful treatment experience.

By telling your story as truthfully as you can you increase the likelihood of attaining whatever it is you want in your life. It can be an amazing journey as you get to know, accept and appreciate the person you are.

Good luck with getting started and if it's helpful to you, keep us posted on how it's going.

Cheers,
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 09:22:56 AM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline aztecan

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  • Posts: 5,398
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2006, 09:34:58 AM »
Hey Eric,
I would ditto what everyone else has said. I, for one, feel that taking care of your emotional health is just as important as taking care of your physical health.

If you are hooked up with an ASO, they could probably refer you to someone or may know if they are HIV savvy. While not of supreme importance, it could be beneficial working with someone who understands HIV issues as well.

Taking good care of yourself is very important for you, for your honey and, I must add selfishly, for us.

HUGS,

Mark

(Who is still sweating his ass off!)

"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline kcmetroman

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2006, 09:55:45 AM »
There are therapists out there that deal with HIV and sexuality issues.  Like Mark said, your ASO would have a comprehensive listing.  I think that anybody who is HIV+ has a need for therapy, and those who claim otherwise, are in their own form of denial.

Good luck Eric

Offline carousel

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2006, 09:56:28 AM »
1
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 11:43:07 AM by carousel »

Offline bear60

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2006, 10:57:22 AM »
No Eric.....they will never HAVE you. Often therapy is for a limited amount of time.  It depends on how serious the problems are. I am thinking of phobias....fear of flying...once you can get on a plane ok....therapy is over.
But I think you should consider this:::::::
1. A shrink is a psychiatrist, do you need a shrink? Are the problems you want to work out deep seated fundamental problems (I hate myself and am clinically depressed) ...or are you simply not happy because you obcess over how white the whites are in the laundry.
2. A Psychologist or a counselor can do as much for you as a psychiatrist but they cannot prescribe drugs.
3. In my search for a counselor or psychiatrist I talked to several and ruled out the psychiatrist.  I chose a GAY pysychologist. I really do believe that some people in this field are still homophobic. You have to be careful who you choose.  Talk to friends...your doctor....get a list from the ASO....whatever.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 11:00:03 AM by bear60 »
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Life

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2006, 11:29:56 AM »
I appreciate all the feedback and it really helps me know that there are others out there that have benefited from a knowledgable, friendly, caring "shrink".... I just sometimes feel I am overwhelming William in all my "stuff" and I just want to give him a break from my worries as well as maybe get rid of this stuff.   Its just like, HIV this HIV that... It gets really old for him and for me...  I dont feel suicidal anymore and NOT for a long long time, but I just sometimes just feel down and out..  Being in support groups (AA) for years, that is all fine and dandy but you don't usually walk into any of the meetings we have up here and say "Hi I'm Eric, I am an alcoholic, I am gay and by gosh,  I have HIV to!..  Whoopee".   Plus I dint think the feelings I feel relate to this group anyway...

Being in the mountains, we dont have a ASO here, its all down in Denver.  I would sure like to find a good GUY up here that can help...  I will start putting out my feelers for someone.   This is all sorta exciting.. He / She is going to love hearing my crap!!!   

Thanks again Joel, David, Jeff, KC, Mark, Andy, RapidRod, Kiki & AC for all of your advise... And I am sure William is going to hug all of you for helping keep his husband's sanity in tact... ;D

Love
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 07:09:50 PM by Eric »

Online Andy Velez

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2006, 11:36:07 AM »
It's great that you want to do this for yourself, Eric. Good luck with finding the right person for you.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline bear60

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,104
Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2006, 11:37:22 AM »
Eric...you dont need a shrink if you just want to open up to someone who is paid to listen.
Anyway....I dont like shrinks ( especially the Freudians).  A friend of mine is married to one and guess what he just did.....made the whole family move to New Zealand because he didnt like Bush's politics and THEN decided.....no I really just want a divorce. So now she is stuck in f***king New Zealand with a son and a husband who wants a divorce.
But he....oh he has a great paying job with the government of New Zealand.  She on the other hand is not sure how she will survive.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Life

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  • Posts: 2,388
  • Member 2005
Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2006, 12:11:37 PM »
Joel, Ill be careful...  I think Dr. Ben has some connections up in my valley and can assist me in finding the right guy..  Plus, I ain't never moving..  My home is here and always will be..  And for me and Will, we are joined at the hip till the end of this little circus...

Love

Offline bobik

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2006, 01:31:10 PM »
Hi

My shrink, a very nice elderly lady, taught me how absolutely normal my reactions were. It was very reassuring and I never needed her again.

So I think your idea that a doc wants to keep you for life is not that realistic.  ;)

Coen
Coen Honig at Facebook

Offline Christine

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2006, 06:27:46 PM »
Hi Eric,
I see a psychiatrist for medication management, and then a counselor for talk therapy. I started going to the counselor first, then started seeing a psyche Dr when I felt I needed meds. I think two things are important for seeing a psychiatrist, one that you connect with them, and if you don't go find another. Second, is that the psych doctor is comfortable working with hiv meds. I went to a psyche Dr a few years ago, and her eyes almost bugged out of her head when I showed her my med list....found a new Dr right away.

The Dr I see now is very nice, always checks all my meds to see if there is any reaction with the depression meds,

Christine
Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline lydgate

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  • Virgin, can't drive
Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2006, 09:57:03 PM »
Hey Eric,

It sounds like you already have a psychiatrist, since you've mentioned being on Paxil. Also that you have ADD (don't know whether you're taking meds for that). Then again, anti-depressants and other psychotropic drugs can be prescribed by any MD, so I don't know. Your Paxil is a pretty low dose; one option you could consider is "bumping up" slightly to 15 for a while; you can always reduce to 10 in a few months' time.

It does sound that you need/want to see a therapist or counselor rather than a psychiatrist (who's basically there for med management). I won't repeat what others have posted, it's all good advice. I'll only add that they don't "get you for life." I'm not seeing a therapist at the moment, even though I have my "issues." In a sense, I'm therapied-out -- too much of it over the years (including four years of classical psychoanalysis, five days a week, lying on the couch etc). IF I go to see a counselor again, it'll be a for a few sessions, eight to 12 at most, just to deal with immediate and practical problems rather tha probing into the depths of my terminally weird psyche. As Andy said, don't over-analyze at this point; you might need talk therapy for a few weeks or a few months or even longer, but at this point just focus on finding a savvy and compassionate guy/gal who'll listen to all the stuff you've been going through for the past year.

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline Life

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2006, 11:09:03 PM »
INT. PSYCHIATRIST'S OFFICE - DAY

            PSYCHIATRIST
      That's very interesting, Harold,
      and I think very illuminative.
      There seems to be a definite pattern
      emerging.
         (taking copious notes)
      Your fondness for useless machines
      and demolitions seems indicative
      of your present emotional state,
      your self-destructive urges and
      your alienation from the regular
      social interaction. What do you
      think? And of course this pattern
      once isolated can be coped with.
      Recognize the problem and you are
      half way on the road to its
      solution. But tell me, what do
      you do for fun? What activity
      gives you a different sense of
      enjoyment than the others? What
      do you find fulfilling? What
      gives you that certain satisfaction?

            HAROLD
      I go to funerals. :)

Well I dont go to funerals, but I like to hang from high places and look over edges which causes William greif....  I think they will boot me out and say go FUCKING LIVE YOUR LIFE MORON!!  But I guess I need to pay someone to tell me that..  Lets hope... 

Love

Offline lydgate

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Re: "Shrink Time"
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2006, 11:28:31 PM »
Well, therapy often gets a bad rap -- I blame Woody Allen for that (you know, the addicted-to-analysis self-indulgent neorotic New Yorker thing). A lot of people also think: I have a good support network, I can talk to family and friends about my problems, why do I need a shrink? And pay for it! But that's sorta the point; family and friends aren't objective (though they're necessary); and paying someone to listen (or having your HMO do it for you), believe it or not, can be extremely liberating! (Lots of arcane theorizing about the money-aspect of the "therapeutic partnership" which I'll spare you.)

I think if your instincts are telling you to talk to someone apart from hubby and friends, you probably should. And often it's not the conclusions that matter (we usually know those anyway); it's the route we took to get there. (Think of the bathtub scene in "Pretty Woman.")

Jay

ps -- don't, please don't, hang over ledges and edges (remember another scene from "Pretty Woman"?); I had an ex-boyfriend who did that and it caused me immense anxiety. :-*
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

 


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