Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

High Anxiety!!!!

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Peter6836:
I have been feeling very anxious as of late. I do have a bipolar disorder and keep it in check rather well. I am very adherent with my drug therapy. Both for my HIV and my bipolar disorder. The problem is that I have the impression that I am losing it. I have quit going to school for what would have been a second masters. I felt that the stress of a graduate program and working was just too much. I could not stand the due dates the traveling or the bantor of the younger students. I know that I am driving many of my colleges at work nuts with my concern for details. Sometimes the students frustrate me because they do not want to learn. I work in the inner city of Detroit as a teacher and deal with a great deal of pressure and stress. I keep immaculate records, write impeccable lesson plans, and teach daily, I have a pristine room and feel I do my job. I just keep feeling I should be doing more. I should get another degree I should teach more, I should have more money, I should be making more of a difference in the world. The kids in my class should be better behaved. and on, and on.
I have made an appointment to see my psych for a med reevaluation. In the mean time I am smoking like a fool, popping xanax and respriudol, crying at night and isolating from the world.
Cognitively I know that I need to relax physically I just do not seem to be able to do it. I am always thinking about the next proverbial shoe and waiting for it to drop.
My ID tells me my numbers are not bad. CD4 in the low 400's and viral load about 1,000. I just feel a constant nagging. For some reason I feel that I should be able to function as I did before my diagnosis, but another part of me thinks this is playing with my chemical balance. I know the the sustiva in the Atripla does have a psychotropic effect, but it is working well and keeping things steady.
I guess I just want to know if life will get better, or if things are as good as they can get. A big part of me is thinking I am not good at work anymore,,,,,,,,,oh god I have the I am not good enough thing going on.
Any suggestions would be well taken, although this cognitive therapy thing is not my bag. I end up playing mind games with the therapist, and well I haven't found one yet that can keep up, or put me in my place. I like experiential things, but I do not know if I can run to the ocean right now and play in the sand for a week to reorganize my thoughts. Then again maybe what I need is a week with Gabriel Roth and creative dance, or Anna Halprin and preformance art.
See even this thread seems anxious to me.

Andy Velez:
Peter, it sounds like what I call "my high school voice of death" shouting relentlessly and loudly in your ears. That voice which tells you you're not enough, you're too much, you can't do this, you can't do THAT and in every way is rough on you is the voice of death.

The life voice is gentle (and firm when necessary) and it encourages you gentlly to get on with your life. At least that's how it works for me.

It does sound like you have a lot going on. Amidst all of that make sure that you are breathing well. Anytime you become aware of being tense take some good deep and slow breaths in. It's amazing how much it can help.

Also, exercise is very good. It can be but it doesn't have to in a gym. Walking everyday for at least a half hour is good for the body and the soul. And it gives you a chance to get out of your head, which can be enemy territory. It allows you to look around at the world and to interrupt the incessant broadcasts in your head.

As far as school is concerned you're in all likelihood doing a lot more for those kids than you appreciate at this moment. It may strike you as nutz for me to say, but you can draw strength from your being with them, no matter how challening they are at times.

So now, please breathe.

And keep us posted on how it's going.

Cheers,

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