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

Wow. I'm really frustrated.


Hi. I've been dealing with major depression since August. I was infected with HIV in May.  Anyway,  I started St. John's Wort in September and so far it's been working like a charm.  So I had a very stressful show last week and literally danced for 3 weeks straight with no break.
My anxiety came back during that week after it lessened dramatically with therapy.  I'm very comfortable with my therapist who is also gay.

Anyway, all of a sudden all of my symptoms came back 2 weeks ago and I've been pretty debilitated for the last few days.  It's like the St. John's Wort stopped working.  I tried Celexa but I couldn't deal with the side effects.

Here are my questions:

1)  What do you do if you feel like your therapy sessions aren't going anywhere anymore?
2)  Does anxiety worsen depression?

I've been doing research on Sam-E, St John's Wort, and 5HTP as herbal, powerful depression and anxiety supplements. St. John's Wort uses the same pathway as many of the HIV meds to process - so while there'll be positive results, taxing the liver with having to process them seems a bit defeating. The effective dose of these herbal supplements is important: titrate up slowly. So is cycling them so your body absorbs and compliments their actions.
Here's the great thing. So far as I can tell, Sam-E not only has positive depression, anxiety, no side effects and a different liver processing pathway,  it has healing liver healing properties as well.
I'm finishing up a last couple of books on it right now, and have scads of web searched files.
I'll post if you're interested.
One recent philosophy we've really taken to heart in our home recently is" it's not happening to us, it's happening for us."  I certainly don't mean to suggest we're not experiencing physical-ness with this dis-ease - but the spiritual/peace-of-mind payoff from applying this to all things seemingly good and bad certainly helps.

If you are on aidsmeds please make sure you check with your doctor before starting supplements. For example it is a major no-no to take St. John's Wort and Atripla. My suggestion before changing therapists or relying on supplements, you discuss your concerns with your therapist. Being honest with your therapist just might relieve a bit of your anxiety. Remember, we shouldn't diagnose over the internet and you should take nothing recommended by a forum member without discussing it with your health professionals first.

Andy Velez:
Shadow, when you feel your therapy isn't working tell your therapist about it. In detail. Exactly what is not happening that you want and what you think he/she is doing wrong. Be real specific if you can about what's going wrong.

It may turn things in a new and better direction and if it doesn't then you will have given it your best shot. Which will increase the likelihood that a subsequent therapy situation will be more successful.

What else is going on in your life? And how are things going today?

Keep us posted.

thanks to everyone who responded.
It looks like physical exhaustion, extreme anxiety, and 2 months of St. John's Wort (I'm not on meds) made my depression worse.
It goes in waves I guess, but it has gotten so much better since August--the anxiety and depression.
I'm very functional and can get stuff done which is good.  I just can't help but feel I'll go from mild depression to severe again like I did weeks ago.  It's hard to be hopeful.

 Anyway, Andy thanks for the advice!! I felt veyr empowered when I communicated my feelings which made me think I could control my depression :)  I had some weird breakthrough over the weekend which is good.  I go from feeling hopeful to hopeless in a matter of days but it's improving as time goes by.
 So, I was prescribed remeron yesterday for my anxiety/depression but I've been reading people's experiences on it and I'm afraid to take it.
I'm very sensitive to all drugs (sometimes not good) and alcohol (which is good). I may just wait a couple of weeks and see how i feel.
Oh and i got a mild case of shingles (first time) on Monday! Jeez! I didn't know what it was and luckily started Valtrex yesterday.  Hopefully things will calm down after final exams. Phew!


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