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

Has HIV Made You Reclusive?

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Realist:
Yes

Joe K:

--- Quote from: thunter34 on February 15, 2011, 01:55:06 PM ---I'm wondering if it is some sort of PTSD or simply a return to childhood shyness or what.  I get panicked about meeting - or sometimes even just speaking to - people...even people that I know and WANT to interact with.  Most times, once I get around them I am fine...but then find myself anxious about calling them or seeing them yet again the very next time. 

I was a painfully sky kid who overcame it as an adult, but I act very much the same these days - until I get myself in the midst of a social situation.  Sometimes, having been diagnosed with BPMD, the manic side can take over and make me a temporary butterfly.  I then revert back to hermit mode, though...even though I don't necessarily feel depressed. 

--- End quote ---

How strange that I would find this post today, as I have been working on the very same issue. Based on what you describe and my own personal experience, I would say that all the issues you mention, play a part. While I have never been really shy, I am very reserved until I get to know someone and I hate going to social gatherings, but I do fine when I am there. I used to wonder why I felt this way, but now I understand why and so let me just throw this out.

Might your being reclusive, be a result of your avoiding social situations, because you were shy as a kid? Even though you know "intellectually" that you are no longer shy, you may have become predisposed or "hard wired" as a kid, to avoid gatherings, because you were shy and you did not like how it made you feel. I'm going through this right now, by looking at my own "hard wiring", with all the conclusions and projections that it involves. It's very hard to put into a few words, but think of it as you don't want to go out, because something about that, makes you very anxious and that you could be falling back on childhood feelings, that told you, to be safe, you stay alone or avoid crowds, maybe even because you felt there was something "wrong" with being shy.

If I make any sense, you can expand that to almost anything and it can be very hard to separate what you "feel" vs what is "real". Have you tried therapy? If not, I highly recommend it, as we share certain issues, like  PTSD and you would be amazed at the interconnections that exist, from one part of our experience to another. I think that by your asking these questions, you are ready to answer them, but I doubt you can do this alone.

This is something you can and will do, and if you ever need me...

thunter34:
Joe, you make a lot of sense.  And I've sort of been wondering this about myself...if maybe the time out of the loop from society during my initial sickness and recovery caused my to "fall out of practice" in social situations. 

Jeff G:
I feel the same way as you do for the most part . After I spent so much time alone it became the new normal for me and I find it a hard habit to break , still working on that one .

I look back and see another year gone and I still make excuses to be alone when its now my choice .   

Joe K:

--- Quote from: thunter34 on February 15, 2011, 05:29:27 PM ---Joe, you make a lot of sense.  And I've sort of been wondering this about myself...if maybe the time out of the loop from society during my initial sickness and recovery caused my to "fall out of practice" in social situations. 

--- End quote ---

Let me add this one as well, as it applies to me. I will avoid going out, because I am afraid of making a new friend, who will somehow become sick and die, abandoning me once again. It applies to my PTSD, I'm so afraid to meet too many people, for fear they will die. Rational thought? Hardly, but it used to "feel" so right to me. I overcame many of these feelings, by training myself to "short circuit" those thoughts, but to also understand how losing hundreds of folks, can "hard wire" you in not very useful ways.

That's why I suggested that you may have multiple issues at play here, with each one partially reinforcing the others and maybe you can identify some "core" issues that will affect all areas. If you go the therapy route, find one who challenges you and will not let you turn away from your real pain. Trust me, you will never conquer your fears, until you look them squarely in the eye. Most of all, realize that you can do this and so get off your ass and do something about it.

Personally, I think you might be too hard on yourself and I sense some feelings regarding self-worth and maybe even your right to be happy. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy, but in the end, if you don't like how you feel, then find out why and go from there.

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