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

Fear of being depressed

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osric:
Hi folks, this is my first post here so please bear with me.

I've been in treatment for the past three years for major depression and anxiety, lost my job, my house, my long term partner and ended up on disability for two years. Just as things seemed to be getting better, I went for a random STD screening and found out I have HIV.

Things got dramatically worse. My state of mind took a major nosedive. I became suicidal, started hiding, stopped going to see my doctors, and got really afraid of leaving the house.

After a few months of this I finally reached out to a local aids service organization and got some help there from a case manager. He convinced me to start seeing a therapist again and helped me with some financial and health insurance issues (I'm in the US).

So i see a therapist every week now but the suicidal thoughts have come back big time since my doctor put me on Neurontin to help deal with a neurological problem I have (unrelated to HIV).

The thing is, I'm healthy and my body is controlling the HIV on its own. My viral load is near underectable and my cd4's are over 1000. So I'm not on any HIV meds.

And the pont of this post was to say that people like me are severely depressed despite being infected with HIV. HIV hasn't caused this, I'm just normally f'd up because my life sucks. HIV is just one aspect added to the other things that suck.

I dread fiddling with my psych meds since I got really addicted to klonopin and celexa at one point (and now know what it's like to experience withdrawal from two psych meds at the same time). I swear I've taken every antidepressant known to man and they all just turn me into more of a useless blob than I am right now.

One of my big fears (theme: fear) is talking to people about feeling suicidal. I know what will happen if they feel I am a threat to myself. I worked in a private psych facility for several years when I was in college, so I know what locked wards are like. And I know how to lie my way out of anything and tell doctors what they want to hear.

I'm rambling. I know I should go tell my psychiatrist that I'm losing it again and get into a day program so they can monitor my psych meds. But I dread it.

I can't imagine e side effects of taking HIV meds ever being worse than this. I expect I'll have to take them some day, but for now I'm just struggling wi my own mental health issues and trying to keep it together enough to make it to the next day.

Ok I don't expect anyone to read this far, but I really needed to vent somewhere that I could be anonymous and not feel so alone.

Glad I found this forum.


(Typos are courtesy of the iPad and autocorrect.)

Ann:
Hi Osric, welcome to the forums.

You say that the suicidal thoughts came back after you started neurontin - so maybe that's the med you need to tweak, rather than your psych meds. Maybe the neurontin isn't playing well with the other meds you're on.

I'd suggest you speak to your doctor about what other meds may be suitable as a replacement for the neurontin before you start messing with the psych meds you've taken so long to get right.

Hang in there. I hope you find relief from this problem soon.

Ann

Buckmark:
Welcome.  I'm glad you posted.  It's not always easy to talk about suicidal thoughts, but it's the right thing to do.  Otherwise they just stay inside your head, and continue to build on themselves.  With a good therapist or psychiatrist you should be able to talk about this openly, without fear of being "locked up".  Unfortunately, I know how hard it is to find good mental health professionals.  Still, unless you have made plans and are on the verge of taking actions, you should be able to talk about this with your psychiatrist and therapist.  Just mentioning that you are thinking of suicide is not cause for them to lock you up.  I've talked about it with my therapist many times, and have not been committed (although he does ask if I am in "imminent danger" -- he's got to ask).

I also know what it's like to feel that you have tried every anti-depressant under the sun.  It can be a long and involved process to find the right meds, or find new meds.  I think Ann is right when she suggests talking to your doctor about neurontin and potential substitutes, since you believe that it has contributed to your depression.  Talk to your doctor. 

You're definitely not alone.  And, remember that you are fortunate that your HIV is under control without meds -- that's one burden you don't have to carry.  So after you call your doctor to ask about the neurontin, please call your psychiatrist and/or therapist!  The more you isolate, the worse your depression will be, so just the act of reaching out can provide some short-term relief (just like you reached out here!).

Regards,

Henry


--- Quote from: osric on February 19, 2012, 01:28:04 AM ---Hi folks, this is my first post here so please bear with me.

I've been in treatment for the past three years for major depression and anxiety, lost my job, my house, my long term partner and ended up on disability for two years. Just as things seemed to be getting better, I went for a random STD screening and found out I have HIV.

Things got dramatically worse. My state of mind took a major nosedive. I became suicidal, started hiding, stopped going to see my doctors, and got really afraid of leaving the house.

After a few months of this I finally reached out to a local aids service organization and got some help there from a case manager. He convinced me to start seeing a therapist again and helped me with some financial and health insurance issues (I'm in the US).

So i see a therapist every week now but the suicidal thoughts have come back big time since my doctor put me on Neurontin to help deal with a neurological problem I have (unrelated to HIV).

The thing is, I'm healthy and my body is controlling the HIV on its own. My viral load is near underectable and my cd4's are over 1000. So I'm not on any HIV meds.

And the pont of this post was to say that people like me are severely depressed despite being infected with HIV. HIV hasn't caused this, I'm just normally f'd up because my life sucks. HIV is just one aspect added to the other things that suck.

I dread fiddling with my psych meds since I got really addicted to klonopin and celexa at one point (and now know what it's like to experience withdrawal from two psych meds at the same time). I swear I've taken every antidepressant known to man and they all just turn me into more of a useless blob than I am right now.

One of my big fears (theme: fear) is talking to people about feeling suicidal. I know what will happen if they feel I am a threat to myself. I worked in a private psych facility for several years when I was in college, so I know what locked wards are like. And I know how to lie my way out of anything and tell doctors what they want to hear.

I'm rambling. I know I should go tell my psychiatrist that I'm losing it again and get into a day program so they can monitor my psych meds. But I dread it.

I can't imagine e side effects of taking HIV meds ever being worse than this. I expect I'll have to take them some day, but for now I'm just struggling wi my own mental health issues and trying to keep it together enough to make it to the next day.

Ok I don't expect anyone to read this far, but I really needed to vent somewhere that I could be anonymous and not feel so alone.

Glad I found this forum.


(Typos are courtesy of the iPad and autocorrect.)

--- End quote ---

osric:
Thanks Ann & Henry.

I talked to my doc and we discontinued the Neurontin. I was taking it to control a tremor and now I'm shaking like a leaf. Oh well. I'm going to give it a couple of days to see if the thoughts subside. No plans at all, just that nagging feeling of desperation an feeling that I want to die :(

The forums here have been helping immensely with my mood. It's a relief to be able to share in a safe and nonjudgmental space.

Thanks so much for all your support!

BT65:
Osric, I can relate to your feelings.  But as Henry said, a person usually has to have a plan to carry out suicidal feelings, just having them is not cause for a lock up.  That's the way it is where I work, which is an ASO.  If one of my clients says he/she is feeling suicidal, I have to find out if they have a plan.

Because really, a lot of people have feelings from time to time of wishing to be dead rather than alive.  Life brings many stressors alone without adding HIV to the mix.  And a lot of people don't handle stress well, including me.  There's still feelings of being stigmatized if needing professional mental health assistance, and a lot of people keep this to themselves, keeping the feelings of hopelessness churning around.

I think it's great you have a doctor who will work with you, and also a therapist and psychiatrist.  A good therapist is hard to find, but if you have one, please use him/her.  I would suggest being totally honest and seeing if there is something specific causing the suicidal feelings.  A lot of times it can take talking with someone skilled in dealing with these issues, to uncover exactly what it is that's bothering us.  And once the problem is identified, dealing with it, especially with someone else helping, can get much easier.  Good luck!

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