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

Not the same after 3 years diagnosed

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Hello all,

I'm 32 years old and was diagnosed in 2009. I was with my partner since 2002 witch was very rocky towards the last few years. We stopped doing any kind of sexual stuff upon my diagnoses, it was pretty much dead with us the whole last year. We never officially broke up, but we both knew it was over between us. Now since we have been living with each other for the past 6 years and sharing household expenses and taking care of 2 pugs, it's been difficult to part after so long. Im currently still living with my ex-partner as if he is my roommate. I recently about a year ago moved in to the second bedroom. We still get along and have our little couple like arguments.

Since my diagnosis, I've noticed a wide array of changes in my life and some crazy depression. I've noticed my eating habits changing, where stuff that I used to crave and gorge on are no longer any interest to me. When I would go out to eat, I used to order everything on the menu. Now I order the kids meal and it's perfect.

Instead of naming all the changes, let's just say I've been loosing interest in food and daily activities. All I do is sit at home on the couch or lay in bed. I wanna go out and do something, I just have no ambition to do it.
I fell my problem is not having a partner to love. I haven't been able to go out and find someone, because I'm to ashamed to admit to the other person of my status.
I feel no one will want me now that I am "Poz".

I'm currently on Atripla, Welbutrin and a daily multi-vitamin.

I'm just not sure what do to in order to be happy again....

Orange County, CA

Sean, I know this saying is cliche, but you really need to be comfortable with yourself before getting into another relationship.

You say you're on Wellbutrin, but are you also seeing a therapist?  That's my suggestion to you.  You need to have talk therapy to go along with your antidepressant.  It's obvious you have some underlying depression, and that needs to be dealt with.  I would ask my doctor for a referral to someone, or if you have friends who have gone through therapy and could suggest a good one, that's another avenue.  Good luck.

Tough situation man. But do you think you are depressed just because you're single or is it something related to medicines? Is it the whole HIV stigma?

Being single sucks so I can relate. As for being poz well...I like to believe that a well-educated and informed person who cares for you will accept you and deal with any irrational fear. Many people here in this forum are in relationships with negative people so don't lose hope.

But you're young....theres are many things you can still do and you live in Orange County, an awesome place. Try to be positive, its not the end of the world at all.

Hiya Shaun,

I agree with Betty -- anti-depressant combined with therapy might be helpful in getting you on track and able to see the issues clearly.

Concentrate on yourself. Relationships can be nice, but you gotta hang with yourself for a lifetime.

Hug to you.

Hi Shaun.  I know where you're coming from.  I'm 61 and was diagnosed 2 years ago and it led to a breakup with my young lover.  It's hard to know if it was the diagnosis or the breakup that put me into a serious depression. I agree that you should try some talk therapy, but it doesn't necessarily need to be with a paid professional. I have one friend in particular who is really good at listening to me and intervening only lightly in my life by inviting me to do things, or even by telling me about an event, a film or whatever that I might want to go to with someone else.  The people who might be most helpful won't necessarily be your closest friends.  Some of my friends are delightfully ditzy and have nothing to say that's useful. And people that I don't see that often are sometimes the ones who make me feel best. Depression is lousy and when I'm depressed I'm not always aware of it.  But if you're withdrawn and sleeping a lot, letting your home get messy, drinking too much, not taking care of your appearance, forgetting to pay bills (or just not caring) then regardless of the reason you need to get out of the depression and back into the word.  Talk and antidepressants are the most obvious routes back to good mental health. I also wonder if it's a good idea to keep living with your ex.  I doubt that in this situation you would ever feel comfortable inviting a new date for dinner, for example.  BTW one of my strategies is to invite people for a meal; I have to look good, think about others, spruce up my home and be "on" for a few hours.  For me it works like a charm.

When I'm depressed I hate it when cheery people just tell me to buck up (happens all the time).  Don't let them piss you off, just try to get back into the world and (forgive my prying) get rid of the ex so you can be on your own.  Get a new room mate.  Move to a new place -- literally and figuratively.


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