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Author Topic: Hello and would appreciate advice  (Read 3693 times)

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Offline flaconvert

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Hello and would appreciate advice
« on: May 14, 2012, 01:21:41 AM »
Hello everyone.
My name is John and i found out i was positive in  January of 1989. For the most part my physical health is ok but  i have had to deal with major depression and anxiety for years. I haven't seen a doctor or taken meds for a couple of years. I won't bore you with the reasons but the bottom line is i am tired and i dont care if i live or die anymore. I work in the healthcare field and it is getting more and more difficult- both mentally and physically. I dont know how much longer i can handle the stress. So here is my question: when is it time to consider going on government disability? Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks  john
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 01:29:30 AM by flaconvert »

Online leatherman

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 02:28:11 AM »
when is it time to consider going on government disability?
only when you are ill enough to need disability.

If your health is well - meaning if your tcell count and viral load are acceptable w/0 any OIs - you would probably not be eligible anyway. Unlike in the past, with the potency of the meds on the market today, and the ease with which they can improve the quality of life for an HIV+ person, disability is often not needed - and is much harder to obtain nowadays because of the vast medical improvements since the early 90s.

I would suggest, before you seek out the means to receiving disability, that you seek assistance from a doctor and perhaps medications. HAART can stop and reverse issues you are having with HIV, and a doctor and/or counseling and medications can possibly help with your depression issues.

Regardless of whether you choose to let your condition continue untreated or whether you seek to turn things around, you will definitely need to begin to have medical services ASAP. As you have been without medical care for some time it will require even more of your time until you get the proper medical proof of your disabling illness just to be able to apply for disability.

best wishes to you and I hope you get the proper medical care you need soon to help with your issues. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline aztecan

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  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 09:36:32 AM »
Hey John,

While you say your physical health is OK, your mental health sounds a bit dicey.

It might be possible for you to qualify for disability for mental health reasons, because, as pointed out above, your physical health doesn't seem to provide the qualifications.

But, the Social Security Administration, which mades the disability determination, won't go on your word alone. They will need documented evidence that you are indeed disabled.

That means that you will need to get back into a doctor's care, and possibly a psychiatrists care.

If I were you, getting back into care is the first step I would take. 

Keep us posted on how things are going and what you decide to do.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline weasel

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 11:03:47 AM »


   Hey  John ,

                When you can no longer do your job .

    I agree with Mark .  Get into  therapy  ASAP .

    You may not get SSDI   with   HIV   , But if you are a mental mess ?

    I do know you must document  EVERYTHING !  No matter how trivial  it may
      seem  to you . 

     I hope you start seeing a Psychologist soon !

                                                             
                                                 Be well ,  Carl

   
" Live and let Live "

Offline flaconvert

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 04:16:00 PM »
Thank you everyone for the advice. I will be signing up for services at the local ASO hopefully next week. john

Offline Joe K

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 09:41:01 PM »
Hello everyone.
My name is John and i found out i was positive in  January of 1989. For the most part my physical health is ok but  i have had to deal with major depression and anxiety for years. I haven't seen a doctor or taken meds for a couple of years. I won't bore you with the reasons but the bottom line is i am tired and i dont care if i live or die anymore. I work in the healthcare field and it is getting more and more difficult- both mentally and physically. I dont know how much longer i can handle the stress. So here is my question: when is it time to consider going on government disability? Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks  john

Hey John,

I'm sorry to hear about your depression and anxiety and I hope you know, that feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness are not to be ignored.  I've been on SSI for 15 years and I get it for my mental illness, not because of solely being poz.  What you describe is not normal, nor is it healthy.  There are things you can do right now, to address these issues, otherwise you will have no chance of presenting any case for disability coverage.  I had years of medication and therapy for my mental illness, along with another decade of declining health, due to being poz and what is paramount, is that all of my issues were documented.

My understanding is that getting approved for SSI or SSDI is much harder now, especially when you have no documented evidence to back up your claims.  Yet putting that all aside, you need some help and I think you realize that and maybe that is what brought you here.  I know what it feels like, to have nothing left to feel.  I have felt the emptiness of despair and hopelessness, once resulting in placing a loaded gun in my mouth.  I've had moments when it would all be easier for it all to simply go away.  But I don't think that's what you want.  I sure hope not.

Please find someone you can talk with and starting with your ASO is a great idea.  No matter what you may decide, please don't wait to talk with someone.  Nobody should ever face mental illness alone.  Only by going beyond yourself to get help, can you find the help that you so desperately need.  Please take care of yourself.

Joe

Offline deibster

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 12:35:17 AM »
Welcome John, I hope you are going for help with your depression. I did not keep any special records to get disability, but then I had been on medications for ten years for both hiv & major depression. I had a neurologist write that stress, work, was making my health worse. I had gastric ulcers which helped to back up the stress claim. Therefore, my medical records were my documentation.

I had to go to a psychologist for SSDI & a psychiatrist for my pension plan. Maybe I'm a better actor than I realize. They both agreed with my applications for disability. All I know is that I feel much better without the stress of commuting & working. I pray that you are starting to feel better.
Hugs from Provincetown, Deiby
Poz since Dec 1992. Meds since 1995. Disability since 2005.

Prezista/Norvir, Epzicom, Cytomel, Prevacid, pravastatin, Fenofibrate, Remeron, Zoloft, Concerta, doxazosin, Allegra180, Nasocort, Centrum, Flax Oil, Fish Oil

Offline idee

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 11:53:47 PM »
HI,
 I have depression and anxiety and I found that seeing my doctor was the best choice for me. I used to get angry with my depression. It did not end until I was exhausted. And then I slept really well.
 Now I take medication for my depression. I am happy most times, but there are times when I am out right bored.
 Boredom is my biggest problem. Now that I can gather my thoughts I can get things done. Leaving me with so much time.
 Hope you find a doctor and get the help you need.

Offline Theyer

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 04:06:54 PM »
Just wanted to say Welcome John and add my voice to the others about getting some help for your problems .
michael
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline OneTampa

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 09:54:52 PM »
Welcome John and I co-sign what others have posted.

Please take care of yourself.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline aztecan

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  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2012, 11:49:19 PM »
Thank you everyone for the advice. I will be signing up for services at the local ASO hopefully next week. john

That is a great step. Please keep us posted on how things go.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Online leatherman

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2013, 05:21:43 PM »
Hey Flac!

I see you posted over in the "Introduce Yourself" thread and wondered how things have been going for you since you last posted last year. It's been a long time since we heard anything and inquiring minds want to know. LOL so I was wondering ??? if you got any assistance, went onto meds, saw a therapist, or got hooked up with an ASO?
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline flaconvert

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2013, 06:32:39 PM »
Hey Leatherman- thanks for noticing that old comment. I got no help from my ASO. Very disappointed in that organization. Anyway, I finally went to the health department and found out my t-cells were at 112 and a very high viral load. I was broke and did not want to be homeless or a burden to my family so i started back on meds for hiv and depression. I have started working again and I am slowly feeling better but still cautious about slipping back into despair. I have been fortunate with my physical health but not so mentally. My depression can be crippling. I am going to try to make connections with other HIVers here and locally. Thanks again and looking forward to hearing from you and others.  john

Online mitch777

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2013, 07:54:34 PM »
Hey Leatherman- thanks for noticing that old comment. I got no help from my ASO. Very disappointed in that organization. Anyway, I finally went to the health department and found out my t-cells were at 112 and a very high viral load. I was broke and did not want to be homeless or a burden to my family so i started back on meds for hiv and depression. I have started working again and I am slowly feeling better but still cautious about slipping back into despair. I have been fortunate with my physical health but not so mentally. My depression can be crippling. I am going to try to make connections with other HIVers here and locally. Thanks again and looking forward to hearing from you and others.  john

Hey John,
Sorry I didn't do much digging in reading your previous posts. Glad to hear you are back on meds!!
Depression can be debilitating. Are you being treated in any way for it? Mental health is just as important as your physical health. Hopefully others here will have ideas/avenues to find help.
Improvement with your depression will make a big difference in coping with other stressful things in your life. Bla, bla bla..... but it does help. :)
Best wishes.
m.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline flaconvert

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2013, 08:52:33 PM »
Mitch- you are right about mental health. I have talked to psychologists, taken all sorts of meds, participated in support groups,  etc. but have always struggled with major depression. I have just come to accept it. Right now i want to reach out to other LTS and develop an online support system while i feel up to it. I know that sounds a little cheesy but i have always been shy and introverted and the local ASO does not have much of a support group in my town. Thanks for making me feel welcome. I hope i can add something to the forums.  john

Online leatherman

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2013, 12:47:20 AM »
Hello again John ;)
I got no help from my ASO. Very disappointed in that organization.
wow. sorry to hear that. Maybe if you mentioned where you live someone might have some information that could help out. What was the problem? did you make too much $$$ or something? he he he like Mitch says sometimes, I'm just nosey. LOL Really I'm just trying to find out a bit more so maybe you could get some really appropriate advice

Quote
so i started back on meds for hiv and depression.
wow. that was some info you gave us too. 112/high VL. I sure hope you're doing better than that now. ;) Hope you're dealing with the meds ok. goodness know they're a heck of a lot better than back in the old days.

the local ASO does not have much of a support group in my town.
that's a problem in a lot of places because in a lot of places there just aren't that many pozzies. There used to be one here at my local ASO (in semi-rural SC) but when no one was attending they finally called it quits - and that was all before I even moved here 3.5 yrs ago.

But if you can't find too many people locally, you always have us! Sometimes it's hard to find people in RL (real life) who really know what you're talking about anyway and/or who been through since the 80s/90s. But a bunch of us who have survived from back then (all my friends from back then have been dead since back then. ouch!) are hanging around here. Heck I came to this site a long time ago because I was afraid I might just be the only one left from those days and boy was I glad to find the other LTSs around here.

so remember we're always around if you want to talk about things; but just don't wait a year to respond next time. LOL
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Theyer

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  • Current ambition. Walk the Dog .
Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2013, 06:02:40 AM »
It does not sound cheesy or whatever it sounds brave and doing what is best for you.

So there.

Michael
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline flaconvert

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2013, 04:34:37 PM »
Hey all- I live in Orlando and there used to be a good ASO but it seems that it is now more bureaucracy than help. They don't even sponsor a support group anymore. The local gay community center has an hiv group that is attended by about 8 people a week. I attended a few times last year but i was the only LTS and at the time i was hoping for a few more kindred souls. I may try to attend again in the near future. Right now i have to take baby steps or i will get overwhelmed and say the hell with it all.

As far as hiv goes i am now on Stribild. Lab work performed in July but doctor would not tell me t-cell or viral load numbers over the phone. Kind of silly though, he told me all the other results! I go for an office visit first week of August.

Anyway enough about me. Glad to be getting out there again.  john


Online mitch777

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2013, 05:33:43 PM »
he he he like Mitch says sometimes

Mikie, if you're gonna quote me get it right! It's "tee hee". ;D
Mitch- you are right about mental health. I have talked to psychologists, taken all sorts of meds, participated in support groups,  etc. but have always struggled with major depression. I have just come to accept it. Right now i want to reach out to other LTS and develop an online support system while i feel up to it. I know that sounds a little cheesy but i have always been shy and introverted and the local ASO does not have much of a support group in my town. Thanks for making me feel welcome. I hope i can add something to the forums.  john
I am by no means a mental health/depression expert. As a matter of fact my depression is relatively recent and my psychiatrist has given me a prescript for Viibryd. I am waiting to start it until after AMG Chicago as it has an initial (I hope ...only) side effect of Die Rear Die. I can have enough GI issues at times and would hope to make a better first impression. ;D
Enough about me.
One thing I might suggest is that there are new meds out there for depression. Viibryd being pretty new. Who knows, it might not work but I will be posting my experience with it.
Another thing to consider is as nice and understanding as your current (?) therapist is, he/she might not be the right "match" for you. I am new to therapy myself. :-\
Anyway, I think you will find another source of support here.
m.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline flaconvert

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2013, 05:51:02 PM »
Hey Mitch- I am not familiar with that antidepressant. Hope it works for you. To be honest i have been on so many different antidepressants over the years that i have lost count. I currently take Celexa and i think that will have to be it for now. I know i could be more aggressive with treatment but there are more pressing issues that need my attention. I think if i rebuild my hiv support network that will go a long way to improving my mental outlook.

Question for you: what is AMG Chicago? I tried to find info about it but came up short. thanks   john

Online mitch777

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2013, 10:22:33 PM »
Hey Mitch- I am not familiar with that antidepressant. Hope it works for you. To be honest i have been on so many different antidepressants over the years that i have lost count. I currently take Celexa and i think that will have to be it for now. I know i could be more aggressive with treatment but there are more pressing issues that need my attention. I think if i rebuild my hiv support network that will go a long way to improving my mental outlook.

Question for you: what is AMG Chicago? I tried to find info about it but came up short. thanks   john
I hear you loud and clear and understand. :)
Hopefully the Celexa is helping somewhat. The merry-go-round term seems to be used a lot when it comes to antidepressant meds. Understandably so, as it can be a struggle to stay on the Ostrich hanging onto a pole, riding waves. :)
 Other pressing needs... I think you are on the right track.
Rebuilding support is so important. The people here have made me smile and made me cry.

Oh, and AMG... "Aids Med Gathering". A once a year get together in a different city. This year, Chicago. You can read about it in threads you will find in the "Forum Gatherings" section.
Lots of fun I hear. This will be my first venture in meeting those who I have come to know and love here. :)

Hang around!
m.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline flaconvert

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2013, 11:06:40 AM »
thanks for the AMG info. I guess it is too late for me to plan a trip. Hopefully next year. john

Offline Theyer

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Re: Hello and would appreciate advice
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2013, 04:37:19 PM »
Hello John.

How are things going, and how where your first results , at least I think they are, after you started on your combo.

If I remember your t-cells where 110 , with a actice viral load . Tis a pity the support group in the Past did not have any other LTS, is that still the case ?

Let us know how things are,

michael
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

 


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