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

Terrible Social Anxiety/Treatment Ideas

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Here's the thing. You should NOT be on Atripla if you have underlying anxiety or depression issues. The Sustiva portion of that frug will mess you up something awful, and throwing more pills down your throat to counter the impact will ultimately prove pointless.

I URGE you to read the Sustiva/Atripla thread here:

to get an idea how powerful Sustiva can be. I don't feel like writing my own experiences down all over again, but they are there, along with a LOT of other people.

Bottom line: A person with a history of major depressive/anxiety disorder has NO business taking Atripla. Especially when there are SO MANY other drugs out there.

As to therapy, it's the hardest thing you will ever do, asking for help. But if you are dishonest with your doctor, who is areguably the most important relationship an HIV positive person ever has, then how are you helping yourself? A good therapist can give you the tools you need to conquer these issues when they arise, and I agree that a medication you can take "as needed" is WAY more important for anxiety than a broad antidepressant, whose side effects can (irony!) CAUSE anxiety and depressive issues such as lack of emotional affect and impotence.

Asking for help and pursuing it will be the hardest part. But if you value your life enough to take HIV meds, I submt that you value it enough to be your own hero in this instance.

Two other things that popped into my head:

1. People who jusge you need to be called out. If you can't do it in person, write their supervisor or licensing body. If they judge YOU, they are likely judging others. And people might be dying thanks to their incompetence.

2. I know you have trouble opening up to strangers... but here you are :) And you are surrounded by people who want to help, who have been in your shoes. And maybe these posts are being read by people who are STILL in your shoes, but don't even have the courage to post about it. You are already doing a lot of good, just by posting this topic.


--- Quote from: RobbyR on June 18, 2013, 09:50:30 PM ---Well for one thing because in the past when I attempted to tell someone about my anxiety issues, they acted really judgmental and weird and plus it's hard for me to open up to someone I don't know about this kind of thing. I think some kind of therapy will help me, but I just feel the need to get a better grasp on my anxiety first before I'd feel comfortable spilling my guts to some therapist.

It's about trust I have difficulty trusting people for various reasons and I am scared to open up to someone I don't know. A huge trigger for my anxiety is interacting with unfamiliar people especially if they are asking me personal questions.

--- End quote ---

Well you opened up to us, a bunch of strangers, and nobody judged you for having anxiety! And the idea of therapy is that the therapist IS someone you know, and trust.  Only an unknown person the first couple of sessions.

Consider that in therapy you are opening up to a known person, that's scarey... Because finally you are somewhat talking to YOURSELF in therapy... maybe that is more off-putting, than telling a kind stranger your troubles.

Also, yes, get off Sustiva.....

Jeff G:

--- Quote from: mecch on June 18, 2013, 10:17:24 PM ---Also, yes, get off Sustiva.....

--- End quote ---

 This ^

I have no scientific proof abut this but I think HIV itself can worsen anxiety.

I had never had anxiety or depression.  One of the first "symptoms" I had that there was something wrong with me was I would get these moments were I couldn't breath.  After I was diagnosed with HIV and they ran my 1000th test, it was determined that I had anxiety.

I take Xanax for it, but only when I need it which is now about once a month.  In the beginning it was much more.  If you are experiencing anxiety on a continual basis then Xanax isn't for you.  If its occasional then by all means.

Oh and stop the Atripla, when I switched to Complera it was like the whole world became much clearer and the anxiety did lesson (although it didn't go away).

I've heard about Atripla causing underlying anxiety to be worse, but I tried Complera on atrial basis last year & it made me downright depressed guess it was the eplivera or whatever component in it? The doc put me back on Atripla & added Paxil & a beta blocer to take as needed but I still have anxiety & panic. So maybe I should try a PI regimen. Or Stribild. My sense is that I'll need some type of medication for my anxiety even if I ditch Atripla because my anxiety has been around and has been pretty bad even long before I ever started Atripla. So my hunch is that it's underlying.

But I'm def going to consider therapy at some point, & switching HIV regimens. I've got to get off this ssri tho it's fucking me up!


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