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Author Topic: constantly sad, scared, anxious  (Read 1112 times)

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Offline nervous2000

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constantly sad, scared, anxious
« on: August 21, 2013, 12:15:31 AM »
Hi,

First off I'm going to say that it's really tough for me to be here right now. Even though I know I'm typing this in private, I have not really spoken to anyone about this for the past two years. Quite frankly, my life has been pretty miserable during this time. Approximately two years ago, I was date raped on a casual night out. I haven't told anyone, and I've pretty much just kept this quiet and moved on with my life.

Truth is, I don't think I am even that preoccupied with the incident that happened so much as I've been terrified of having gotten Hiv from this experience. From what I remember, since I've played this scenario in my head almost daily ever since it happened, is that the man did not use a condom but pulled out to ejaculate on my body. Immediately after that I've been obsessing over thoughts of having been infected. I've never even thought much about Hiv prior to this, so I don't know why I obsess about it so much unless my body is just subconsciously telling me that I have it.

I go through ups and downs, where I start feeling okay even though the worry is always in the back of my head. I also get depressed out of the blue and focus on all the details of the night that plays in a loop over and over again in my head that I can't seem to stop. I've joined just about every forum there is online related to this disease just to ask questions that I know are really meaningless in the absence of a test.

I know I have to get tested, but I think I really just wanted a place where I could talk to people about this. I've gone through the emotions of being embarrassed, ashamed, and scared of having gone through an experience I never thought I'd have endure.  I've been combing through these posts in recent days and it makes me quite emotional to see how kind and supportive everyone is of each other and I think I really need that in my life right now.  I'm scared for my future and for the life as I know it. Most days I feel like I'm already mourning for who I once was. My anxiety and obsession with hiv colors everything I do.

In the past two years, I've been dealing with some health issues that I've never experienced prior to the incident. A month or so after the date rape, I suddenly had intense acne all over my face, and this lasted for several months--something that was completely new to me. Also, throughout the past year what I feel is a lymph node in my armpit has been swelling then going down. It is a big moveable lump between my breast and my armpit on the left side. Recently there is a lymph node in my throat that I feel anytime I swallow. Reading the posts on people who have just been diagnosed terrifies me because I see these symptoms match some people's stories.

I'm really at my wit's end living this way, but I can't push myself forward either. I hate what's become of my mental state, and I haven't enjoyed anything in quite a while now. Even when good things happen, I start panicking over what happened 2 years ago and the possibility of being sick. I know this isn't a forum to have my hand held but unfortunately, I think that's all about what will calm me down right now.

Thanks for taking the time to read. It really means more to me than you could imagine.

Online Jeff G

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Re: constantly sad, scared, anxious
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2013, 12:36:57 AM »
Hi Nervous . Im terribly sorry about what you have endured , rape is one of the most heinous crimes a person can suffer through .

We are an HIV forum and I must offer you advice that may be hard to hear after what you have been through . I think if you could bring yourself to seek counseling or see a therapist you may then follow through and get that HIV test you need .

None of the things you have mentioned are specific to HIV . I urge you to get the help you need so you can begin to heal and address the issue of testing . You could even use the oraquick test at home if you choose but in light of your anxiety I would think it best if you had support when you test .

Do you have a friend or family member or a member of your church if applicable that you can trust and confide in . You need to test and you need support , whatever order you choose it will put you on the road to healing .

What do you think you need in order to move forward ?

Offline nervous2000

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Re: constantly sad, scared, anxious
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 12:53:14 AM »
Hi Jeff,

Thank you for your post. I have been considering going to therapy for this, because I don't think there is any other way I would be able to go test on my own.

I have wonderful friends and a family I am very close with, but I am a reserved person by nature and I don't like talking about issues like this. It frustrates me to be living like this and I know that on the surface the answer is very obvious: just get tested. I just don't think I can handle the worst case scenario.

For so long now I live in fear constantly thinking that every cough or stomach pain, head ache could be related to hiv. If I am out with friends and happen to feel tired or unwell, I rush home immediately to look up my symptoms/read forums online. I feel like I am in this horrible standstill in my life, but moving forward is tough.

I find myself constantly thinking about 'what if' in regards to the past. What if I had stayed home that night, what if I had more knowledge of this disease back then and started pep the next day. These thoughts drive me crazy and fuel my anxiety. I consider myself a pretty rational person in general, but when it comes to this, I just freeze!

Online Jeff G

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Re: constantly sad, scared, anxious
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2013, 01:08:21 AM »
The odds are in your favor that you do not have HIV and I understand how testing for HIV is tied in to a traumatic event but the only way forward is to test or to reach out and find the help to deal with the trauma so that you can move on with your life .

If you cant bring yourself to seek help you are choosing not to move forward . I wont ask you to promise me anything but I will ask you to promise yourself that you will end this indecision and suffering this week by telling a friend or family doctor , someone , what's going on .

If you refuse to do this things are not going to change , if you wont help yourself with this first step then no one else can do a thing .

Offline Ann

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Re: constantly sad, scared, anxious
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2013, 05:45:15 AM »
Nervous,

Getting a positive result isn't actually the "worst case scenario" you may face. NOT getting tested and being positive IS, because if you don't test, you'll eventually find out when you end up in hospital fighting for your life with a totally preventable opportunistic infection like PCP pneumonia. You could feel fine one week and be near death the next.

So the ball is in your court and you have two choices. Don't test and continue to worry about it when chances are good that you're not actually positive, or if you are positive, risk the chance of an horrible and unnecessary death.

Or you could just test and get it over with and put yourself in the best possible position to live a long and healthy life. Yes, you CAN live a long and healthy life with hiv, but only if you know you have hiv and get treatment. If you do test negative, that's one less thing you have to worry about.

You really need to know either way.

Stop with the excuses. Go test and get it over with. Regardless of your result, you'll thank yourself in the long-run.

I also urge you to seek out counselling to help you come to terms with being raped. All the stress it's put you under can actually be the root cause of your physical problems.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline nervous2000

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Re: constantly sad, scared, anxious
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2013, 10:12:46 PM »
Thank you for the post, Ann. I know that everything you say is right. It's just really hard for me to shake these feelings of depression right now. Is it normal to feel so depressed even before testing?

I guess a lot of this anxiety is coming from the experience itself, rather than the scary possibility of having hiv, but I don't know why I've latched on to it to obsess over. I run scenarios in my head where what if he told me he had hiv but in my unconscious state I somehow couldn't remember, or that what if he told me he was an injection drug user. Are these thoughts even rational?

I'm afraid that my crippling fear of hiv is preventing me from getting help for other physical issues I may have. I know I will test- I just hope I'll muster up the courage soon.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: constantly sad, scared, anxious
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2013, 12:24:39 AM »
Thank you for the post, Ann. I know that everything you say is right. It's just really hard for me to shake these feelings of depression right now. Is it normal to feel so depressed even before testing?

I guess a lot of this anxiety is coming from the experience itself, rather than the scary possibility of having hiv, but I don't know why I've latched on to it to obsess over. I run scenarios in my head where what if he told me he had hiv but in my unconscious state I somehow couldn't remember, or that what if he told me he was an injection drug user. Are these thoughts even rational?

I'm afraid that my crippling fear of hiv is preventing me from getting help for other physical issues I may have. I know I will test- I just hope I'll muster up the courage soon.

I think it happens a lot, especially since the media (and the web) is so full of outdated information that would make the most stalwart perosn hesitant to discover his status.

But here's the thing. Like any monster, you only have to turn on the light (in this case, read the current info) and the monster is suddenly not so scary.

Testing positive today often means a pill a day, with few if any side effects. And in three or four years, maybe a pill a week. Or a treatment every six months. And... and ... well, that's it.

The monster is de-fanged at this point. We are working on de-clawing it.

However, NOT getting tested, and ending up in the hospital with no cd4 cells and a raging viral load is still another story. Bringing someone back from that is a lot more difficult. It happens every day, but it's not easy. And it means months or years of being unwell before that beast is leashed.

PLEASE don't be that person whose fear of getting tested leads to the worst case scenario. HIV, if caught even remotely early, is perfectly treatable and (though five years ago I would have not said this) hardly an interruption in your life's dreams.

You know, untreated syphilis is also fatal. And would you not look funny at the person who dies of it these days? Get tested. Know your status.

The monster in the light has a zipper down his back and teeth made of foam. It's the monster in the dark that you are afraid of, and that's the monster you feed each day you refuse to turn on the light (and get tested).

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline ScaredyKatty

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Re: constantly sad, scared, anxious
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2013, 06:52:50 AM »
Quote
Obsessing over thoughts of having been infected.

My anxiety and obsession with hiv colors everything I do.
 
I haven't enjoyed anything in quite a while now. Even when good things happen, I start panicking over what happened 2 years ago and the possibility of being sick.

Just want to say, I recently went through a situation when I thought I had HIV. I was having similar thoughts for a year. I couldn't live like that anymore, not knowing...Try and bite the bullet and get tested, you will feel a lot better. My result was negative and it took a few days for it to fully sink in (the doctor said that might happen). I also thought about what might start happening to my body if I was positive and knew I had to take responsibility.

Online Andy Velez

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Re: constantly sad, scared, anxious
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2013, 08:43:09 AM »
Katty, I know you posted here out of the best intentions. But our firm rule on the site is that members can only post in their own threads. Please remember that rule and do not write in the threads of other members. Thanks for your cooperation.
Andy Velez

 


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