POZ Community Forums

Main Forums => Someone I Care About Has HIV => Topic started by: sheeppainter on July 12, 2010, 03:14:37 pm

Title: depression...etc.
Post by: sheeppainter on July 12, 2010, 03:14:37 pm
My partner is HIV+ as of winter 2008. His CD4s were at 284 and he began ARVs in April of '09 (Atripla) Presently undetectable and at about 384.
He was never sick in his life. never saw a Dr. Didn't even know how to read a prescription bottle...never had one. Always very active. The happiest most joyful person one would ever meet.

i watched the joy suddenly disappear with rarely a glimmer to return. I have never and would never leave him. I am HIV-. I have even begun Nursing School for HIV care.

I have patiently hoped that he would start to deal with this in a more positive way. But it is always overly stressful andlittle hope in sight. We were planning on immigrating to another country. At present, his status in our current country has become "undocumented" and he is terrified (rightly so). He can do nothing. In his country of origin, he would never be able to get treatment. He would never be able to get Atripla. He would never be able to work. In the country we are in he cannot legally work. I have lost my job, my house, my business and all my savings. We discovered his HIV status (although tested last negatively, consistently, three months prior) via the immigration process. It was devastating. Our visa application was denied and we have appealed, with little hope.

He sees his life as over. He can go no where. He can never see his family. He cannot work. He is terrified to leave the house for being deported. he has no real friends. (We have told none of our friends) From being active, and sports-oriented, he has become lethargic, depressed and sedentary. He does exercise at home fairly regularly, but only when urged.

I have tried to be positive. upbeat. Supportive. I try not to judge. To validate, but do not hesitate to tell him my own feelings or opinions.

One of those opinions is that his greatest enemy is NOT the HIV virus right now, but stress. Worry. Fear.  But this is just my belief. I am a strongly spiritual person, though he is not. Does anyone have any suggestions? I always feel like I can and should do something, yet I also know I cannot control others. I have recommended antidepressants, only because I suffered from depression for many years, I know the symptoms, and I know how devastating it can be. But he won't have it. He doesn't believe he is depressed. Doesn't believe he needs them. Hates "pills".

His CD4s dropped from 412 to 384 last test. The Dr. says that this is not necessarily a "bad" thing because the "ratio" of CD4 to CD8 is actually "better". Is this sugar-coating? Is this accurate? because that small drop has made him even more depressed.

He does see a "therapist" once every two weeks. I doubt the helpfulness. he never discusses it. he brought up my recommendation for antidepressants and the therapist asked, "Do you think you need them?" he replied, "No." Are there any more naturopathic/homepathic remedies that are not contraindicated?

Every sore throat, he is terrified. Was it accurate for me to say, "Your viral load is undetectable and your CD4s are not at a dangerous level." My thinking is that you are NOT more susceptible to colds or flus etc unless your CD4s are actually lower. Is this correct? I get sore throats this time of year where we are at because of pollution and allergies. But he seems to think he will get deathly ill every time he gets sick. I want to be clear. IS he more susceptible to get much sicker? Is there something I can read, or have him read, to perhaps quiet those tensions? Apparently, while in agreement with the Dr. at the time, he doesn't believe it. All he thinks about is getting horribly sick and dying, never seeing his family, and never being able to travel or move anywhere, ever again.

It is a horrible way to live and I cannot even imagine the pain.

But what can I do?

We have no money. Nearly homeless. Little means of survival. I am in school only because I need work and I got a scholarship. Every day is a struggle. Every day is very stressful. Every day is fearful. What is the best way to combat this? It certainly cannot be good for immune system.

And lastly, what are some ways that perhaps people have been successful, even if temporarily, for raising CD4s. If they do not get above 500 for his immigration blood test, we are surely doomed. I have heard "bananas" and "tagament" in some instances, with no real clinical proof....but any other suggestions?