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Main Forums => Pre-HAART Long-Term Survivors => Topic started by: MarkintheDark on July 27, 2018, 02:52:03 pm

Title: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: MarkintheDark on July 27, 2018, 02:52:03 pm
I'd like some feedback from those of us who are LTS.

I've a long history of clinical depression, pre-HIV dx.  I've used therapy and meds with mixed results over the years.  I'm now facing additional stressors and my SSRI isn't doing squat.  First step is to get with a therapist, then psychiatrist.

My only choice is AHF, which thankfully has several offices in my city.

My impression was this first therapist was awful, worse than an intern.  Her so-called specialties were "everything."  She had no grasp of differences facing the newly-diagnosed vs. LTS.  It was all the same to her or "whatever comes up."  I was pretty shocked at what I perceived as her lack of depth, for someone with AHF.  I diplomatically educated her a bit.  I was a gentleman about it.  But I walked after less than 30 minutes.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: LongTimeSurvivor on July 27, 2018, 09:54:14 pm
Keep looking...
Title: Re: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: em on July 28, 2018, 01:46:39 am
I know it is not a laughing matter but this joke I heard a long time ago I thought worth mentioning.

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?

One but the lightbulb has to want to change.

sorry much better than the more common joke when someone is upset confused or not doing what someone wants them to do. To ask Are you off your medication! which angers me every time I hear it . it must be something wrong with me because I hear it quite often. I just want to scream NOT FUNNY expletive expletive !

My feeling on it is some in the field of mental health are worse then hard core religious true believers. with the you just have to believe and it will come to you and all will be well and even great if you just do not give up on it and take the pills they are the answer to everything ?  just like the religious counterpart GOD will answer  and GOD will help just believe. so many accompanying doubts. I have found you can not rely on either to truly find what you are looking for like the joke about the lightbulb it has to be found inside you to want to change. 

sometimes I feel those in the mental health care will say things just to see how quick you are to get angry so they can fill their quota of mental health intakes at the hospital like if they fill so many a month they get  bonus check form the psych ward. 

maybe you get out of it what you put into it ? and religion it might the same just something to believe in.

I hope you the best in finding help with depression

 I asked a healthcare provider one time what they thought I should do ? they said ever think about getting a pet ?

I had wanted some profound enlightening answer to the problem of living . but what they said now many years later was actually  good advice.


sorry if this a lame response drifty of point and not what you are looking for but maybe it might help





Title: Re: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: harleymc on July 28, 2018, 04:17:09 am
Ok so I'll ask the question which is begging...
 'Is ther any difference in psychological /  psychiatric states between newly diagnosed and LTS?

By the way what are you referring to with the 'diagnosis'? The mental health condition or HIV infection?  I only ask because you mention you have had mental health issues since before your HIV diagnosis so it seems that HIV is not causal.

I'm not having a go, I'm just trying to understand your original post and why you got angry with your therapist.

You asked for out thoughts.
Title: Re: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: MarkintheDark on July 28, 2018, 09:18:43 am
Thx for the responses guys, especially @harleymc.  One reason I ask is to get some outside perspective and clarify my thoughts.

By the way what are you referring to with the 'diagnosis'? The mental health condition or HIV infection?  I only ask because you mention you have had mental health issues since before your HIV diagnosis so it seems that HIV is not causal.

The depression dx was the result of a suicide attempt a few years before the HIV dx, tbh.  I've come to understand my history over the years, the whys and wherefores.   The HIV, to answer your question, exacerbated existing issues.  I also have come to understand the biochemical nature of the depression (i.e., it's not "the blues," as such).

Ok so I'll ask the question which is begging...
 'Is ther any difference in psychological /  psychiatric states between newly diagnosed and LTS?

What I've learned the past few years, as well-referenced in this particular forum's many personal stories, is that there are issues facing us pre-HAART survivors simply b/c we ARE LTS.  We're the generation that watched our friends die at an alarming rate - for a time I was attending funerals monthly, in the U.S. we're also the pre-ADA crowd who, in my case for example, were thrown out of dentists' offices, we've been the guinea pigs for treatments that have made today's meds possible, some of us have dealt physically-altering side effects like crix bellies or humps, we've dutifully swallowed multiple pill combos.  Many of us were handed a death sentence by our doctors - I was given 5-7 years - and planned accordingly, only to find we survived anyway, were left with little financially and physiological struggles. 

I don't think it's an exaggeration to recognize that we, as a group, have endured years of trauma on multiple levels.  To my mind, that's the difference.  It's like the difference between someone on his fifth deployment versus someone fresh out of boot/SOI.

Although I'd understand if a mainstream therapist was not aware of the history, I was surprised and disappointed that someone with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) would not have a grasp of our population's history.  To my mind that's why organizations like Let's Kick ASS (SF) are necessary.  I wish it wasn't necessary, but as a group, us LTS types remain a pretty ornery bunch.

That being said and to answer @LongTermSurvivor, yes, my case manager made a specific recommendation for someone outside of AHF who may be more appropriate.  I knew from experience I didn't have to settle for someone with whom I didn't click and that I might have to go shopping, as such.
Title: Re: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: em on July 28, 2018, 11:00:23 am
do you have the misfortune of having the manic episodes that result from bouts with   depression or you one of those who do not ?

for me it seems to be in my mind at least the mania  to be the mind escaping inward breaking down from the effects of depression and tries to respond by going inward and is trying to alleviate and escape from depression. just an uneducated guess

so I can guess that this is not something you have to deal with ?
Title: Re: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: MarkintheDark on July 28, 2018, 12:52:45 pm
do you have the misfortune of having the manic episodes that result from bouts with   depression or you one of those who do not ?

Oh man, I'm sorry you have to deal with that. :(  No, my problem is strictly the depressive side.

I asked a healthcare provider one time what they thought I should do ? they said ever think about getting a pet ?

Spot on with the pet advice.  Over the years my felines have gotten me out of myself, as you implied.  They need care and I'm responsible for their well-being.  Plus, they're my best source of unconditional love.

you just have to believe and it will come to you and all will be well and even great if you just do not give up on it and take the pills they are the answer to everything

When I've run into that attitude, I've learned to do an about face.  Sounds like we've both had experience with that.  IRL "magic" like that doesn't happen.  So, I look for the best tools I can find and satisfy myself with progress, even if uneven.
Title: Re: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: lildoggy on July 28, 2018, 03:20:58 pm
There's no doubt that us having lived past the 30 year mark, even less, have PTSD and survivor's guilt. I know I do and it creeps up on me from time to time. Matter of fact, many close friends know that I'm positive but have no idea of my history since I can't replay it for them trying to not think about it myself while trying to enjoy myself. I'll never forget the therapist I went to once that wanted me to write a letter to my parents. What? It was obvious that even this therapist couldn't relate or didn't hear a word I was saying. Sorry, never wrote that letter, never went back to the therapist. She had no awareness of the history, the struggle we endured. I'm happy to be here still but there's not much joy anymore.
I do agree wholeheartedly that pets are a wonderful drug. They do bring out the endorphins we can use for happiness if only temporary and they are terrific if you're stuck inside and as for dogs - they get you outta the house meeting like-minded pet lovers.

Title: Re: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: lildoggy on July 28, 2018, 03:30:44 pm
Think I got out of turn with my post.
Title: Re: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: Jim Allen on July 28, 2018, 03:34:40 pm
@lildoggy

Welcome to the forum, as a newbie to the forum its customary to open an introduction thread and introduce yourself to the other members.

Either in the "living with hiv" section or if preferred and suited in the "Pre-HAART Long-Term Survivors" section

Thanks

Jim
Title: Re: LTS and psychotherapy
Post by: MarkintheDark on August 21, 2018, 11:46:12 am
I'll share what I'm tentatively calling a success story.  Although it took a month to get with this therapist, I'm encouraged for the first time in years.  My enthusiasm is tempered because of other lousy experiences I've had the past several years with clueless interns and even a full-fledged, one-size-fits-all therapist noted in my OP.

Although this guy hadn't yet been born when AIDS hit, he had an excellent grasp of issues faced by LTS and needed no prompting from me.  Some of you may have experienced the frustration of having to educate a professional about HIV/AIDS, perhaps then immediately doubting what possible help that person could be.