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Author Topic: Depression and a inbility to cope.  (Read 3675 times)

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Offline Joez

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Depression and a inbility to cope.
« on: February 09, 2011, 12:04:34 PM »
I have been HIV + at least 25 years. I was tested in 1988, however, I knew HIV was in  the cards since someone I had slept  with multiple times became very ill in 1985 and died in early 1987.  I started out having bouts with thrush and hairy luekoplakia around 1987.  I worked in finance, had a good job, and kept telling myself I would not get sick and by the  time I ever did, there would be a good treatment for HIV. By 1990 my T cells were 80. I was not out at work and it was a very straight environment. By 1991, I was in a total stress/anger mode whenever I was by myself. I couldn't focus on work and would literally punch myself in the face and pull body hair out of my chest.
The strange thing is, on the outside, I looked fine. I worked out all the time made good money and  people for the most part found me entertaining and funny/crazy. I started a new job in 1989 and the coping became worse. My job performance was decent and I continued to progress careerwise. In 1992, I had a burst appendix and peritonitis which lead to my permanent sexual impotence as well as . The impotence didn't really flip me out at that time because I told myself it would get better. It only got worse. In 1994 , I was hospitalized for pneumonia, anemia and CMV retinitis. I started intravenous therapy in 1994 for the CMV. In August of 1995, my kidney's started to fail. In late September 1995 , I went out on disability. I was told dialysis was imminent at that point.
The first protease inhibitor was approved in January of 1996. By the summer of 1996, I started to feel better, look better, but still had to continue with the intravenous therapy 5 days a week. I was lucky to have a Good disability policy and was able to maintain my lifestyle and pretended to most people that I was still working freelance. Things kept on improving and in late 1998 , the intravenous therapy stopped. I bought a new condo. I was almost happy. Viagra came out and it worked for the most part. I took a job working in royalty analysis for about a month in  1999. It didn't work out. I had the intent of going back to work at that time, but then my kidneys started to fail. By June of 2000, I had to do dialysis 3 days a week for four + hours each time.
Dialysis was a nightmare. I felt weak, my appearance changed. My arm was disfigured from the treatments. I had a good social life still. The impotence got worse again though.I belonged to a support group for 6 years. I became friendly with 2 people in the group and they have both since passed away.
In Nov 2008, I received a kidney transplant and thus far it has been OK. I have had one issue after another, the latest being numbness in my right foot which is impairing my ability to drive. I m very depressed. It is not like I am indigent, or friendless.....I am depressed with no purpose. The support group did not help me and was disbanded in 2006. I recently saw a therapist twice and I was at  a loss for words. I stopped. I feel very alone just waiting for another traumatic event to happen.  I spent a lot of money on renovating my place but nothing seems to help. I live  just o/s NYC. It is crazy, because no one can grasp what has gone on with me. They all seem to be overwhelmed and just tell me "you should be grateful that you have money", "you still work out"etc.

Offline Buckmark

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Re: Depression and a inbility to cope.
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 02:15:19 PM »

You've certainly faced a great many problems and illnesses as a long-term survivor.  That's something you can be proud of.  And while you've been fortunate to maintain your financial resources, money alone does not lead to happiness.  I'm no expert, but I wouldn't be surprised if you have post-traumatic stress disorder, after all the significant health problems you have had.  PTSD can manifest itself in many ways, including isolation and depression.

I think you are doing the right thing by trying to talk to a therapist.  Why don't you consider printing out this posting you just made, and bringing is to your therapist?  That should help frame your situation and concerns for them.  It doesn't sound like it is any one problem that is troubling you, but rather the sum total of what you have experienced.  A good therapist should be able to help you sort this all out, and help guide you on what you can do next. 

But please don't wait -- talk to another mental health professional as soon as you can.  Friends and family are well-meaning, and may help briefly in a pinch, but an experienced professional can help you do the deep digging and heavy lifting that may be necessary to get to the bottom of what is troubling you.



"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock, Musician, The Flatlanders

Offline surf18

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Re: Depression and a inbility to cope.
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 03:09:50 PM »
Your an amazing man! Your strength and courage is remarkable!

Offline Joe K

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Re: Depression and a inbility to cope.
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 06:49:27 PM »
Hello Joez,

What a challenging life you have had and I can see how you could be depressed, or whatever, so talking to someone is a great place to start.  I'm a LTS just like you and I've faced many challenges and therapy has been instrumental in helping me understand and cope with the life I have. I urge you to find a new therapist and start discussing the issues that truly bother you. Once I started therapy, many decades ago, I began to understand what was happening and ways to cope with uncomfortable feelings and to focus on what I could control. You may even want to see a psychiatrist, because you may benefit from a limited treatment with certain drugs, that can help you in conjunction with your therapy.

My whole point, is that you know you don't feel right, so please do something about it. If you don't like your therapist, find another, because you need someone to talk with, who has no personal stake in you. As much as it may hurt you, I don't think your friends are unsympathetic, it's just that they have their own issues and some issues, belong only between you and a therapist.

What I would like to suggest is that you do something you truly enjoy, every day, because that will feed your spirit. Take some time to just let yourself feel and if necessary, give yourself permission to cry or whatever, to express those feelings. I'm 27 years poz and I feel your pain, at times it just seems so overwhelming, but it does not have to be. Through the use of medications and therapy and despite substantial medical challenges, I lead a really great life. It takes a lot of work, but it is so worth it.

My hope is that you still love yourself enough to get some help, you can do this and while you may not get everything that you may want, I believe you can find the comfort that you need.

Offline Snowangel

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Re: Depression and a inbility to cope.
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 09:56:41 PM »
Hi Joez!
I agree that you should try to find another therapist, they are kind of like shoes, you have to find one that fits.  Printing your post out like Buckmark suggested is a great idea!  It might take awhile to get to what you really need to talk about but you will get there and you will feel better.

I can't remember if you posted about disclosing or not and I am too lazy to go and go get my reading glasses to read the even smaller print. I know you said that when you were first diagnosed you worked your ass off and no-one had a clue, me too, except I took my meds at the time, all 47 of them.  I was just wondering if the people in your life know your status now?

Keep your head up!

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.


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