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Author Topic: Acute anxiety (not from living with HIV): your thoughts?  (Read 816 times)

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Offline CalvinC

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  • Posts: 166
Acute anxiety (not from living with HIV): your thoughts?
« on: July 21, 2019, 02:11:43 am »
Hi all.

Recently, I suffered through a very high stress incident (of my own making) that I resolved. Much to my distress, although I resolved the issue, the anxiety has continued on, and it's a struggle. It's that free-floating kind of anxiety, where there's a non-specific "bad outcome" hovering existentially (if that makes sense). Every day's a severely rainy day, in other words. I'm getting medical help.

I am wondering, though, if people (living with hiv) are more prone to anxiety and/or that it arises often suddenly and perhaps for no specific reason; and if so, how you deal with it constructively? Certainly, I get that just being hiv may cause anxiety; but it doesn't for me, mostly. For me, this anxiety feels like it's related to a chemical imbalance. Hard to say, since I'm not a doctor. (I do suffer from classic OCD, and I'm meds for it, for years, and it's very well under control.)

Your thoughts?

Thanks, Cal

Offline harleymc

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  • Posts: 1,295
Re: Acute anxiety (not from living with HIV): your thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2019, 05:13:56 am »
I've had some debilitating anxiety in the past.

I got help through a couple of techniques, Conitive Behaviour Therapy helped me identify the thoughts that caused anxiety and that they generally had no grounding in reality.  Mindfulness helps me to physically relax and get that adrenaline and other stress hormones down.

I still get occasional anxiety attacks , but these days they last only a couple of minutes.

Offline daveR

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  • Posts: 138
Re: Acute anxiety (not from living with HIV): your thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2019, 06:57:55 am »
I take a similar approach to harleymc, mindfulness and CBT. I tried it from books but just use a telephone app now. Noting down thoughts, tracking moods and relating the two. Short meditations and mindfulness sessions. I have found it to be very helpul.
There are many options out there. Obviously if the feelings become so bad that self harm keeps coming into your mind, seek a therapist.

Offline MarkintheDark

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  • Posts: 142
Re: Acute anxiety (not from living with HIV): your thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2019, 01:26:58 am »
Hi Calvin - I concur with @harleymc's approach.  From my personal experience, some of my anxiety is situational, some chemical (as you mentioned).  And, yes, even the situational stuff can take a while to subside.  idk that those of us with HIV are necessarily more prone to it, however.  That's my UNprofessional opinion.

That being said, there are a variety of psychiatric meds available, from Trazodone and Busprin (gentle-acting) to Xanax.  I'd encourage you to explore those options, particularly with a psychiatrist, if you've one available. 

Again speaking from personal experience, I know how unsettling, to put it mildly, anxiety attacks can be, particularly when they hit unexpectedly and for no apparent immediate reason.  I hope you can find some relief.  One online site I've found useful, too, is depressionforums.org. https://www.depressionforums.org/forums/forum/12-depression-central/

HIV dx - 02/93
AIDS dx - 07/01
Rilpivirine/Cabotegravir guinea pig since 01/17

Offline joemutt

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  • Posts: 1,110
Re: Acute anxiety (not from living with HIV): your thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2019, 05:08:55 am »
Thank you for bringing this up.
I have anxiety build up often, I try to manage with mindfulness techniques
but in the morning/almost waking up it often catches me unawares, like it's already there.
Has anyone experiences like this and an idea how to deal with it? Thank you.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 05:29:51 am by joemutt »

Offline Mindless

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  • Posts: 244
Re: Acute anxiety (not from living with HIV): your thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2019, 10:47:36 am »
Thank you for bringing this up.
I have anxiety build up often, I try to manage with mindfulness techniques
but in the morning/almost waking up it often catches me unawares, like it's already there.
Has anyone experiences like this and an idea how to deal with it? Thank you.

I started suffering from depression way way before I got hiv and one of the telling signs for me is waking up in the morning with that feeling of hopelessness and despair. Through the years I went through talking therapy (several different types, from psychoanalysis to transactional therapy to psychodynamic approach) and used to take lots of medications (sertraline, quetiapine, bupropion just to mention a few). I got hiv dx about 2.5 years ago but about 1 year ago I decided to gradually withdraw all antidepressants, worried for the whole meds load on my body. Depression came back, so basic approach has been: physical exercise, ACT therapy (similar to CBT but with a bigger focus on acceptance, mindfulness and life values) then, along the path I added Stoic philosophy study (I strongly advise this) and recently I re-added low dosage of one anti-depressant (strangely enough prescribed by my GI

This mixed approach seems to be working for the most part (Iím still observing actually). Hopefully in the long run Iíll be able to discontinue the antidepressant and take it only when the ďwolf bites backĒ.

The major thing that bothers me about hiv now are the long term bad effects of the virus itself on the body and the side effects of the medications. No day goes by that I donít read (on poz or somewhere else) some less-than-encouraging effects of the virus on human body compared to the general population. I Have a very long history of heart failures, strokes and CVD running in my family... one more reason to exercise, hoping that thatís enough to counter effect the bug damages.

My 2 cents, I strongly advise to check the few resources I mentioned above if you feel so.

Hugs my brothers and sisters

Offline CalvinC

  • Member
  • Posts: 166
Re: Acute anxiety (not from living with HIV): your thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2019, 10:20:16 pm »
Thanks for all the feedback. Very helpful, and it's good to know I'm not alone.

My GP, whom I saw today, recommended this (free) site https://anxietycanada.com/, and I'm finding its clarity and simplicity quite wonderful. I've also signed up (at my own cost) for an eight-week course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Also, I'm seeing my psychiatric doc and therapy doc next week too, so here's hoping. (Thank god I live in Canada.)

Today overall was much better than the aching pain of the last few weeks.

Much gratitude to you all.

Cal

Offline joemutt

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,110
Re: Acute anxiety (not from living with HIV): your thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2019, 08:39:20 am »

My 2 cents, I strongly advise to check the few resources I mentioned above if you feel so.

Hugs my brothers and sisters

Thank you for that.
I was on antidepressants from my diagnosis in 1997 until 2011.
I had been in  some sort of psychotherapy
on and off since 1980.
Now I manage with CBT, therapy, meditation, yoga, TRE, watching food intake,
but lately my diet and exercise routine have changed because of moving so I will look into that.
It goes quite well, except anxiety on waking up.
I am not overly worried by long term effects of HIV, it's been so long, but I understand your feelings;
I had a period of seizures 10 years ago so then I started watching my food and doing yoga. Fingers crossed.
Be Well.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 08:44:18 am by joemutt »

Offline TabooPrincess

  • Member
  • Posts: 308
Re: Acute anxiety (not from living with HIV): your thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2019, 02:11:12 pm »
Iíve had horrific anxiety since diagnosis, mainly because of the double life I was leading and the chaos this brought.
Iíve always combatted anxiety with alcohol, not helpful!!! Occasionally when my GP relents I pop some sleeping tablets and sometimes I can get hold of lorazepam for a brief break when itís really bad.
I work in mental health and we are the worst at admitting our own issues! Antidepressants are an absolute no go for me (would take too long to explain my thoughts on this one) Iíd rather suffer!
Routine and being busy for me are the saviours. I go insane when Iím off work!
09/ 2008 - Seroconversion
11/2008 - Tested pos, cd4 640 vl 25400
12/2008 - cd4 794 vl 27798, 35%
03/2009 - cd4 844 vl 68846, 35%
06/2009 - cd4 476 vl 49151, 33% (pregnancy confirmed)
08/2009 - cd4 464 vl 54662, 32%
Started meds for pregnancy (Kaletra, AZT, Viread)
09/2009 - cd4 841 vl 3213, 42%
10/2009 - cd4 860 vl 1088, 41%
11/2009 - cd4 771 vl 563, 38%
12/2009 - cd4 885 vl 151 42%
Discontinued meds after baby born
02/2010 - cd4 841 vl 63781, 38%
05/2010 - cd4 1080 vl 113000, 39%
08/2010 - cd4 770 vl 109242
12/2010 - cd4 642 vl 111000, 34%
06/2011 - cd4 450 vl 222000, 33%
11/2011 - cd4 419 vl 212000, 24%
03/2012 - cd4 280 vl 118000, 26% (repeated Cd4 at 360)
05/2012 -cd4 360 vl 99,190
10/2012 Atripla, cd4 690, vl 80
12/2012 Darunavir, norvir, truvada, Cd4 680, vl u/d
07/2013 cd4 750,ud

 


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