HIV and health anxiety: Hello, I am a poz... - Anxiety Support

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HIV and health anxiety


Hello, I am a poz lad and have been suffering with health anxiety now for the past 18 months, following a panic attack while I was at the GP practice, which was badly handled. I was hospitalised just in case and diagnosed acute tonsillitis but I think it was just panic. I started hiv Meds soon after and it has made a difference to my lifestyle. For some time I thought I should change combination, which I have done a number of times. However, the fear of not being well when I am out and about has become so debilitating that I don't enjoy most things anymore. I have seen a psychologist and have tried some antidepressants but since these give me more side effects, I prefer not to take any. I am so self-absorbed in how my body feels that I am mostly detached from reality and I have had to take time off work. Now I worry as soon as I wake up that I won't have the energy to do much. If I go out I don't feel safe until I have returned home. And I have been feeling very dizzy and faint, although I have never fainted. I am thinking of quitting my job because it simply adds pressure to my weeks. I am a teacher. I also feel like my brain cannot take any new information and seem to have tunnel vision. I have had three eye tests and several specialist medical checks and all is good. I just don't feel myself anymore and have lost any drive or dream or enthusiasm. I don't think I am clinically depressed but feel stuck in a situation that, despite trying, I seem unable to change. I am not sure what physical symptoms anxiety can bring. I have read a lot about it but I just seem unable to justify feeling this way only because I am anxious. My brain does not rely on my body anymor despite the evidence doctors are providing.

Sorry for the long post but hope someone can perhaps give some advice. Thank you.

2 Replies


I think you have answered yourself in your post

You are so self absorbed in how your body feels .....when we have health anxiety this is just how we are we are continuously looking and waiting for everything that feels slightly different and we will always feel something because we are so tuned in , a habit forming trait really I would say but then it becomes part of us but we can break it

When you feel something try telling yourself , here we go again , anxiety knocking at the door and give it as least attention as possible that way it will pass sooner , takes some practice but helps

I know you have seen a psychologist but with anxiety it can sometimes take several attempts with therapy and I would say always worth looking into seeking some more

I can imagine your job feeling stressful at the moment with all you are dealing with but at the same time it could also be a distraction because if you were at home all the time you no doubt would focus in on your health even more

Have you spoken to them ? they are there to help and maybe they could offer you part time for now or could you go on sick leave for a while ?

Give it some thought before you give your job up as that would be a big step , see if something can be sorted for now till you feel in a better place within yourself and you will :-)

Take Care x

vdesalvo in reply to Hidden

Thanks a lot for your reply. I guess the tiredness I feel makes me feel less optimistic regarding this issue. I agree with you in not leaving the job altogether but taking more time off will cause issues I'm sure.

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