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HIV And Mental Health

Any kind of serious medical condition that someone lives with that changes their life in a substantial way can bring with it mental health problems. A major illness or disease can cause quality of life changes. That means it affects a person’s ability to do even basic tasks sometimes.

HIV and Mental Health: What to Know

Your quality of life refers to your overall mental and physical wellbeing. Someone who has HIV will experience quality of life changes, and they may suffer from a variety of mental health problems. Let’s look at some of the most notable mental health struggles HIV patients will typically experience, though not all of them will have all of these issues. Similarly, not all HIV sufferers will experience these mental health problems to the extreme that you might see in some of the worst cases.

Depression

According to medical experts, depression is the leading mental health concern for people who are living with HIV. Depression can stem from anxiety, stress, and other factors associated with serious, chronic, ongoing health problems.

Someone who is living with the disease may be worried that they may never be cure and might be thinking about the long-term effects of that disease and what it might be doing to them. They may constantly be living with a sense of worry or dread about their future. Someone who has HIV may be constantly concerned about the health risks they are dealing with and how sensitive and fragile their body is.

Even someone who is taking medication they have sourced from local pharmacies or from online sources like Kangaroo, and who is being treated successfully, may still be severely worried about their future and their overall health. Even though they may have their disease under control and may be living with it reasonably well, they might be experiencing nagging concerns that keep them from living their life as fully as they could.

The low-level stress and anxiety they’re experiencing on a daily and sometimes even hourly basis may produce a lot of doubts and fears, leading to depression. They may have concerns about how long they will live, what their quality of life will be like in the future, and what other people will think of them if they find out about their diagnosis.

All of this can contribute to depression, which in turn affects the person’s quality of life.

Irritability/Mood Swings

When someone is worried and anxious and depressed, they’re more likely to be emotionally fragile than someone who is not experiencing those mental health issues. Their emotional fragility can cause irritability, making it more likely that they’ll snap at someone or say something harsh in haste. Realizing their irritability, they may try to overcompensate by forcing themselves to be overly happy.

There’s a delicate balance of emotions that they may be dealing with constantly, and it could be hiding just under the surface, and this can lead to mood swings. They may move back and forth from happiness to sadness, from irritability to pleasantness, quickly switching from one to the other. That’s because of the internal struggle they are having with their emotions, and as long as that struggle to overcome underlying emotional issues is present, they will be prone to mood swings.

Fatigue/Tiredness

Depression, anxiety, and other emotional and mental issues can take a strain on the body. They can drain a person’s energy, causing them to feel tired even after they have slept well. It may be difficult for an HIV sufferer to understand why they are constantly tired and fatigued, even though they keep a healthy sleep schedule. It could come down to emotional drain, and all the emotions they are battling with take not just a mental toll but a physical toll as well. It can require a lot of energy to try to keep emotions in check and to deal with depression and associated mental health problems. Until that person is able to come to grips with their emotions and get some peace there, they will likely continue to feel tired no matter how much sleep they’re getting.

These are just a few of the mental health problems that can stem from living with HIV or simply getting a positive HIV diagnosis.