HIV and depression
I’ve fought depression for nearly 15 years and HIV for only 3. Over the past 15 years, I have consistently taken my prescription anti-depressant medications. But after being diagnosed with HIV 3 years ago, something stopped me. I’m not exactly sure what. I suppose I fell into a depression after being diagnosed with HIV, which should have been all the more reason to take my anti-depression medications. But it seemed to be more of an excuse. I sporadically took my anti-depressants over the past 3 years and completely stopped 6 months ago when my doctor advised me that my CD4 count had began to decrease and I would need to begin taking HIV meds soon. This seemed to spiral my depression even further. I felt I needed a “break” from medication. I was about to begin a life-long regimen of medication, required to keep me healthy, not just happy, but healthy. This was truly going to be a life-long commitment. Now, 6 months later, I’m miserable. Miserable to the point of being angry. Angry at the world and angry at myself. I’ve realized that I wasn’t doing myself any favors by taking a “break.” I only hurt myself and my family. It’s easy to forget how my actions affect those I love so much. This morning, I took my first dose of anti-depressants in 6 months. I need to be happy again. I need to feel whole again. I need to do this for myself, but also my family. I have begun to accept the fact that I will be on medication for the rest of my life. But it is because of these medications that I will be able to live a long, healthy and even happy life!
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