Depression And HIV/AIDS
Thanks to the advances made by medical science, today people infected with HIV can lead more productive and fulfilling lives. Nonetheless, as it is a serious disease, many HIV-infected people tend to have depression that can not just affect the mind, but also the body.
Depression is a common problem seen in people who have serious illnesses and chronic diseases.
People with HIV/AIDS should seek treatment for their depression as it will help them cope with the disease and also help in improving the quality of life.
It has been seen that one in three HIV positive patients suffers from depression. Unfortunately, in many cases, the symptoms of depression are misinterpreted as doctors, family and friends assume that the symptoms are natural after being diagnosed HIV positive. However, what many people do not realize is that depression is a separate disorder altogether and it needs to be treated even if the person is being treated for HIV.
Some of the symptoms of depression are as follows:
- Feeling constantly sad and anxious
- Experiencing a sense of helplessness and worthlessness
- Losing interest in things that one used to enjoy previously
- Constantly feeling fatigued and feeling that one does not have any energy
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Dramatic changes in appetite and weight
- Finding it difficult to concentrate, remember things and make decisions
- Feeling irritable and restless
- Harboring thoughts of suicide or death
If you have 5 or more of the symptoms mentioned above on a regular basis and they seem to affect your work, personal life and social life, then you are suffering from depression. You should immediately seek medical help.
Many times episodes of depression can come on due to stress, medications and the way HIV affects the brain. Research has shown that depression affects energy levels that most HIV positive patients require to concentrate on staying healthy, and it can also accelerate the progress of HIV and make it into full blown AIDS.