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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4844
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Can you help me? I feel as though I am dieing/fading away

Resolved Question:

Can you help me? I feel as though I am dieing/fading away inside. Over time I have realised that I push friends, family members and lovers away. There are times that I even feel that I am undeserving of these people. When I am outside I want to find a place of safety to hide and not be seen. I am hurting no one seems to notice or try to understand. Please help me, I do not want to die.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 12 months ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry that you have been experiencing these symptoms, I can imagine how distressing this must be for you

DoctorZ :

May I ask, when did you start to feel this way?

Customer:

My fears have got worse over time. I'd say my anxiety got worse when I decided to end my long term relationship with my lover of eight years. I am HIV+, my partner isn't as far as I know. I think I punish myself by admitting that I always like to be honest so when I meet a possible lover I tell them of my health status. Also, I was in a heterosexual relationship 18 years ago and now I haven't a true relationship with my two children. My son came to live with me for three years, seven months ago he went back to his mother. During those years he was with me I found I couldn't tolerate him, I made life unbearable for him.

DoctorZ :

So you feel that you push people away because of your HIV status as a way of punishing yourself. This is a form of self-sabotage that is not uncommon with individuals that have similar health issues like yourself because you feel like you do not want to burden others. Have you considered talking to a therapist that specializes with HIV+ patients?

Customer:

I have in the past but my problems seem to continue or get worse. Initially I acquired HIV to kill myself but 18 years later I am still alive. Please do not judge me when I say I want to die, I do not want to live to a right old age I just can't wait to have this all end, oblivion

Customer:

Now I am all alone and I can't find a way to stop thinking ill of myself... even when I go out in public I feel nervous and can't wait to escape

DoctorZ :

So you have tried counseling and self-help books, have you considered the use of anti-depressant medication? Sometimes we need some extra medical help to counter these feelings depression that you are having, and these symptoms are consistent with depression. I would recommend Citalopram or Lexapro as studies have shown that these antidepressants do not have an effect on anti-retroviral medication

DoctorZ :

In addition, you may not have tried the right self-help books too. Have you tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Customer:

Not to my knowledge (CBT), as to the anti-depressant I am a train operator would they affect my job and would I need a prescription for them?

DoctorZ :

You would need a prescription for them and I recommended two antidepressants with the least amount of side effects so it should not have an effect on your job performance. CBT's premise is that most of your feelings of depression are caused by negative thoughts, so to counteract this CBT will retrain your brain to help you think more objectively and positively to help you lessen your symptoms of depression. I can show you some techniques that can help and also recommend some books as well.

Customer:

Wow... Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX try the techniques (feared I was losing my mind) and yes I'd like the book recommendations.

DoctorZ :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

DoctorZ :

In addition this TRAP/TRAC worksheet will help you come up with an alternative coping strategy because you have been using avoidance as your current strategy and that has not been working

Customer:

Many thanks, XXXXX XXXXX thank you.

DoctorZ :

And I also think that this will help you with your anxiety as well by focusing on alternative thoughts for certain anxiety provoking situations

DoctorZ :

I am happy to help, let me get you those book recommendations too

Customer:

ok

Customer:

Never thought so much information was at my fingertips but you have been of great help, thank you.

DoctorZ :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Customer:

I will try/read you recommendations and thanks for giving me hope, once again thank you.

DoctorZ :

I am glad that I was able to help you tonight. I want to wish you the best of luck with everything. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you have any future questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

Thanks DoctorZ

Customer:

If I click submit will our conversation still be available for me to access the information that you gave me?

DoctorZ :

Yes even after you rate me, this chat will always be available to you and you can ask follow up questions even after you rate me. Also a link to this chat should have been sent to your email as well, so you can always quickly get back to it.

Customer:

Great... thank you for your patience, bye

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4844
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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