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I am 24 and take medication for severe anxiety disorder and ADD. I was unemployed for nearly 10 months until last Friday, when I got a job offer and accepted it. I went nearly 6 months without a panic attack and this is fantastic, b/c being out of work, I had plenty of free time to obsess, panic, worry, etc. The next morning after I accepted the job, however, I woke up in a full-on panic state. I have only slept with 1 person, 9 times and the last time was in 1998. Yet I have been torturing myself ever since, off an on, and convincing myself that I somehow got HIV from him. I haven't seen him since the last time, in August 1998, when I cut ties with him completely. The condom broke and I was smart enough to get to my doctor and take the morning after pill. I vowed never to be in that position again and stopped seeing him. I know that he is doing well, runs a restaurant, is overweight, has a serious girlfriend for 5 years, and he told me in 2001 that he gave blood to his sister's newborn babies, which would mean he didn't have HIV. I would ordinarily get an HIV test, but my family believes that if I had reason to worry, they'd make sure I'd get tested. They strongly believe it is my anxiety creating this fear and that getting a test for no reason other than because I've worked myself into a panic state would be giving in and letting the anxiety rule my life. It has been over 7 years now since that last time I slept with that person and I have been extremely healthy. I was at college for 4 years and exposed to germs and sickness all the time because that's just how college is. I show no symptoms of HIV and last week, during my panic attack, I drove up and got bloodwork done for a thyroid issue, just to check it out because it's a heredeitary condition. I asked the technician, who has 30 years of experience in blood work and knows all about HIV and tests for itm if it was possible that I had HIV and didn't know it after 7 years. She said no. She said I would've developed symptoms after 6 months. This should have calmed me down, but I remembered that 6 months later, in March 1999, I was in my 2nd semester of college and got a case of the flu. I attributed it to my being away from home for the first time, not sleeping or eating right and just being in close quarters with other college kids. Now I've been torturing myself in full-on panic mode for days. This worry tortured me so much and I believe that I probably don't have AIDs and that it was a case of my worries about unemployment being replaced by an old, past worry. I have no reason other than my OCD and anxiety to believe I have HIV. I convince myself that the reason I've not had a serious relationship must be because God must know I have HIV and doesn't want me to infect anyone with it. See how messed up my thinking is? I've told my parents and therapists ALL the facts and they ALL say it's not necessary for me to get a test. Also, they pointed out an article to me about how the media has made AIDS seem much more common than it really is, as a scare tactic. It said that HIV almost always occurs when someone has used IV drugs or is homosexual, or has been with someone who has. This is not the case for me or the guy I slept with. I read several articles stating that media reports almost ALWAYS leave out drugs or homosexual activity when profiling a hetero person w/HIV. So, I've convinced myself that I have this rare, deadly disease, even though I'm extremely healthy. I stay up late, don't always eat right and so, leave myself vulnerable to getting sick all the time. Yet I never do. Please help reassure me that I can go on with my life without getting tested and realize that this worry has been unnecessary, and that I have no reason in the world to think I have it.





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