Hi guys,I m 23 years old and having a great fear of HIV Panic attacks,and all that fear stuffs since December year 2011.It really drives me crazy.I got this fear after watching a local freaky movie about HIV and a circulated false e mails.At the beginning of this fear it was unable to control but with medicines and counseling helped me a lot in decreasing my anxiety.But still I do get irrational fears in day to day life.But right now I m not taking medicines.
I mainly get this fear when traveling in a bus.When I travel in a bus I m getting fears of poking by a infected needle by someone.Sometime I feel some pains in my back.Are these pains creating by the body itself because of the anxiety?When I gets home I thoroughly check my clothes but there are nothing.I do wear light colors so as I can identify the blood spots.I also check the bus seats before sitting.
If you guys got these kind of fears how did you cure it.I do not like to visit doctor again because he gives medicines everyday i visit him.What are the methods did you used to decrease this fears.Please HELP!!!
Thank you.Sorry for my bad English.
HIV anxiety is ALL too common. One, because most people have very very overinflated views about HIV. The FACTS are, HIV is actually much rarer than people think, and is VERY difficult to get. The vast majority of people who end up infected consistently and frequently engage in very high risk behaviors (IV drug abuse, men having unprotected anal sex with other men). While it's POSSIBLE for someone to get infected by a one time heterosexual exposure...it RARELY happens. Certainly, people aren't out poking others with needles...not commonly anyway. Once in a blue moon, you'll see a story about something like that. Really, there's little to no risk of transmission with even most needlestick injuries. You're aware that your concerns are irrational, which is good.
Part of getting past your fears is educating yourself about HIV. By educating, I don't mean spending hours with Dr. Google...that kind of searching, where you're trying to assess yourself, only leads to more anxiety.
Understanding indeed that the MAJORITY of the general population will NEVER have an HIV concern will help you to fear HIV less. It's not something anyone should be walking around fearing. Actually, there are diseases/infections that ARE a much bigger thrreat, but people still tend to get hung up on HIV, primarily because of all of the fear-based education. The facts are, UNLESS you PUT yourself at risk (by having unprotected anal or vaginal sex...or by sharing IV drugs), you will NEVER have an HIV concern. It's honestly as simple as that.
I would strongly recommend professional help and probably resuming the medication. You clearly state that medications and therapy greatly helped you, so it's a no brainer that you need to continue with those things. Therapy will help you learn how to stop the what iffing thinking process. The OCD forum is a great place to read about strategies to stop those thinking cycles as well. I would recommend you reading a thread in the OCD forum entitled "Anatomy of a Horrific Though", by the community leader, JGF.
Get yourself back under the care of mental health professionals and start working on learning how to change your thinking about this. Good luck!
Fear of irrational things is easily detectable by asking yourself 'how can this be dangerous for me, literally?' If your first thought is that it's just not dangerous, then you found it an can react rationally to it. If you find yourself unsure about it being dangerous or not, ask yourself what exactly would really be dangerous about it. Then you can identify right where or what the danger may be, and react in an appropriate way. A great way to practice this approach is to sit down with a pen and paper. List on the left what you are afraid of. In the middle, list why you are afraid of them. On the right, list how you can handle these fears in a rational way. I am NOT being rude with my next statement. It is possible that you don't know what 'rational' is. I looked it up, just in case. 'Rational' is making a decision based upon knowledge of the subject or situation at hand. I hope I have helped you, and God Bless - Blu
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