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sick of my life hiv anxiety? has this turned into OCD?
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sick of my life hiv anxiety? has this turned into OCD?

Hi everyone, thanks in advance for helping meMy life is destroyed by a fear of catching hiv. I had a sexual encounter which was very low risk anyways but still i got tested 4 times all negative but i have become obsessed with it and cant move on. I go for hiv tests every now and then to get a peace of mind . After every tests i feel good for like 1 week and then the fear comes back again. The problem is i am not sure if this OCD or any other mental condition because i cant get help by any psychiatrist because i am young and sex is taboo in this part of the world. I am getting weird thoughts in my mind that i have been hexed by someone i am becoming superstitious and i am seeing signs and weird coincindences which i am really afraid of. I am really afraid to offend anyone i have become really afraid to hurt anyones feeling so he might curse me or hex me. I was an atheist before now i am afraid of god and i feel god will give me hiv because i became an atheist. I also started seeing things related to HIV everywhere. Whenever i see anything related to hiv i freeze and my heart beat becomes ten times louder. It has become so worse that i am avoiding anything in which hiv might show up. My last hiv test was 12 weeks after sex(which is the guideline) and before taking the test i told my self that i will surely move on after this but i didnt. This is really tense i examine my body all the time. I have also developed this ritual in my head that before taking test results i assume the worst even though deep down i know its gonna be negative. I feel if i dont stress my self and worry, the results might become positive. Please help me i have lost hope in life i dont know where to go. I cant live like this if this is ocd how can i help myself? Can't take professional therapy because i am in a muslim country i can be jailed.
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1699033_tn?1345482688
Hi there...okay...first thing is that since you cannot see a professional, then you have to find other ways to learn the tools you need to help yourself.  

So first off, I'm going to suggest a book.  The OCD workbook:  Your Guide to Breaking from of OCD.  I got mine through Amazon here in the states...so hopefully you can order it online.

OCD is basically irrational thoughts that are accompanied by fear.  Once you take the fear out of them, they go away.  If you continue to feed into the thought, it will stay and haunt you.  

Having said that, you testing and retesting even after you have a negative result is you feeding into the fear.  You cannot test any longer.  You have to say ENOUGH!  

Now I know that is easier said than done BUT if you work hard, you can get over this.  When you feel anxious then try this breathing technique.  Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for 5 seconds and count this out in your head, then let it all out through your mouth.  practice this lying down with your hands on your stomach.  It is a technique that you can pretty much do anywhere at any time and nobody will even know you are doing it.  This will help you to calm down so that you can think more rationally.

Take those negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts on paper.  "What-if I'm HIV positive?"  with "I have tested negative, move on."  or "Nope, not going there again."  Basically you are self-coaching yourself here.  

Because you are stressed you are on what I call the nightmare superhighway of OCD thoughts.  Now you are stuck in rituals, and thinking bad things will happen if you don't do something a certain way.  It is just all snowballing on you.  

So please check out the book....don't test anymore because it is absolutely not necessary....and breathe.  There are also good meditation videos on YouTube that you can use to help you relax.  

Please also see my "Anatomy of a Horrific Thought" that I will bump up to the top of the forum.  This way, you can see exactly what cycle you are stuck in and how your over control strategies are keeping you in the OCD loop.

Let me know how things are going.  
14 Comments Post a Comment
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3149845_tn?1386354841
Hi and welcome and really sorry what your going through.
A person is born without any concepts. They are a baby with an empty mind. Depending on the enviornment they are raised is whats now in there head. So all the thoughts you have are put there by others who were born before you. All things are possible and you as an individual have to separate whats important to you.
Fear is a terrible thing to have but is only based on things that may or may not happen and in my lifes experience there is more love and joy than evil.
Fear of dying can be a debilitating disorder but we, as people of strength must not focus on death but life.
If a person puts themself at the center of the Universe they will be over come with fear but if a person sees that they are here to help and aide others then the Universe becomes part of them.
Instead of fearing Hiv and concepts of God, see your lifes purpose  to be a worker only put on this earth to be the bearer of good news.
You were put here to bring light and life to others, not for yourself.
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1699033_tn?1345482688
Hi there...okay...first thing is that since you cannot see a professional, then you have to find other ways to learn the tools you need to help yourself.  

So first off, I'm going to suggest a book.  The OCD workbook:  Your Guide to Breaking from of OCD.  I got mine through Amazon here in the states...so hopefully you can order it online.

OCD is basically irrational thoughts that are accompanied by fear.  Once you take the fear out of them, they go away.  If you continue to feed into the thought, it will stay and haunt you.  

Having said that, you testing and retesting even after you have a negative result is you feeding into the fear.  You cannot test any longer.  You have to say ENOUGH!  

Now I know that is easier said than done BUT if you work hard, you can get over this.  When you feel anxious then try this breathing technique.  Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for 5 seconds and count this out in your head, then let it all out through your mouth.  practice this lying down with your hands on your stomach.  It is a technique that you can pretty much do anywhere at any time and nobody will even know you are doing it.  This will help you to calm down so that you can think more rationally.

Take those negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts on paper.  "What-if I'm HIV positive?"  with "I have tested negative, move on."  or "Nope, not going there again."  Basically you are self-coaching yourself here.  

Because you are stressed you are on what I call the nightmare superhighway of OCD thoughts.  Now you are stuck in rituals, and thinking bad things will happen if you don't do something a certain way.  It is just all snowballing on you.  

So please check out the book....don't test anymore because it is absolutely not necessary....and breathe.  There are also good meditation videos on YouTube that you can use to help you relax.  

Please also see my "Anatomy of a Horrific Thought" that I will bump up to the top of the forum.  This way, you can see exactly what cycle you are stuck in and how your over control strategies are keeping you in the OCD loop.

Let me know how things are going.  
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480448_tn?1397235344
WONDERFUL advice from JGF!  I know I've discussed HIV and anxiety in length with you.  I'm glad you're at least beginning to realize that this is not an issue with HIV, but rather is anxiety driven.  It doesn't matter WHAT the focus of the irrational/obsessive thought is, whether it be HIV, heart disease, HOCD, germs....it must be addressed.

I would strongly recommend REALLY taking the above advice to heart and start working hard to do the things that JG suggests.  She knows her stuff.  I also want to add (and I've probably told you the same thing)...that continuing to test for HIV is only feeding into this anxiety cycle.  You get a short-lived reassurance, and when the anxiety returns, it will get worse and worse.  You can learn how to change your thinking patterns...it's going to require some work, and some time.

Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you really for that advice i will search for that book you recommended.  Your advice is indeed wonderful, as nursegirl said. I have already started working on many of the steps you mention. I will also  see "anatomy of a horrific thought". Thank you for your really professional and considerate advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for helping me all this time. Yes you are right more testing wont help. I said to myself todaythat the last test which i was sure will  be conclusive but yet i am doubting them so any test in the future will have the same outcome, its like getting addicted to the reassurance from a negative test and any addiction is harmful. Its like junkies who  constantly need to score drugs same with me and testing.
Best wishes
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Avatar_m_tn
HELLO BROTHER,

SORRY TO HEAR WHAT U HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH
I can understand how u feel as even I went through the same for two years.
NOW I WILL TELL U HOW TO GET OVER THIS
first of all u need to understand that these thoughts or anxiety  which ur brain is cooking up are obsessions and to finish those obsessions u are doing compulsions like getting tested for hiv.
now what happens is that because u are performing these compulsions u are training ur brain to create more obsessions.
so that's why the more u test the more u doubt that u have hiv.

So just relax there is nothing wrong with u just stop getting tested initially ur anxiety will increase if u will not test but in the long run u will get over these thoughts and will get ok.
ALSO JUST STOP READING INTERNET AS THIS IS ALSO A COMPULSION .
THE MORE U TRY TO CLEAR UR DOUBTS THAT U HAVE HIV THE MORE U ARE GETTING TRAPPED.

TRUST ME U DONT HAVE HIV U ARE JUST SCARED
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi jim,
I am very stressed again. This idea is not going off my mind even after wonderful replies on this thread . 24/7 i am now searching this site for answers. I guess i cant over come this and i have to get a test at 6 months to be sure. I feel its not that irrational because there are people who have tested positive after 3 months. I just dont know what to believe . Worst thing is that i cant even test because clinics have become suspicious and wouldn not allow me. When i say to myself nothings wrong i feel i am ignoring something which might kill me.
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Avatar_n_tn
hey there, your not alone. if you read my recent post im going through the exact same thing your going through, so i know exactly how it feels like and like you i been doing all the stuff you have been doing. i too have the urge to test at 6 months, but get this after that test are you sure it will put your mind at ease? didnt you say that to yourself on the previous test that after this test i will move on? my bet is after 6 months your mind will conjur something up and ocd thoughts starts out as a seed and once planted on your head it can grow into a full blown tree of doubts and fear and then you will take another test. i too have been on the net 24/7 looking at window periods and testing. the problem with the internet is it is not fully reliable and some data they have is really outdated. i have talked to doctors who actually deal with real patients and they state that 3 months is conclusive. so ask yourself would you rather believe some story on the internet or an actual doctor with a degree who has first hand experience with patients? also think about this, the more test you do the higher the chance of a false postive. what if your next test is a false positive? your anxiety driven mind might not be able to handle it. how about this lets make a deal, somewhere in the back of my mind a ocd thought is pushing me to test at 6 months, im trying my best to get rid of it. so heres the deal lets both not take that unnecesarry 6 month test?
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Avatar_m_tn
I think the same sometimes that i might even doubt 6 months test but what kills me is that many people even doctors suggest 6 months test and i have seen even teak saying that he has seen seroconversion after 3 months and organisations like cdc  say 97 percent conclusive at 3 months i keep thinking what if i am the 3 percent?. Its a very bad position to be in. Weird thoughts linger in my head for eg recently i am planning in my head to overdose on heroin and die, i cant believe 3 months ago i was so happy and now i am a wreck. Also i am thinking what meds would i take and how long will i live if i am positive. Also i feel sharing my thoughts with others might be harmful. I willread your post now. Hopefully we will get over this. I also have a history of superstition on my maternal side which makes it worse.
Do you also feel scared by cdc guidelines?
If you have some info please share?
Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
most of the doctors and clinics i have spoken to has suggested that 3 months is conclusive. the people that i talked to that said 6 months are hiv hotlines who are reading from a manual or book, even some doctors are very old fashioned and way too conservative. even dr hhh who runs the expert hiv forum at this website works for the cdc and he even states that 8 weeks is conclusive. now if you are wondering if you are part of the 3%, im telling you your not. those apply only for people who are in the late stages of cancer, chemo, or i have a immune system disorder (such as the bubble boy syndrome) and even for those people, according to the doctors here, are on theoretical with rare or no cases ever recorded. a lot of people are not as updated with hiv testing as they should be, testing has improved over the years. some experts are even saying that they are expecting the cdc window period to go down to a month! so unless you are in chemo, late stage cancer, any immmuno suppresant drugs or have a severe immune disorder then you are fine and take your 3 month as conclusive. remember deep inside you know you are negative, your only enemy is not hiv, but yourself and your thoughts. dig deep for that knowledge that you know you are negative and focus on that. when your thoughts stray to any doubts, push it away and say "i have tested conclusively and i am negative!"
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480448_tn?1397235344
I feel its not that irrational because there are people who have tested positive after 3 months.

Not since the early 90's.  It would never be necessary to test after 3 months, unless you had virtually NO immune system.  

Contintinuing to read is a compulsion for the obsession, that's it.  You need to try to do the things JG said, have you tried? 3 days ago, you were committed to trying, and now you're right back where you started.  You HAVE to make a concerted effort.  It won't be easy, and you'll be uncomfortable, but you won't make progress unless you start trying.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yesterday was a really terrible day. I had to do some stuff regarding my visa to USA i had a lot  of stuff pending which i was supposed to do before but instead i was searching online 24/7 for HIV. My parents started shouting and criticising me about my behavior and thought i was enjoying and social networking on the net but in reality i was going to testing centers and asking hiv questions on the net.  They  blamed me and pushed me to the edge where i snapped and started breaking stuff and broke my car window. My sister called police but my mom sent them back. They dont know my problem and think i am just being a brat. I cant share it with them. Should i share my prob with a friend? Will that make it easier ? I have to give up I think i ll just take a test but i am scared. What should i do?
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Avatar_m_tn
Today i figured it all out. For everyone out there knowledge is power my research led me to the conclusion that
1. I am worried about late seroconversion. But i took a duo test which should be positive incase of late conversion because antibodies eliminate  the antigen.
2. Even if i was high risk no antibody and no p24 antigen means 100 percent no HIV, please correct me if i am wrong.
If any of the above is not correct then please correct me.
Other wise i am done.
Bye bye
Moderators can end this thread
Adios
Ps sorry for unneccesary rant and thank you  a LOT!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Today i figured it all out. For everyone out there knowledge is power my research led me to the conclusion that
1. I am worried about late seroconversion. But i took a duo test which should be positive incase of late conversion because antibodies eliminate  the antigen.
2. Even if i was high risk no antibody and no p24 antigen any time after 4 weeks (11 weeks in my case)means 100 percent no HIV, please correct me if i am wrong.
If any of the above is not correct then please correct me.
Other wise i am done.
Bye bye
Moderators can end this thread
Adios
Ps sorry for unneccesary rant and thank you  a LOT!!!
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