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HIV Anxiety - Paranoia

Hello,  I wanted to share my story with all the people here worried/paranoid with HIV Anxiety.  I became obsessed with the idea a few years ago when I had unprotected sex.  I got the flu a few months later, and like most of you, made the biggest mistake by reading symptoms online.  I convinced myself that I had it and tested negative at six months and moved on.  I made a mistake again in February and this time caught the cold three weeks later.  I spent days and nights constantly thinking about the virus, google'ing every symptom.  I thought my thyroids were swollen, I got canker soars in my mouth, my stomach rumbled, I lost 10lbs, I sweated at night for an entire week and a few times after during high anxiety times.  I got nauseated often, I slept with my wrists folded and got muscle spasms, joint pain, headaches, depression, blurry vision, dry and pain behind my eyes.  I even thought I saw non-existent rashes.  And when summer came along and I had dry skin on fingers, I thought I had flaky skin.  My stomach hurt at times and I started having white stuff on my tongue which I thought was thrush, doctor said it wasn't.  I played with the back of my ears so much, felt pain and thought I had swollen thyroids, until I actually swelled up the back of my ear by playing with it.  My anxiety took over my life, I didn't believe the five tests I took in the first three months and it became harder to trust test results afterwards.  I had muscle aches, weak hands and tingling down my toes.  I confused mosquito bites with rashes and spent numerous hours a day until I developed a disorder... generalized anxiety attacks and my obsession got worse.  At a point where I can picture a good life without thinking that I'm infected.  I got my 20 week test and I'm still convinced that I had HIV, because my joints hurt.  Please remember, imagination is key, don't do this to yourself and rely on test results!  It becomes a vicious cycle once you convince your mind that you have something you don't.  I'm doing better now with CBT and I'm seeing a psychologist.  Family and friends are also of great help.  Don't let HIV anxiety ruin your life.  I even thought the depression I was having was because of HIV, then it went to MONO or LYME disease after reading more symptoms online.  Stay off GOOGLE for symptoms and believe the tests.  Hope my post helps someone else here suffering from the same condition.  Best wishes and hang in there.  Picturing positive things is key, remember it took your mind months to get here and it will take that long or longer to get back to your normal life.  It's never easy to put it past you if you experienced symptoms right after or close to the encounter and you obsessed about it for months.  You mind doesn't have eyes or ears, it believes everything you tell it.  I'm stuck telling myself that symptoms mean nothing!  It's helping.  
17 Responses
Avatar universal
Good post for the worry wells--you can move on now but 3 months would have been conclusive.
Avatar universal
I also had dry mouth, and still do.  In case some of you experienced that.  I tested for a full blood panel, white blood, protein, vitamins, HEP C, Syphillis, Gon/Clam, everything you can think of, all clean.  I tested with BioRad, ClearView, OraQuick, RNA/PCR, and last one, ClearView again at 20 weeks.  In case knowledgeable counselors here want to add their own thoughts.  Oh, all blood drawn from my vein, and one nurse even hit a nerve, making my right hand almost useless for a weak, spasm did me worse.  White hair, sensitivity to light(probably because of looking at monitor for too long).  My anxiety started when a clinic worker stated, and I quote "I hate to tell you this" right before he read my results -"But I don't think I got enough blood from you."  Bad choice of words, haunting me until today.  
Avatar universal
Also think I'm so "special" that I might be one who shows antibodies late, ahahah, never had luck with the lottery so I don't know why I think this.  Even convinced myself that I might have lupus because I got canker soars and was treated for h y pylori a while back.  No doubt I have a case of OCD going on too, hypochondriac at the same time.  The best advice I can give, is accept who you are and don't think you're crazy.  I had all these thought before, I just channeled them to my benefit, thought of work and relationship, not HIV.  Best Wishes to all anxiety, paranoid HIV symptom shoppers.  Hope I helped you...
Avatar universal
Very good self analysis. I had gone through the same situation since last 4 months. I have spoiled 4 months of my life. But I should have use latex for safe sex. Now I will never do unprotected sex. Imagination can ruin your life.

Thanx a lot again.
Avatar universal
Dude, I have suffered for 5 years and only just took the test, I was also thinking I had everything.. I turned to booze badly, very bad ... and can hardly remember many of these years, I'm now confident of the tests I took (I live in a high risk environment, Thai, PHY..etc) - Im single and love to be with females, but know the precautions to take now... and look forward to being with girls again... look at my post..
Avatar universal
And yes I will always wear protection.... thanks for sharing - I feel like I have a twin who suffered the same pain....
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