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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Community
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Avatar universal

OCD hiv

So, I've had a difficult past year, after getting tonsilitis twice in the same year (I'd never been sick before!) I freaked out, and my usual fear of HIV kicked in.

I went from getting tested to making my recent ex get tested, looking up old exes and obsessing over the possibility of them giving it to me, researching rare strains my tests might not have detected, etc, and I finally got to a good place--especially after I got a wonderful response from Doctor Hook in the hiv prevention experts forum, assuring me I was fine and no fears were warranted.

I was feeling good--until I had another intrusive thought. My main issue recently has been a lot of muscle and joint pain that kind of came out of nowhere the past month, along with a little nausea. I suddenly remembered that four months ago, I was having stomach issues and went to my health center at my university (in the US) to get blood drawn to check for internal bleeding, a typical CBC. I remember that day well because after getting a typical blood draw, I went out and saw a boy standing at the counter filling out his paperwork--he'd seen the nurse before me. He circled the top of the paper where it said "Hiv/AIDS related illness" and I remember feeling a little triggered but I kept my ground and was able to shake it off by going home and talking to my mom. I know I can't get it from being in the same room with sick people, using the same pens, etc. I was able to be rational right then...

But now, after accepting I haven't contracted it sexually, I'm terrified that my myalgia and weird pains are late ars from the blood draw in Feb and that the nurse somehow reused the needle they used for him (assuming they drew any blood, which they might even not have).

I hate this. Every time I think I'm getting better I go off the deep end. It's like I have to work so hard to keep myself above water--and it's so easy for these thoughts to drag me down again. I want to be able to get blood drawn in the same facility as an HIV-infected student and still be completely comfortable knowing that I'm fine. Now I can already feel the desire to obsessively research on the internet, check symptoms, call the facility, see local testing centers, and I just don't want to anymore. I'm sick of this.

I'm sorry this is long. I just wish this would get better.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hey there

You have very similiar OCD to me! Sorry to hear about your hard times. And yeah the Drs in HIV Prevention Forum are amazing.

I got tested for HIV to get rid of any fears, and then of course start to worry 'what if some weird thing happened after the test?' - and my counsellor said my issue is not actually hearing that the test was negative, its like my brain still wants to find another bit of the thing to worry about. so eventually we just have to take advice of the Doctors and not worry about these non-risk scenarios. I know the OCD is always gonna make us think, what if X happened and then Y happened .....but at the end of the day we can't think that way ....we'll never live an enjoyable life if we are always thinking of these scenarios. Eventually we have to let go of the OCD and do the regular non-OCD thing to do. Even if it is so hard, eventually the fears will wear off.
1699033 tn?1514116733
COMMUNITY LEADER
This is what I call getting closure.  You got closure the first time really by believing what the doctor said on the HIV forum but what you have not gotten is how irrational thinking works and how it needs to be treated.  Until you learn CBT by seeing a psychologist you are going to experience problems off and on which is why you are where you are again.  Also your second paragraph, you wrote "researching rare strains my tests might not have detected" this is very typical thinking for a person with OCD or HIV anxiety.  If you read my Anatomy of a Horrific Thought post you will see how the OCD process starts and continues.  I will bump it up to the top of the forum.  

The fact is that Nurses absolutely do not reuse needles.  Never, ever.  I had HIV irrational thoughts which ended up with me sitting in an AIDS clinic on my lunch hour for several weeks as exposure therapy.  I now donate blood on a regular basis.  It is part of me saying I'm not going to give in to this stupid thinking.  

So my suggestion to you is to finally treat the underlying cause with is the irrational thinking.  I don't know if you have OCD or HIV anxiety....only the psychologist can diagnose you.  So make it a point to call and get a psychology appointment soon.  Take care.
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