Most people aren’t aware that HIV/AIDS & Depression often occur together in those who live with the virus. When we think of HIV/AIDS we immediately think of the physical impact of the illness such as weight loss, fever, headaches, muscle aches, joint pains, sore throat, rash etc. What is often not taken into consideration is the Mental Health problems that are associated with the diagnosis and medication side effects – infected individuals are likely to experience Depression, Anxiety, Panic, or even Suicidal thoughts.
“HIV/AIDS affects body and mind and we often ignore the effect on the latter. We need to give enough focus to the effects on a person’s emotions and thoughts. With HIV/AIDS, in the same way that keeping the body healthy is important so is keeping the mind healthy” says Psychologist, Zamo Mbele.
This free Facebook Friday Q&A aims to allow people who have queries, and need their questions answered. You can also discuss the medication affects. You can log in and ask for free advice on the live chats with top experts for an hour. Either from 1pm to 2pm or 7pm to 8pm.
Tips on managing Depression & HIV/AIDS :
• Talk about your feelings with your doctor, friends, family members, or other supportive people
• Seek Mental Health therapy
• Learn more about HIV/AIDS and Depression
• Avoid drug and alcohol use
• Follow a healthy diet
• Manage physical and emotional health problems
• Follow doctor’s orders about your prescriptions
• Try to find activities that relieve your stress, such as exercise or hobbies
• Try to get enough sleep each night to help you feel rested
• Learn relaxation methods such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing
• Join a support group
Psychologist, Zamo Mbele will be chatting in the afternoon at 1pm – 2pm. The evening chat will be at 7pm – 8pm with General Practitioner (GP), Sindi Van Zyl. To join the chats, LIKE SADAG’s Facebook Page: The South African Depression and Anxiety Group. Facebook users that would like to remain anonymous can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ask on your behalf.
SADAG is able to provide free telephonic support, counselling and referrals to nationwide resources. Call 0800 41 42 43, open 7 days a week, every day of the year, from 8am – 8pm or visit www.sadag.org for more info.