CNS Reporter
2 minute read
18 Dec 2017
10:01 am

Depression and living with HIV/Aids

CNS Reporter

Mental health is key to those struggling with HIV/Aids.

Depression is often exacerbated if living with HIV/Aids

The commemoration of World Aids Day on 1 December, and 10 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children between 20 November and 10 December, greatly enhances the public’s general awareness of the effects of the scourge of abuse.

More ought to be said about the effect of HIV/Aids on victims’ emotions, which are central to their mental stability and well-being, City Buzz reports.

READ MORE: Living with HIV for 26 years: ‘It’s possible’

According to South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), most people aren’t aware that HIV/Aids occurs together with depression in those living with the virus.

In a statement, the group said the public’s immediate thoughts associated with the impact of HIV/Aids were weight loss, fever, headaches, muscle aches, joint pains, sore throat, rash and others.

“They don’t consider mental health problems and side effects deriving from likely depression, anxiety, panic and suicidal thoughts,” said group psychologist Zamo Mbele in the statement.

“HIV/Aids affects the body and mind, and we often ignore its effect on the latter. We need to focus enough on the victim’s emotions and thoughts. Keeping the mind healthy is similarly important to keeping the body healthy.”

The group gave the following tips to managing depression and Aids:

  • Talk about your feelings with your doctor, friends, family members, or other supportive people
  • Seek mental health therapy
  • Learn more about Aids and depression
  • Avoid drug and alcohol use
  • Adopt a healthy diet
  • Manage physical and emotional health problems
  • Adhere to doctor’s orders on treatment
  • Engage in exercises and hobbies that relieve stress
  • Get enough sleep each night to help you feel rested
  • Learn relaxation methods like meditation, yoga or deep breathing
  • Join a support group

Details: 0800 41 42 43; 011 234 4837.

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