Positive mental health is an important part of staying healthy when living with HIV. Mental health issues can affect how well you function at work and at home, and can affect your physical health by:
- Interfering with your ability to take your HIV medicines
- Making it harder for you to keep your health appointments
- Causing you to isolate yourself and not take advantage of your support network
- Interfering with your healthy behaviors, such as getting enough sleep and exercise
- Increasing risky behaviors such as having unprotected sex
- Impairing your ability to cope with the normal stresses of daily life
If you feel that something is different or might be “wrong,” it’s important to tell your doctor or other healthcare provider—including your nurse or case manager. Your feelings are both important and valid and the members of your healthcare team will help find the best way to get you the help you need. Specialty Care Clinic offers mental health and substance abuse assessments, and referrals to mental health providers for clients who would benefit from treatment, counseling or other mental health services.