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07 Jan 2005

Consumed with Fear
Hi Doc,

I find I have an irrational fear of the HIV virus. I have had this problem for about 2 years now, and find it consumes my daily thinking completely. I do not put myself at risk, yet find myself constantly worrying about very low risk situations and thinking about all the what ifs. I constantly go for HIV tests and despite negative results am never satisfied.I do realise i need to take a stand and get some help. Please could you recommend a good course of action and who I might talk to.

Answer 491 views

01 Jan 0001

OK, JJ< so we're talking about what you agree is an irrational fear, over and above any rational and reasonable fear we might have. As you recognize, if it dominates your daily thinking, that's excessive, and it is interfering with your work and enjoyment of life. See a good local psychiatrist or clinical psychologist ( especially if you can find one practising CBT, Cognitive-behaviour Therapy, which is dandy for irrational thought wrestling !) As Ice says, this is related to phobias ( excessive fears) and maybe also to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and both respond well to medicinal and psychological treatment. Then you can go back to being nornmally and wisely cautious, but not consumed by excessive fears.
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