Mental health and resilience

Depression and anxiety

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems among people with HIV; sometimes depression is related to the cumulative losses of friends and relationships that they have experienced, lack of social support, loss of employment, career prospects or earning capacity and a sense of hope for the future. It is also evident that lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and intersex men and women experience depression and anxiety at higher rates than the wider population and can be at a greater risk of suicide and self-harm. See:–me/lesbian–gay–bi–trans–and–intersex–lgbti–people

Despite a higher prevalence of anxiety and depression among people living with HIV (PLHIV), research also suggests that many PLHIV of all ages have developed resilience,[14] a protective factor for longer-term mental health.  While there is little nursing research on this topic, some studies have shown that nurses can promote resilience through modelling social skills and assisting the client in developing coping skills.[15]  Bletzer notes that resilient people with HIV tend to have a higher level of knowledge of their illness, demonstrate self-responsibility, and persistence.[16]  Others have noted better quality of life, less psychological distress, positive beliefs, and the ability to relinquish control over the uncertainty of life with HIV among those who demonstrate resilience.[17] [18]