Theme

Sub-theme

1. Depression & Hopelessness

Extreme sadness/depression
Neurologically based behavioural changes
Social withdrawal
Feelings of worthlessness
Decrease or increase in appetite
Insomnia or hypersomnia
Fatigue or loss of energy
Diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities.
Feelings of guilt
Ideas of self-deprecation
Hopelessness
Helplessness

2. Self-destructive behaviour

Hanging self with a rope
Jumping over high walls/cliff
Shooting self with a gun
Banging own head against walls
Cutting own major blood vessels
Using carbon dioxide to kill self e.g. car exhaust pipes
Taking overdose of sleeping tablets
Not eating food/starving self
Suicidal ideation

3. Rejection and stigmatisation

Thrown out of house/left in the house by wife/husband/brothers and sisters
Discriminated by others e.g. friends
Isolated or not willing to mix with the person infected
Being labelled by the illness or called by such illness or names
Dismissed from employment because of illness
Being judgmental/blaming

4. Anxiety and fear

Panic disorder
Anxiety
Fearfulness
Gastro-intestinal complaints e.g. Diarrhoea
Sweating
Restlessness
Difficulty in concentrating or mind going blank
Irritability
Preoccupations about death
Worry
Anticipatory grief reactions
Anticipating the worst
Low self esteem or feelings of worthlessness
Emotional detachment

Table 1: Psychological experiences of HIV/AIDS by infected patients at first diagnosis.
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