Getting Started: Basic Skills for Effective Social Work with People with HIV and AIDS
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A diagnosis is disruptive and fragmenting to the self and frequently reawakens developmental needs and traumas, exacerbating underlying issues. Psychotherapy can help people regain some stability and equilibrium, as it helps contain and modulate the affects so that the trauma can be addressed in the treatment. People should consider whether this is an adjustment reaction to coping with a life threatening illness, a major depression, or an organic mental disorder, known as AIDS dementia complex (ADC), which is also frequently referred to as HIV cognitive/motor complex, HIV encephalopathy, or AIDS dementia. Research done by Beehr and Bhagut concludes that factors contributing to stress are situations characterized by high levels of uncertainty, associated with important outcomes, and extending over a long duration. Our feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and frustration mirror our patient's feelings. Cognitive, behavioral, and personality changes are often precipitated by infections in the brain.