Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How is Marcelo Maia healthy?

I am healthy by trying to keep sanity in midst of a crazy world, where absurd is a constant and injustice is common occurrence.

Just watching the news and witnessing the struggles of everyday people for basic human rights is enough to depress anyone. When HIV is added to that mix, that struggle hits home and becomes personal, you own it like it or not.

I believe our attitude towards life has a direct impact on our body and the response to HIV. Depression not only affects our mood, it affects our response to the infection, it can also depress our immune system and how it reacts to HIV. That's why I think its vital to keep good mental health and have a positive outlook towards life .

How to do that is the question and the answer is formulated by our own realities. For me, giving meaning to my life by working on issues I believe, by trying to do things I love, by being sensitive to other people's humanity and needs, by trying to understand others, by cherishing the people I love, by trying to make a difference for the better.

For me, it is necessary that we know who we are, to have meaningful conversations with friends and people we love, to seek professional help if I need. Psychotherapy has had a bad rap due to the stigma associated with mental diseases. Depression is a mental disease and often associated with HIV. It is a villainous disease because it impairs our ability to see life under a positive light, things are bleak and we feel powerless.

On the other hand, we are the only ones who can do anything about it.

Fear can be a bitch, if you let it.

-- Marcelo Maia
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