The Psychological Effects of Herpes You Should Know

Being Diagnosed With Herpes

Knowing the fact that you have acquired herpes could affect you deeply, whether it is herpes type 1 or herpes type 2. While some individuals have heard of this condition before, others are clueless about it. Needless to say, the latter group have a more difficult time adjusting to the problems and implications of herpes.

Bitterness and anger are feelings that are bound to come flooding in if you happen to be diagnosed with herpes. It is quite common to see herpes patients thinking to themselves, “If only I had not…”. In other cases, patients are seen being upset with their partners for having herpes and transmitting it to them. While these feelings are quite stressful, they are part of the grieving process. Patients should keep in mind that negative feelings will not turn time backwards; neither will they make them feel any better.

Psychological Effects of HerpesAnother common emotion among herpes patients is fear. This may come in various forms: some people may be scared of their loved ones finding out about their condition, others may be petrified of socializing any more, some may even be horrified thinking that they cannot have sexual relationships with people as much as they used to before. Such individuals need to understand that they are not alone. Also, it will get better with time and they will find happiness soon.

Some Myths Regarding Herpes

There are several myths that contribute to the depression, anxiousness, hopelessness and helplessness faced by the patients. Some of them have been mentioned below:

  • 1. Herpes is quite rare; not many catch it.
  • 2. The virus could be passed onto new-born babies, hence patients can never have children.
  • 3. Herpes is a result of being highly promiscuous.

How Stress Has an Impact on Herpes Outbreaks

There are countless damaging effects that come from the stress due to suffering from herpes. However, the scariest effect is the one on the patient’s herpes outbreaks. After a ton of research and tests, it has been discovered that there is a link between heightened stress and herpes outbreaks. Those who have a tougher time accepting the fact that they suffer from herpes find themselves facing higher numbers of outbreaks. As a result, this person then gets entangled in a cycle of never-ending occurrences.

Needless to say, the number of outbreaks in turn causes high stress levels in the person. At a point, they find themselves feeling hopeless and weak. Unfortunately, there is a direct connection between physical and psychological health, which means individuals with a lot of negative emotions are bound to face a bigger number of herpes outbreaks.

How to Deal With These Psychological Effects

Accepting What Has Happened

Being in denial will just add to your pain and cause problems, like stated above. Herpes does not have a cure and requires treatments for a lifetime, including visits to your doctor and ingesting medications prescribed by him/her. Once a patient accepts the fact that they have herpes, they could work on ways to deal with outbreaks, their personal relationships and their overall health and happiness.

What You Should Not Do

  • Most importantly, never ignore the symptoms: If you come to notice blisters around your mouth or genitals, please visit your doctor as soon as possible. Do not ignore the signs due to fear or carelessness. Also, ignoring the signs will not make herpes go away.
  • Do not lose yourself in the process of feeling self-pity: If you have caught herpes, it is natural to feel down. However, do not dwell in it to the point where you get depressed and risk facing higher numbers of outbreaks.
  • Do not hide the fact that you have herpes from your partner: You need not disclose your secret to them if it is just a date. However, if you are ever serious with a person to the point where you are considering having a sexual relationship with them, you must let them know of your problem. Take a look at this post to know how to have the talk.

What You Should Do

  • Educate yourself about herpes as much as you can: There is a ton of information you could find on herpes, each useful if you happen to suffer from it. You could make use of this data to take care of your condition appropriately, along with educating others.
  • Talk to a counsellor about your emotions: If you are stressed out due to the fact that you have herpes, speak to a therapist. They will definitely help you feel better.
  • De-stress yourself: Treat yourself to things that bring you happiness and make you feel at ease.

Herpes: From a Woman’s Perspective

The Tiny Things That You MUST Know

Believe it or not, women have a tough time divulging secrets, despite popular belief. Therefore, when it comes to something big, like suffering from herpes, we are more absolutely petrified of disclosing the matter to others. As a woman who has seen a handful of people around her who suffer from herpes, I would like to state that the disease could certainly be a pain. But it is also true that if you learn how to manage the problem, it cannot affect you in any major ways.

Firstly, let us address the most basic facts of herpes:

  • It is a condition that occurs due to the herpes simplex virus.
  • There are 2 types: herpes type 1 and herpes type 2.
  • Type 1 is also known as oral herpes, distinguished by sores and blisters around the mouth region.
  • Type 2 is also known as genital herpes, identified by blisters around the genitals.
  • A person is diagnosed with herpes with the help of a blood test or a test that involves taking a smear of the fluid from the blisters.

Differentiating the Lies from the Truths

Herpes has a ton of information that needs to be spread out among the general public in order to make people alert. There are lots of individuals, men and women who do not know what hit them when they or a loved one contract herpes. With the lack of information comes the lack of knowledge that helps to keep the outbreaks in check. Also, having sufficient knowledge clears out all the myths that come with herpes. Some of the fabrications that pertain to women having herpes have been mentioned below:

  • Myth: If I have oral herpes and if I touch my genitals, I will also acquire genital herpes.
    That is wrong, as it is hard to get the same type of herpes at another region of the body. This is due to the fact that your body is constantly forming antibodies that prevent the spread of the infection from one part to another.
  • Myth: Herpes can cause cervical cancer.
    Another false statement, as herpes virus is not related to the cervix, cervix abnormalities or even cervix cancer; the last is caused by the human papilloma virus.
  • Myth: If a person contracts herpes it means that they are highly promiscuous.
    This is not true, as herpes can happen to you even if you are having sex or participating in oral sex for the first time.
  • Myth: Women who have herpes can never have their own children.
    This is another lie that is probably the result of certain misunderstandings. Women who contract herpes during the last stage of pregnancy have the chance of passing it on to their unborn child. However, if the mother has caught it before pregnancy, there are very slight chances of transmission to the foetus.

Lastly, Dealing With the Situation

There is no way you could throw aside the worry, caution and fear that comes along with contracting herpes. However, for the sake of your sanity and happiness, you must move on from the wallowing in self-pity and the constant nagging worry of being rejected.

My friend Gemma caught herpes from a one night stand, a situation that had her in a mess. Not only did she have trouble breaking it down to all those close to her, she also constantly worried about socializing with people, intent in believing that she will be denied any love. Sure enough, she took her first rejection too hard, certain that this meant her love life has gone down the drains. Fast forwarding to 8 months, she had come to terms with her condition, feeling bold about mentioning it to people. Cupid’s bow struck her when she met Jaime in her office, a sweetheart who loved her for being “Gemma” and not “Gemma with herpes”.

Regardless of how bad your condition is, it is always easy to take good care of yourself, if you have acquired oral or genital herpes. You have to keep in mind that you are not damaged goods for people to trample over. Rather, you are now a mature person who must let the right person in who could respect you and your body, alongside loving you for who you are: a beautiful human being who is responsible and confident enough to share her secret with whoever she wishes to.