The Emotional Effects of Genital Herpes
In many cases, the social and emotional distress of having genital herpes is far worse than the physical symptoms, especially upon first discovering that you have been infected. Some people suffer from depression or anxiety because they fear recurrent outbreaks, transmission to sex partners, or difficulties in developing new relationships.
Fortunately, proper genital herpes treatment and knowledge about the true risks (which are usually less than an infected individual first fears) can greatly lessen all of these worries.
When first diagnosed, it is normal for you and your partner to have many different and sometimes confusing feelings. Discuss these with your partner, close friends, or family. Some people also find that they need help coping with the emotional and practical aspects of genital herpes. Some good sources for support may include:
- Healthcare providers
- Support groups.
Some people with the disease find support groups to be helpful. In these groups, patients or their family members get together to share what they have learned about coping with genital herpes. These groups may offer support in person, over the telephone, or on the Internet.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that each person is different. Ways that one person deals with herpes may not be right for another. You may want to ask your healthcare provider about advice you receive from other people with genital herpes.
The first step in dealing with genital herpes is to become educated about the condition and its effects. Talking openly with your partner can help you both take control of your lives. Once people understand it and recognize it, control is a lot easier. It is also important to know that for a lot of people, genital herpes may become a nuisance over time rather than a mind-altering, life-changing event.