The most important factor in dealing with the stress of being infected with herpes is a having positive attitude. True, herpes is not curable, but there is a possibility that HSV will only ever be a cold sore. After all, it is common to feel guilty or ashamed when you hear you have herpes. You may feel that your sex life is ruined. You may feel sad or upset. Getting herpes is a serious shock — you need to reevaluate your whole life anew.
Keep in mind that you are one of at least 45 million people with herpes. Herpes may get less severe as time goes by, and you can help protect your sex partner by not having sex during outbreaks and by using condoms at other times as well as taking other precautions. Talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling.
Part of the psychological effect of contracting herpes is societal in nature. There is intense herpes hysteria in the world and people are scared of the herpes as if it was some sort of evil demon. The biggest issue with herpes concerns the double standards imposed on us by society. Having a cold sore is socially acceptable, whereas genital herpes, in spite of how sex is portrayed in the media, is taboo. The disease in itself is nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Even though there are still times you will be afraid of transmission and think that you will never be able to date healthy people again.
Since Herpes simplex is treated as a venereal disease and it elevates it to the status to something much larger. You might not even have any symptoms, ever.
Here are some ways to ease the stress of being infected with herpes:
- Eat a balanced diet: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit the amount of sugary and fatty foods and soft drinks you consume.
- Relax: In addition to all the above, a few minutes of down time does a lot of good. You’ve probably heard about relaxation techniques, such as yoga or electronic biofeedback, but you don’t have to do those things if listening to music, knitting, or just staring out the window is your idea of a relaxing break.
- Get enough sleep: The more rested you are, the better you will be able to handle stress in your life. Most people need about eight hours of sleep every night to function normally. Some need less than that, others need more.
- Exercise: Physical activity is a great stress reliever.
- Socialize: Being with people and having fun can help you forget your troubles for a while. It’s also good to talk about your problems with someone who cares about you and whom you can trust such as a friend, a family member, a spouse, or even a therapist.
Also, just remember life is for living! There are good days, bad days, and plenty of in-between days — with or without herpes!