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Herpes is ruining my life


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I am a Male from London, to the outside world everything is going great, im relatively athletic and attend a great medical school,  which makes the sting of having herpes all the more bitter, I was supposed to know better. 

My first outbreak was in May of this year, it was very severe and took months to clear entirely. I am currently experiencing my second outbreak which is much less severe but still consists of 5 burst blisters which show no signs of healing.

Prior to contracting herpes I always struggled with depression and low mood, however in the last few months things have taken a turn for the worse and i will admit I never go a day without contemplating suicide. I have not told anybody about this, and have not visited a doctor as I cannot bring myself to do it. The idea of disclosing to a partner terrifies me, not because they would know, but because if it spread around my university it is not something I could deal with.

As i write this I will admit I am unsure what I hope to gain, I guess it would be nice to just not feel so alone. Would be nice to find someone in a similar position to me to chat too as well.

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If you are having suicidal thoughts, you need to go see a doctor. I can promise you that Herpes is not the end of the world! The first disclosure is terrifying, and when I first disclosed, it was within 15 minutes of being told that my blood test was positive for HSV-2. That guy did not take it well and I felt awful. HOWEVER, shortly thereafter, he came around and decided he wanted to be with me. I then rejected him because I did not want to be with someone who could not handle the good and the 'bad'. 

A few months later, I met my boyfriend. I disclosed to him on our first date (we had been talking for a couple weeks prior to the first date and I just *KNEW* that he was something special) and he has been nothing short of amazing. We have been together for over 7 months and things are great!

That first guy is actually a bit jealous that I found someone else and regularly texts me to tell me that he doesn't like that the other guy has me, that he wishes we were together, etc. I do not reciprocate those feelings and delete his texts...but telling you this so that you know that having herpes is not the worst thing that could happen.  Out of 2 disclosures, I had one full acceptance with no hesitation, and one hesitation who now wants to be with me (and never will be!).

I would also like to mention that being diagnosed with herpes has also made me much more selective about who I would choose to date, and by association, disclose to. The first guy, I told because I was in shock and hadn't thought anything through. In hindsight, I knew that he was not a good fit for me and I would not tell him again if I could go back. But, during those few months after disclosing to guy #1, I really sat back and assessed what I wanted, what I would not settle for, what my standards are...and I decided that for me to disclose to someone, he had better be pretty damn amazing. If I thought for a second that my guy would open his mouth and tell a soul, then he clearly is not the right person for me to be with and disclose to. If you have a fear that telling a partner would result in word spreading, then that is your gut telling you that the person is not worth your time to be with. A partner who truly cares about you will not tell anyone about your medical history, regardless of the outcome of the relationship. 

In this way, herpes is a blessing because it has really made me much more selective in who I choose as a partner. Try to look at it in this way. It has helped me.

And please - go see a doctor about your thoughts of suicide. That is a permanent solution to a temporary problem! It does get better, I promise!!!

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Thank you for the reply

I actually did go to see someone and completed some CBT however I found it did not help and I didnt disclose as the therapist made no effort to try and gain my trust, it was a rather disheartening experience 

I have found some coping mechanisms, both healthy and unhealthy, and am trying to get a handle on it

I'm very glad that your experience has been so positive and it's really nice to hear and I guess you're right that I have to be very picky, guess its just a hard thing for a 21 year old guy to hear is all 

Must say the fact I am of arabic descent and have a strict Muslim family really complicates the situation for me and I have no idea how I would even broach the subject with someone from a similar background if that's what I wanted 

Hopefully I get the confidence to take a dive and risk pursuing someone, just unsure where to start

I really do hope it gets better too

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You're definitely not alone! I'm 25F was diagnosed with HSV2 in April and have been having self harming thoughts and struggling with it all. Probably similar thoughts to what you've been experiencing, So you are not alone with that.


I have written on my mirror "Don't set yourself up for failure." Of course I feel like I have done that with contracting this virus and feel like a failed my future. But to add to that, I still see that whenever I have self harming thoughts. Because we live in the present and although the present isn't what we may want it to be doesn't mean the future won't be brighter. So I keep pushing it on, and learning that sex isn't the most important thing in life. I'm not Muslim but I came from a fairly strict Christian family and I understand how religion can add extra weight to the situation. 


What I've been doing is trying to discover myself. I think that's the key to it, is to learn to find happiness with in yourself. I haven't dated or disclosed to anyone yet. I think taking things slow and getting to know someone is very important before disclosing, making sure they are the right fit for you. You shouldn't feel like you have to settle (that's what I tell myself, and seen other say the same thing on here). I've met one guy that I kind of like and want to continue to get to know him and if he's interested in me I plan on disclosing before we start dating.


I hope things get better for you!

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