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Traumatized, Anxious and Depressed

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I need help. Please. F, 51 NYC area, I don’t care re gender or age of buddy. 

Dx 5 months ago - contracted from one encounter from the first man I have been with since marriage ended. 

I was so excited for my new life… and now… I have never been lower in my entire life. 

I am terrified of my own body. Disgusted by myself. I am anxious to begin with … now every twinge below my waist makes me wonder if I am going to have an outbreak or if I am contagious/shedding. The uncertainty is unbearable. I feel like a walking biohazard .

My gynecologist tells me its not a big deal…I feel like the mental trauma and emotional damage is barely addressed by the doctors .

My life feels over. The woman I was before dx is gone. All that is left is a shell of a person. 





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Hi @Elise6 I am sorry for what your going through. I guess we all have experienced the same in greater and lesser degree. It is frustrating that the medical community almost ignores this virus and the effect that it has on our lives. They down play it as no big deal like you say but for us it is the realization that our physical being as we knew it is changed forever. You are so right that they do not address the mental and emotional trauma this has on us. They think it's just a skin condition.

I try and take it on a day to day basis. I live my life as productively as possible. I have GHSV1 and I have never had a typical OB but I get itching and burning these days as a reminder that I have it. Do you know which type that you have?

Your life is not over. The person inside you is still there but we have both been robbed of the normalcy and intimacy of relationships because we fear of passing this on to someone. We don't want to do what was done to us. 

I do think a sense of normalcy and intimacy can be recovered but it takes longer to get there and not everyone is willing to accept the risk especially since HSV affect everyone differently. 

The only people who understand the impact of this is people who have this. You will evolve an become stronger. The impact of this virus can be minimized bit unfortunately not eliminated.

The good news is there are some things being worked on that may be significant in suppressing the virus coming in a few years. Let's hope sooner than later.

I am in the NYC area, married male 62 feel free to message me if you want to.



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I think the value of having a forum like this is so that we can see that there are others who are just like us. We can get encouragement and have hope that we can have a full and happy life. That we can learn to overcome the challenges of having this virus. We are going to be different but that it is not a life ending diagnosis. You are still the person that you were except you have been put in a situation that is going to cause you some physical, emotional issues. It forces you to grow and gird yourself for the battles. You can overcome this. Don't let this stupid virus dominate you. Don't let it rob you of your joy or your dreams. 


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Trying my best to hold on. Feels impossible. Thank god I have my kids to keep my here and grounded. 
its been 5 mo since dx and it feels like it is getting worse mentally .

thanks again for kind words of encouragement 

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I suggest that you should get some therapy. Even people without HSV get depressed or anxious. HSV magnifies these issues so getting some help to deal with this is a good thing. You have a support group here too. People love you and need you. This virus doesn't make you less valuable as a person. There are a lot of people who have it so for you to find romance again is possible although a little complicated with disclosure.  As you can read here many people are willing to accept the risk and willing to be with someone who they love and know that a virus doesn't define who they are 

You kids need and love you and you wouldn't want to leave them. You're going to survive and thrive. You'll grieve and experience a feeling of loss. In time you will rebuild your life and anyone who can't accept you they way you are without judgement can take a hike and not worth you time anyway.

Stay in touch and know that I am rooting for you and here if you need encouragement and support.

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I mustered all my energy last evening to get out and meet friends, at urging of sibling that knows how I am feeling, to try to Cheer up. 

The convo somehow turned to STI and I had to sit there and watch 5 people sneer in disgust and horror at the thought of their teenager kids  getting an STD. Words like “gross” and “eww” and “ugh” being tossed around. 

as I sat there feeling the lingering pain of my second outbreak, I didnt say anything and just excused myself to the bathroom and left not long after. 

 I  would never physically harm myself bc of my kids- i am all they have-but the reality is I am dead on the inside. 

i am just grateful I am older when I got this so I wont have to live as long with this horror 


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I think it is good for you to get out. Lots to do in NYC. The reality is there is so much ignorance and stigma associated with HSV. Almost everyone has HSV1 orally which causes cold sores. HSV2 is almost identical to HSV1 but is associated with genital infection. I have genital HSV1 so even though it is acceptable to have cold sores on my mouth if I have the same below my waist I'm stigmatized. It is not really a rational conclusion and quite unfair. 

People are not educated on HSV in general including the medical community. There are very few Doctors that have gone beyond their meter understanding of the virus.

Make some new friends, continue to go out. I know that you feel dead inside right now but I believe differently. You have to educate yourself about what HSV is and is not. It doesn't have to be what defines who you are as a person. I know you have these feelings about yourself as we all can struggle with. We have a virus. It is common and unfortunately we acquired it. You did nothing wrong to deserve it you were just unlucky and it was passed on to you. Yes it's for the rest of your life so you have to decide how are you going to handle this. It's not like cancer or aids or some other fatal condition. It can be managed most of the time. There are treatments on the horizon that should be more effective than what we have available right now. So let's say in 5 years or less RVX201 might be on the market. It is in human trials in the UK and on the fast track. There are other treatments like Pretlivir that also might be here in a couple of years and us in human trials.

What I am saying is you have to have hope and not give up. While you are hoping you need to live and enjoy life. The museums, shows, ballet, concerts, walks in the parks. Love yourself and be good to yourself. You can still date. Chances are the person you're interested in has HSV1 already and is willing to become involved and accept the risk and take precautions like taking antivirals. He after all he could give you HSV1 kissing you and you probably never calculated that risk.

If you are feeling depressed and anxious then get into therapy to help get yourself mentally and emotionally centered. De-stress yourself as stress is a trigger. Have some fun and find something to laugh about. Laughing is a great medicine for our soul.

You are going to be happy! You are going to be a success story!


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It can take a long time to process and the mental trauma can be far worse than the physical symptoms!

Give it time, allow yourself to be sad, angry, frustrated and all the emotions you need to let out because it does suck but it will get better. I know it doesn't feel like it but you will feel yourself again. 

I'm only 26 and I was devastated a few years back, not only did I found out I had herpes but warts too. It took some time to process but after my first disclosure it got easier. I soon found out people I know, even friends and an old housemate had it, that 1 in 5 statistic is real. 

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