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Depression over one year


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Hello, I am a 34 years old male that had been diagnosed with HSV-2 since over a year ago. I am not having problems with the symptoms, had 3 episodes in a year, mostly I get 2 o 3 lesions and no pain, but otherwise my mental health had been deteriorating a lot since the diagnose (specially during an outbreak). It's been a year since the last time I had sex or any type of intimacy, I miss contact with girls, I miss girls, I miss feeling like a real man. 

Before having herpes I felt like it was already difficult to create a connection with a woman, now it feels like it is impossible, most women want to have sex before starting to love or connect with someone (or that's what I have experienced). I've had three specific oportunities of having something with a girl but not at a high level of connection that made me feel confident to tell her about my situation. These girls I met, mostly are friends of my friends, so I fear exposure and rejection. I have lost all of my self esteem, I cry almost everyday, I fear that I'm going to be alone forever.

Sorry for being so selfish and come here to talk about myself not giving anything back, but I want some advise. It is not easy to talk to people about this. I have researched a lot of information about the disease, I know there are a lot of people with the same, but it seems nothing is helping me. I think it would help me to talk to people in the same situation as mine.

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Hey there @iwanthope,

I totally get how tough this must be for you. Feeling isolated and struggling with self-esteem after an HSV-2 diagnosis is something many people go through, so you're definitely not alone in this. In fact, I felt the same way when I first got herpes. I always struggled to connect with women, feeling a big lack of confidence. Then I got herpes and felt like that was an absolute brick wall to any future intimacy. But I was so, so wrong. It actually was a doorway to deeper connection for me. Not the herpes. But the vulnerability that came with it. As Brene Brown says, vulnerability equals connection. That's been so true in my experience. I doubt I would have met my wife and been capable of falling in love the way we did if it wasn't for the vulnerability and connection we experienced together through the disclosure and opening up to each other. 

Also, it's not selfish at all to share your feelings and seek advice. That's what communities like this are for. It's important to talk about what you're going through, and this is a safe space to do that.

Regarding your experiences with dating and intimacy, it's completely normal to feel apprehensive about opening up to someone new about your HSV-2 status. But remember, having herpes doesn't make you any less of a man or unworthy of love and connection. It's just a skin condition, and it doesn't define who you are as a person. It's such a non-issue for most people on a medical level, which means most of the issues that arise are based on perspective and self-worth. And those can change.

You mentioned feeling hesitant to disclose your situation due to fear of rejection, and that's a common concern. However, building trust and a deeper connection can sometimes make it easier to share your status. It's all about finding the right time and the right person who understands and respects you. Check out the free e-book here for more on that: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

Also, your mental health is super important. If you're feeling down and crying often, it might be helpful to talk to a counselor or therapist who can provide support and strategies to cope with these feelings. I also provide one-on-one coaching: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/herpes-coaching

Remember, many people with HSV-2 lead fulfilling romantic lives. It's about finding someone who appreciates you for who you are, beyond the diagnosis. And in the meantime, focusing on self-care and activities that make you happy can really help boost your self-esteem.

Hang in there. It's tough, but you're not alone. Keep reaching out and connecting with others who understand what you're going through. You've got this! 💪💖

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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Thanks for your words, I know this is going to sound stupid, but mostly of all I miss sex, I used to have a great sex life, I don't feel like having a relationship or the love of my live is my biggest problem right now, but having fun, I wanted to have fun more, I was enjoying my sex life a lot. Now my close friends make fun of me because they think I am like a virgin or an idiot around girls, constantly my family are insisting on me to have a family, kids or at least a girlfriend, so I'm getting a lot of social pressure too.

Meeting girls became really difficult, I don't use apps, and I don't have the personality to go to the streets and talk to strangers. The only way I had was meeting friends of my friends, but now that's not an option for me.

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Oh don't paint yourself into a corner thinking that way! You are still as much of a real man as you ever have been. Herpes doesn't change any of that. Notice you're saying these things as if they are true. They certainly don't have to be true! And I totally get feeling this way. I certainly did when I first got herpes ... but don't let how you feel now impact your expectations of the future. Your future is what you make it. And this experience can indeed make you a stronger, more vulnerable, humble, and yes, lovable you.

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

Helpful resources:

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What about just sex? Not being with a person to build a relationship but just for fun? Do I have to say it to the person? If we know the odds to getting it are very low, using protection, taking medication, not having outbreaks for a while, do I still have to disclose to that person? I know it is ethically wrong, but even some doctors told me they don't see herpes as a big issue, you need to go and say to every sex partner.

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Yes, of course you still disclose, even if it's a one-night stand or casual. Why? Because they deserve to know the (low) risk and make a decision for themselves. And even if it's one night, it's still an incredibly intimate thing. You still want to have a foundational level of respect and trust for this person, even if only for one night. And you would want and expect the same if the roles were reversed, right? What if the other person was thinking the same way and they had a different STI that you'd rather not add to your collection? This video might help: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/post/casual-hookups-with-herpes

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

Helpful resources:

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Thanks for your answers, I just watched the video and you are right, but despite all being adults I think there is a stigma about it, even if someone tells me that they have a cold sore (something that people never say), I would rather not kiss that person than taking the risk to have it, and I have kissed more than 50 girls in my life, so it is almost sure that I have kissed someone that had HSV-1. And you know that one also can lead to genital herpes.

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