Living With, STD

Dealing With Severe Depression Following a Herpes Diagnosis

February 26, 2018

I just got a herpes diagnosis and feel like my life is over. What should I do?

More and more lately, I have been hearing from young men and women experiencing such severe depression following a herpes diagnosis they are speaking about killing themselves. If you are thinking about suicide following a herpes diagnosis, then you need to find help.

Herpes isn’t a fatal illness.

It is an incredibly common virus which affects a massive part of the populace. In the U.S., scientists estimate that one in four girls and one in five men are now living with herpes, a lot of them without even realizing it. If you have herpes, you are not alone.

A lot of men and women live long, happy, romantically- and sexually- satisfying lives following a herpes investigation. Although hearing that you have herpes can be extremely stressful because of the stigma associated with the disease, herpes is merely a virus similar to any other. A herpes diagnosis says nothing about the way you live your life. It says nothing about who you are.

Depression after a herpes diagnosis is not unusual, but it’s important that you know that things will get better over time. For many people, the initial outbreak is the worst, as well as also the frequency and severity of future outbreaks can be reduced with suppressive therapy. Although relationship with herpes may appear stressful, most prospective partners will require your diagnosis in stride, especially in the event that you approach the topic with openness, honesty, and advice.

In case you have severe depression after a herpes identification, please get help. Herpes isn’t something worth losing your life over.

Worries After Diagnosis

Two of the most common causes of depression after a herpes identification are pity and fear of infecting a partner. Fortunately, there are concrete ways to deal with both of these issues.

One of the initial actions in handling shame is understanding how frequent herpes is. It affects over 20 percent of the population, black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight. A genital herpes investigation says nothing about who you are. In terms of worries about infecting a partner, those are real. However, there are ways that you can reduce that threat. Included in these are consistently practicing safe sex and using suppressive therapy to reduce herpes transmission. You might even limit sexual contact prior to and during an epidemic. But, that’s not the most effective form of prevention because of the risk of asymptomatic viral shedding.

Just how Common Is Depression after Herpes?

There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence linking depression to a herpes diagnosis, but relatively little published data. Nevertheless, in 2012, a federal study found that adults infected with HSV-2 were twice as likely to be depressed as adults who did not have HSV-2. However, there was no way for that study to establish if HSV caused that increase in melancholy, vice versa, or there was another association between herpes and depression. That is certainly possible as depression and herpes are both also connected to sexual risk taking.

Depression and Herpes: A Two Way Street

Herpes might result in a rise in depression, but anxiety, depression, and nervousness definitely result in a rise in herpes outbreaks. Quite a few studies have linked an increase in stress and depression to more frequent outbreaks. This shouldn’t be surprising, as stress and depression can have strong effects on the immune system. That’s 1 reason why it’s important to find help if you are worried or anxious from a brand new herpes diagnosis. When you’re less distraught, you are less likely to have herpes symptoms. It can be a vicious cycle, but it’s a cycle that assist and anxiety reduction techniques can interrupt.

If You’re considering suicide:

It’s essential that you speak to someone immediately and let them know you’re feeling this way–somebody who can talk to you at the moment. If you are under the care of a psychiatrist or a counselor, he or she is the individual to call. It is also possible to telephone your doctor or clergy person. A relative or friend is also a fantastic choice.

If these options aren’t readily available to you, please call a suicide crisis hotline. In the United States, you can call 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255. Here is a web site that lists other hotline numbers in the U.S. and round the world:​