March 4, 2015 at 8:12 pm #5337GatormanParticipant
Terri, first of all, thank you for all of the help and insights that you provide.
I am a 33 year old male and was diagnosed with HSV2 (culture and blood) in 2003 and still remain HSV1 negative to this day (wish that it were reversed due to greater prevalence of type 1).
Initially, I experienced constant outbreaks and about 9 years ago, got on daily valtrex suppressive therapy (1 g per day). All outbreaks stopped and I have not spread the virus to anyone else (I have dated many women).
Currently and for whatever reasons, the anxiety and depression from my initial diagnosis have resurfaced. I suffer from OCD as well and find myself consumed by this again (over 300 thoughts of herpes per day). Furthermore, since it is life long, I feel the only escape is suicide as I don’t want to live w it anymore, but don’t want to die either.
I’m going to counciling and my Dr has me on Lexapro, Buspar and Abilify.
Please tell me that I am overreacting. Has anyone you know ever committed suicide to escape herpes mental prison?
March 5, 2015 at 3:41 pm #5345Terri WarrenKeymaster
In addition to your medicine, I hope you will consider seeking help from a Cognitive Behavioral therapist.
I don’t want to downplay your reaction to herpes as irrational or an overreaction, but I do know for 100% certainty that many people live totally happy productive loving lives with genital herpes. They have lots of sex and they have children and grandchildren and they have people who adore them. They have sex partners who would happily trade off acquiring genital herpes as opposed to not being with their beloved partner. I see this in my office all the time. Promise.
Can you break down the elements of the herpes mental prison for me? What kinds of things are you telling yourself about having herpes when you have these thoughts?
Have you talked with your counselor about these suicidal thoughts? It is important that you do. Some of the meds that you are taking could be contributing to these thoughts, in some people. I’m not saying they ARE, I’m just saying it is extremely important that you talk with your therapist about all of this.
Once again, I will tell you that the vast majority of people with genital herpes live full and happy lives. No, they don’t love having genital herpes but they recognize that everyone has some characteristics that they or others might view as negative. One of your is having herpes, other people just have different ones! I will say that folks with OCD and herpes have a rough time sometimes – it certainly is a place to “put” those OCD thoughts. I am very sad for you and am here for you to help, but you must also involve your therapist who is with you.
- This reply was modified 8 years, 6 months ago by Terri Warren.
March 5, 2015 at 4:01 pm #5348GatormanParticipant
The obsessive thoughts are: life long virus, contagious, forever on suppressive therapy, unfair that majority of population doesnt have to deal w this and is much more nonchalant (ie socially happier) ; inescapable ; difficult to find the positive side; robbed me of my innocence ; only way out is death (unfortunately and not realistic, but true and that makes me even more sad)
March 6, 2015 at 5:04 pm #5360Terri WarrenKeymaster
Life long? Yes, true.
Contagious? At times, yes. Not always
Forever on suppression: only if the situation is appropriate. If you have sex with someone who also has HSV 2, no need. If you aren’t having sex, no need. If you are having sex with someone who decides they are not concerned about transmission, no need.
Unfair: oh please, don’t even get me started about fair vs unfair in the world.
One positive side that I have heard multiple times is that having herpes requires a postponement of sex in a relationship – needing to wait until one knows if the person hearing the news is one worthy of sharing such private information. It also helps to sort out who is a worthy partner and who is not. If they can’t handle herpes, how would they do with a different more serious medical problem?
Again, I so hope you will share your feelings and fear with your therapist about all of this.
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