The 3 Best Herpes Support Groups
If you are looking for a herpes support group near me in Philadelphia, therapy Philadelphia is a support group for people living with herpes in your area. It provides a safe space to discuss the impact of herpes on your life and helps you to meet with people who understand you. In this group, you will learn of tips and techniques for managing herpes and get guidance to help you adjust to living with HSV-2.
Honeycomb Herpes Support Group
This is an online herpes support forum. It gives people living with herpes a platform where they can post their questions, ideas, and advice for others to read. As a post-only forum, it offers the perfect platform for people who prefer to get support anonymously. You can create an account using a pseudonym and an avatar to gain access to this forum. The forum has sub-groups for herpes veterans, newly diagnoses individuals, and a platform for physical meetings for people living with herpes in your area.
Generally, men have a harder time finding safe spaces where they can bear their emotions, concerns, dreams, or ideas without feeling judged or intimidated. Mensgroup offers all men a safe space where you can interact with other people living with herpes. You will learn from others who have walked in your shoes before and managed to make it through to the other side happier and better.
Be Curious With The Resources You Consume
While standardized statistics, government guidelines, and agency pamphlets are great starter resources, they are limited in their delivery and often lack inclusivity. I see rising numbers of folks dedicated to understanding, discussing, and breaking the stigma, especially on Instagram. Be curious about the resources you consume, and dont be afraid to ask questions. Who is this persons audience? What is missing from the conversation? Do they talk about whats missing? Are they projecting their experience as the only one? Is that experience a privileged one?
Courtney Brame, host of the Something Positive for Positive People podcast and founder of the SPFPP nonprofit is one of my favorite resource recommendations for those looking for support in their positive diagnosis. His podcast hosts over 100 interviews about overcoming the stigma, living life with herpes, dating and disclosure, addressing privilege, and more.
How Is Genital Herpes Treated
Herpes has no cure. But antiviral medicines can prevent or shorten outbreaks during the time you take the medicine. Also, daily suppressive therapy for herpes can lower your chance of spreading the infection to your partner.
Your doctor will either give you antiviral medicine to take right after getting outbreak symptoms or to take regularly to try to stop outbreaks from happening. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.
During outbreaks, you can take the following steps to speed healing and prevent spreading herpes to other parts of your body or to other people:
- Keep sores clean and dry.
- Try not to touch the sores.
- Wash your hands after any contact with the sores.
- Avoid all sexual contact from the time you first notice symptoms until the sores have healed.
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How To Learn And Talk About Genital Herpes
Herpes is almost never a life-threatening illness, and it has few long-term health effects for most people. For this reason, says Henderson, you can come to view it as an inconvenience. Its only right, however, to deal with it responsibly.
Here are tips to help you stay calm while you deal with all the thoughts and feelings that a herpes diagnosis can bring.
Before discussing herpes with a partner, learn the facts yourself. Really educate yourself as much as you can so you can help your partner or potential partner to understand, says Henderson. Knowledge is power, and it supports your emotional power.
Dr. Handsfield agrees. Herpes has a tremendous psychological overlay, he says, but knowledge about the disease can reduce that.
See a medical professional. To get your facts straight, speak with a doctor or other healthcare practitioner. You can do internet research for general background information, says Henderson, but talking with a medical professional can make a world of difference. A doctor can tell you what is going on with you specifically, and also be empathetic.
For the best protection against giving another person the virus, says Handsfield, you would have to do three things:
- First, avoid sex during outbreaks.
- Second, use condoms regularly.
- Third, take antiviral drugs.
Life After Herpes Diagnosis: Coping With Herpes
The emotions experienced after learning you have herpes can leave you feeling isolated, guilty, and shamed. Not knowing how to navigate your emotions, the condition, let alone your social and sex life can set you up for a world of confusion and various emotions that can take its toll on your happiness, confidence, and self-esteem. Although there is no cure for herpes, knowing how to cope and how to take control of your life with the condition can actually set you up for greater confidence and better self-awareness than youve ever had before.
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Why Join A Herpes Support Group
When you suddenly develop blisters and mouth sores, the first test done is to check for a herpes infection. An HSV-2 virus diagnosis can cause you to feel fear, shame, and distress. While these are normal reactions with sexually transmitted diseases diagnosis, most people forget that genital herpes is a manageable condition with antiviral medication, even though there is no cure for it. It is crucial for people with herpes simplex virus type 2 to get educated on how to live with the condition and how they can practice better sexual health.
While most people living with herpes are advised to see a specialty therapist, herpes support groups can also be of great help when dealing with herpes. A support forum for people living with genital herpes can be the perfect complement to seeking medical advice. There are numerous genital herpes support groups in the United States and other parts of the world. These support groups offer a safe space where people living with HSV-2 can share their feelings, worries, and experiencing living with the virus. They also provide the perfect platform where accurate information about genital herpes is shared.
Joining a support group is highly recommended for anyone living with genital herpes. It is the best shot for you to lead a healthy life and feel like yourself again after a diagnosis. On the other hand, if you need an infidelity support group, mensgroup.com has you covered.
Practice What Youre Going To Say
Practice makes perfect, right? A lot of anxiety can be reduced just by rehearsing what youre going to say in the moment.
When its time to tell your partner, begin by simply telling them that you have genital herpes. Calmly explain that while the word herpes tends to scare people, its a very common disease and carriers may be completely unaware that they have it. Since many people dont ever exhibit symptoms, most doctors dont even test for it. Reiterate that you understand the importance of being completely open and honest about your health.
Explain how to reduce the odds of transmission through daily suppressive therapy as well as barrier methods like condoms and refraining from sex during an outbreak. Try to keep things light- herpes is nothing to be ashamed of
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Coping Strategies For Dealing With An Hsv
Women employed a variety of coping strategies following an HSV-2 diagnosis. Most women expressed initial shock and psychological distress. Women were most concerned about how they had contracted HSV-2 and that HSV-2 could not be cured. Women reported engaging in a variety of behaviors to cope with their diagnosis, including an increase in religious activities, reaching out to friends or family for support and an increase in consumption of alcohol and drugs. Below we explore each coping strategy in detail.
Remember That You Are Worthy Of Sexual Pleasure
Sex post-herpes-diagnosis felt empty for a long time. I didnt want to engage in self-touch or pleasure. I stuffed my sex toys under my bed and into a corner where they were inaccessible and out of sight. They served as a reminder of what I thought I wasnt, and what I thought I no longer deserved.
With time, I realized that these actions and my internal thoughts were the results of herpes stigma. It can be especially easy to feel this way while having an outbreak. Remember, positive diagnosis isnt a consequence or indicator of your worth. A positive diagnosis is a normal, expected outcome of engaging in sexual activity.
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Diagnosed With Std Here Are Ways You Can Cope With It Mentally Physically And Emotionally
No one will ever be prepared to hear a doctors diagnosis about HIV, AIDS or other types of sexually transmitted diseases. The emotional impact that STD and STI diagnosis can bring someone is huge and its something that either highlights an existing mental health problem or creates a new one.
The diagnosis of STD is often followed by depression and anxiety. People who get infected with sexually transmitted diseases normally get depressed because they think that they can no longer live life normally. Their knee-jerk reaction is to isolate themselves for months and they tend to avoid disclosing the problem to their families and friends.
While it is always heartbreaking to find out that you have been infected by a sexually transmitted disease, you can surely find ways to maintain a positive outlook in life. Here are some ways to cope with STDs and STIs physically, emotionally and mentally.
Individuals In Economic Vulnerability
As in natural hazards, the economically disadvantaged people seem to be more susceptible to the threat and more likely to be minced by it . For instance, a study has shown that groups with lower income may have been performing less physical exercises during this period, due to less access to Internet and technological tools. This is evidence that, besides the economic impairment, these individuals are also more vulnerable to physical and psychological repercussions of social isolation . Furthermore, there has been correlation between socioeconomic deprivation and ability to adopt preventive measures, enhancing the risk inequality .
Those living in informal settlements have particular stressors that decline their mental health. For instance, space constraints, violence and overcrowding implicates in decreased capability to adhere to the social distancing measures and, as a consequence, in increased fear of contamination . Furthermore, basic needs such as access to water, waste collection, sewers and adequate housing may not be available. Moreover, most of the individuals living in slums are informal workers and, therefore, are more vulnerable to the economical impact of the pandemic . Finally, racism, xenophobia and stigmatization of the poor have raised during the pandemic, which implicates in even worse outcomes regarding the mental health of these populations .
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Measures Adopted To Minimize Behavioral And Psychological Conditions Facing Covid
In light of all the harmful ramifications that derive from the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that the government, the health authorities and the population articulate to endorse preventive and supportive measures, not only for the transmission of the disease, but also for emotional, behavioral and psychological impact. In this context, it is important to include mental health professionals managing the pandemic more broadly . Their knowledge and experience are crucial to monitor the situation and to coordinate supportive measures in order to prevent an even higher increase in psychological disorders, including panic, OCD, addiction and PTSD . Finally, considering that poor mental health is associated with lower adherence to preventive measures for SARS-CoV-2, improving well-being might even decrease the rates of infection .
Myth: You Always Get A Herpes Outbreak Soon After Becoming Infected
Herpes is a sneaky infection. It can exist in the body for months or even years without showing symptoms, but its still contagious nonetheless.
If you do develop an outbreak, it will most likely happen two to twelve days after initial exposure to the virus. After the blisters break, they can take up to four weeks to heal.
Fortunately, subsequent outbreaks tend to be less intense. Recurring outbreaks are common but dont last nearly as long. These sores tend to heal within three to seven days, and the number of outbreak periods may even decrease over time.
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Avoid Sex During Herpes Outbreaks
This one seems like a no brainer. When you start to experience any early outbreak symptoms, like tingling and itching, dont have sex. When youre having a full-blown outbreak, refrain from genital sex, even protected sex. If you have cold sores, dont perform oral sex on your partner. Continue to avoid having sex for about 3 to 5 days after your outbreak has healed to ensure safety.
How To Live With Herpes
- Jan 04, 2017 // Modified 5 years ago
Living with herpes can be very challenging because people with herpes not only have to deal with physical issues caused by outbreaks, but also have to cope with emotional issues. When you find that you have herpes, you must calm down first. Then you need to learn how to live with herpes. Its important to research about herpes and learn how you can cope with this disease. Here are some tips for you to learn how to live with herpes.
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But Telling Partners Is Still An Embarrassing Struggle
Ive held myself back from dating. Im scared, not just about general rejection every girl feels in the dating game but for this extra baggage. I tried the honesty card once and it went as expected, I never saw him again. I want children and the thought of never meeting someone wholl accept me for me, terrifies me, she admits.
Id never thought of the emotional torture someone with herpes may face. I never considered the rollercoaster of emotions the sadness, shame and the anxiety around having to tell every single potential guy you sleep with, that you have this STI.
That was until Lucy, my very brave friend, finally confided in me about what shed been going through.
I felt devastated shed faced this alone and mostly in secret. And thats where we, as a community, as friends, as human beings, need to stop the judgement and jokes around herpes, so suffering in shameful silence isnt an option.
As Dr Kindred says, If you look at the statistics of people with it and the average number of partners we might have in our life, the odds are high well sleep with someone with herpes.
As a culture we need to be kinder in the way we speak about it and those people that have it.
If you need further information about herpes, Dr Kindred suggest the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre or New Zealand Herpes Organisation for factual resources online. Plus, there are many blogs by people dealing with the diagnosis.
The Search For Love Is But The Honest Searching Out Of Everything That Interferes With Love
Being told you have contracted a virus that currently has no cure is always difficult. There is no good way to find out that you have herpes, but there are ways to deal with the symptoms and gain emotional relief. Initially it is only natural to be overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, shame, fear, anger and depression, so you need to find ways of dealing with these feelings.
It is important to know that you are not alone in this and that there is help out there. Herpes is a very common disease. One in five people have it, which is more than diabetes and asthma. These conditions are more openly discussed, so people tend to think they are more common. There may not be much open discussion about Herpes, but if you look a bit or ask a health practitioner, you can find a support group.
Herpes is known to cause emotional trauma in people who suffer from this condition, and to their loved ones, which can make treatment a trying task. In such a situation it is vitally important that they find sources of emotional support from others, especially their health practitioners. The mental state of the patient is extremely important when he has to recover from a disease like herpes and a fragile emotional condition is detrimental to the healing process.
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Living And Learning: How To Cope With Herpes
Being diagnosed with herpes is already difficult. Learn how you can deal and manage your day to day cycle of living knowing you have this disease.
Herpes may raise strong emotional issues, especially in the first few weeks or months after a diagnosis. Some people initially feel embarrassment, shame, anger, or depression. The good news is that these emotions tend to fade away over time. Some studies have shown that even six months can make a difference in adjusting to herpes.
You might feel mad, embarrassed, ashamed, or upset at first when you hear the news. You may spend time to learn how to live with herpes. Know the facts about treatment, handle your feelings and learn how to date with herpes. Read more about living and learning: how to cope with herpes.
There are treatment options available for herpes virus. Many of these treatments can help speed up the healing time of the lesions and reduce the frequency and severity of their recurrences. Read more about herpes treatment.
Many people have experienced such severe depression after a herpes diagnosis. It is important to know that things will get better over time. For most people, the first outbreak is the worst. Get more tips about how to overcome the depresion after a herpes diagnosis.