Herpes has become a synonym for stress, anxiety, shame and disgrace these days. The time we hear this in public, our behavior changes completely and we fill with all the negative thoughts. No matter how advanced we are today, there is still a hesitation in talking about it and we cant overcome herpes stigma. And things get even bitter if by mistake we get to know that someone near us has it.
Herpes does not bother us physically as much as it breaks us emotionally. The virus targets our cells, but we and our society makes herpes effect our mind even more than that. One day I called my friend but he didn’t answer. Thinking he might be busy with something I went back to my work. Entire week passed by and I did not see him in college. He totally disappeared and even then there was no answer from his number. I was curious and more than that was worried of what could have happened. As I could not resist myself anymore with all the bad scenes coming to my mind every now and then, I decided to visit him. While I was on my way, I was thinking what might have happened to him. Will he be alright? But if everything was fine with him, then why was he not responding to my calls, neither he came to any of the classes. Finally I concentrated on driving while convincing myself with a hope that he will be okay. I rang the bell again and again as I could not wait anymore. After a while he came out, and I had a big smile on my face after seeing him. I started bombarding with a lot of questions, but then I saw something strange. I was so busy with my instantaneous reaction that I noticed this very late. He was covering his face with a cloth. I waited for the time we talked about a few things that happened in the past week, but could no more control my anxiousness. I asked him what was wrong with his face. Initially he tried to avoid it but later on, after taking a lot of promises from me of not disclosing the secret to anyone and bursting into tears he answered that he was diagnosed with herpes last Sunday.
I asked him then what? He was shocked by my reaction and asked me straight why I was not shocked. My answer surprised him even more. I just said that you only have herpes buddy, all the situations that were coming to my mind when I could not contact me were the real problem. It immediately came to my mind that herpes stigma was the only reason due to which he was literally missing from the picture for so many days. After taking a deep breath I started laughing. Although very angry at my laughter, he was controlling his emotions. By looking at his face I could easily understand he was thinking that I am cursed and he is laughing on my situation. Not testing his patience further I just controlled my laughter and with a smile told him that it is just a viral infection and you have not done any kind of sins or something. Initially it was hard to make him believe but gradually he was getting my point. Finally by the end of our 2 hours of conversation and his countless questions he was convinced and confident enough to go out oh his house.
This is not just one person, but every one adult of five in the US go through the same terror and anxiety. Some of them even go into depression thinking herpes has ended their life by affecting their body, their relationship and soul. The entire world comes later on, but we our self start believing that we have done some crime. We blame others and get into calculations form where we might have got it. Do you think all this helps in treating herpes in any way? I mean is it something like you will need no antivirals once you get to know who has given it to you, or why you got the infection. I don’t think so, do you?
It is very sad that there is still a stigma associated with herpes in our society. we should join hands to overcome herpes stigma. All the physical unease can be controlled easily with a few doses of antivirals or some natural home remedies. The actual difficulty arises in coping up with the stress and shame that a person feels when his tests results positive for herpes virus. The day you hear the news from your doctor claiming that you have been infected from herpes must be the most dreadful day. It is not the fear of the disease but your main concern is something else. Many people with Herpes, especially soon after being diagnosed, feel shame and embarrassment and fear telling anyone they have it. Others feel guilty and full of self-blame thinking that they “brought it on themselves”. Some individuals feel that they are being punished by God for their sexual activity. And still others fall into a depression and suffer from low self-esteem, wondering if anyone will want to date them or be sexual with them again. All these are natural reactions as the acceptance to sexually transmitted disease in society, even today is very low.
Herpes simply is a virus infection and anyone can get it, how hard is it to understand? Sometimes it is said that people are lucky when they don’t know their symptoms because as soon as they get to know the truth, there real trouble begins.
The main issue is how to overcome herpes stigma and cure herpes, the fear of getting infected and the guilt of carrying the virus. Here are some easy tips to overcome herpes stigma and deal with the emotional aspects of the disease.
Acceptance is the key
We not at all are ready to accept the truth that we have herpes. Acceptance is important as it makes things settled and easy. Once you know the truth, accept it and do not try to run away from it rather try to overcome herpes stigma. What if you have herpes? It is nothing more than a medical condition that could happen to anyone.
Talk to others like you
I bet you would not find it much difficult to find herpes patients as there are many out there. Talking to them, knowing their condition, and sharing your experience make things common. You may not feel alone, and also can get really helpful tips to tackle with your outbreaks. If you are not comfortable with face to face talking, then there are many internet forums that you can choose as medium.
Understand what it is
Only diagnosis is not enough, you should be aware of the entire process of infection, its treatment methods. Living with myths sometimes misleads you and may also lead to complications. And trust me; there are more false facts than truthful realty as far as herpes is concerned. So, better be aware than doing the wrong choices based on myths.
It is tough to deal with when you are not prepared. Once you know you have herpes, make sure you understand that you can have the outbreak again anytime and anywhere. Managing the symptoms cleverly makes the healing faster and you are also confident enough to deal with the reoccurring infections.
Understand that you are not alone
You are not the only one to get the herpes simplex virus in the world. Remember that there are millions of sufferers and they tell the world or not, they are infected. Hiding the facts do not change the truth in any way. You should stop cursing immediately and do not blame anyone for the disease and try to overcome herpes stigma. It is not your fate or something, it is just a medical state that anyone of us can get.
You can live absolutely normal life even after getting the infection
What if you have the herpes simplex virus in your body, you are still a normal human being. There is no need to isolate yourself from the society as you are not a criminal rather a patient. All you need to learn is managing the symptoms at the time of outbreaks. And it is very easy as the virus generally lies dormant and become active accidentally only.
Overcoming herpes stigma is really very easy. Closing the doors for hope and optimism is the worst thing to do and almost all the herpes patients land themselves into the same situation. You should never loose hope and try to give it a tough fight, no matter how tough the situation is. You can reduce the duration of the outbreak and even decrease its frequency of occurrence with your efforts.
Human mind has a great influence on human body. This is true to every extent in case of herpes. If you do not allow the virus to enter in your mind, it would not be able to break you physically at all. Acceptance is the key, and having a clear idea of what your opponent is are the two main issues. You cannot kill the HSV but you can show it how strong you are. You should always be strong and positive. Changing the society towards herpes requires changing the things within you.