In addition to your physical health, Genital herpes can affect your mental health, as well. Concern about outbreaks or of spreading the disease to your partner or your baby may cause you to feel scared, anxious, stressed, and even depressed. Also, depending on how you contracted the disease, you may feel betrayed, angry, and alone.
Speak with your doctor if you begin to experience these feelings, especially if they interfere with how you are living or enjoying your life. In addition to your primary care doctor, you may need counseling. Support from a mental health professional can help you deal with your emotions so that you can move on and live your life to the fullest. Visit the American Social Health Association’s website to find local, free, and confidential support groups for people concerned about herpes.
Although there is no cure for genital herpes, it can be managed so that it is less severe and so that outbreaks do not last as long. If you have genital herpes, you can learn to manage the condition and live your life.
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
Genital herpes—CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm. Updated February 11, 2013. Accessed February 25, 2013.
Drake S, Taylor S, Brown D, Pillay D. Improving the care of patients with genital herpes. BMJ. 2000;321:619-623.
Herpes: Questions to ask your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/herpes/questions-to-ask-your-doctor.html. Updated December 2010. Accessed February 26, 2013.
Talking to your HCP: 10 questions to ask. American Sexual Health Association website. Available at: http://www.ashastd.org/sexual_health/10-questions-to-ask-your-healthcare-provider.html. Accessed February 26, 2013.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed February 26, 2013.
Last reviewed February 2013 by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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