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Living With Herpes

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living with herpes

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  • If you’re diagnosed with herpes, you may feel shocked, angry and embarrassed, but there are ways you can cope with this illness so you can change your perception about your condition
  • Implementing a nutritious diet, lowering your stress levels and getting enough sleep are ideal ways to alleviate health issues caused by herpes
  • It’s very important to be honest about a herpes diagnosis with your partner. Try to inform them right away about your condition

Being diagnosed with herpes is already difficult, but it’s the day-to-day cycle of living that might be more challenging. It’s important to know that your everyday tasks will not be affected just because you were diagnosed with this infection — life doesn’t have to stop at this point.

However, there are changes and decisions you must make and consider if you have herpes. These actions should take into account that having herpes shouldn’t be considered a burden to anyone, most especially yourself.

Coping With Herpes Personally

Shock, depression, anger, guilt, fear and embarrassment are common reactions to a herpes diagnosis.1,2 While it’s OK to feel these emotions, dwelling on them too much won’t do any good. There are a number of ways you can process them that will help you look at your situation in a different light:3

  • Consult a physician to learn how to manage the herpes infection and inhibit recurrences, what treatment protocols won’t trigger side effects and how to prevent transmitting the virus to other people.
  • Gather as much information as you can about herpes so you can learn how to manage it.
  • Talk to a counselor, or join a support group (online or in person) for people with herpes.4

Maintaining good physical health is vital if you’re diagnosed with herpes, since it helps you retain optimal health and reduce your risk for recurrences. Follow these lifestyle tips if you have herpes:5

  • Eat high-quality real foods. Ideally, consume high amounts of organically grown and GMO-free fruits and vegetables, low-to-moderate portions of grass fed meats and substantial quantities of healthy fats like coconut oil and grass fed butter.
  • Get enough high-quality restful sleep. According to 2015 guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation, young adults aged 18 to 25 and adults aged 26 to 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep per night.6
  • Try to perform mild exercises as they may help reduce your stress levels. Good examples include tennis, jogging or walking.7
  • Manage your stress since it can trigger a herpes outbreak.8 Effective stress-relieving techniques include the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), grounding,9 meditation and proper breathing, aromatherapy and mindfulness training.

Maintaining a Healthy Relationship Even if You Have Herpes

Sometimes, dealing with a herpes diagnosis can be challenging individually, but what should you do if you’re in a relationship? Communication is very important. The Mayo Clinic advises that you try to be open and truthful about your situation, trust whatever your partner has to say and do not place the blame on anyone.10

It’s up to you as to when you would tell partners about your condition,11 but do remember that it’s your obligation to inform them about it before pursuing a sexual relationship. This will greatly help lower their risk of being affected with herpes.12 Doing so also gives you both a starting point for dealing with herpes-related issues in the future. The New Zealand Herpes Foundation reiterates:13

“ … [When] you have an outbreak, you can discuss it with your partner instead of making excuses for why you can’t have sex. Excuses create distance between partners and often lead to misunderstanding and guesswork.

Your partner might interpret your excuses in ways more detrimental to the relationship than an honest discussion of genital herpes would be.”

Do not pressure your partner or feel defensive about your partner’s reaction, especially if it’s bad.14 If your partner knows about your condition or doesn’t react negatively to it, you may opt for other potential methods of sexual intimacy.15

MORE ABOUT HERPES

Herpes: Introduction

What Is Herpes?

Herpes Types

Herpes Causes

Herpes Stages

Herpes Symptoms

Herpes Prevention

Herpes Diagnosis

Herpes Treatment

Living With Herpes

Herpes FAQ


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