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Stop beating yourself up for having herpes

I was talking to a woman on the helpline. She told me that she was beating herself up for catching herpes – at young age – and it was caught from sex that she hadn’t wanted anyway… [Some call this ‘rape’!] And she was beating herself up for falling for the wrong guys. She felt that she was being punished… Later, she added that she was depressed as well. 

This is what I told her, over the course of the conversation: 

By the age of fifteen, one third of us have herpes, so having it ‘young’ is not at all unusual. Obviously, at this age most cases will be facial – and only one in three people will be aware they have it. (The other two out of three have such mild symptoms that they are not diagnosed.)

In one UK survey, half the women and 43% of the men felt that they had first had sex before they felt ready. So regret is common and normal.

Many people have been unlucky in love. It is a charming fault to fall for people too easily. Of course, breaking-up is painful – you can get your heart broken. But this is much better than being a hard-hearted person!!!!

Depression can be caused by a hormone imbalance. It is not a personality defect. Get the right treatment and you will feel positive again. My best friend had this problem. Now, at last, she says “It’s great to wake up and not feel like doom is about to happen”

Lastly, don’t be judgmental. Don’t hammer yourself for things that you’d forgive your friends for. Ask yourself for all the issues that you are beating yourself up over: “Would I blame a friend?!”

It is just bad luck if we catch it. No one deserves bad luck. Bad luck is not a punishment for anything. It happens – sometimes in far more devastating ways. I mean that ‘saintly individuals get killed in car crashes’ – bad luck can happen to anyone! Wonderful still people catch viruses. Sometimes that virus is cold sores on the genitals…

Get more information from membership: https://herpes.org.uk/shop/annual-subscription/

Learn more and stop beating yourself up
“I got my life back. I moved on. Thanks to the support of the HVA.”