[Question #5450] emotional help for STD diagnosis

21 months ago

I was diagnosed by my OB/GYN with genital HSV1 nine months ago. When symptoms first appeared prior to diagnosis, I was emotionally devastated, thinking I had contracted HSV2. The fact that it is 1 and not 2 has not diminished the force of the emotional trauma – which your site documents and discusses so well - for me. I have sought therapeutic counseling. But both the therapist and the OB/GYN continually tell me to 'just get over it and move on. No big deal.' I can not find a trained therapists who is known to understand the emotional devastation following STD diagnosis who can treat/coach me with strategies to deal with my continuing anxiety and creeping depression. I am single, in my mid-twenties and located in the Boston area. I have reached out to female counselors on your site but they either seem to be retired, taking no new patients or have months-long waiting lists. Can you please recommend one or more practitioners know to you that I can reach out to in the Boston/Providence, RI area. Thank you. – KT

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
21 months ago
It would be most helpful for you to see a therapist in the Boston area who specializes in cognitive behavior therapy.  I searched a website where you can search for a CBT therapist in your area and there are four that are recommended in your area.  These therapists work on changing the way you think about herpes so you can change the way you feel.  I know a good therapist who work with many herpes patients in NYC but not i your area.  And as you probably already know HSV 1 has a very different recurrence and shedding rate than HSV 2 when in the genital area.  And if you have sex with someone who has an established history of cold sores, it is EXTREMELY unlikely that they would then acquire this genitally.  A couple of other suggestions:  there is a website called Herpes Opportunity.  I like this site and it has helped several patients of mine comes to terms emotionally with this diagnosis and live with far less emotional upset.  And then I would modestly recommend my book on herpes - there is a shortened version at westoverheights.com for free.  There is an entire section written by my ex husband who is a psychologist who is CBT trained.  That might be helpful.  You'll need to want to change the way you think so you can change the way you feel about this and be open to the concept that you can feel better about this diagnosis.  That's important.
Please let me know what other questions you may have.

Terri
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