Hsv in the city is an inclusive herpes support group and blog in the DC metro area.

Do You Have a Herpes Induced Shame Hangover?

I was listening to a podcast by Juliet Allen (Authentic Sex podcast, Secrets of a well fucked women episode) she talked about how important being all in with sex is, so you don’t end up with a shame hangover.

The idea of a shame hangover really resonated with me because after getting HSV I felt so much shame. I found out I had HSV2 on the way to go celebrate my birthday. Birthdays are a time where I should have been getting a real hangover, instead I ended up with a shame hangover that lasted two years. It wasn’t having HSV that caused this shame hangover. It was the stigma surrounding it. I couldn’t find reliable information. I couldn’t find a support group. So having herpes became very isolating. The only way out of a herpes induced shame hangover was to sit with it and process all the emotions and all your preconceived notions about it. It helped that I discovered herpes advocates and sex positive accounts on Instagram. These accounts helped me crawl out of my shame hangover into self-acceptance. Seeing a therapist regularly was also instrumental in my shame recovery. HSV is never going away, but how I feel about it has changed.

Ideas on how to get out from under your shame hangover

  • Free write your feelings about your diagnosis

  • Follow herpes activists and sex positive accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

  • Talk to a therapist

  • Talk to your friends and family

  • Join a support group

  • Make sure to continue doing the things that bring you joy

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Disclosing To Past Partners