Potential genital herpes infection OCD - My OCD Community

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Potential genital herpes infection OCD

disneyandme profile image

Hi all,

Just looking for support as I’m currently going through one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with in my life. I’ve always been an extremely cautious person, and valued my health a ton. In the process of fixing my OCD, I’ve learned to take more chances and stop letting fear/small risks stand in my way. Unfortunately, I got a bit too lenient with taking chances.

I had unprotected oral sex with someone I was mutually exclusive with (or so I thought). I knew they had gotten oral cold sores in the past, but I figured the chance of them spreading when not present was virtually non existent. I used to fret over small risks an extreme amount, and decided to let it go for once. It’s been two weeks since my first exposure, and I’ve been experiencing symptoms that all line up with genital herpes. Itchy/tingly feelings in the genital area and buttocks and pain/soreness that extends down the back of my legs. I’m absolutely horrified. I thought it was my OCD in the beginning but its becoming all too real to be. I am terrified for what my future holds, and I need support/advice of how to cope in the meantime (takes 4-6 weeks or more to show on a test). No, I haven’t had any blisters yet, except a pimple that came and went on my lip and a blocked pore on my genital that also came and went — so i assumed they were nothing. Please give me support. My mother is disgusted with my choices, and my ex turned out to be hooking up w other people the whole time and is now spreading lies about me around our workplace — please dont tell me not to “shit where you eat” I’ve heard this expression enough and I can’t go back and change things as much as i wish i could.

13 Replies

This sounds like a rough experience, but there isn't anything that you can do about it right now. If you spend your time focusing on this, it is going to overwhelm everything else, while you still have a life to live.

I think that the most helpful thing to do right now is to set aside 5 minutes each day to worry about the possibility of herpes. If you find yourself worrying about things outside of that time, save your worry for that 5 minutes later in the day and move back to whatever it is that you want to be doing or thinking about. For those 5 minutes, you can check things as much as you want and keep a log of symptoms. Outside of those 5 minutes, no matter how much your brain may tell you that this is danger and needs to be addressed, thank it for the warning and move back to what you want to do.

I'm assuming that you've already done enough research about herpes that you can just stop doing any more for now. Schedule an appointment for the 4-6 weeks out, but no more research after that.

disneyandme profile image
disneyandme in reply to Selesnya

Thank you Selesnya!!! This is extremely helpful. I’m starting to think my OCD really is just making me think I feel symptoms, the brain really is powerful. I guess I need to just accept the uncertainty of whether or not it’s real or in my head until I can get tested. It’s horrifying when legitimate health concerns and OCD combine but I will get through no matter the outcome.

Rain2 profile image
Rain2 in reply to disneyandme

I appreciated how you stated "It's horrifying when legitimate health concerns and OCD combine." I have endured having OCD focused on my own oral herpes for 35 years. I think I caught them as a child from my mother. After the birth of my 3rd child, I literally felt my mind snap in the middle of the night. I became so scared that I would infect my children. I have not kissed anyone in 35 years. I do not touch my mouth without scrubbing my hands. I can't use exposure therapy because there is a real chance I could infect someone. The one drug that has saved me at all is acylovir. God bless the doctor who prescribed it for me to take daily.

disneyandme profile image
disneyandme in reply to Rain2

You're right, it's horrifying when they combine. Luckily for myself I went to the doctor and they do not think I have herpes. But this episode has now sparked a fear of kissing as well (except mine is now due to being afraid of getting infected, not infecting others). My OCD is still harping on the small chance that I may still have herpes and not know it, but I'm doing my best to just put it away for now. But I know that in future relationships I'm going to encounter this fear again. I'm sorry you've dealt with this, but glad you can understand where I'm coming from. Thank you

So...not saying it isn't possible that you could have contracted herpes... however it takes time for the test so no amount of worry or self diagnosis will help right now.

Many years ago, I was convinced I had HIV from a false memory I created after child birth...I have a video about this if interested. I was so convinced and I just kept googling symptoms...well wouldn't you know it...I suddenly had these symptoms. This job at made me believe even more that I must have HIV.

OCD will hang onto the most minute possibility and make you believe it is what you fear that had become real.

Sit back and wait to see a doctor....try not to let OCD make you fester.

Thank you so much. I’ve started to think again that this may be my OCD. I noticed that when I’m distracted, I don’t have symptoms until I remember again. The thing that really freaked me out was a few days ago when I felt a symptom that I didn’t even know was a symptom of herpes until I Googled it. So I assumed it was impossible that my brain just made it up, but now I think it was just a quick pain that I’m now making linger because I’m so focused on it.

Absolutely. That's what I did. Every time I noticed a feeling or anything I would Google. It just puts you into a spiral. Until you have the actual test and know for sure, you'll never feel relief by googling

How have you been?

Hi buginmybrain!! Wow, I really appreciate you checking in. That's so kind of you. Turns out this was just another trick my OCD played on me. I got tested and I do not have herpes. It's crazy how much our minds can affect even our physical body and sensations. Thanks again for helping me to step back and see this as OCD in disguise when I was so convinced it was otherwise. You are awesome, hope all is well

Thank you. As I've said...I've totally been there. My fear was always of HIV...even though I really had no exposure to the virus. I'd suddenly have symptoms of it and was convinced I had it. Hope to always be able to help someone out!!!

I am a hypochondriac and any symptom you google comes up aids. Sore throat could be aids. Most symptoms could be aids. It’s horrible. I hate google sometimes

You can contact type 1 (most commonly oral) herpes genitally through oral sex. Which unlike type 2 (most commonly genital) you won’t have frequent outbreaks and would have immunities likely to prevent you from ever having a blister on your mouth. Still not fun I know, but it’s not the same as having type 2 on genitals. The best thing to do would be to talk to your doctor to get tested since not knowing is often the scariest. Over half the population has type 1 herpes...it’s very common, most HSV-1 infections are acquired during childhood. Maybe your mom needs to do some research. Try not to magnify this and practice compassion with yourself...ERP can be a tough rope to walk and it’s not always easy to know what’s a normal safety precaution verses OCD.... in life we win some and we lose some and we usually do the best we can based on what we know at the time. The fear you feel now will pass.

Hi darling please don’t worry! you will be fine, even if you do have herpes. I’m not playing it down as it’s not a nice thing but it’s NOT serious and will not harm you long term. the first outbreak might be the only outbreak you ever have. I hope you are ok and such is life I’m afraid. It is a statistic 1 in 2 have either herpes hsv 1 or 2. Keep positive ❤️

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