How do I go on with my life knowing I have an STD?
It’s important to reach out to your available information resources and support groups in this time of need to help for STD coping.
STD Coping Mechanisms and Support Resources
Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease can bring about a number of varying emotions.
Anger, fear, depression, denial, guilt and stress are just a few of the feelings associated with such a diagnosis.
For some people, fear of social perception and the emotional impact, particularly from fear of the unknown, can be more damaging than the initial physical symptoms formed by most sexually transmitted diseases.
Despite the frequency of contraction and the high percentage of Americans who have some form of sexually transmitted disease, ignorance about the various diseases have helped to maintain a judgmental attitude among many people toward those who have contracted a sexually transmitted disease.
One of the greatest concerns among those who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease is the fear of death.
For most, this fear is from the potential the STD may have for producing cancer cells, yet the percentage of getting cancer from most STDs is minimal.
As with any other viral or bacterial infliction, education is the best way to understand the long-term and short-term implications of your disease. Ask your doctor lots of questions about all possible scenarios and the effectiveness of the available treatments. Do whatever research is necessary to put your mind at ease and to come to terms with your new disease.
Fear of being alone
Probably of equal concern with people who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease is fear of being alone. Many people view themselves as damaged, and believe that involvement in relationships, particularly a long-term relationship, is no longer an option. It is common for people diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease to consider celibacy due to fear of rejection and fear of transmitting the disease to someone else.
Based on statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people with STDs are definitely not alone.
A good place to begin learning how to discuss your condition with others is through support groups.
Many of these groups can be found online, or your health care provider can probably direct you to local support groups.
Support groups are safe places to start sharing your feelings about your disease with others who probably have lived through the same range of emotions as you have.
Importance of Stress Management
Stress can have a significant impact on our immune system. When we worry, the physiological effects on our bodies weaken our immune system.
A weakened immune system will not treat an STD as well as a healthy immune system that is optimized for killing viruses.
Stress management is an important key to dealing with both the physical and physiological impact of being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.
Consider the following stress management options:
- Counseling: Regular sessions with a professional counselor can help you deal with the emotional stress of daily life and of living with a sexually transmitted disease.
- Exercise: Regular exercise not only improves muscular and cardiovascular condition, but the chemicals the body releases during vigorous exercise are wonderful for helping to release stress.
- Relaxation Techniques: Aroma therapy, yoga and soothing music are just a number of relaxation techniques that can relax your physical and emotional state.
- Medication: If other methods fail to provide adequate stress relief, consult with your primary health care physician about the use of medication to help relieve stress and anxiety levels in your body.