Psychological stress may have been causing it, but the recurrence itself can, of course, result to more stress to the infected person. There have been numbers of studies that show that recurrences of genital herpes are related with psychological morbidity, and the extent of which seems to be directly related to the frequency of recurrences (Taboulet, et.al., 1999). This is just an expected outcome for any person who will be diagnosed with genital herpes will not only worry about how to cure or prevent the occurrence of another outbreak, but will also worry or think about how others might view him/her as an infected person. A person with the genital virus will be feared by the opposite sex in the same manner that the infected person will of course tend to shy away from getting into another intimate relationship. As it is pointed out, the virus will never leave the body of the infected person, it will just stay there and will threat to become active again if the immune system of the person becomes very low. This is the every reason why the person will be very insecure of him/herself. This is the same reason why others will shy away from the infected person. Other people will, of course, not want to be infected by the virus. Some might even falsely think that the virus by just talking to the person or touching the things used by the infected person.
More so, a diagnosed genital herpes virus carrier will be maintaining different kinds of supplements so as to suppress the virus from getting active again. Such actions will inhibit the person from doing other activities. Needless to say, the supplements or vitamins or other forms of medications will be eating too much of the financial sources of the person, hence, will prevent him/her from doing or buying other things which he/she used to enjoy.
Credible journals and studies have really proven that patients with genital herpes had impairments in emotional role functioning, mental health, and social functioning. Other studies further proved that the recurrences of genital herpes recurrences have a very strong impact on the magnitude of quality of life impairment in a way that the patients who have had two or more recurrences were more damaged (physically, emotionally and mentally) than those with one or no recurrences (Wild, et. al., 1995).
The infected or the genital herpes patients are not the only people who are suffering from psychological, social or emotional distress. The parents, and other loved ones are also continuously suffering as they see the patients who continuously endure the pain and hurt of the said disease. Aside from the fear of being inflicted with the virus, the parents and other loved ones will worry themselves on how to help and take care of the patients.
The combination of Adaptation theory, Self-efficacy theory and Social learning theory are the three best possible approaches to dealing with the patients and (and the family) of genital herpes virus.
Since there are no medications that will eliminate the virus, only the ways on how to inhibit such virus from being active again are some of the things that the patients and the family should know. First, it is the nurses' responsibility to inform the patient and the family about the severity of the infection and how it can be transferred or transmit. These information will enable the patient to know his/her real health status and at the same time, will calm the family in knowing that there are specific ways on how the virus can be transferred to them, hence they could always avoid such ways.
Secondly, the nurses can advice and help the patients and the family on how to adapt themselves with the disease. The things that the patient must have- such as enough rest, plenty of nutrients and/or supplements to maintain a good immune system, cleanliness in the area and in the infected body part and avoidance to any further sexual intercourse - should be detailed to the patient and the family. This way, they may set their minds to accepting the reality regarding the said virus and to committing themselves into doing the suggested practices.
Third, which is connected to the self-efficacy theory, is helping the patient understand that he/she can still work or live normally. A genital herpes virus carrier can still be productive and useful for the society or the family if he/she sets her mind and heart. It is then the nurses' duty to maintain positive atmosphere when dealing with the patient and in motivating him/her about the possibility of no recurrences.
Proper information dissemination to the patient, the immediate family and to all other concerned individual may ensure social-learning and social acceptance. The practice of safe sex can be highlighted to the people, with or without the genital herpes virus. This is to prevent such virus and/or to prevent the transmission of such virus. It is then the nurses' responsibility, and all other medical practitioners, to keep the public informed on what are the best methods of having safe sex.
In the same manner, the public may also need to be informed about the ways and means that such disease can only be transferred. This is to prevent the public from discriminating or shying away from the patients. One of the sources psychological stresses of the patient is the thought that other people will not talk nor be with them anymore, and there is really a big possibility that this might happen. However, if the people are aware that mere talking or being with the infected person could not transmit the disease, then emotional and psychosocial turmoil of the public and of the patients will then be prevented.
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Institute of Medicine. Committee on Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. (1997). The Hidden Epidemic: Confronting Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Eng TR and Butler WT, eds. Washington, DC: National Academy Press
Taboulet F, Halioua B, Malkin JE. (1999). Quality of life and use of health care among people with genital herpes in France. Acta Derm Venereol.79:380-384.
Wild D, Patrick D, Johnson E, et al. (1995). Measuring health-related quality of life in persons with genital herpes. Qual Life Res.4:532-539.