Jump to content
World's Largest Herpes Support Group
Sign in to follow this  

Shame & Guilt

Recommended Posts


So, I've been working through trying to accept my Ghsv2 diagnosis since Sept 2011. Today while feeling a bit down I decided to explore a little bit on my emotions. They came down to two things: Shame and Guilt.

So, I decided to look up Shame and Guilt to explore these two emotions a bit more.

Reactions to Guilt and Shame

Because of the differences between shame and guilt (who I am versus what I did), people respond to each emotion differently. Guilt, because it emphasizes what someone did wrong, tends to elicit more constructive responses, particularly responses which seek to mend the damage done. Guilt is tied to beliefs about what is right and wrong, moral and immoral. When we violate one of these moral guidelines, it causes us to feel guilty over our actions and seek to fix what we have done (see cognitive dissonance). As a result, guilt is an important tool in maintaining standards of right and wrong in individuals and society as a whole. As such, guilt can often be used as a tool to overcome conflict.

Shame, on the other hand, emphasizes what is wrong with ourselves. It has a much more inward focus, and as such, leads shameful parties to feel poorly about themselves, rather than simply the actions they have taken. The result is often an inward-turning behavior -- avoiding others, hiding your face, removing yourself from social situations. Therefore, shame can be problematic, as it is often less constructive than guilt. In fact, shame can lead to withdrawal from social situations and a subsequent defensive, aggressive, and retaliatory behavior, which only exacerbates conflict, rather than alleviating it.[6]

Shame can also lead to other types of behavior, many of which serve little or no constructive role. People cope with shame in many ways. However, few get at the actual source of the emotion.

I then realized...I don't have guilt...I don't feel guilty for enjoying an experience with someone I cared for; even if things didn't turn out as I'd hoped.

So then, why if I don't feel guilty, am I at times treating myself as though I AM WRONG..

I can't explain why this resonated with me...I just hope it resonates with someone else out there as well.

Source: http://www.beyondintractability.org/bi-essay/guilt-shame

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've actually read your post several times since you posted it, and it's thought provoking.

I don't feel guilty about how I came to have herpes, either. I got it from someone I love deeply, and I have no regrets. But, like you, I sometimes treat myself as if I did something wrong. I think, though, that the cause for that is not our individual guilt or shame. It's not that we violated our own moral standards, but that we've been so brow-beaten since birth with the importance of (at least by appearance) living up to societal standards, and those standards don't embrace having herpes, no matter how you got it.

Frankly, I don't care that I have herpes. I don't have any emotional or psychological issues with it. I'm not tortured with remorse, anger or regret over the fact that I have the virus. It doesn't bother me to know that I'll always have it. I couldn't give less of a shit. I'm only mildly irritated when I get an ob. I don't get depressed over it, or crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. Life goes on as usual. It doesn't get in my way.

But... somewhere deep down in the recesses of my mind, I know that if it was commonly known that I have herpes, the people I work with (and share the restroom with) would see me differently somehow. They'd judge me, as people have a propensity to do, based on societal standards, and the person they've known me as would recede into the background of their minds.

So, yes, on some level I feel shame, but it's not shame over having herpes. I feel ashamed for allowing myself to succumb to the small-mindedness of society. I feel ashamed for hiding behind a facade rather than face the hypocricy straight on. I feel ashamed for being afraid of losing the respect and friendship of people I care about. And because of that fear, I end up compromising my own moral credibility, and I feel ashamed of myself for that.

My problem isn't herpes. My problem, and any guilt and shame I feel because of it, is my own failure to stand up for myself, and for what I believe to be true about myself... that herpes has nothing to do with who or what I am as a person. That's true for all of us.

I know this is way more of a response than you bargained for, and way more than I expected to reveal about myself, but I can't help but think that I'm not the only one who feels this way. I've always maintained that those of us with herpes are the worst offenders at perpetuating the stigma. I'm living proof that's true, and I'm not very proud of that, either.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You both have described very well what many of us feel......Somehow, sometimes life throw you with a few pleasant surprises that makes you feel you are not alone or that others are in worst situation ....for example, the executive that droped her bag and when I helped pick her stuff, there it was Valacylcovir bottle, then after seeing her panicked face, I said dont worry I have H too or the perfect couple, the next door neighbors that make you feel like a terrible husband when you see them toghether bragin about their happiness to later find our they are divorcing because he was on multiple affairs.....All of us have our dark side full of those things that makes us feel guilt and shame.... so if there is one thing I have to thank H, is that now I am more compasionate and do not judge anyone based on the "cover".

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • The Hive is Thriving!

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Posts

    • viralfrog
      I think you're right about 'having a good flow', i.e. splitting the dosage throughout the day to make most use of it. You're also right about potential strain on your body for overdoses, however there is conflicting information about this based on studies I've read. There are several of studies indicating benefits of high doses of vitamin C for fighting viral diseases. I've done quite a bit of research on this as in the past I used to suffer from common colds, often over one week in duration and up to 6 times a year. With Zinc and Vitamin C I've managed to reduce these to once a year, and their duration to under 6 days. Some of the studies used IV administration of Vitamin C, which is of course different to taking it orally, but some of them had success with high oral doses as well:  Dr. Harri Hemilä from the University of Helsinki, Finland, analyzed the findings of two randomized trials each of which investigated the effects of two vitamin C doses on the duration of the common cold. The first trial administered 3 g/day vitamin C to two study groups, 6 g/day to a third group, and the fourth group was administered a placebo. Compared with the placebo group the 6 g/day dose shortened colds by 17%, twice as much as the 3 g/day doses did. The second trial administered 4 g/day and 8 g/day vitamin C, and placebo to different groups, but only on the first day of the cold. Compared with the placebo group, the 8 g/day dose shortened colds by 19%, twice as much as the 4 g/day dose did. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/4/339/htm High dose IV Vitamin C has been shown to be effective against viral infections such as the common cold rhinovirus (Hemila and Herman,1995); avian virus H1N1 (Ely,2007;) Chikungunya (Gonzalez et al. 2014; Marcial-Vega et al,2015); Zika (Gonzalez et al 2016) and influenza (Zarubaeva et al.2017). Also oral supplementation with vitamin C (doses over 3g) appears to be able to both prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections (Carr and Maggini, 2017). https://isom.ca/article/high-dose-vitamin-c-influenza-case-report/ We had a case in which a patient with herpes zoster did not respond to conventional therapy so we attempted to administer intravenous infusion of vitamin C which resulted in an immediate reduction in the pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3111558/
    • WilsoInAus
      Hey @Antoinette63 you do absolutely nothing. If infected with HSV-2, then the initial outbreak would have occurred within days of the infections. Symptoms after 4 months are not really likely to have been from that episode.  If she does have a recent infection of herpes, then it will be from her new boyfriend!
    • WilsoInAus
      Hang on @viralfrog let’s be rational here. The male body can only usefully metabolise 100mg of vitamin C a day. Any excess does not have any known impact on the body as it doesn’t actually get to where you might be thinking it goes. It goes out via your kidneys, potentially causing toxic effects. The real trick with vitamin C is making sure there is a good flow moving through your intestines such that your body can metabolise the full 100mg easily. To achieve this, you are much better off taking a tablet of about 250mg with each meal. Anything more than 2g a day of vitamin C is not only useless but commences a strain process on your body that may include outcomes including kidney stones. 
    • WilsoInAus
      Hang on, no one is talking about testing again for herpes. We are suggesting an analysis of the serum in the blisters that will give clues as to the cause.
    • viralfrog
      Currently I'm taking my Ascorbic acid at two doses throughout the day, 6g at lunch and 6g at dinner. It's already a hassle as I have to dilute it in water, rinse my mouth with coconut oil and then I take a shot of it from a shot glass and rinse my mouth quickly with water after. Even with the coconut oil, I'm worried for my teeth.  I was going to order a capsule filler machine and some gelatin capsules, but realised it will cost me almost the same than just ordering 1g vitamin tablets from iHerb. Also, this means I still have to be eating 12 capsules per day which is not ideal. I wonder if I could figure out some DIY method to be able to squeeze 3-5g of the Ascorbic acid into some coating to be able to swallow it without risking my teeth.  I had a look at liposomal C too, but what put me off was the quick expiration date if making it yourself. Unless I'm wrong, you have to do a new batch like twice a week. 
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.