January 21, 2018 10:45 AM Subscribe
I've had life long struggles with hypochondria but recently an extreme focus of my anxiety has been around contracting herpes. Despite my bouts of panic stricken googling and webMD searches, I am realizing that I do not have accurate facts about symptoms, signs, transmission, etc.
Looking to be educated / pointed towards quality resources so I can have a fruitful conversation with my doctor. Looking as well for any thoughts on how to deal with my anxiety.
For context, I am a straight single male in my late twenties. I have never in my life had unprotected vaginal sex and I do my best to abstain from giving or receiving oral sex due to my anxiety.
There are instances in which I have (knowing the risks) succumbed and went ahead with oral sex, or, like most recently (which is prompting this post) not communicated my wish to avoid oral sex well enough to the partner I am with - resulting in her going down on me with no protection.
These "instances" are followed by days of panic and near constant trips to the bathroom to inspect my genitals, noticing "red spots" or "bumps" that could be herpes, as well as endless google image searches so I can prove to myself I know what I am looking for.
In the throes of some of my previous panics I've see doctors and dermatologists, had swabs and blood tests performed. Thankfully none of the test results have ever suggested herpes.
But these past experiences are not helping me when a fresh panic sets in. How should I be thinking about actual transmission via oral sex? I've never kissed or received oral sex from someone with a cold sore - is that the standard of safety?
Would also love to hear any anecdotes from those who may have navigated similar fears.
(And yes, because I know someone will ask or suggest, I am currently in therapy for my hypochondria and other anxiety related issues.)