Many people know of the placebo effect in medicine. It is the phenomenon where a patient is given a sugar pill and is told that it is the drug that will make them better (a medical white lie); nearly 2/3 of patients who take the placebo begin feeling better. The power of the mind is more powerful than we tend to give it credit for. More >
Before we can drop shame (or at least lessen it), we must understand what it is. So what is shame? Brene Brown calls shame “something about me that if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection.” The dictionary calls it “a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.” So let’s break that definition down … what if we can lessen the pain, humiliation and distress by really getting and believing that our behavior wasn’t necessarily wrong or even foolish? Let’s simply accept decisions we have made and forgive ourselves. Ever heard the Serenity Prayer? More >
The title can be taken two ways, both of them true.
One, getting herpes is a choice in that having consensual sex is a choice. When we have sex, we understand the inherent joys and the inherent risks associated with the decision. Many times when people are hit like a ton of bricks that they have herpes it’s because they didn’t fully take this possibility into consideration before jumping in. Specifically, I was always under the distinct impression that “it won’t happen to me.” Once it did happen to me, then I immediately took on the victim mentality and shifted the blame to the person who “did this to me.” It’s so common, yet so destructive to our own feelings of personal power. More >
It’s common knowledge that herpes outbreaks tend to occur during periods of stress. You could say it represents in a physical way what many of us already carry on the inside.
“Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.” — Rumi
Herpes is an opportunity for authenticity. Ultimately, if you are going to have sex with someone, there really should be an intimate connection. Yes, I know I sound like your mother, but sometimes even mom is right. Unfortunately in our culture, sex sometimes seems to be the precursor to intimacy (if intimacy ends up happening at all). So let’s re-frame herpes as an opportunity. More >
If you look at all the modern movements in history, from the women’s rights movement to civil rights, their foundational truths is that all people deserve to be treated with respect. Now in a way, the herpes movement is more an internal struggle, a needless personal civil war, if you will, to recognize that we are oppressing ourselves and that we deserve better self treatment. More >
Just like eating unhealthy foods will make your body unhealthy, thinking negative things about herpes will make them true in your life. Words have power. Telling yourself horrible things about herpes is like hunkering down in front of the TV and eating Twinkies with gravy on top: It makes you gain weight in your conscience. It’s no good for you to weigh down your mind like that; you’re just not going to feel good about yourself — short term or long term. More >
Csikszentmihalyi says in his book Flow “The simplest ordering system is to give names to things; the words we invent transform discrete events into universal categories. The power of the word is immense.” Simply put: words give stuff meaning. Sometimes we forget that we are in control of that — each one of us. Now let’s use this power to our advantage instead of to our detriment. More >
Scenario: The school bully keeps poking and prodding the new kid. “Nice shoes, dweeb.” (I doubt bullies still say such antiquated phrases, but being a Calvin and Hobbes fan as a kid taught me that’s what bullies say.) If the kid believes his choice in foot fashion is something left to be desired, he’s liable to hang his head low and take the abuse. “He’s right,” the kid thinks, “my shoes DO suck.” So the bully continues this teasing throughout the school year, picking on every aspect of the kid, his glasses, his acne, his backpack. More >
New York Times contributor Eric Sabo writes about genital herpes, “the largest epidemic no one wants to talk about.” Genital herpes spreads so easily because many people don’t realize they have an infection and typical safe sex practices, like wearing condoms, do not completely prevent spread of the virus.
Here are five things experts say you should know about protecting yourself against herpes: More >