The psychological effects of having ichthyosis and HSV2 need to be
factored in to the whole when trying to analyze my situation.
Ichthyosis has been a lifelong concern, whereas HSV2 was acquired
at age 23.
Throughout childhood the 'differentness' of my skin was an ongoing
source of stress. When I reached adolescence and was becoming more
sexually curious, the fact that there was no cure for ichthyosis
contributed to the development of depression. Having an unusual skin
condition may have contributed to my shyness, and led to me turning
down certain opportunties in life, e.g., an exchange program in which I
could potentially have gone to France (at age 13-14).
At age 23 I contracted genital herpes (HSV2), which in itself is
difficult for most, but when considered in addition to my other
problems, further contributed to a depression that was already
severe. In spite of HSV, I have been able to have significant
relationships. However, spontaneity has been greatly reduced, I have
been affected by the stigma associated with having a non-curable
sexually transmittable disease, and worry about passing it on has had
effects on my ability to respond naturally.