About once or
twice a month, I see a young male in his late teens or early 20s who come to me
to evaluate a bump or lesion on his penis. Interestingly, many of these men
have sought evaluation before and STILL don't know what they have.
Here are the
most common causes of this symptom:
grouped lesions on the penis that are painful? Think about genital herpes as the cause. These lesions can also occur on the buttocks or anal area. The
initial outbreak may be associated with fever. Herpes is the most common STD in
and most genital lesions in men are herpes.
Have a bump
that looks like a wart or has a cauliflower appearance? You may have genital
warts. Warts are caused by certain strains of human papillomavirus --
different ones than those that cause cervical cancer in women. In most cases,
the warts do not cause symptoms, but occasionally they can burn, itch or be
tender. They can also produce a discharge. The lesions may be tan, pink or
I see it every week: A person who is sad, having difficulty functioning or concentrating, crying frequently. Some have anxiety, other feel achy all over, still others sleep too much or too little. Most say that they feel utterly alone. This is depression.
Depression affects around 19 million Americans at any one time. And treatment does help reduce symptoms and in most cases cause remission of the disease.
How to determine if the sad feelings are true depression or just the blues is a real clinical call that can be determined by a trained medical professional.
Most people know that depression causes a person to feel sad, empty or hopeless most every day. He or she may be anxious or moody. People with depression tend to lose interest in doing things they used to enjoy and have difficulty making decisions. Often a depressed person has an exaggerated sense of worthlessness or guilt. And most worrisome, a depressed person may wish themselves dead or make plans to harm themselves.
He came in concerned about an itchy, burning rash on his penis. Silently, I could tell he thought it may be herpes . And I thought so too. When I told him that I too suspected herpes and that we needed to test him for the condition, he silently agreed. I told him about the test and about how we’d address the herpes if that is what he had. I knew he had questions, but I could also tell that he was so overwhelmed with the prospect of having the condition that he shut down. He was completely unable to regain his bearings and ask me all of the questions I knew were racing in his head. He left quickly despite my best efforts to engage him in conversation or offer support or information. I can’t imagine what my patient must have gone through that first day and night after our appointment. He must have been terrified, angry, depressed, or even felt ashamed. My heart aches for him. And by tomorrow, he’ll have a million questions. If you’re concerned that you may have herpes and haven’t see...
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