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Bed bug Anxiety Success

(24 posts)
  1. paranoidaboutbugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri May 1 2015 16:47:35
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    So... back... 2 months ago now, I came across a bed bug on my wall. The entire story is here:
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/the-horrifying-move

    It has now been 2 months at my new place and so far, no signs of bed bugs. Looking back it was a very small, almost non-existent infestation, but it felt like the world was ending.

    Regardless, the bed bug anxiety lasted, but I'm slowly moving on. Prior to the bed bug phobia, I was a very compartmentalized type person who actually loved most insects/bugs/arachnids/creepy-crawlies with the exception of a fear of mosquitoes and the disgust of the Jerusalem cricket. At one point I had wanted to become an entomologist as well to put my love of bugs and insects in perspective. At the time, mentally I was a little shaken due to a situational event that had resolved itself a few weeks prior, which didn't help the mental part probably. I also had a very mild form of PTSD from another unrelated series of events.

    Regardless, February 2015, I took an app-taxi that had bed bugs which I found out is where I got them from later on. Then BAM bed bugs in my home. New anxiety was born! So much unhappiness. I did it all, the crazy cleaning, the freaking out, the panic attacks, the crying randomly, hiding in the bathroom, fear of touching or entering my room, couldn't sleep, didn't eat, wouldn't let my bedsheets touch the floor, checked the bed every day, sometimes twice or three times a day, calling up friends or family and driving them crazy with the bed bug talk, hired the dogs, read this forum religiously, researched at every moment... etc. etc. I went through it.

    Eventually it got too much and I went to see a therapist. Yup, I went to the shrink and I'm proud of it. The first shrink I went to, didn't help at all. The second one, was a god sent miracle. She helped put my fear in perspective. Her words stuck with me ever since: "You spent your whole existence knowing of bed bugs from the night time chant "Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite." You went outside, enjoyed life, didn't fear movie theaters, went to restaurants with upholstered seats, went to Disneyland twice a year and stayed in hotels, traveled and stayed in hotels all over the country. You went on airplanes for hours, sat and slept on random people's couches all through college. You dumpster dived in one of the most bed bug infested cities in the US for funzies. You never got a bed bug from any of those and lived without the fear that you'll bring them home. Why now? Why would you fear them now? They're smaller than you. You know how to kill them. You more tools and knowledge than they do." Honestly? I couldn't answer that question. I just did. It was as if someone installed a new software update in my brain to fear them. It wasn't a why question. It was an, "I just am."

    My therapist recommended that I go outside. Even for a little at a time. Go outside, stop reading this forum, stop researching constantly. Simple enough sounding... Well it was hard at first, but I pushed myself from 10 minutes in a restaurant to 20 minutes on a bus to an hour at a movie theater. It worked. I can now sit through a full-length movie and not freak out that I'm going to infect the world with bed bugs. She also supported the idea that if I have this anxiety, that other people may have this anxiety and need help. By supporting others, I may be able to put my own fear in perspective and create something good of the fear that tormented me. So far it's working. So here I am, several months into my own mental help wanting to help others. While I didn't live through a full-blown bed bug experience, I understand the fear and the inner torment that bed bugs brings. What I can say though is that if you need help, seek it. If you have a fear and want support, voice it. You are in control of your life. If you push yourself to get better, even in the most hopeless times, you can. I have been bed bug free for 2 months and while the anxiety is there, I control it. It does not control me.

    Let's get down the business... to defeat... the bugs. HWAH!
  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 3 2015 18:47:40
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    Her words stuck with me ever since: "You spent your whole existence knowing of bed bugs from the night time chant "Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite." You went outside, enjoyed life, didn't fear movie theaters, went to restaurants with upholstered seats, went to Disneyland twice a year and stayed in hotels, traveled and stayed in hotels all over the country. You went on airplanes for hours, sat and slept on random people's couches all through college. You dumpster dived in one of the most bed bug infested cities in the US for funzies. You never got a bed bug from any of those and lived without the fear that you'll bring them home. Why now? Why would you fear them now? They're smaller than you. You know how to kill them. You more tools and knowledge than they do." Honestly? I couldn't answer that question. I just did. It was as if someone installed a new software update in my brain to fear them. It wasn't a why question. It was an, "I just am."

    You and your therapist are both rock stars.

    Love this!

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. Daylight

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 3 2015 20:16:43
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    Congratulations on your victory!

    Thank you for sharing your therapeutic experience and great insights with us. Your post is absolutely wonderful to read. So helpful and inspirational!

  4. paranoidaboutbugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue May 5 2015 23:31:30
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    Nobugsonme: thanks! hehe.

    Daylight: Glad you think so and thank you!

  5. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed May 6 2015 10:45:57
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    Nice story/post paranoidaboutbugs . . .

    Thank you for sharing with everyone.

  6. bedbugforce

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu May 7 2015 16:29:51
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    Glad to hear you pulled through and are making strides! Having bed bugs is a horrible experience and definitely traumatic. I know plenty of people that have had them and some had a hard time 'bouncing' back afterwards. Best of luck in feeling better.

  7. bbnewbie123

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu May 7 2015 17:22:59
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    Paranoid about bb's, that's awesome hun. I love to hear victory stories about overcoming. Thank you for sharing with us

  8. battlinbugz

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu May 7 2015 19:28:31
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    This is where a "like" button would be a great fit. Thank you for sharing this!

    Not a pro. I have some knowledge and a success story, both thanks to this site.
  9. rainman

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu May 7 2015 21:40:37
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    Thank you. Great advice!

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri May 8 2015 14:36:02
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    battlinbugz - 19 hours ago  » 
    This is where a "like" button would be a great fit. Thank you for sharing this!

    It's coming!

  11. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri May 8 2015 14:42:25
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    Nobugsonme - 5 minutes ago  » 

    battlinbugz - 19 hours ago  » 
    This is where a "like" button would be a great fit. Thank you for sharing this!

    It's coming!

    Egads! Can't we escape Facebook culture anywhere these days. lol.

  12. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri May 8 2015 14:45:06
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    Hi Paranoid,

    Sounds like you had good therapist. Glad it all worked out! Took me awhile to go to my first movie theater but after seeing all these people lining up day after day I started to ask, "Hey, maybe I'm being a little bit Howard Hughes' peculiar here"

    Richard

  13. paranoidaboutbugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri May 8 2015 20:08:38
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    Richard56 - 5 hours ago  » 
    Hi Paranoid,
    Sounds like you had good therapist. Glad it all worked out! Took me awhile to go to my first movie theater but after seeing all these people lining up day after day I started to ask, "Hey, maybe I'm being a little bit Howard Hughes' peculiar here"
    Richard

    Completely understand that one! I spent my first whole movie sitting in my chair scratching my arm out of anxiety. However, I came to your same conclusion when I saw that people were coming and going without anything bad happening to them.

    Now we'll just see if that hotel stay that's coming up in July will be okay. Should be interesting.

    P.S. I love the like button. If we had a dislike button, I'd be even happier. XD

  14. paranoidaboutbugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Nov 15 2015 20:29:46
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    Hi everyone!

    It's been a while! It's been nearly 8.5 months after my initial move/bed-bug dog/freak-out session-mania and the last time I ever saw a bed bug. *small clap for victory* My current home hasn't seem to have seen bed bugs since the day I moved out of the old place (1 bed bug was found) and into the new one. *knock on wood* Some of my stuff is still in garbage bags in the garage (mostly out of space to put them or things that were unable to be treated so I'm waiting out the 18ish months).

    So 2 bed bug dogs, 2 psychiatrists, and 8.5 months of searching later, I can honestly say that it does get better! Does the occasional insect bite (mosuitoes, spiders, etc) still freak me out? Yes. Yes it does. Though less about the bed bugs but more about things just eating me alive and being itchy. It prompts me to go and search the bed just in case though. Does the occasional small blood stain on my bedding still prompt an investigation? Yes. However, I am once again able to go out and enjoy life. I can go to the movies, shopping, ride the bus, etc. all things that I was unable to enjoy due to bed bug anxiety.

    Well that's it for my update. Hopefully I'll be back when my 18 months are up! [August 2016]

    -ParanoidAboutBugs

  15. Dan88

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Nov 15 2015 20:50:49
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    I'm glad I read through this!

  16. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Nov 16 2015 1:26:50
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    paranoidaboutbugs - 4 hours ago  » 
    Hi everyone!
    It's been a while! It's been nearly 8.5 months after my initial move/bed-bug dog/freak-out session-mania and the last time I ever saw a bed bug. *small clap for victory* My current home hasn't seem to have seen bed bugs since the day I moved out of the old place (1 bed bug was found) and into the new one. *knock on wood* Some of my stuff is still in garbage bags in the garage (mostly out of space to put them or things that were unable to be treated so I'm waiting out the 18ish months).
    So 2 bed bug dogs, 2 psychiatrists, and 8.5 months of searching later, I can honestly say that it does get better!

    Glad to hear it's still going well.
    Thanks for the update!

  17. jendeo102696

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Nov 16 2015 9:13:05
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    Wow, thank you so much for this! I am dealing with my own infestation now and am the same way you were. I literally fear having my daughter walk through the living room where the initial problem was found although I know full well we have a problem in the bedroom! I hope to one day not sleep with a flashlight, wrapped in a comforter cocoon, waking up several times a night thinking something is crawling on me. Hope to share my own success story here soon!

  18. distressed

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Nov 16 2015 16:40:19
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    I don't know if I even have them and I am having a nervous breakdown. It has taken over my life. I'm constantly searching the web, crying, on my hands and knees searching. I'm going to purchase the monitoring devices. What scares me is that a lot of people are saying that the post control treatment isn't getting rid of them.

  19. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Nov 16 2015 17:42:02
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    If you do mattress inspections on a weekly basis, it should lower your anxiety threshold.

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  20. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Nov 16 2015 19:40:54
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    distressed - 2 hours ago  » 
    I don't know if I even have them and I am having a nervous breakdown. It has taken over my life. I'm constantly searching the web, crying, on my hands and knees searching. I'm going to purchase the monitoring devices. What scares me is that a lot of people are saying that the post control treatment isn't getting rid of them.

    distressed,

    I don't want to hijack this thread but I want to respond to this.

    Understand that in most cases a pest management pro can get rid of the problem quickly. Most people seem to have this experience, and most don't spend more than minutes (if any time) on a site like this. They don't come back and say bed bugs were annoying and a hassle but gone in a few weeks or treatments. People that write horror stories have extreme cases, but that doesn't mean their situation is the most common.

    Sometimes horror stories come from cases where the problem persists for logical reasons that need to be detected and fixed (like continued exposure from neighbors or other source).

    You have to take horror stories with a grain of salt. For example, we have had a number of them here (too many to count) from people claiming they "could not get rid of bed bugs" but where it eventually came out that the same folks had no visual evidence. We've had people in this situation claim to have X number of treatments, move X number of times, etc. but the bottom line is that if you don't have bed bugs, no bed bug treatment (or move) is likely to help.

    While it sounds extreme, this is a not entirely uncommon scenario, and highlights the need to detect the real source of the problem rather than assuming bed bugs.

    If you want to discuss your situation or anxiety further, please start a new thread of your own. You can link to it here.

  21. distressed

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Nov 17 2015 13:41:19
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    Thank you nobugsonme.

  22. paranoidaboutbugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Feb 28 2016 15:51:48
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    1 YEAR UPDATE!

    Hi all,

    It's been exactly one year since this has all started and one year since I moved away from the terrible place. I haven't seen a bed bug since. Assuming that after a year I probably would have been overrun with them since we haven't done any fumigation or pesticides, I'd like to say I'm pretty much in the clear. Has the anxiety completely gone away? No not completely. It's definitely better than that anxious mess I was a year ago though. The best thing for me was to really disconnect myself from the world of "bed bugs". I stopped reading about it, stopped searching about it, and stopped reading every piece of information on them. However, even now I'm wary of sitting in cushy public places for too long and traveling to hotels still makes me nervous. Regardless, I still managed to go on a long vacation to a friend's via an airplane which was great. So for all you suffering with anxiety, it gets better! It takes time! Relearn to enjoy life after the experience and you'll find that you'll be a better person!

    You can do it!
    -ParanoidAboutBugs

    P.S. I'll be back in August with my final update~ Crossing my fingers that I'm basically done and can put all this bed bug stuff behind me.

  23. BuggedInTN

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Feb 28 2016 22:09:44
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    Thank you! Going to print out what you shared your counselor said and tape it to my mirror.
    It is true. And I will remind myself. This whole ordeal is overwhelming for sure. But we are bigger. And we know more. (they are smaller and they hide better)

    Donna

  24. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Feb 29 2016 2:22:21
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    Thanks for the update. Yay!!!


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