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How do you keep your paranoia in check?

(4 posts)
  1. theparanoidpepper

    Joined: May '17
    Posts: 1


    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu May 18 2017 2:41:58

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    I'm hoping someone can give me a wake up call to halt my slow descent into bed bug paranoia. I have a history of anxiety and depression and am prone to frequent panic attacks. I am at a point now where I can't function like a normal human being because my bed bug fears are messing with my head. I've recently noticed that I quickly inspect any person I interact with (friends, family, colleagues, servers, my starbucks barista, etc.) for signs of bed bug bites. If I see anything suspicious (like bite like marks) I try to get away as soon as possible. Here's what made me realize I was definitely messed up:

    Today I was shopping at the mall and decided to purchase a new coat. I did my usual quick assessment of the cashier helping me and didn't see anything suspicious. She was having some trouble fitting the coat into the plastic bag so she rolled it up and kind of pressed it against her body as she tried to squeeze it into the bag. As she handed me the bag, I saw a large red welt/pimple on her inner arm and red alarms started going off in my head. I could feel the bed bug panic button going off, so I tried to keep it in check by telling myself I was being crazy and proceeded to put the bag in my car in drive home. By the time I got home my panic attack went all out and I ended up donating the jacket to a homeless shelter (I disclosed that it was new but may have been exposed to bbs and they said they always washed/heated donations).

    All I can think right now is whether or not my car is somehow infested from that bag being in there for an hour. I know this is crazy and I don't want to live like this. Can someone please tell me how likely it is for this to actually happen? I know it's crazy but I am really losing my mind here. Please help me.

  2. crossroads

    junior member
    Joined: Oct '16
    Posts: 105


    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu May 18 2017 5:32:25

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    Hi! Under the most ridiculously pessimistic assumptions possible, the chance is still very low.

    Percentage of infested low income apartments in a 2016 study: 12%

    Let's assume that bed bugs will only hitchhike on the cashier if the infestation is severe. With no evidence at all I'm going to use 25% for proportion of infestations which are severe. I am sure this is way too high, perhaps someone knows the true rate? Let's also assume only one bed bug hitchhikes out with her each time she leaves her apartment.

    From your description it sounds like the jacket only touched her torso.
    Average USA female: 166.2 pounds and 5 feet 4 inches
    => body surface area of average USA female: 1.81 m2

    Average surface area of female front torso = 22.60in * 60.75in /2 = 686 in2 = 0.44 m2

    So probability bed bug was on torso = 0.44 / 1.81 = 0.24

    => Overall probability (ridiculously pessimistic) = (12/100) * 0.25 * 0.24 = 0.007
    i.e. less than 1/100

    Again I emphasize, this is still way unrealistically high. But even when it's unrealistically high, it's still very low.

  3. bbcomox

    Joined: Jul '13
    Posts: 183


    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri May 19 2017 19:22:21

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    Hi theparanoidpepper,

    Have you sought professional help on this?

    When my apartment had bedbugs, I kept reminding myself the following:

    - bedbugs are crawling insects (they don't fly)
    - they do not transmit disease
    - they can be treated by professionals

    By reminding myself of these facts, I felt calmer know that I could control the situation, and with a professional's help, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Plus, I relied on the drier to heat all clothing, and I used a PackTite closet to treated things. These tools gave me assurance that I am taking steps to eradicate bedbugs from my apartment.

    Good luck.

  4. mp7ski

    senior member
    Joined: Dec '16
    Posts: 615


    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat May 20 2017 8:06:30

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    Wow, and I thought I was paranoid... get some professional help. Seriously... being that paranoid is not right and not healthy.

    I am not an expert, any advice I give should be considered as amateur advice and not taken as fact. I mean well with all my posts and try to give back. If you plan on using any of my advice, I suggest doing research into said advice to make sure it is in your best interest.
    Study on Thermal Death Points(pages 18-29 of pdf) :
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