mental health, suicidal thoughts, and bed bugs(20 posts)
I've been reading alot on this and other sites for a while now. (several months) Now that my law suit is finished I, like my former appartment's bed bugs can come out of the wood work. It feels sooo.... good to come out of hidding. I lost EVERYTHING!!! Yes, including my sanity. I was wondering if anyone felt so alone that they contimplated suicide or other not so health ideas. The reason I'm asking is... I believe a new section might be needed to address the mental health aspects of bed bug victims. Especially those of us who lack a supportive family, co-workers, or other network. Today was/is a very bad day for me, and I need to know I'm not alone in these spiraling thoughts of being a misunderstood victim, of misunderstood parasites.
We all "speak" bed bug here, and I feel safe. Thank you for this web sight.
Fighting a bed bug infestation is very stressful. My infestation was discovered way back in October 2006 when much information was available and this site did not exist. It would be very hard now to look back and remember and write about all the things that I was going through at that time because it was long ago. Bed bugs should not make you kill yourself but I can understand the stress it adds to life and especially if you are dealing with other issues at the same time. One should not let the bed bugs win. You must be around to battle or you have let the bugs win. Other people will and cannot understand unless they have gone through it too and you cannot expect them to understand. This crap is so abstract that only the infested or once infested have the insight to be able to comprehend.
Excuse me. I meant to say NOT as much info was available.
I felt suicidal at one point also. It was a period where my partner was not believing the seriousness of the situation. And was also not helping as needed with the protocols. Things are much better now.
But still, there *is* a mental health component for some of us. Although I recognize not everyone feels that way.
Well I'm still here so they didn't win. You are so right about the abstract thing, I can't even begin to explain my situation with out timelines getting tied in knots or without this part of my life affecting that part of my life etc... I tried to start my life over after a ten year marriage to a man who was having an affair. I couldn't take it, and I saved all of my money, used what little credit I had to get some furniture, and got my own place. I was so excited to be living in truth on my own terms. I was going to show my girls not to make other people your priority when you are just an opption. Then all Heck broke lose. I wanted to be a good example by showing them that you can call your own shots in your own life. Well... It did'nt work out so good. Now I'm a 35 yearold basement dweller in my childhood home. Thanks Mom and Dad. Both of my parents have NPD, and now I'm reliving all my childhood tramas, even though I am grateful for the roof over my head. I have basiclly went from one trama, to another, to another, I just want it all to stop. If my LL had done the right things I would not be here now. I don't blame the LL for the original infestaion, I blame them for the cover up. I also blame them for the degree of infestation which follows the denial game, and the blame game. I do belive in karma though, I know eventually it will all work out.
Take care all.
I think we here in the U.S. have gotten a little used to having it easy. If we look at less fortunate places in our world and compare what we have and look back at how hard people had it in the past I feel somewhat ashamed. We have to not let challenges bring us to our knees, we have to fight and survive. The option is too final.
I too have fallen victim to these self destructive thoughts. After several treatments the PCO some family members and friends were suggesting to me that it was all in my head and that the bugs were gone. This played havoc with my mental state as I continued to get bite evidence but no visual sightings. I also read that the residual effects can last months further complicating what I was feeling. Finally I saw another bedbug on my bed surpisingly I felt better as now I knew that 100% they were still here.
I have decided that it is a wake up call for me to change my life and go on an adventure. I am going to store my stuff and take off on a journey to an undetermined place. The fact that I know I will get away from the bugs in one month has me ecstatic. I will be going into debt but I will survive.
Preston Place - All you need to do is substitute some details and my story is yours. I was already going through some difficult things in life and when this happened, it sunk the ship. I lost everything - my home, my job, my financial security, my belongings (though in a colossal one-day effort I managed to save some cherished belongings - artwork, Lp's, CDs, books, photographs).
Already prone to depression & anxiety, this has aggravated my mental health to dangerous levels. But like a recent Onion headline: "Area Man Makes It Through Day," I do too.
Do know that you are not alone with the HUGE mental anxiety and stress that this bug causes. I went through a pretty bad infestation along with caring for my twins and daughter. It took 6 months of their growing life that I missed out on in order to rid the bugs. I can never have that back. We own, I was unable to move, so now, 6-7 months after vikane structural fumigation I still fear living in my home. Yes, we are fully exposed, unpacked but I don't know if I could ever be strong enough to let my children out of bed w/o stripping first. Gone are the days of letting them have breakfast in their pjs. I deal with fear of ever taking anything out of closets, or purchasing anything that would be stored in the closets. I fear letting them take their "teddy" out of their room. Going through in infestation with family is very rough. There were times I thought I was unfit because I couldn't protect my children. I often felt very alone but with much much on my shoulders due to caring for the little ones. As of friends, they barely exist anymore. I used to go out with friends for an occasional drink, I fear of sitting in an infested bar. Back then I often wished I was alone because I would be able to control much more movement and what went on in the house. I thank God every day for my family and yes, it did help. But while going through it, it was also much harder for I was the main provider/care giver and bug fighter through it all. The weird thing is after the bugs are gone and after you have been following protocol for so long, it's very hard to adjust w/o fear of the "what if" they come back or are still here issue. It's something we all have to deal with unfortunately. I feel getting over the anxiety of an infestation is just as hard if not harder than the infestation itself. You need to do much self therapy in order to get back to normal. Just know that God forbid the bugs ever return you know the signs, and will not lose everything, least of all your sanity. Awareness is critical and we all have that now. Know that we are that much ahead of the game on this. The more the word gets around, the more we write our townspeople and government the faster they will come up with something to make these bugs easier to get rid of. Some day soon I hope, getting and ridding bed bugs will be as easy as getting a head lice infestation.
Thanks so much you guys!! BIG SMILE! Yeah, I'd say life gives you alot to deal with anyways, then come the bugs. It's like a big rotton cherry on top of a big doo doo sundae. Oh, well. Ricardo, your idea sounds great. I want to have an adventure too!
Here's an interesting thing I did one day after the building manager said my children being bitten was not her concern... While out looking for a job (since I had lost mine due to the bugs)I noticed a building that said "Foster Parents Needed" I went in and gave them a hypothetical situation. I said I wasn't actually looking to be a foster parent at this time however the state was not being helpful in my sitiation and no one claimed bed bug infestations to be thier department's responsibility, could she tell me who they would call if a foster family had an infestation. She said no, because that situation has never arose. So, I said let's just say for one momment that I applied to be a foster parent. All of my background checks came back good, and yet I have an active infestation of bed bugs in my home..... Would I still qualify to be a foster parent? You know what she said? No, because that would be an unsuitable, uninhabbitable living envrionment for a child. O.k.! Now why are my chilren or anyone elses children different? The reason I did what I did, was because the day before I had phoned numerious places like the health dept etc... who referred me to this person at this office, or that person at that office environmetal hygine or something simmilar. Needless to say, I started calling at 8 in the morning I was ugly crying by 9 because no one would step up to the plate, and make my LL do anything. I was such a mess by 9
that I didn't realize that they had me starting over with first number that I had originally started with. I realized at 10 that I was calling the same circle of people. In desperate frusration I said, "well maybe I'll just kill myself then!" Click.
at 11 There was a knock at the door. My roommate answered it. It was Officer so-n-so (can't remember his name) He had a report that someone at this adress might cause harm to themselves. UGGGHHH! He just wanted to check up on me. Well, even with all the trama drama there is a funny part to this... MR. Big Man with a big gun wouldn't come into my apartment to talk with me! He was too frightened of the bugs. See we're all human I guess. I thought I could change the state's take on the matter if I could get a state agency (Virgina dept of chilren's services) To declare a home uninhabitable due to a bed bug infestation.
Sorry if this is too long.
BUT IT FELT SOOO GOOD TO GET SOME OF THIS OUT!!!
Oh, I also did something simmilar at the recruter's office... Cus well... they are a federal agency.
We all understand what you're going through, and you're not the first to experience this kind of stress.
Many Bedbuggers have found help in therapy. Several I know personally were told their experience (during or post bed bugs) was not unlike PTSD. The stress can be real. If you are prone to anxiety, depression, or OCD, I believe these problems can be exacerbated. Just the stress of all the extra prep can tire people out to the point where they are not themselves. It can help to talk to someone to get your perspective back.
I think it's great you called those government agencies. The more people do that, the more they take notice. Some local governments are taking action, and this only happens when citizens complain and ask questions.
I hope your troubles with bed bugs are in the past soon.
preston, someone needs to do a documentary on the exact thing you just did, re: the foster child scenario. what an excellent point! and a very creative way of showing it. now we just need to get the word out so that more people 'get it'.
Everyday, i wake up in a panic.
What to do next? My doctor put me on anti- anxiety meds and I was a zombie.
Living in NYC . Only way those would help if you stayed home all day on the couch, not be a functioning working person.
i clean everyday to lessen the possibilities and do soo much laundry to make sure I will not bring them somewhere. I am pretty sure mine are gone now, but you just can't take any chances. Then there are people who honestly do not care or can afford to do so..
Good news.... Well sort of. I got my doctors apt taken seriously (for the first time) They moved it from July to this Tuesday. YEEEEEHA I finally get to have someone help me with all the scars on my face!!!!! No more swiss cheese face!!!! (knock on metal...Cus I don't own anymore wood)I Had one doctor tell me they were chicken pox scars on my face. I said I've been wearing this skin for 35 years... It's not from chicken pox!
nobugs- If there was a documentory oprotunity count me in!!! For sure.
I went to the The Winchester Star, and talked with the reporter who did a small article about bbs in Winchester months earlier (I was wearing my shirt)and he interviewed me for about 45min and the staff photographer took lots of pictures.... Then nothing absolutly nothing. I left the news room on cloud 9. Everyday that passed was like more pieces of my spirt dieing bit by bit. I guess he just thought I was a "crazy lady" and quite frankly I was.
The funny thing is... he was the one I wanted to write the story... but I stoped by at the local public television station (wearing my shirt) and asked the receptionist if the were hiring... (I'm an in your face type person) just to see what would happen. She eyeballed my shirt. I made sure to turn around so she might ask me where I lived. She didn't. Then she asked what I was looking for, meaning on camera or behind the camera. I said behind camera. She said one moment, and disappeared through the hall doors. When she came back she said everybody was "out to lunch" and that she was the only one there right now. I left the building, and counted 23 cars on the lot... hmmmm... I guess they all went in the same bus.
It was my intention that IF they took the bait to go ahead and talk with them, but if thet didn't... it was my intention to tell the newspaper reporter that his competitors "were scared" So I did, and he didn't care. I was willing to give this issue a name, and a face in my small town. He said to one person at the building oh, this is the bed bug lady. He was like I'm sorry I didn't mean it like that. I told him to go ahead and call me that cus I've already been calling myself the same thing. I didn't care. I just didn't have anything left to lose anymore, so now I wanted to make the most out of it, and give it a voice.
Back to the present time. I think you guy are the best!!! I'm sending you all big hugs!
Just a note: I meant to say the documentary thing to lil_bit _obsessed.
Sorry, tee hee blushing.
An important topic.
As a new bedbug sufferer and as someone who has taken medication for other mental health issues, I have been doing a lot of active management of my thoughts and my perspective on this infestation. I know myself, and I know that this thing could potentially really get to me - I feel grateful that it hasn't at this point.
I know that it is also a very real mental health issue for many who have experienced it, despite the tendency of some people to dismiss it as "no big deal," which is demeaning.
It has helped me to remind myself:
These things are no worse than mosquitos. In fact, I have an advantage, which is that mosquitos are known to carry potentially dangerous diseases, whereas bed bugs are not known to carry any diseases.
The fact that some bed bugs are in my house does not mean I myself am contaminated or dirty. They are just some bugs that arrived in my house, that could arrive anywhere. This has nothing to do with me deserving or not deserving them, or with me being the "type" of person that gets bed bugs. It is just a situation that came along and that I need to deal with.
My bed contains a lot of the most wonderful things in my life: my husband, my two cats, lots of good memories of relaxing, it is where I conceived my precious child. While getting into bed knowing about my infestation causes me anxiety and difficulty sleeping sometimes, I also pause to remember that my bed is essentially a good place, just with this one problem I have to fight.
Dammit, I've been meaning to clear out all that clutter for years and it kind of feels good to do it.
I am way bigger than they are and they are way scared of me.
I am having an awful time dealing with this. Total breakdown if you ask me, I am always crying hysterically (serveral times a day), have to force myself to eat, sleep maybe 4 or 5 sporadic hours. Can't focus very well on anything. I finally called my doctor & she prescribed atavin for me. Haven't taken it yet, just got it filled yesterday (It is supposedly addictive, but my doc said I am on an extremely low dose.) I used to think that I was such a strong person, I have survived a lot of stuff in my life....so why are these bugs winning?
Sorry, but the bugs can do that to you. They can. For a whole list of reasons, they're not like roaches or mosquitoes or fleas or anything else.
A friend of mine was prescribed Ativan to help help him sleep every now and then and he thinks it's great, though it does knock him out. I imagine it could be habit-forming, I guess.
Well I hope that it doesn't knock me out....I got it so I can make it through the DAY. The last thing I need is to sleep all day. Although sleeping through the whole night would be nice!
bugtastic: Thank you for your post. I am not even certain I have them (stayed in an infested hotel 4 weeks ago) but the constant anxiety and need to be hypervigilant has given me very real thoughts of suicide. I feel I have lost my innocence--went to see a wonderful Broadway show 2 nights ago and it was ruined by sensations of crawling all over my skin. I have lost 10 pounds (can't eat) and can barely sleep, even with medication. Thank you for reminding me that my bed, and my home, contains wonderful things (husband and 2 great dogs), and is not just a horrible dark threatening place. I will try to remember your words when I lay down tonight. I still can't bring myself to sit down in my comfortable easy chair and watch TV or read. These things have stolen my life but your post reminds me to try to keep this in perspective. Thank you.
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