Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Psychological and Health problems caused by bed bugs (besides bites)

Relax!

(8 posts)
  1. stopstressing

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2012 18:20:56
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    I found my first bug about 3 weeks ago, I was pretty chilled at first. Then after seeing the third bug I decided to ask the landlord to get the exterminators in (I also had bites and there were suspicious marks on the bed). I didn't actually start freaking out until I googled them and found this forum. I know it's meant to be helpful, and the advice is good, but I really think more needs to be written on keeping calm. I actually googled "how to stop getting stressed about bed bugs" and all that came up in the first few pages was along the lines of "having bed bugs is obviously an extremely stressful and worrying experience." It is, but it doesn't need to be and reiterating it isn't helpful! I'm not trying to say that they are no big deal or it isn't important to get rid of them, but I really believe that the importance of keeping calm and level-headed is just as important as getting them sorted; if you get caught up in how "gross" or "creepy" they are you'll drive yourself mad! I only started thinking like this after I called my mum in tears a couple of days ago feeling honestly more stressed and anxious than ever (and I suffer from anxiety anyway!) and she told me to calm down, they're just bugs and they won't be with you forever. It seemed unbelievable how calm she was about it and that really calmed me down. Before this I was constantly itchy and felt like they were crawling all over me and I was experiencing stinging itches as it they were biting, but there was nothing there! Also a lot of what I thought were bites I think are actually spots caused by the stress, because the ones that are definitely bites look completely different; it's crazy what stress and anxiety can make you feel! Rational thinking is what's needed here and while I haven't reached total ease with it yet, and I still feel a little on edge and itchy, I can tell that my attitude and mood are improving. So come on, if you have any "Bed Bug Experience Motivational Quotes" bring them here!

  2. twitchin

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2012 21:01:10
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    I agree! I had posted something to this effect earlier, and though I don't know if we're clear yet, I maintain that freaking out is a waste of time and energy. I had my little meltdown when pco confirmed bbs, especially after visiting forums and researching what we were dealing with, but it was short-lived. We could be dealing with these things for a while yet, and I refuse to give them anymore of my life than necessary. Yes, I'm spending much more time cleaning, and inspecting, and my furniture is no longer welcoming, and I look at every speck twice and every person as a potential carrier but I'm not going to let this consume me.

    To that end, rather than mope about not being able to bring out our usual Christmas decorations, and not being able to dress the house as we usually would, not visiting family or having them here, etc - we're making do. We picked up a nice tree today, went to the dollar store and picked up a lot of sparkly decorations for it, put on some Michael Buble and had fun decorating our tree. The tree will be composted after the holiday, the decorations will be bagged and put away for several years (or simply thrown out) and we'll have our Christmas. Modified, yes; a little stripped down, yes; but we'll have it.

    I'm interested to hear what others are doing to keep sane and to enjoy the holidays/every day while dealing with this.

  3. arianacassie

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2012 21:27:29
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    It is stressful and will drive you a bit insane BUT after the initial finding , once you start attacking you will feel better. The more you do the less stress you will have. Its been 3 months for me. Just found a second very small colony and I was estatic! yes happy. i had found the stranglers. I took complete joy in killing them. i watched as i doused them in steam with a huge smile on my face! Every time i kill one , I feel better, its one less in my house. When I go 5 days with no sightings i feel less stress. It doesnt mean I let my guard down in my cleaning of inspecting it just means Im one step closer to winning the war! Remember you are not alone. Trying to do this on your own is very stressful, thats why im thankful for this forum, for all the info and support. WE are all in the same boat. You will win!
    Christmas has been toned down here to. I bought a few of those suction storage bags and everything will go in there when I am done. The tree will be sprayed and stored. Though none have been found on my main floor i will not put out the majority of my decorations. I will also not let my kids have a tree because of the bb's. I will try to have a somewhat normal Christmas minus the usual guests (no one allowed to visit till 60 days bug and bite free) . We are were 40 days bite free then one of the kids got 3 bites on their foot so we are back to 21 . Oh well, wish i had a chocolate advent calender for that lol .

  4. twitchin

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2012 21:34:12
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    lol That's what we need - a bedbug's be gone calendar!

    We were at six weeks with no signs, then found a straggler two weeks ago, nothing since. Fingers crossed.

    *wanders off to work on that calendar*

  5. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2012 19:39:17
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    Bump...

    They
    Are
    Out
    There
    = TAOT
  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2012 23:06:55
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    It should be some comfort to remember there are two main bodies of people here (not counting the pros and entomologists)-- (1) those who currently have or think they may still have bed bugs, and (2) those who've dealt with bed bugs in the past.

    Most people in group (1) leave before they get a chance to write a success story. Many of them are nervous and not entirely relaxed-- understandably so. A good number of them are quite positive and more relaxed as they've started to see a big improvement.

    There are fewer in group (2). They tend to emphasize the problem can be successfully treated and that you have to be calm to address the problem. Not because they don't understand it but because they have been there.

    I hope that brings some comfort!

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Dec 9 2012 16:16:10
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    Bump

  8. buggybrained

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Mar 14 2013 8:00:57
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    I hope it's OK if I bump this post even though it's been a few months since it's been posted to. I can't stop thinking about all the people out there going through this who may be in the state I was the night I found the bed bug in my apartment, confirming fears I had been trying so hard to bury.

    Few things have happened in my life that have affected me the way coping with bed bug issues have. I would love to try to reach out and offer some hopeful things out there and bump some of the wonderful thoughts that have really helped me get to where I am in my situation.

    When in the chaos of the acute phase of dealing with these, it's easy to get so wrapped up in the minute to minute (sometimes moment to moment mentality) that is often necessary to cope with all the stress that bed bugs bring into your life. However, as you get some time to learn to deal with it and really try to look at the situation for different ways to perceive it, you can come up with some good things about it.

    First of all, for those of you who have dealt with an active infestation.. here is a good thing you can think about - you'll probably NEVER have to worry about a friend of family member putting you on Hoarders. (unless of course you got the infestation in conjunction with that problem!! - yes, I saw that episode! :)) I say this because my bed bug experience opened my eyes and forced me to let go of the blinders that prevented me from seeing that I was already on the road to becoming a Hoarder with a problem. I was faced with going through all my stuff and waking up to the fact there was a LOT of junk I was holding on to for reasons that I couldn't explain except it just felt like I could never make myself throw it away. The bed bug fear trumped my fear of getting rid of stuff and I feel like I have gotten a new start since I ended up finally getting rid of SO much of my clutter. Not to mention I did this all ON MY OWN with no family members (none live in the area) or friends (I'm an aspie and tend to prefer my own company) and no Matt Paxton and Got Junk? crews. I got a lot of praise from my PCO about what I great job I did in preparing for my first treatment!

    Next, a lot of things that may have caused stress and anxiety for you in the past.. will probably never be an issue once you have dealt with bed bugs! Think about all the little things you used to worry about, stress out about, get irritated about. Once you have dealt with bed bugs it's amazing how you feel the normal day to day issues of life just feel like a vacation! If you didn't like keeping house or doing regular chores before, once you have had to deal with bed bug cleaning normal chores will seem like swinging in a hammock on a beach somewhere! Sitting in traffic? It beats laying in bed at 3am with a flashlight next to you with your skin so hypersensitive for anything you swear you can feel your leg hairs growing,. So after dealing with bed bugs, even though it's so stressful you may never stress much about anything else!

    Finally, taking comfort in the "little things." Sitting in peace reading a book or watching a movie, talking to your kids about Spongebob or singing silly songs to your pets (that one is me!), eventually getting to take clothes off a hanger in the morning without digging through a bag - all those things will feel like winning the lottery once you get to that point again in life. You'll probably also be more compassionate towards anyone dealing with hardship and more mindful about how small things brings so much happiness. These are things that people who live their life bed bug free may never find. Maybe one day a co-worker will come in to work with enough baggage under their eyes for a three month trip to bora bora, clutching a venti red eye from Starbucks with clothes that look like they wore them for that three months vacay in bora bora. They may be trying to pull down long shirt sleeves over their arms that you notice are covered in bumps. Maybe they keep scratching and looking around like they committed a crime. You may see the signs no one else will catch of yet another contestant in the game of "Bed Bugs, Can You Deal?" and be able to reach out to them and let them know they're not alone. Maybe you can tell them about this forum where they will find a lot of GOOD information instead of wading through so much misinformation out there.

    One way or another we WILL be OK. It just depends on how we look at what we are going through. It sucks, it's harder than a lot of things we may ever deal with but there are still things we can take from it that maybe we wouldn't have had if we had not gone through it. We are not victims, we are survivors.


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