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Think I need a therapist- Not coping well

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  1. rovianne

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 5:42:18
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    Ok guys- Im really crumbling here. For those of you that have read my other posts you know the details but to recap for those just tuning in- I found a live bedbug last Saturday- am still awaiting inspection and/or treatment (set for Monday). After much snooping- got out of my building manager that my neighbor across the hall was infested. No one told me that at first. And I know now that there are at least 8 other units (out of 250) that have had a problem. Needless to say that information has exaserbated my fears. I dealt with this three years ago and even though I only ever found one bug and never was bitten again after finding that one, it took a toll on me. I kept my clothes in bags for two years, only used white sheets, No pillowcases (one less place to hide) jumped at every spot- that sort of stuff for at least two years. It has only been the last maybe six months that I finally started to feel more relaxed. Then wham. Here we go again.
    This time though with the infestation across the hall, I fear I am not so lucky. I had a bit of hope but today I found what I am fairly certain are bites which to me confirms there was not just one. I am a very anxiety ridden person and I worry about everything. I probably should be in therapy for that anyway LOL but this is really pushing me over the edge. I think it's magnified by the fact that I havent had anyone out here yet so I have no idea how bad it could be and my imagination is running wild with it all. I don't see anything-but is my whole house crawling just underneath the surface?
    I am OK at times but then just feel panic stricken. I work nights and usually get home around 2AM then go to sleep around 5 or so but ever since I found that bug I avoid going to bed and can't even consider it until Im so tired at maybe 10 AM that I finally fall asleep. Something about the daylight makes me feel a little better. I know it doesn't matter. I get in bed and usually sit up and check the sheets multiple times. Its very OCD like (I kinda lean that way under the best of circumstances) When I finally did start to fall aslep I would immeaditly wake back up startled. Over and over. Heart racing etc. I finally fell asleep and proceeded to have noting ut bedbug nightmares. (Oh and one about a tiger chasing me- I suppose he wanted to bite me too!) I have no idea how bad the problem is and my mind is just messing with me. I can't stop crying and I feel so terrified with a touch of why me and anger sprinkled in. I jump at loud noises (like a bedbug made that noise, LOL)I feel like Im having some sort of PTSD. I get in my rational mind that I could have it worse and that Im blowing things up a bit but my irrational mind (the one that is is charge right now) Does not see it that way. I seriously wish I could just leave everything I own and walk away. When I was bitten three years ago the bites varied, some tiny itchy things - some more like welts that burned and the last time a very bad reaction that I didn't even recognize as a bug bite it was so huge and on fire. Im probably the most terrified of that happening again. Not sure how Im going to make it through this weekend till Monday really. I feel like the chick in the Freddy Kreuger movies trying to stay awake! It probably doesnt help that I live in a studio and so its all one room. I can't escape to a room I might feel safer it even for a minute. Good times.
    So Im basically writing this both because no one who doesnt have this problem can truly understand and because its that 4AM panic time for me. I think perhaps I should consider a therapist to calm me down a bit. Anyone know of a good one in Chicago?? I jut don't know what to do with myself here. Im not being rational here and Im really trying to talk myself off the ledge here but its just not working. My coping skills are just not there. My everyday anxiety is through the roof.
    Talk to me here!

  2. Xanthe

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 6:28:55
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    I'm really sorry you're going through this. I've found myself getting quite freaked out this week and so far I haven't actually been bitten - just found one dead one, so I shouldn't really be complaining.

    When you get anxious you breathe too shallowly and that increases your anxiety. If you do deep breathing exercises you can force your body to calm down. It won't make the bugs go away, but it might help you cope a little - it's helped me.

    Breathe in for 2 counts, hold it for 8 counts and release over 4 counts. Do that ten times. Once your breathing is deeper, extend it to in for 3 counts, hold for 12 counts and out for 6 counts. Do this three times a day. I do it while washing up or watching tv.

    You also might benefit from a relaxation or hypnosis CD - you can get lots off the internet. If you feel you need therapy then please do seek that out too.

  3. rovianne

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 6:43:22
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    I felt a little better before finding these bites today. That to me was confirmation that the one I found was not alone. That is what is sending me over the edge, Not knowing how bad it is and if Ill wake up bitten like crazy.
    Thanks for the anxiety advice. Ill give it a try.

  4. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 8:36:51
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    I'll have to reply later. Where are you located?

    pb

  5. rovianne

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 9:02:29
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    P Bello - 24 minutes ago  » 
    I'll have to reply later. Where are you located?
    pb

    Linclon Park in Chicago. Like two miles from Downtown.

  6. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 12:16:25
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    Dear Rov,

    OK, let's try to help you out here, first I have some questions:

    (And I apologize if I missed reading some of this previously in your post.)

    > Where are you in the treatment process?
    > How many treatments, what was done, when, etc?
    > Do you have encasements already in place?
    > Do you have blockers in place?
    > Do you have any monitors already in place?
    > How do you think you got BBs?
    > Do you think you brought BBs in or did they come in from a neighboring unit?

    Please advise, thx ! pb

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 12:28:03
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    While addressing the bed bug problem in terms of treatment is crucial, I would encourage you also to see a mental health professional. Lots of people here have done that and reported it as helpful. If one is at all prone to anxiety, OCD, or depression, for that matter, bed bugs can exacerbate the problem. Talk therapy and in some cases medication can help you stay balanced and able to do with the practical things you need to in order to deal wth bed bugs.

    (note: I am not a medical or mental health or pest professional.)

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  8. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 14:00:35
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    I second the therapist. It really help me deal with my feelings of powerlessness and focus on what was important: actively dealing with the infestation, not just coping with the fact of having bed bugs.

  9. MarriedinCA

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 14:49:59
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    since you said you were in illinois I looked this up from the health department. Beware of super enlarged photos of bed bugs! (if that's something thats going to make you feel more anxious, perhaps just write down the URL and give that to them, or ask someone else to print it out for you) It indicates that they may not be treating your buildings problem appropriately

    http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/BedBugs_Multi_UnitHousing.pdf

    It lists steps to take such as management making sure that the BB can't move between units, and at minimum units above and below and next to infested units should be inspected and treated, as well as common areas like hallways and laundry room.

    among other things, but those two should appropriately indicate to your management/board that if they're not doing those things (and it sounds like they aren't) things aren't being taken care of properly and that it might be a good indication as to why it's spreading so bad .

    If you feel like you need a therapist (as the title indicates) then by all means seek one out! Its a commonly listed symptom of BB that they can cause anguish. It's not outlandish to seek therapy, people do it all the time.

  10. jduk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 15:20:20
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    hi rovianne
    i understand all your stress and anxiety and recognise many of your reactions as i have been through similar reactions to our infestation. I have done the uncontrollable crying, and loss of sleep and finding solace in the daylight. I have posted several accounts of my situation on this forum, and pointed out that i have moved since original infestation and still managed somehow to trail them with me. i moved in with NOTHING but 2 new air mattresses. Binned all my posessions. I did have fairly quick treatment in my new apartment and several different pest control firms inspected my place and were unable find any tangible evidence of bugs, but i saw a live one and found dead nymph and had continuous bites with some faecal on sheets so one of the firms agreed to treat. That was way back in April/may 11 and i have not seen any other evidence other than continuing bites but i have been reassured by several of the experts on this forum that with so many months elapsed i should be able to see some evidence if they are still an issue. I am willing to accept that i have a post traumatic stress type reaction going on and i struggle every day to contain my fears and anxieties. The thing that really gives me the horrors is the thought that there has been BBs in my new home. I accept that my previous infestation was spread to my me by a specific set of circumstances, but having taken maximum lengths to avoid bringing them here and with such huge financial and personal losses, it just makes me feel unbearably hopeless at times if i dwell on it, but as pbello has often posted. "it is what it is". I can only console myself with the knowledge that i have done everything i can to manage and contain this problem. My biggest fear has always been the risk i pose to others and feel so worried that i will unwittingly pass them on just as they were passed on to me in the first instance. I have done my best to educate family members, work colleagues and friends about BBS and how anyone is a potential victim but they just dont get it. in fact just today in work the girls were talking about a second hand clothing shop and i said that because of my experience and what i i could not comfortably allow myself to purchase anything from such a store and one of them said " oh its ok this is a really clean one, lots of posh people donate their stuff to them"! Anyway, this is about you and how you are feeling and i just want you to know that there are people here who know how you feel and want to help you through this and as horrible and isolating an experience as it is, there are many who have suffered all you are suffering now and with the aftershock of the whole nightmare of exposure to these b******s. I hope to be able to finally accept the possibility that the lack of evidence suggests i no longer have a problem and move on to a time when they are not the 1st thing on my mind when i open my eyes and last thing before i finally drop off to sleep, and i so, so long to sleep in sexy nightwear again instead of going to bed in body armour, (sorry for that but it is what it is!). So i will be thinking about you as you struggle your way through this. You got through it before and that which does not kill us makes us stronger(apparently), Take care, and try not to stress, they are insects at the end of the day, nasty ones but just doing what they do to keep their place in the food chain. We should not give them the power to reduce us to gibbering wrecks and the way to ensure this is to keep rational and focused, which i know is easier said than done but this forum will help if you take the best advice on offer from all the wonderful individuals giving of their time, knowledge and experience. It is indeed a very strange feeling to feel that complete strangers can offer more comfort than our nearest and dearest, but this is exactlyhow i feel about this forum and i hope you also find some relief and comfort from the support offered within this site. Take care,jduk

  11. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 15:43:14
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    One of the primary reasons that I'm compelled to provide as much assistance as possible are the conditions and affects that BBs manifest upon their victims. It's self explanatory for those who participate on this site.

    While I'm sorry that you are enduring this and there's not much I can do to ease your anxieties, perhaps there is some level of comfort to be had knowing that so many people share your experience, have empathy for you and are willing to provide you continued support.

    As for me, I'll do my best to provide you with the best BB remediation advice I can and hope that this may be sufficient in helping you to regain your positive outloook.

    Hope this helps ! pb

  12. blossoms

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2012 20:04:17
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    Hey there,

    I'm sorry you're going through this! I know it's pretty awful — I was going through the constant crying and cyclical worrying recently as well. I had already been going to a therapist for unrelated issues, but my therapist has definitely helped me, and so did my GP. Please do not discount anti-anxiety medication -- the difference between when I did not have something and when I did is like night and day. I did not like the idea of taking a pill, but I feel like I have my life back together, especially combined with therapy sessions. I know this is a huge, huge pain in the ass, but it is not for forever, and there are things that will help you handle this with a clearer head and a better perspective.

  13. rovianne

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jan 7 2012 6:09:36
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    P Bello - 17 hours ago  » 
    Dear Rov,
    OK, let's try to help you out here, first I have some questions:
    (And I apologize if I missed reading some of this previously in your post.)
    > Where are you in the treatment process?
    > How many treatments, what was done, when, etc?
    > Do you have encasements already in place?
    > Do you have blockers in place?
    > Do you have any monitors already in place?
    > How do you think you got BBs?
    > Do you think you brought BBs in or did they come in from a neighboring unit?
    Please advise, thx ! pb

    Have had no treatments as of yet. Found one Bug last Saturday due to holiday weekend it took awhile to get appt set up but they are coming to inspect on Monday my unit plus others around me including the recently infested one which was being handled by a different company. Building has recently hired a new company that is more specialized in Bed Bugs. Its called A Alert. The buliding is not making it public knowledge that there is a problem. They are trying to downplay it and handle it quietly I believe. Building manager wants to be more agressive but some board members are fighting her at every turn. I found out there are like eight units with a problem and one of them is my neighbor directly across from me. I had climb ups on my bed due to a single bug siting three years ago that turned out to be just the one bug I guess because nothing else was ever found and I stopped being bit after finding the one bug. No bites or signs of anything for three years so I assume this is totally unrelated. The climbups had cracked on the middle ones (Queen size bed so the middle two are kind of in the center and hard to see or change out. Not knowing there was any sort of problem in the building I had not been as vigalent with them as I should have been. One bug three years ago. I thought it was a fluke. I also have protect a bed encasements and on both matress and box spring and just a metal bedframe. No headboard ect. I am assuming I got this from my neighbor most likely. If only they had informed us of the issue I could have been more dilagent. Oh and there was a small hole on the underside of the box spring encasement whch was duct taped immeaditely and I have since bought a second box spring encasement and put it right over the first one just to be safe. could not see anything on the matress cover or box spring cover. No fecal stains anywhere or castings. Nada. Nothing visible on the frame upon eyeballing it with a magnifying glass and flashlight, But who knows. I also replaced all the climb ups with new ones so they are good now.
    Cant see them but Im getting bit by something!

  14. rovianne

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jan 7 2012 6:25:13
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    Thank you to everyone responding to me. I really appreciate just that youre out there. I may go to a hotel tonight just to get one decent nights sleep. Inspection isnt till Monday so it's not like I need to be bait yet and I can't think straight due to the lack of sleep. I can't afford any of this. It sucks. I can't sleep here at all at the moment. Got home around 1 and have been sitting here trying not to itch these welts ever since. I have a dermatologist appointment in a few hours to see if they can give me anything for this. No point in trying to sleep since I have to be there in like 3 hours anyway. I will prob not be able to sleep here until someone gets in here and can tell me how bad it is and start treating.
    Can you have a really bad infestation and not be able to find anything at all? Im hoping since I react so much to the bites and I only got these itchy welts a few days ago for the first time after finding that one bug a week ago now that might mean I have a light infestation? If it was heavy I would have been being bitten for more than just a few days right? But then again I think I got like ten bites in one day and another two the next day. So its getting worse.
    My brain is fried. I don't know if Im even making sense.


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