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

Week three: the anxiety is the worst

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  1. Alleyanne

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue May 30 2017 20:04:45
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    I am writing this to hopefully get some words of encouragement and also to help someone relate who struggles with anxiety that is also dealing with bb. ( I can not even write the word). I am going on week three of eradicating the intruders. It's getting easier everyday but I still can not go upstairs without shedding a tear, heart racing and possibly puking.
    It's started on Mother's Day, I was going to pick up a pair of jeans that where on the floor when I noticed the intruder. This isn't my first run in with bbs. The first time was when I moved back home from college I found one relaxing in my bed waiting for me to lay still so it could eat me during the night. Thankfully that was a lone hitchhiker because nothing else came out of the discovery. But I was still in denial until two weeks ago.
    Coming back to the current situation, this is my worst nightmare!! After finding the additional bug I decided that I was going to keep investigating. I cleaned my room and noticed a handful more. None on or around my bed and I had not gotten bitten yet. I was in denial that it must be a carpet beetle. Well the nightmare continued when I discovered four bites, two on my back and two on my foot the next night. I knew it was happening and called pest control right away who confirmed.
    My anxiety was through the roof I slept probably two hours per night, did not eat, and when I could get something down would end up throwing everything back up. The questions race through your mind wondering if anyone got them from you, who did you get them from, are they on you right now, are they following me, does that stranger have them, does this chair have them. I wouldn't even sit down at work because I was so paranoid. In addition pest control told me that I would need to organize and clear out a lot of the rooms. This took me four days had to take take two days from work and break down and tell my boss ( thank god she understood and will keep it quiet) This through me over the edge and I ended up throwing so much stuff away which adds to the anxiety. In two weeks my whole upstairs has nothing in it. My bed is gone (it was broken and old so
    No sense in keeping it) and I am sleeping on my mothers bed and her on the couch (she prefers it this way). I saw one running across my bathroom last night and almost had a panic attack. Also the pest control has notified me that we have a "deep wall infestation" because of the house being old and me unknowingly spraying otc bed bug spray.
    Additional anxiety come from the amount of money that this has cost me. Twenty theee hundred for the treatment, three hundred on laundromat, garbage bags, jumbo ziplock bags. Living out of my dining room doesn't help. And in the back of you head you stop and think what if pest control can not get them out? What if they come back? With anxiety you are already programmed to over react, with bbs times that by 100.
    I am paranoid that if I drop a sock it will pick up bed bugs that they are in my food that they are everywhere. Week two has made me depressed more than anxious. All of my summer plans have gone out the window because of the money I spent to eradicate the problem.
    Im scared because if they are to come back I don't know if I could mentally handle this stress again. I know my life has changed, I will never go thrift shopping again I will never take second hand furniture and I will always dry my clothes after staying in a hotel. The paranoia will always live with me as I wonder how these came into my life.

  2. OCDwithBB

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue May 30 2017 20:21:49
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    I can't offer much advice since I am not even sure if I have bed bugs yet. I definitely have anxiety and OCD though and I understand the kind of toll this can take on your mental health. I just wanted you to know that you're not alone and I hope this gets resolved for you soon and that you never see them again!

  3. bbmom

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue May 30 2017 21:59:57
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    I am sorry you are going through this, I totally understand, as I have terrible anxiety myself and I am starting to feel full blown depression right now, feeling hopeless that we will ever get our lives back even though it's been only our first treatment and we had not seen any signs of bugs yet, other than the one we found over a week ago on a sofa. It's twice as hard for people with anxiety, it can definitely cause serious issues. So, hugs for you.

    I can only give you two advices:

    1) I wonder if you can afford a heat treatment, sounds like you are living in an SFH, vs. an apartment, like we do. It is a lot less chaos, as you don't need to pack up and live off bags for many weeks. I must make a big difference. I see you are already undergoing traditional treatment and it's probably not an option this time, but if you worry about the future of having to go through this packing/unpacking hell again, maybe knowing this option exists can make you feel better, it doesn't have to be so terrible. We have no choice and this chaos is literally destroying my brain cells, I am getting worse and unable to function, take care of kids and keep my job. If we ever get this again, I am done with apartment living for good.

    2) Part of my anxiety is fueled by all the crazy paranoia people resort to after having infestations or not even having them. People develop insane, time consuming and life draining rituals, which they describe in detail, which make me want to kill myself to avoid living such a miserable life. A lot of things people do are completely undoable for us, living in an apartment with small kids. We have no garage, personal laundry or even a decent enclosed entrance in our place to de-contaminate. We feel like we are doomed and I only survive by thinking about this as a probability exercise. I evaluate each item as high risk or low risk, depending if it's from a place near the furniture alerted by the dog or from a room not alerted and treat it accordingly, just bagging stuff for later treatment if low risk and treating immediately if high risk. I think taking all the people are suggesting with a grain of salt helps a bit.

    I also start thinking about all the posters, who seem to never be able to get rid of them or having repeated infestations. It fuels anxiety like crazy in people like me, who are dealing with a first case and worry that our lives will change forever. The main reason is that you are on a forum dedicated to bedbug problems, so people without problems or people with first time successful treatment don't post often or leave the site, so the voices you hear are the people with problems and as soon as they solve the problems, their more positive voices will disappear. You don't hear often about successful exterminations or problems not coming back for decades, so you think they don't exist. It's not true.

    I really do wish that people, who solve the problems for good come to the site and chime in. I want to hear more encouraging stories and people able to keep bugs at bay without crazy rituuals. Maybe exterminators can help here to stop the spread of negative paranoia.

  4. Alleyanne

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue May 30 2017 22:13:33
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    Bbmom.
    You are exactly right. It took me a large amount of time to realize that I can not take everything said on this website for what it is. I noticed a large amount of people who fail are those who try to eradicate infestations without professional help. Good luck to those people. I only know of a handful that successfully got rid of them without pest control. And I plan on posting success when it finally happens ( hopefully this Thursday)
    As of a heat treatment peat control said it was not an option. I am currently living with my mother which we share a large old farmhouse in Pennsylvania. The house is not open enough and has too many cracks and walls missing insulation for a whole heat treatment. My only option is to have pest control spray chemicals to stop the bugs growth and kill them. I havnt seen any since the other night which is awesome. But over the holiday weekend I did get quite a few bug bites which make me paranoid, but I am convinced they are mosquito bites.
    My anxiety has been better and I am keeping my own accountability by not taking any medication for anxiety. I have had to take two pills but I don't regret it it got me through emptying and throwing away 100 bags of garbag and crap

  5. Syco about bb

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Jun 1 2017 22:49:00
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    I am one week into hopefully a small case of bb I've never had them so I am freaking out I have depression and anxiety and this is making me super freak out. I wish I had support but I dnt want to tell anyone because the fear of being treated like a freak I dnt want to go anywhere to work to people's house nothing I'm too scared to spread the buggers Im afraid most for my children I'm afraid I can't provide a safe home for them anymore and that in some way I dnt deserve to have them in my home. My babies are my main concern and this bb problem has me going crazy I can't sleep can't eat can't focus on anything and It really seems like a endless battle I'm a single mom who lives check to check and I'd rather toss everything and just get rid of the bb. It was only a small case on my bed with I think all stages of bb so I tossed my bed (it was old anyway) luckily my landlord has dealt with this before with some of his other properties (I have a sfh) so he sprayed that same day with the same stuff his exterminater uses and I hope it worked. A day after spraying I found 2 bugs on baseboard of my room so I sprayed just my room again super thorough and lifter carpet in all rooms and found nothing 4 days after spraying I found 1 in my son's room I freaked out cried all day sprayed his room and just sat by his door crying my worst fear is that these Lil monsters eat my babies my anxiety has made me sick and I'm so afraid for my kids I feel so out of control and I hate not having control (I also suffer ptsd from domestic violence) I feel like this will never end I dnt have the means financially to do anything and I'm slowly going insane. It's been a week since the 1st spray and the 2nd spray was yesterday and still no evidence of anything and no new bites on anyone in my home but my anxiety tells me they are there and they will come for my kids I would appreciate any advice or any success stories please just to give me hope that this won't last forever because right now I'm feeling hopeless. How long does this last and when can I say bb free and how long before semi normal feelings again. Please any type of response is great. Thank you

  6. bbmom

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Jun 1 2017 23:33:59
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    Syco about bb - 21 minutes ago  » 
    I am one week into hopefully a small case of bb I've never had them so I am freaking out I have depression and anxiety and this is making me super freak out. I wish I had support but I dnt want to tell anyone because the fear of being treated like a freak I dnt want to go anywhere to work to people's house nothing I'm too scared to spread the buggers Im afraid most for my children I'm afraid I can't provide a safe home for them anymore and that in some way I dnt deserve to have them in my home. My babies are my main concern and this bb problem has me going crazy I can't sleep can't eat can't focus on anything and It really seems like a endless battle I'm a single mom who lives check to check and I'd rather toss everything and just get rid of the bb. It was only a small case on my bed with I think all stages of bb so I tossed my bed (it was old anyway) luckily my landlord has dealt with this before with some of his other properties (I have a sfh) so he sprayed that same day with the same stuff his exterminater uses and I hope it worked. A day after spraying I found 2 bugs on baseboard of my room so I sprayed just my room again super thorough and lifter carpet in all rooms and found nothing 4 days after spraying I found 1 in my son's room I freaked out cried all day sprayed his room and just sat by his door crying my worst fear is that these Lil monsters eat my babies my anxiety has made me sick and I'm so afraid for my kids I feel so out of control and I hate not having control (I also suffer ptsd from domestic violence) I feel like this will never end I dnt have the means financially to do anything and I'm slowly going insane. It's been a week since the 1st spray and the 2nd spray was yesterday and still no evidence of anything and no new bites on anyone in my home but my anxiety tells me they are there and they will come for my kids I would appreciate any advice or any success stories please just to give me hope that this won't last forever because right now I'm feeling hopeless. How long does this last and when can I say bb free and how long before semi normal feelings again. Please any type of response is great. Thank you

    I am sorry you are dealing with this, it's pretty hard for single people without families or many belongings living in small units. It's twice as hard for families with kids and tenfold more difficult for single parents. I think you need to insist on a professional exterminator if you start seeing them again and they are not gone, don't let it go too far. Don't let him use "spray and pray" method. I don't know if landlords of SFHs are required to pay for PCO treatments, but if not, at least you can split the cost.

    If you have a family member you can trust, it will be the best, because you are going to need help once you hire a PCO, as they may require prep. I am sure you read about people having to pack their entire dwellings and living out of plastic bags for weeks and having to heat all of their belongings. It's very difficult to do with kids and more so if you are alone, you need to either recruit a family member or a friend or pay someone or take time off work. Hopefully it doesn't come to this if this is a mild problem and hasn't spread.

    There are extremes here you will read about. People here with no signs of infestation, who may not even have the bugs going through extensive time consuming prep and treatments. And there are people with heavy infestations doing it themselves.

    Someone I know, who lives in a very small apartment building, had seen a bedbug and had their landlord spray as well, no professional PCO was used. Apparently it worked, but I don't know what type of infestation he had, he claims to only have seen one bug on the wall and he got no bites or other signs. I personally would insist on a professional if I had seen the bugs and got bites, even in a localized area.

  7. BbsTO

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jun 2 2017 20:36:36
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    Alleyann, so sorry to hear you're going through this. I, like many others on here and elsewhere, also have anxiety and found that the bbs fueled it immensely. I too lost a lot of sleep, my appetite and money over what was a relatively mild problem compared to most.

    Since I took action and secured my bed, couch, and have done the standard clean/steam/powders, etc. I have not had a SINGLE bite. That was almost two weeks ago! So rest assured, especially with mild problems, you CAN and WILL beat this! Though the memory will never vanish, the anxiety WILL fade as each day goes by, I promise you. Obviously I am still being very careful, but the anxiety and obsessive tendencies are decreasing every day.

    Honestly, talking to people about the problem (on here but especially in real life) was one of the best ways I reduced my anxiety quickly. I discovered how many people in my life have been affected. That might not sound very reassuring at all, but it made me realize that although it's a common problem, it CAN be beat. It also made me realize I wasn't alone, and that I wasn't insane for developing some of the rituals I had. It's basically like you become a part of a community that no one wanted to join, haha

    Educating people was the other way I reduced anxiety. If we all start sharing our experiences and knowledge, we can convince other people to start protecting themselves. This will start turning the tide in our favour against the rise of bb population. We need herd-immunity at this point. There's no use ignoring and feeling shameful in the problem. We need to start regaining territory and preventing the spread so that we can all rest a little easier, right? During the height of my own personal battle with them, one of my friends asked "How can I best support you?" I wasn't willing to have anyone in my house, so I said "Just please start taking precautions NOW, before YOU ever see any signs of them. If you protect yourself, I'll feel better." So she did. Knowing the people in my circles are better educated and better protected makes me feel a lot less anxious.

    I hope you're finding a little bit of relief knowing that you aren't alone, that lots of us are starting to win, and that the stigma is quickly fading as we are all starting to open up about this. Feel better soon! Sending insecticidal thoughts your way!

  8. Livingagain

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jun 2 2017 21:16:44
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    Syco,
    If you have specific questions you should start a new thread so people see your question. You're doing the best you can, you've got this. Take it one step at a time.

    If you have a chance, after the spray dries one of these times get some Cimexa and apply it with a paint brush around bed legs between mattress and box springs, in cracks and crevices in couches, around edges of carpets, etc. There are places where people detail how to use Cimexa thoroughly. Look it up.

    Best wishes, we're all pulling for you, come back with questions if you have any more.

  9. Alleyanne

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Jun 3 2017 22:31:58
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    The pco came for the third and final time on Thursday. I have been feeling better and a little excited about my new bed coming in a few weeks. I have not seen any bugs but am still looking just in case. My biggest issues now are bouncing back financially. I was already stuggling because I went on a huge vacation last month and then bam bed bugs. I am about 3,000 in the hole from these things. Also loving out of trash bags is getting old and overwhelming. Though I do recommend clear jumbo ziplock bags. Finally my last anxiety is constantly getting bite from
    Masquitos but getting a little paranoid that the bbs are still around. I still have yet to go into my bedroom and walk in closet. . So far there has been no sign of them which is actually hopeful. I started eating normally this week which was also exciting. I am still drying my dirty clothes and then washing them I think I will continue for another two weeks if I don't see any signs. Also I am still uncomfortable and panicky with any bug I see in my home. I saw two huge centipedes which almost gave me a panic attack. Which is odd because I was never upset about bugs.
    For anyone going through this it will get better keep your head up!!


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