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Author Topic: Phobia of bed bugs or infestation-anxiety  (Read 416 times)

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Offline Tsimpsy07

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Phobia of bed bugs or infestation-anxiety
« on: May 28, 2014, 10:59:47 AM »
Hi, I will do this as kind of an intro. I'm a 24 year old mom of two children, 3 and 16 months old. I've always been somewhat of a clean person but it went into overdrive when I had my children. I get overly stressed when my apartment is a mess and worry about it more than the average person.

We have moved around a lot due to my husbands job and we relocated from PA to NC in October. When we moved to our first place we quickly found out it was infested with fleas. We have no pets so they were mainly feeding on my baby who was crawling at the time. Within 4 days we had thrown out all of our furniture and made the leasing agents write us a check so we could purchase new beds and furniture. We moved into a new, much nicer, apartment. We lost a lot of our belongings because I was so paranoid of bringing fleas with us. For months after that ordeal I would constantly freak out if my kids had any bumps or marks on them (babies get rashes all the time.)

Things mellowed out a bit then we went camping. We stayed at a cabin for two nights and my husband had red itchy bumps all over his feet and legs one morning (we were out late the night before drinking beer on the porch) but I immediately freaked out and thought "bed bugs." I have never seen nor experienced bed bugs but went completely nuts over this. I washes every article of clothing, all of our luggage, and cleaned the entire car because I was convinced that is where his bites came from. It got way worse when we got home and I started researching. I found on bed bug registry that this camp site had bed bugs in a different cabin in 2012. So I freaked. I card them and started asking questions. They said that 6 people had stayed in that cabin since we left and none had reported  anything . They said they are trained to search for these bugs and hadn't seen anything when they cleaned. The bed was also encased.

I was still terrified. This was over a month ago that we stayed in this cabin and I can't remember when I have gotten a good night of sleep. The anxiety gets so bad that I can barely control my bowels. My skin breaks out in little pimples and I'm irritable and sleep deprived. None of us have had any type of bite marks upon waking up in this past month but due to my obsessive researching I have it in my head that they are so easy to get and just the fact that I live in a multi family complex I'm sure to get them! I need someone to tell me that they are not all that common. There is NO clutter in my home, I don't even own bedroom furniture - just beds, all of our clothes stay hung up or folded on a shelf. I have repeatedly taken my daughters beds apart to inspect. I took the outlet covers off the walls to check inside them, I put petroleum jelly on the legs of my daughters crib, I pulled the vinyl off her crib mattress and proceeded to pick lint apart, I kept any bugs I found in a ziplock bag and made the pest control officers come to tell me none of them were bed bugs( even though I knew they weren't) I inspected walls, baseboards, screw holes in my daughters crib... I woke at 4 every morning to check everyone. I tore the dust cover off the bottom of my box spring and literally got inside of it to inspect it. These things would momentarily make me feel better but a voice always crept in to say " they could still be there.." I bought an encase meant for my box spring since I had torn it apart. I've been obsessively cleaning and sterilizing. Every morning I inspect my body and my childrens and husband. Any pimple on my face is of course a bug bite.. I've been self medicating with alcohol and it's making things worse. When I see a discarded mattress in our conplex's trash compactor I totally freak out and assume it's infested. I want my life back. I wish we never went camping because that triggered all
Of this. I want to be a good mom again. I can't stop these obsessive thoughts. When I get visitors I make them let me inspect their bags.

We are moving to a really nice townhome this weekend. It's in a beautiful suburban neighborhood and I should be excited. Instead I'm researching how to inspect your home for bed bugs before you move in.


Someone help me! I keep telling myself it will get better once enough time passes that I realize we don't in fact have bed bugs. I have no evidence or reason to even think we do but I can't stop the thoughts.
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Offline reece

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Re: Phobia of bed bugs or infestation-anxiety
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2014, 02:35:26 PM »
i'm so so sorry that you are going through this. I could have written that post. i did that same stuff years ago, and right now i'm on the verge of another episode. my son is going away to camp on sunday and i'm sure he'll bring those bedbugs home with him. i want to take a vacation, but i'm too scared of getting bed bugs. i'm tempted right now to inspect my whole house, even though i haven't had a bite.

thinking back, what helped me when i was in the throes of it like you are now, was just telling myself, that i don't need to go looking for bedbugs. we will KNOW if we have them.  the cleaning and checking is so ocd. basically, when you inspect the bed, or crib or your body, you are "checking". this is a type of reassurance. you are not looking "for" bedbugs, you are looking for NO bedbugs. that is the reassurance. when you check the bed, and don't find them, then you feel "better". that's why you have to stop that cycle. just know that you have checked and checked and thatis your ocd(or anxiety) telling you to check again.

you can search bed bugs on this forum and i am the #1 poster! :(
i'm better with the checking/cleaning part, but i'm still so scared to enjoy my life. my main fear is because i'm scared my 13 year old son(who already has only a couple of friends and is not popular)will be ostricized. i'm scared everyone will leave him out, never invite him over again, never come to our house again and make fun of him at school.
if you have any idea on how to get past that, let me know.
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Offline Tsimpsy07

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Re: Phobia of bed bugs or infestation-anxiety
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2014, 12:07:20 AM »
I have put myself on a major hiatus of doing anything online. I used to be on a bed bug forum where people who actually had them posted their woes. Frequenting that site just spiked my anxiety so I cut everything off. Your reply was so incredibly helpful to me. I've been doing my diligence with avoidance where it comes to bed bugs. I won't take anything used. My daughter (3) got two books from the library and I had to inspect the spine before we took it. I know that I will always be hyper sensitive to anything that can cause a infestation but I'm able to rationally view this lately. My inspections are much less through. I check my bed sheets and box spring but I sleep well. I avoid every thing that can expose me and I take precautions. I think my 3 yr old will go to school with a plastic book bag.
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