Bed bugs are well-known for the painful, itchy welts they leave on their victims. Less publicized is the emotional stress they often cause, which may linger even after the bugs are gone. Are you or someone you know suffering psychologically from bed bugs? Here are some suggestions on how to cope.
Psychological Effects of Bed Bugs
When bed bugs strike, they attack the very place where we should feel safest: our bedroom. Bed bugs can cause many sleepless nights, and over the course of time, lead to stress, anxiety and sometimes paranoia. Some have compared the psychological effects of having bed bugs to post traumatic stress disorder.
Don’t Be Ashamed
Bed bugs can happen to anyone. They aren’t a reflection of the cleanliness of your home or your social status, and they aren’t your fault. While you may struggle with the decision to tell others about the infestation, being upfront is the best way to protect them and prevent the spread of bed bugs. Talking openly fights the stigma associated with bed bugs. Share the steps you’ve taken to fix the problem and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
The sooner you take action against bed bugs, the easier they will be to exterminate completely. Get in touch with a pest professional to begin treating your home as soon as possible. Remind yourself that, although bed bug infestations can be tedious to combat, they are temporary. Focus on what you are doing to get rid of them; recognize progress as you make it. With persistence, the bed bugs will pass.
Get Out and Have Fun
Bed bugs infestations can be overwhelming, but a large part of coping with one is working to keep it in perspective. Facing isolation and loneliness as a result of a bed bug outbreak can be hurtful and sometimes damaging. Be diligent in your efforts to contain and eliminate the infestation, be honest with friends and family about those efforts, and do your best to continue getting out and enjoying life.
Avoid Living in Fear
Once the bugs are gone, avoid fixating on the possibility of getting them again. Your life shouldn’t be governed by fear; realize you can be proactive about protecting your home, but should not be to the extent that it interferes with your everyday life. In time, life can, and should, return to normal.
If You Need Help, Seek It
Most people overcome their feelings of frustration and fear once the bed bugs are gone, but not everyone. If you’re struggling with depression, paranoia, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, or in other ways that are interfering with your everyday life, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Counseling can offer support and guidance to help get your life back on track.