What begins as one seemingly innocuous bite, can explode into the ultimate warfare on your ability to relax, feel comfort, and safe in your own home. People suffering through an active bed bug infestation have an entire list of problems to steer through, and while there are many guides that talk about how to get rid of bed bugs, few of them talk about the psychological side of dealing with these persistent parasites. Anyone that has had to sleep in an infested home and has woken up to itchy bed bug bites can honestly say that these bugs do more than just feed on you – they will absolutely ruin your peace of mind and relaxation. Though bed bug bites themselves might simply be skin deep, just the very knowledge of the presence of bed bugs travels far beyond the scars of their bites, but goes even deeper, into your psyche.
Coping with an Infestation: The Psychological Aspect of Bed Bugs
Dealing with a bed bug infestation is known to bring about not just physical, but often psychological distress. Individuals that are dealing with an active infestation of bed bugs have been found to exhibit a wide variety of symptoms that include sleeplessness and anxiousness. There has been evidence to suggest that some individuals can show classic signs of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). While you deal with an active infestation, the stress can lead to some serious mental distress. Contributing to the physical stress of dealing with these bugs, other stressors – such as the idea of losing personal possessions, the importance placed on preparing for treatments, and the unexpected costs of treatments, only help to contribute to a perfect storm of anxiety, fear, and anger.
One study had found that of 474 individuals dealing with an active bed bug infestation, 29 percent had experienced sleeplessness, 22 percent had experienced emotional distress, and 20 percent had experienced substantial anxiety. Furthermore, a clinical study published in the January 2012 publication of the American Journal of Medicine found that approximately 81 percent of those with bed bug infestations reported some type of negative psychological effects.
How to Cope with Bed Bug Infestations
Because everyone has such a unique landscape to their mind, it’s almost impossible to give direct instructions on how to mentally deal with bed bugs. Regardless, there are some steps you can put into place to help you keep as calm as possible throughout such an exhausting and time consuming time.
Step One | Remind Yourself – You Are Not ‘Dirty’
This is probably one of the most difficult of concepts to navigate through when dealing with a bed bug infestation. The idea that you or your home is dirty or unhygienic is just not true. The fact is, these incessant pests do not care whether your home is spotless or cluttered. If there is a place where an individual can sit still for a while – they will affect everyone equally
If you’re dealing with an active infestation, it’s important to remember that it didn’t happen because you’re ‘dirty’. The hard truth is that you or someone in your household accidentally picked up a hitchhiking bed bug when you least expected it.
Step Two | Prepare for Treatment with Peace
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you think about all the preparing and planning that must be done to treat your home for bed bugs. Small or large infestations, the size doesn’t matter. It’s the abrupt need to completely restructure everything around you that can be stressful. While these steps are important, be sure to focus on your breathing and proactively accommodating your mental attitude toward these necessary steps. This can help to lower or avoid the stress and anxiety generally associated with treating for bed bugs.
Step Three | Take Calming Herbs to Help Lower Stress
Stress and anxiety are practically unavoidable when trying to get a grip on bed bugs. Many researchers find this reaction to be healthy. However, numerous bed bug sufferers find that their anxiety rises significantly while in the middle of an infestation. To help calm these thoughts and feelings, you should look into taking calming herbs, such as kava kava, Valerian root extract, and Relora. These herbs are known to help lower stress and anxiety levels while helping to ease your body’s natural response to stress- such as lowering your cortisol production.
Step Four | Remember: Your Bed Is Still Your Safe-Haven
This is probably the greatest root of anxiousness and sleeplessness for bed bug sufferers; feeling the loss of safety and comfort within their bed. Bed bug sufferers believe that their home, once their safe-haven is now forever tainted.
Once you’ve encased your mattress and treated your area, you must actively work to repair the usual associations of relaxation and piece of mind we make with one of the most regaled pieces of furniture in a home. Spend some time thoroughly examining your bed and consistently remind yourself that it is NOT ruined. Encourage yourself to find peace where you did before. While you may have some residual thoughts or feelings of “bugs” crawling on you, referred to as Delusory Parasitosis, remind yourself that you got rid of these nasty little bugs. Although this may be the hardest part of your recovery, it is the most significant step of all.