Bed bug infestations is no laughing matter. Anyone who has ever had a bed bug infestation in their home can tell you how stressful it can be to be visited by these tiny, dark caramel creatures. The thought alone of being so close to blood sucking critters that can, and will, feed on you while you are most vulnerable, is enough for some people to lose sleep, experience extreme emotions or even set their bed on fire. Some might say that bed bugs are harmless, as they don’t transmit disease and some people have no reactions to their bites, but others might tell you a very different story.
This is what has now drawn researchers to study the emotional impact of having bed bugs (beyond the nuisance of getting rid of bed bugs, which by itself, is sometimes an expensive and energy draining process).
Bed bug infestations can lead to psychological and emotional effects
Studies (see sources below) in the field of psychiatry, state that more than 80% of individuals posting in forums about their experience with bed bugs, described psychological and emotional effects that are often associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, including hypervigilance, paranoia, obsessive thoughts, and even depression.
For some, having bed bug infestations in their home can end up turning into a very frustrating and emotional event. But for others that might already be experiencing emotional challenges such as depression, anxiety disorders, and/or severe psychiatric conditions, a case of bed bugs can become devastating.
According to Psychiatry Advisor in a case study by Stéphane Perron, MD, of the University of Montreal, Québec, a woman with a prior history of mental illness got bed bugs and eventually committed suicide, with the bed bugs as a major life event that could have increased her risk of suicide.
After eight years of experience, focusing solely on detection, elimination and education of bed bugs, at Thermapro we encourage our clients to understand the proper steps necessary to prevent or, if ever needed, to eliminate any issues, safely and efficiently.
Being professional bed bug exterminators, we understand that there are no happy first time callers, but usually cries of help from people that have become desperate, are experiencing sleep deprivation or disturbances, and some are even enraged with frustration; while others are recovering from harsh allergic reactions to bites.
We all know that there are no happy bed bug stories, but here are some suggestions on how to get through some bed bug infestations and be able to tell the story afterwards (disclaimer: Thermapro is not entitled to give medical advice, consult your mental health physician):
- Be observant of your own reactions. By this we are not referring to the bite reactions, but observing the emotional impact of having bed bugs, reactions that can turn out to be more severe than the actual consequence of having an infestation. Give priority to your health over getting rid of the insects. This takes us to:
- Don’t rush into bad decisions that can worsen your bed bug infestation. You might have an immediate (and very natural) urge to get rid of the bugs. Don’t rush to the nearest store and buy as many sprays and powders and follow as many DIY recipes you can find so you can address the problem yourself. Bed bugs are not DYI projects, and you can actually make the situation a lot worse by trying to solve it by yourself. You might put your health at risk and your house in jeopardy. Do research on treatments, consider your options with a cool mind and get into action in the proper way.
- Ask for help if you have an emotional disorder. If you are going through something that’s already a challenge on its own, it’s only fair to ask for help when treating bed bugs. Opening up to family members, friends or even neighbors can help you not only to solve the issue for good, but also to keep you safe during the process.
- Don’t play the blame game. Having bed bugs is already hard, but condo and or neighbor drama can make the emotional bill go higher than you can imagine. It is actually very difficult to know where the bed bugs that invaded your home originally came from, so we always encourage to focus on the solution, and not on the problem. By saving yourself the drama, and addressing the issue with a cool head, your problem is already halfway solved.
- Keep your mind occupied Bed bugs can give us a sense of stress or anxiety. This is due to the fact that it is quite difficult to solve the problem on our own. While you will probably need the help of professionals to solve the matter, your cooperation is a very important piece of the puzzle. It helps you to stay on top of the situation and avoid feeling drowned or overwhelmed. Simple tasks like cleaning, vacuuming, washing and drying will help solve the problem faster and will help ease your anxiety.
Bed bug trauma is real, and more than ever, is causing havoc and panic throughout communities as the epidemic continues to grow. With your cooperation, proper education and always placing your physical and mental health first, bed bug infestations can be solved quickly and logically. Right away. The right way.
If you think you might have bed bug infestations in your home or commercial area, we invite you to contact us today. Thermapro Solutions is a professional bed bug exterminator serving clients in Montreal and surrounding areas, Quebec, the Eastern Townships, Ottawa, Gatineau, Cornwall, Toronto and many areas in between.
Sources and additional reading materials
- https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.08.010Get rights and content