“Crazy as a Bed Bug” is an old expression that (according to the website Why Do We Say It) owes its origin to the almost insane antics of a bedbug crawling around on a mattress. Its motions are zigzag, its direction uncertain. Thus, it would appear that the bedbug’s “craziness” was more along the lines of unpredictability rather than dementia.
However, even if these insects are not insane themselves, bed bugs really do make people crazy, The impact of bed bugs is more than skin deep- it affects people’s minds. It’s not just our experience, in dealing with clients who have had encounters with these insects that bed bugs play mind games with people. (Click on the previous link for a surprisingly good cover of John Lennon’s Mind Games. Watch John Lennon’s own video below, or on YouTube, but if you don’t have the latest Flash Player you may need an upgrade.)
A scientific paper presented to the American Psychiatric Association confirmed our experience. It stated that bed bugs can lead to a wide variety of affective, anxiety, and psychotic spectrum illnesses causing significant impairment, including suicidality and psychiatric hospitalization.
A New York Times article discusses how psychotherapists are helping bed bug victims:
Perhaps no one is more tuned into bedbug paranoia than Steven Brodsky, a Midtown psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and, in that capacity, has attracted a number of bedbug victims.
Patients tell him they feel like they are “sacrificing themselves because they’re literally being eaten as they sleep,” he said.
In recent news, Florida woman who was distressed over her bed bug problems recently set fire to her mattress and her apartment to get rid of these pests. Perhaps the bed bugs drove her crazy, but read the article and you’ll also suspect she already had some issues.……