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Thread: Rabies fear

  1. #1
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    Aug 2015
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    Rabies fear

    Hi guys, I have had a big big rabies fear from about June-July 2020 which has been plaguing me for a little while now. In Sept/Oct 2020 I had a big panic related to this which led me to get the post exposure rabies vaccine in the UK which consists of 4 vaccines. Along with this I did talk to a therapist (and was diagnosed with OCD and Health anxiety) which did help me for a while however I feel like I was somewhat using the therapist for reassurance and I have started to somewhat relapse again. The past month my fears of rabies have been coming back slowly. A second look here, another check there, a gnawing worry every other day. This led to me eventually having a massive panic yesterday. A few days ago I was walking home from work as always and saw something back falling above and about 1.5 metres in front of me as I looked up. I froze up and looked around but I was not sure what it was or where it went, I only saw it for a split second and I do have some floaters which do sometimes do make me think something is there when it wasn't however from what I remember this seemed bigger. At that time I managed to get past that fear quite well however yesterday I saw some red spots on my elbow, 1 of which was particularly noticeable and looked like it could be a scratch, they were positioned in almost a square shape which immediately made me thing of a bat bite. This together with the fact I cannot remember what exactly I saw has me panicked and considering paying for a vaccine booster. It's honestly driving me crazy and I am hoping for some advice on how to alleviate these fears. My OCD feels otherwhelming sometimes, I was supposed to go out with friends this evening but my mind is telling me to go home and look for a bat on the way and look at things on the internet when you get home to make sure it wasn't a bat or anything like that.

    I guess I am just venting and hoping someone can tell me I am being ridiculous but I know my mind won't believe that and will carry on stressing. The thing is I don't want to go for another vaccine or another check as I know this just reinforces the bad habits but it is so difficult. I have read the thread on this so may times but just can't seem to kick the fear. Has anyone managed to get rid of this worry.

    Edit: Just also wanted to mention that I was worried I may not have felt the pain as it was on the elbow which is mostly numb to pain.
    Last edited by Jamie123; 09-09-21 at 16:35.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,439

    Re: Rabies fear

    Some points to consider:
    1. You will absolutely feel a bat bite, especially if you are awake and walking around.
    2. Rabies in humans is super rare in the US, and even more rare in the UK.
    3. You've had the vaccination. So even if you did happen to get bitten by a rabid bat without knowing it (rare in itself), you are protected. Rabies vaccines last a ridiculously long time.

    Try to calm down and fight your fears with logic.
    __________________

    I still go a little bit crazy sometimes...
    but now I don't stay near as long.


    [Mostly] managing anxiety, HA, and depression.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2015
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    278

    Re: Rabies fear

    Thank you for taking the time to send a message Poppy, I do see how I am being irrational which is the worst thing about this. For example just yesterday after I was coming home and checking that there were no bats where I walked past when I reached my home I noticed on my foot there was a brown part with quite a few red dots in it and freaked out that it could have been a bat as I was walking however this did make me feel like I am in just a panic mode and it is highly unlikely I was actually bitten.
    I think sometimes it is just difficult to think clearly when you are in that anxious mode.

  4. #4

    Re: Rabies fear

    Hi Jamie! I completely understand your fears - I too have OCD and can still go through bad bat anxiety at times. What's helped me is recognising that the bat fear is actually shorthand for something else, some other stress trigger that produces a stream of bat thoughts. It can be incredibly difficult to resist but it is possible (at least some of the time).. Example: I've been having a pretty difficult time on a number of personal issues for the last 6 weeks and was wondering when the ninja bats would make an appearance. This afternoon I was walking through St James Park in London thinking about entirely different things. Whereupon I felt something like a drop of rain fall from a tree on to my head. AAARGH BAT screamed the OCD brain (regardless of the fact I'd seen no bat and bats tend to be larger than raindrops}... Three years ago I'd no question have been obsessing. These days I tend to deploy two techniques from the Ten Percent Happier app: 1. Welcome the bat thought to the party while recognising it is just a thought and 2. reply with an even more ludicrous thought - one of my favourites is 'my 'airdo is magnifique' in my best cod french accent... A bat thought is just a thought. We both know that were we actually to get close up and personal with a bat and feel a bite we would be off to A&E to get the jabs. Bat thoughts are just thoughts. It's our brain overreacting to a perceived danger or threat. That's ok. It's a question of recognising it and moving on. Good luck - you can do it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rabies fear

    Quote Originally Posted by chinesewall View Post
    Hi Jamie! I completely understand your fears - I too have OCD and can still go through bad bat anxiety at times. What's helped me is recognising that the bat fear is actually shorthand for something else, some other stress trigger that produces a stream of bat thoughts. It can be incredibly difficult to resist but it is possible (at least some of the time).. Example: I've been having a pretty difficult time on a number of personal issues for the last 6 weeks and was wondering when the ninja bats would make an appearance. This afternoon I was walking through St James Park in London thinking about entirely different things. Whereupon I felt something like a drop of rain fall from a tree on to my head. AAARGH BAT screamed the OCD brain (regardless of the fact I'd seen no bat and bats tend to be larger than raindrops}... Three years ago I'd no question have been obsessing. These days I tend to deploy two techniques from the Ten Percent Happier app: 1. Welcome the bat thought to the party while recognising it is just a thought and 2. reply with an even more ludicrous thought - one of my favourites is 'my 'airdo is magnifique' in my best cod french accent... A bat thought is just a thought. We both know that were we actually to get close up and personal with a bat and feel a bite we would be off to A&E to get the jabs. Bat thoughts are just thoughts. It's our brain overreacting to a perceived danger or threat. That's ok. It's a question of recognising it and moving on. Good luck - you can do it.

    Thank you for your message, I will try to do this. I work near St James Park so it's also really interesting to hear you were there because it shows that it is a small world. I have been having an incredibly tough time of late with this fear but I can only hope it stops eventually.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2015
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    Re: Rabies fear

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie123 View Post
    Hi guys, I have had a big big rabies fear from about June-July 2020 which has been plaguing me for a little while now. In Sept/Oct 2020 I had a big panic related to this which led me to get the post exposure rabies vaccine in the UK which consists of 4 vaccines. Along with this I did talk to a therapist (and was diagnosed with OCD and Health anxiety) which did help me for a while however I feel like I was somewhat using the therapist for reassurance and I have started to somewhat relapse again. The past month my fears of rabies have been coming back slowly. A second look here, another check there, a gnawing worry every other day. This led to me eventually having a massive panic yesterday. A few days ago I was walking home from work as always and saw something back falling above and about 1.5 metres in front of me as I looked up. I froze up and looked around but I was not sure what it was or where it went, I only saw it for a split second and I do have some floaters which do sometimes do make me think something is there when it wasn't however from what I remember this seemed bigger. At that time I managed to get past that fear quite well however yesterday I saw some red spots on my elbow, 1 of which was particularly noticeable and looked like it could be a scratch, they were positioned in almost a square shape which immediately made me thing of a bat bite. This together with the fact I cannot remember what exactly I saw has me panicked and considering paying for a vaccine booster. It's honestly driving me crazy and I am hoping for some advice on how to alleviate these fears. My OCD feels otherwhelming sometimes, I was supposed to go out with friends this evening but my mind is telling me to go home and look for a bat on the way and look at things on the internet when you get home to make sure it wasn't a bat or anything like that.

    I guess I am just venting and hoping someone can tell me I am being ridiculous but I know my mind won't believe that and will carry on stressing. The thing is I don't want to go for another vaccine or another check as I know this just reinforces the bad habits but it is so difficult. I have read the thread on this so may times but just can't seem to kick the fear. Has anyone managed to get rid of this worry.

    Edit: Just also wanted to mention that I was worried I may not have felt the pain as it was on the elbow which is mostly numb to pain.
    Apologies for the continuous messages here I understand it looks stupid but I am still quite worried about a development in the situation.

    The other night when I went to look near the tree I was worried about there being a bat near originally there were quite a few fallen leaves and I was pushing them around to see if there is anything underneath, when I did this I saw something moving under the leaves and it was actually moving some of the leaves as I believe it was pushing them. I saw this seemed to he some kind of small beetle and as I saw the leaves move I then pushed them and saw the beetle scurry out and then into another leaf which again moved and I pushed to see the beetle again. After I came back home from that I did notice a brown spot on my leg with red dots throughout which to most might look like an abrasion but to me it immediately brought the fear of a bat and this made me worry that I was not sure if a beetle can move/shake a leaf just by walking into it/onto it so what if there was actually a bat underneath which I did not see. I did go back yesterday and did not find anything but there will always be that thought that I just didn't see it or that it was gone by the time I went again.
    I was however wearing shoes and trousers so I doubt a bat would have climed on my shoes under my trousers to bite my ankle.
    This seems like such a weired question but do you guys believe a beetle could have caused the movement in the dried out leaves? I'm not sure why but my mind seems to be stuck on this aspect.
    I did come back with another small red cut/scratch on my other ankle after looking around there the second time however I was scratching that side to see if it would replicate anything like what I had on the other side just before I went out so I do believe this could have been due to that.

    Thank you guys for any replies. I have contacted my GP again and will be trying some ways to alleviate this but I am just trying to find some short term reassurance as I am really stressed out right now.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rabies fear

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie123 View Post
    I am just trying to find some short term reassurance
    Why would need any reassurance for something so ridiculous?

    FMP
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  8. #8
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    1,439

    Re: Rabies fear

    I think bats are larger than you think they are. Definitely bigger than a beetle, and they aren't really that good at hiding - if there was one in the leaves you would have seen it. If there was one walking/clinging to your pants you would definitely see it, full stop.

    Edited to add: bats can carry rabies, especially in the US, but they aren't vicious creatures. They're not flying around trying to bite humans, they'd honestly prefer to be left alone. People are bitten if the bat feels threatened and like they need to protect themselves. They don't just fly out of the sky and bite people for the fun of it.
    __________________

    I still go a little bit crazy sometimes...
    but now I don't stay near as long.


    [Mostly] managing anxiety, HA, and depression.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2015
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    Re: Rabies fear

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishmanpa View Post
    Why would need any reassurance for something so ridiculous?

    FMP
    Hi FMP, thank you for once again replying to one of my threads full of silly worries I am convinced are true. I understand it may seem very stupid but I am having a real hard time with this as my mind keeps telling itself that such a small bug (about 2/3cm long) could not move a whole leaf and there was something else there.

  10. #10
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    278

    Re: Rabies fear

    Hi Poppy, the thing is I know the beetle itself is not a bat however my worry is that if a bat was somewhere underneath then I may have missed it and it may have bitten me without me seeing as unlikely as that is. From what you are saying I guess my worry correlates with the fact I disturbed the bat below the leaves and it bit me as a defence as unlikely as that may sound. I am trying to get it into my head that it is still unlikely to climb my shoe to bite me in the ankle even if it was disturbed especially without me noticing however my mind is telling me the fact it is possible is worrying enough. The fact I did go back and find nothing did give me some reassurance however I am still concerned with the fact something was moving underneath the leaves the first time I was there when it was relatively dark out. I think this is largely due to my inability to deal with uncertainty, whenever I am not sure of something I can assume the worst case scenario and tell myself it has to be true. I have been looking at the statistics for the effectiveness of a vaccine after 1 year to try and calm myself however even at 90% efficacy I will still have that worry.

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