Lice — just mentioning it can make your scalp itch. While most people think of lice as a non-harmful nuisance that’s easily treated with over-the-counter remedies, they can be a bigger deal than you’d think. The impact of lice goes far beyond an itchy scalp or washing clothes and bedsheets. From feelings of anxiety and shame to social isolation, the psychological impact of these tiny parasitic insects goes far beyond what you might think.
What are some of the exact symptoms you might deal with?
A lice infestation can significantly impact mental health, especially for those who experience a severe or prolonged infestation. The constant itching and discomfort can lead to several mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, or insomnia, which can harm your overall well-being.
In severe cases, a person might develop post-traumatic stress disorder from a lice infestation. Although this is uncommon, it can happen. Here are some of the most common psychological symptoms a person with lice might experience.
Anxiety, Worry, or Fear
One of the most common psychological impacts of lice infestation is anxiety and fear. Infected individuals may feel anxious and worried about how others perceive them. They may also fear the infestation will spread to their family, friends, or colleagues.
Additionally, anxiety and fear can be compounded by the stigma associated with lice infestation. Many people falsely associate lice with poor hygiene and assume those affected by it are unclean. This assumption can lead to feelings of shame and embarrassment, making it difficult for infected individuals to seek help or disclose their condition to others.
It’s also common to worry about a lice infestation. Some people develop a phobia or significant worry about getting lice, especially if someone around them has it. Or, if you’re infected, you may worry about the infestation returning once it’s treated. These are legitimate fears, so it’s important to validate your feelings if you experience anxiety or worry.
Another psychological impact of lice infestation is social isolation. Infected individuals may feel ashamed or embarrassed to interact with others, especially in public settings. This can lead to social isolation and loneliness, which can negatively affect mental health and well-being.
In some cases, people with lice are forced to isolate themselves from the rest of their family and friends. Children, in particular, may experience social isolation due to lice infestation. They may be excluded from school or other social activities, and their peers may avoid them out of fear of contagion. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, and low self-esteem.
However, adults are just as likely to get lice as children. For them, missing out on things like work or college courses may strain finances.
Lice infestation can also lead to depression, especially if left untreated for an extended period. Infected individuals may feel overwhelmed by the constant itching and discomfort, leading to hopelessness and despair. Symptoms of depression also can be compounded by the social isolation and stigma associated with lice infestation. Infected individuals may feel that their condition is a reflection of their worth as a person, leading to feelings of shame and self-loathing.
Insomnia is another psychological impact of lice infestation. When your scalp becomes infected with lice, you may have trouble falling or staying asleep from the constant itching and discomfort. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating, negatively affecting mental health and well-being. If you have lice and notice you’re sleeping less, you might want to talk to your doctor about sleep hygiene or medication.
How can I treat psychological symptoms from a lice infestation?
If you or someone you know is struggling with the psychological and emotional impacts of a lice infestation, there are several ways to cope.
- Get lice treatment. Most people’s anxiety about a lice infestation doesn’t decrease until the lice are gone. Therefore, getting treatment is one of the most effective ways to handle the psychological symptoms you’re dealing with.
- Seek professional psychological help. A mental health professional can provide counseling and support to help individuals manage their anxiety, depression, and other symptoms. Individual sessions with a therapist allow you to vent your frustrations without fear of judgment.
- Educate yourself and those around you. Learning more about lice infestation can help reduce the stigma associated with it and increase understanding of how it spreads its symptoms and treatment options. Teaching children about lice in a non-judgmental way can help reduce the shame and embarrassment associated with infestation. Creating a supportive and understanding community can also help those affected by lice infestation feel less isolated and more empowered to seek treatment and support.
Looking for a lice clinic in Savannah, GA?
Dealing and coping with a lice infestation can be psychologically difficult. Working with a lice clinic is one of the ways to decrease your stress and solve the problem quickly. If you’re looking for a lice clinic near Savannah, GA, Fresh Heads Lice Removal is here to help. Our specialists will provide you, your child, or other loved ones with the area’s best quality lice removal services. Our services are so effective that we guarantee you won’t have to return for a second treatment.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation for lice treatment in our Savannah, GA, location. If that’s not close to your area, we also have locations in Jacksonville and Orlando, FL.
Schools Without Lice
At Fresh Heads Lice Removal, our mission is to get rid of lice in schools across the United States. We’ve partnered with the Lice Clinics of America to create the Schools Without Lice program. Through this program, we provide school nurses and teachers with free screenings, resources, and treatments. Together, we can have schools without lice!