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Getting Therapy - Asbestos

FlipperK

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Hi all,

Been awhile since I have been on here but I have to post something to get this off my chest.

We recently moved houses due to my job and we bought a recently flipped 1972 house.

Now, I have not had any of this confirmed and nothing ever showed up in the inspection reports, I even asked my AC guy and pest control guy. Asbestos. No one has brought up any concern about it.

I am 30 years young. I did not grow up in the era of asbestos and I am very much wishing I didn’t find out about it.

Anyways, this home was a foreclosure years ago and a construction/flipping company bought it and flipped it. It looks very nice. However the yard had debris (dry wall, insulation, prices of wood, nails, etc) from it all. Not piles of it, but small pieces where they were piling up the debris they were ripping out. We picked up most of it. I fear some of it contained asbestos. We buried a lot of it as well with layers of dirt.

People tell me that it’s extremely common for construction companies burry debris all the time. It just happens
Given the age of the house, I am worried that asbestos is everywhere. Now every time I see a hole in the wall I worry about asbestos. I am even afraid to hang pictures on the wall with nails and clips. Given the mess in the yard, I feel like the contractor skipped steps and have put me and my family in danger.

My AC guy has not seen anything, my pest control guy in the attic states he didn’t see any asbestos (says he is trained to spot it). My parents and my wife are all saying I’m being paranoid and that many people do renovations on their homes this old all the time and they aren’t dead. Is it possible? Maybe, but I am blowing this way out of proportion

My grandfather was a ship welder in Galveston TX port. He worked as that for over 30+ years and ended up dying of a heart attack in his 70s. He did have asbestosis, but not cancer. My mom and my grandmother who washed his clothes have not developed anything from it.

My father, a car mechanic, has most likely been exposed to it for the last 40 years. He is perfectly healthy at the age of 63.

I even helped tear apart my grandmothers garage with my dad, a house built before 1950. So there’s that too.

Anyways, I have read everything from a dead sentence from just 1 fiber to medical journals stating it’s a long term exposure issue. I have been on asbestos forums and cancer forums, it looks like the universal answer is, small one time exposures aren’t really an issue to worry about. It’s everywhere and the amount of deaths attributed to it doesn’t correlate to the amount of people exposed. Overwhelming majority is long term medium+ exposure. It’s in the environment and in many many buildings. In essence, yes it’s dangerous, but not as dangerous as everyone makes it out to be... an automatic death sentence.

Anyways, I am going to get with my insurance and doctor to get some therapy about this worry. It’s affecting my daily life now and I can’t enjoy anything. I am on medication but this is bad.
 

cheer_mom

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Definitely look into cognitive therapy. It helped me so much with my anxiety. I am starting again because since my dad passed in February, it has come back. Mine is mainly heart related.
 

bin_tenn

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Definitely look into cognitive therapy. It helped me so much with my anxiety. I am starting again because since my dad passed in February, it has come back. Mine is mainly heart related.
I agree! Also, sorry to hear of your dad's passing, I know how rough that can be (Aug 2014). But yeah, cognitive therapy (CBT) works quite well. I went for several sessions back in 2018, and it really put things into perspective that I wasn't able to grasp when learning on my own.
 

FlipperK

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Got my first appointment on Monday Morning. Will let you all know how it goes. Second one will be the following Saturday.
 

FlipperK

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Well, called for my appointment and I was only scheduled for this Saturday and not today. Even though I asked for today as well.

Strike 1 for this therapist. Will keep Saturday and see how she goes.

Not a good start in my eyes.
 

FlipperK

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Just an update,

I have had 2 sessions so far and I really do like my therapist so far. Rocky start with the schedule, but everything else has been smooth since.

Still working through it, obviously, but I have a few take-aways that I would like to share here... might help a few people out:

1.) Getting logical answers doesn't work because it's not the logical part of the brain that is the issue, the emotional part is overwhelming your thoughts.

- Essentially, we are smart enough to know a logical answer when we get one. But our emotional reaction to our anxiety is so overwhelming that you can't override your fear with logic. Two different parts of the brain.

2.) Getting confirmation from your peers is actually a negative thing.

- When I ask my parents or wife about my asbestos fear and if they would have done anything different. I think it helps to hear, no we wouldn't have done anything different than what you did... but in actuality it is hurting me. I can't understand why I can't be "normal" like them. It makes you feel like something is wrong with you. It has the negative effect of just putting yourself down.

3.) The way my brain works is different than others. You can't expect to process and react the same when your different.

- She gave me the example of being blind. If someone who is blind they need glasses to see clearly. They need tools. Someone who isn't blind doesn't need glasses and they see fine. IE: They don't need the tools you need.

4.) It's okay to not be perfect. You are not going to solve the worlds problems by yourself.

- It truly is okay.
 

FlipperK

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I am an absolute wreck.

While I got some good news, there is bad news... it is not confirmed, but likely I did disrupt some asbestos with my renovations. Talked with environmental company and its possible. The big thing was we had take out of sheet rock (not worried about the sheetrock, but the joint compound) and my wife and I scraped those little pieces of what we thought was sand on the wall... probably textured paint.

So I am assuming I did. This was years ago, between 3-6 years. We have moved since, but I am constantly thinking about my furniture and clothes. All the time being in the house. We had no idea. We were in our mid-20s at the time and I never really heard of asbestos.

I called The Mesothelioma Center (asbestos.com) and explained what I am dealing with, all the projects I was doing and essentially they stated they wouldn't worry. Yes, you may have been exposed, but most likely not enough to cause issues. No guarantees, as people with little exposure do get sick... but the vast majority, even with heavy exposure over many years don't ever get sick.

Everyone is exposed to asbestos at some point in their life. In this day in age of the do-it yourself, it happens pretty often according to them. They get calls about it very often.

Now we moved to another 1970s home and I am just seeing danger everywhere. I can't enjoy anything anymore. It was a flip home and now I worry the contractor(s) who did all of the renovations didn't take the precautions and there is asbestos everywhere.

My wife is tired of me worrying about it, stating we are fine. She refuses to waste money ($500 or so) for a company to come out here and look at everything. She is at her wits end.

I feel like I finally made my fatal mistake in life and now I have given a death sentence to myself and family and anyone who was in the house.



I can barely function now. Every single person I talk with is telling me to calm down and it will be okay. My dad states he guarantees he has been exposed to way more asbestos than I have, with him being a mechanic for over 40 years. My mom used to wash the clothes of my grandfather for many years when he worked as a ship welder.


I know that this is something that I have to work through, but I just feel like I reached the end.
 

Fraser

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I am an absolute wreck.

While I got some good news, there is bad news... it is not confirmed, but likely I did disrupt some asbestos with my renovations. Talked with environmental company and its possible. The big thing was we had take out of sheet rock (not worried about the sheetrock, but the joint compound) and my wife and I scraped those little pieces of what we thought was sand on the wall... probably textured paint.

So I am assuming I did. This was years ago, between 3-6 years. We have moved since, but I am constantly thinking about my furniture and clothes. All the time being in the house. We had no idea. We were in our mid-20s at the time and I never really heard of asbestos.

I called The Mesothelioma Center (asbestos.com) and explained what I am dealing with, all the projects I was doing and essentially they stated they wouldn't worry. Yes, you may have been exposed, but most likely not enough to cause issues. No guarantees, as people with little exposure do get sick... but the vast majority, even with heavy exposure over many years don't ever get sick.

Everyone is exposed to asbestos at some point in their life. In this day in age of the do-it yourself, it happens pretty often according to them. They get calls about it very often.

Now we moved to another 1970s home and I am just seeing danger everywhere. I can't enjoy anything anymore. It was a flip home and now I worry the contractor(s) who did all of the renovations didn't take the precautions and there is asbestos everywhere.

My wife is tired of me worrying about it, stating we are fine. She refuses to waste money ($500 or so) for a company to come out here and look at everything. She is at her wits end.

I feel like I finally made my fatal mistake in life and now I have given a death sentence to myself and family and anyone who was in the house.



I can barely function now. Every single person I talk with is telling me to calm down and it will be okay. My dad states he guarantees he has been exposed to way more asbestos than I have, with him being a mechanic for over 40 years. My mom used to wash the clothes of my grandfather for many years when he worked as a ship welder.


I know that this is something that I have to work through, but I just feel like I reached the end.
My father spent years in the industry, literally breathing in asbestos without a mask for 8-10 hours a day, and now, at almost 70, he has some rigidity in his lower lungs. Your anxiety in relation to exposure is not warranted, but that doesn't really matter, because health anxiety is not logical. What you are currently experiencing is very typical of the low-end of a health anxiety spiral. A lot of times, rational thought will not help you at this point, because your anxiety is strong enough to quash it. It's good that you are seeing a CBT therapist and you should continue to do so. In the meantime, you might also start with some anxiety reduction exercises to help reduce your panic in the present moment. Fact: you are not going to die today. So take some time today to do some research right now on your real problem: health anxiety. Your family will thank you for it!
 

FlipperK

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Talked with an environmental company my inspection company recommended. They do asbestos abatement, testing, etc.

Talked with the VP of the company and asked him for an air quality test and said that it would be a waste of money. He had told me what everyone else has been saying.

I asked a bunch of questions. He was helpful. He has been doing this since the 80s. Company is fully accrediated and has good reviews.

I told him I have had a very bad fear of this the last month or so and I don’t know what to think. Told him all my concerns of what I did and what I am worried about and he stated he wouldn’t worry about it. Not enough to probably even show up on any air quality test.

anyways. I talked with lab analysis, mesothelioma center, and an asbestos abatement company. No one is worried about my situation and possible exposure.

It makes me feel better but my emotions are trying really hard to keep me from calming down.
 

FlipperK

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All.

Much need follow up.

I have been doing IOP (Intensive Out Patient) Therapy for two weeks now. Meeting 2 hours a day, Mon-Fri. Along with my twice a week personal therapist and every other week, psychiatrist.

I had an appointment with my PCP two weeks ago as well, and I explained what was going on and she agreed with everyone else about this asbestos fear... don't worry and go on with your life. Your fine.


After the doctors appointment, I turned the road and finally accepted that my asbestos fear is a symptom of my anxiety and OCD.


Since then I have been doing great, no more panic attacks. Depression and anxiety is way down.

Still doing my IOP until I am discharged, will keep my therapist and physiatrist from now on to keep me going.



Turning a chapter now, finally...
 

Fraser

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All.

Much need follow up.

I have been doing IOP (Intensive Out Patient) Therapy for two weeks now. Meeting 2 hours a day, Mon-Fri. Along with my twice a week personal therapist and every other week, psychiatrist.

I had an appointment with my PCP two weeks ago as well, and I explained what was going on and she agreed with everyone else about this asbestos fear... don't worry and go on with your life. Your fine.


After the doctors appointment, I turned the road and finally accepted that my asbestos fear is a symptom of my anxiety and OCD.


Since then I have been doing great, no more panic attacks. Depression and anxiety is way down.

Still doing my IOP until I am discharged, will keep my therapist and physiatrist from now on to keep me going.



Turning a chapter now, finally...
Glad to hear that you are being proactive about getting the help you need. This forum needs more threads like this one.
 

FlipperK

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Follow up:

Had a rough week, not sure if was the new meds evening out in my body or what.

Nearly had a panic attack but was able to contain it thanks to my sister coming over.

the last couple of days have been much better.

Still doing IOP and all.

Cleaned up some Sheetrock yesterday. Felt fine doing it. Feel fine now.

Trying to make sure I am getting plenty of sleep and taking my medication and doing therapy.
 

Fraser

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Follow up:

Had a rough week, not sure if was the new meds evening out in my body or what.

Nearly had a panic attack but was able to contain it thanks to my sister coming over.

the last couple of days have been much better.

Still doing IOP and all.

Cleaned up some Sheetrock yesterday. Felt fine doing it. Feel fine now.

Trying to make sure I am getting plenty of sleep and taking my medication and doing therapy.

Keep at the work. There will be ups and downs, but the overall trajectory will be up if you keep up the work.
 

Sweet T

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Can you get a respirator or protective equipment to wear for any potential asbestos?
 

Fraser

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Can you get a respirator or protective equipment to wear for any potential asbestos?
Yes, but that's not the way to go. Wearing protective equipment against something that doesn't exist and that you have a phobia for entrenches that phobia.
 

FlipperK

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Can you get a respirator or protective equipment to wear for any potential asbestos?
Yes, but its the fear of what already has happened. Its processing decisions you made in the past and how they affect you for the future.
 
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