Yeah, the hair dryer thing is symptomatic of fairly major mental illness. Bunny and I have a lot in common - we're about the same age, we're both only children, we both had extreme separation anxiety and trouble dealing with going to school, and we're both phobic of medical things. I think my parents indulged me less, though; it must've been hard for them (especially my mom), but sometimes no matter how much I cried, they left me at school alone to deal with it and gradually I developed coping mechanisms and was a pretty well-adjusted kid by high school.
When I started college far from home, however, I had an all-out anxiety breakdown that left me pretty dysfunctional for about 2 years. During that time, when I'd have panic attacks randomly for seemingly no reason, I carried around a small dampened washcloth or paper towel because the cool feeling of it comforted me; I could put it on my forehead and feel better if I got panicky. I wouldn't go anywhere without it. It was NOT normal, and I was very aware of that even at the time, but I didn't care because it made me feel better when nothing else would. After 2 years of that crap, I decided that enough was enough and went to see a psychiatrist, who referred me to a psychologist who specialized in anxiety disorders. We had several sessions and worked out a cognitive-behavioral therapy program that I would put myself through to overcome the panic attacks (which basically meant not avoiding anything that was triggering to me and then changing my thought patterns during the ensuing panic attacks). It was brutal, but I did it and over several months, I got better; I was able to be a pretty "normal", functioning person again, although the road back was long.
Anxiety is still a thing I have (I'm sure some of you can relate), but I don't allow myself to indulge in the "crazy" behaviors that come with it because I know how bad the results will be down the road. Bunny is indulging in hers, and I worry for her. She should see a therapist for her anxiety; she doesn't necessarily have to be on medications (which I know she hates; I didn't go that route either), but there are other viable treatment options that can move her away from having to hug a hairdryer for comfort.